Friday, September 24, 2010

An All-American Dinner

24 E 12th St
(between 5th Ave & University Pl)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 488-5900
I have a confession to make. My friend Joanne who Eats Well With Others might kill me for this, but last night I had a virtual date with her man, Iron Chef Michael Symon. Yeah, we stared into each others eyes over his favorite toasted marshmallow milkshake at Stand. He had 3 of them. And then he had 3 more. And then 3 more after that. See, the clip from Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate where Mike (I call him Mike now) was swooning (do Iron Chefs swoon?) over these milkshakes was playing on repeat in Stand, the "rare well-done burger" spot 2 blocks south of Union Square.

I felt like he was personally insisting I order one too, and so I did. After my meal when I could focus all my attention on its awesomeness. But first we ordered their tempura-battered fried bread and butter pickles. Hello, awesome. These unusual treats were a great mix of sweet-sour from the pickle and salty crunch from the batter. Served with a lightly mustardy, tangy dipping sauce, I personally found them to be pretty irresistable.

Tempura Battered Bread and Butter Pickles $4

We also shared the battered onion rings and some old-school French fries. The fries were good but not exceptional in the world of mind-blowing fries (those do exist, you know). The onion rings were a better choice, I preferred those to the fries, but of course I usually prefer onion rings. They are round and spectacular, like golden halos of fried magic. Perfect accompaniment for a burger.

Large French Fries $5

Large Onion Rings $6

Oh yeah, the burgers! I had one of those too. A cheeseburger to be specific. I opted to have mine on a brioche bun instead of the traditional sesame one, and it was topped with shredded lettuce, caramelized onions, and white cheddar cheese (there were other cheese choices as well), and served with a small ramekin of cheddar sauce and a few more fried pickles. The cheddar sauce was very mild and didn't taste very cheesy to me, more like a bechamel I couldn't quite place. The burger was good, fairly juicy but not over the top. It had a nice charred flavor and the caramelized onions were a good touch.  It wasn't the best burger I've ever had, but it was very good.  Maybe next time I'll try the one with bacon... ;-)

Cheeseburger $10
Time for the milkshake! Did it bring all the boys to the yard? Well I can't comment on that, but it was quite magnificent, Mike was right. It tasted exactly like a cold, liquid, toasted marshmallow. We even ate our toasted marshmallow garnishes simultaneously! We're just so funny like that, Mike and I (sorry, Joanne, you can have him back now).  The milkshakes would definitely bring me back.  They're not cheap, a large is certainly a better deal at $7 as opposed to $5 for the mini, but we were pretty stuffed from dinner. 

Mini Toasted Mashmallow Milkshake $5

Overall we had a very enjoyable meal!  The food was good, the staff was friendly, and the milkshakes were rockin'!


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