New Yorkers will stand in line for anything. This explains why there is generally an hours-long wait (rain or shine) at the Shake Shack burger stand located in Madison Square Park. The thing is, hype is a huge turn off for me and I refuse to wait 90 minutes for a burger. Luckily, there is an alternative for those looking to procure a delicious, fresh Hamburger, Fries and a Shake without having to invest the better part of the day, and it’s just few blocks east: Fresh & Fast Burger on 23rd Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.
I’ve written about Fresh & Fast before, when they had their Thanksgiving Charity Promotion to help feed hungry New Yorkers in conjunction with The Bowery Mission. The fact that Fresh & Fast is invested in giving back to the community ties right in with their dedication to using only the freshest, high quality ingredients to create one of the most delicious, juiciest burgers in town. Fresh & Fast serves only cuts of beef selected from NYC’s own Master Purveyors. Never, ever frozen, each burger is a custom-created blend by New York’s most respected meat company, featuring Angus prime cuts taken from the same cattle that supply premium steaks to the famous Peter Luger’s Steak House in Brooklyn. When a burger is really all about the taste of the meat, who could ask for more than that?
When I dined at Fresh & Fast this past week, my Cheeseburger was delivered to me within minutes, dressed with crisp veggies, served on a soft, toasted potato roll and so juicy and delicious I needed many extra napkins. A lot of people will compare Fresh & Fast to In & Out Burger, and I think the comparison is warranted, but I do like Fresh & Fast’s fries much better than In & Out. F&F has conquered the problem with making and serving fresh cut fries – which is that they are often soggy – by soaking their potatoes in a vinegar solution before cooking, which keeps the fries super crisp without adding any vinegar taste to the potato. Moving on the their shakes, I had the Neapolitan shake, containing vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream (with real bits of strawberry) all in the same cup. My shake was an ideal consistency: thick enough to stick to the straw but not too thick to drink, and not too sweet.
Fresh & Fast’s Menu is simple (besides various basic burgers they also serve Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Hot Dogs and Cheese Fries), which allows them to serve the food quickly and to focus on making a superior burger without a lot of bells and whistles. Check them out when you’re in the neighborhood and don’t have 2 hours to kill.
Update: Fresh & Fast Burger Has Closed for Business
Fresh & Fast is located at 111 East 23rd Street between Park and Lexington in the Flatiron District.