A night off from cooking dinner for me while The Family spent a day in New York City. We all had differing ideas on how to explore the Big Apple. Museums, shopping, and dining at new restaurants all made the list. Our final selections were ESPN Zone for lunch, Madame Tussard's Wax Museum, and Shake Shack for dinner. As you can see I counted my votes twice and included more eating than any other activity in our days' events.
Our first stop was ESPN Zone in Times Square. This choice was for No Thank You Boy, and he was decked out in his finest Chicago Bears apparel. Having 2 older sisters, he is usually saddled with days filled with shopping when he has to tag along with us.
We ate a plate of cheese fries with bacon (I don't think it was real bacon), a cheeseburger, shrimp Caesar salad, a dry Italian beef sandwich, an oddly orange-colored Buffalo chicken sandwich, and an unspectacular grilled chicken sandwich. Nothing to write home about as far as the food at ESPN Zone is concerned. It is a place that is filled with tourists and the food is tourist food. The entrees were not bad; they just weren't very good. I would compare it to any sit down chain restaurant.
Off to Madame Tussard's Wax Museum for My Oldest, My Middle One and myself. The Husband and No Thank You Boy opted out of our adventure to partake in the many games at ESPN Zone. The Wax Museum was a hoot to say the least. We paid way too much ($69 for the 3 of us and that was with an $18 off coupon) to have our pictures taken with wax replicas of famous people. I do have to say that the place had a steady stream of guests so they must be be doing something right.
Highlights for me --
chatting with my new best friend "Rachael Ray"
and sipping bubbly with "Wolfgang Puck." Hey! Watch that left hand Wolfgang!
After catching up with the boys after their ESPN Zone escapades, we did some shopping with the other 250,000 tourists in Times Square. We hit the M&M store, the Hersey store, the MTV store, the Billabong store, and a few street vendors to pick up some ultra cool $10 sunglasses. After a couple hours battling the crowds, we had enough. Off to our next stop, the Shake Shake.
I had read about the Shake Shack somewhere online - a benefit of spending too many hours reading about food on the world wide web. After scoring a parking spot on the street, we entered Madison Square Park at Madison Avenue and 23rd Street.
Even with the perfect Spring evening for eating outside, grumblings were heard from the peanut gallery as we descended on a line of about 30 people waiting to place their orders. We secured a table for the kids and began our 20 minute wait in line. "I hear these are some of the best burgers in NYC," I informed The Husband as the line inched ever so slightly forward. As soon as he spotted the sign for the "Spring Special" - $3 draft beers, his demeanor greatly improved. We eventually placed our order - 3 Shake Shack burgers, a Shake-cago Dog, 3 orders of fries, 1 Black and White shake, 1 chocolate shake, 3 beers and a Coke.
Another wait for the food, but thankfully with our beers, was about 10 minutes. With a 75 degree Spring day, the wait was well worth our time. The food did not disappoint; it was much better than our lunch.
The burgers were just the right size and cooked to perfection. No Thank You Boy wanted another naked Shake-cago dog. We told him he could get in line again - it had swelled to about 100 people by the time we got our food. He declined and just sucked his shake down. Nicely crisped fries, cold beer, and thick shakes along with our burgers made for an enjoyable meal. And for about 40 bucks our wallet still had some cash left in it.
I would highly recommend the Shake Shack to anyone venturing into New York City. There was a majority of native New Yorkers eating there so it must be more than a tourist trap.
Back to our car to collect our $55 parking ticket, and we were headed home. Just enough of the city life for us. We had a fun time be New Yorkers for a day.