A long white banquette lines the south wall of Milk Burger. Directly opposite is a bar where a garrulous middle-aged woman sat, chatting the night away with the bartender-cum-waitress. (Tits and ass–theirs–was the topic.) Two other patrons sat at the bar, chomping on Milk Burgers. The place was quiet…except for the blaring infectious ’80s rock over the restaurant’s loudspeakers.
I ordered a Milk Burger, cooked medium (though it was more rare than I would have liked). She ordered a portobello mushroom “burger” with Muenster and cheddar cheeses, just like the Shake Shack. I thought, what the hell, I’ll get a shake while I’m here, so I opted for the black-and-white. We also got sweet potato fries, drizzled with truffle oil.
I have to say, the burger was pretty good. Sandwiched between a Martin’s potato roll, the meat was just greasy enough to strike a fine balance with the Milk Sauce, which tasted mustardy. The portobello burger was grilled, not deep fried as the Shake Shack does. She said she preferred it this way, but found the sandwich to be particularly drippy. (“I’m sorry,” she said, as she wiped mushroom juice from her forearm.) The fries tasted crisp and sweet, and the truffle oil was definitely a nice touch. The black-and-white shake was creamy, dense, delicious.
The owner came over to our table to ask how our dining experience was.
“How did you hear about Milk Burger?” he asked.
“Oh, on the Internet,” I said.
“Good or bad things?”
“Yes,” I mustered, as I thought only that you’ve copied the Shake Shack’s concept through and through.
“It’s funny, Danny didn’t come down real hard on us over the ‘Shake Shack clone’ business.”
“That is funny,” I said.
“He said as long as we remove the similarities, he’s okay with it. We’re actually opening a few other Milk Burgers in the city.”
“That’s great. Thanks. This was excellent.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
End of conversation.
“Hold on, remove the similarities…have they removed the similarities?” asked Shion.
You be the judge.
Overall, I’d recommend Milk Burger to anyone who happens to be around 2nd Avenue and 106th Street. It’s not worth the trek if you’re, say, on the Lower East Side. But! If Milk Burger opens in your neighborhood, you should check it out.
2056 Second Avenue
New York, NY
Take the 6 to 103rd Street. Walk to 105th Street turn right, walk to Second Avenue.