By Nora Zelevansky / April 23rd, 2009


You know when you just need a burger?

I'm not sure what the equivalent would be for all you veggies out there, but sometimes we carnivores just get a protein craving and suddenly nothing else will do.  Well, that's exactly what happened last Friday, as S., C.C.R., her baby and I wandered through Central Park on one of Manhattan's first warm days in a while.

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(CLICK TO ENLARGE: C.C.R. & S and Fabu Cherry Blossom Trees)

We naively imagined (or maybe we just collectively pretended to imagine) that we could actually expediently get a table for lunch at The Boathouse on such a beautiful day.  But when we arrived, the line for the restroom alone seemed to be at least 20 minutes.  For a waterfront table, we'd have to wait an hour and half and give up one of our first born.  Since C.C.R. is pretty smitten with her child, we decided we had to go elsewhere.  But not before our ravenous hunger was catapulted to another level when we spotted The Boathouse burger (which seemed to be served with, yup, tater tots–I MEAN).

Of course, my Upper West inclination is always to go old school, so–having decided we needed beef STAT–I racked my brain for a place to satiate our growing hunger.  Unfortunately, all I effectively achieved was creating shared depression over the closing of Diane's (a former neighborhood standard with great inexpensive burgers and pickles omnipresent condiment-style on the table like a given).  Like THE given.

Luckily, S. is a little less sentimental and suggested that, instead of mourning while starving, we head over to the new uptown annex of The Shake Shack.  After all, it seems a little silly to hunger strike about something that already closed.  Hunger striking about the closing of a burger spot that's still open, on the other hand, is not silly at all.

("The Doublemint Twins" according to V., with whom we met up later)

Let me just get this out of the way: As if we weren't hungry and grumpy enough, S. & I showed up to meet each other in the EXACT same outfit.  Striped three-quarter-length sleeved, boat-necked tee, jeans, Ray-Bans and converse.  This is no new phenomenon for us, as people have been asking us if we were sisters since kindergarten, but it is uncanny how this often manages to happen.  And, since all three of us have known each other since we were four, you can imagine that C.C.R. was plenty amused.

ANYWAY . . . I was suspicious of trying somewhere new within my childhood stomping ground, but as soon as S. pointed out the "Root Beer On Tap," I was sold.  She knows the way to my heart, I guess.  It's a twin thang.

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(CLICK TO EXPAND IMAGES: S.'s Burger and The Menu With Root Beer On Tap)

The whole meal felt fortuitous, as we found a table with room for C.C.R.'s little bundle and all just at the moment our food came up at the counter (who needs pricey waterfront tater tots anyway).  But let me tell you something: I looked at my burger and I thought, "Eh–it doesn't look like anything so special."  Then I took a bite.  Then I inhaled the whole damn thing.  The burger itself was so flavorful that I hardly even think it needed most of the condiments.  And the french fries?  DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED.  My only suggestion: some other types of dipping sauces to mix things up, although I guess if a classic ain't broke . . .


(Even Baby Agrees!)

Just when I thought I'd had enough burgers and fries to last me a life time (thanks to this whole upscale street food craze), I had some newbies that blew me away.

Plus, I just love some girls who can really eat (you know, being one myself).  I guess it's just a triplet thang.

xo – N.