Black Pearl (2.0) and Shake Shack
Walking from my wife's office to Madison Square Park on Tuesday, we passed Black Pearl. I'd heard that it resurfaced after closing down operations at the back of Julep, a dive in the East Village, but didn't know where.
Well, we kept walking and ended up at the park, to find ourselves waiting at the end of the longest Shake Shack line I've ever been on. And rightfully so. Tuesday was the nicest day we've had so far this year. And that's why the 1 hour and 10 minute wait didn't bother me. Everyone on line was happy and the people watching was entertaining enough.
We ordered a bunch of stuff because our Shake going days will be limited this year, as we are moving away from the area.
Shack Burger - As good as ever though Danna claimed that there was a lack of shack sauce on hers. My burger was slightly overdone, but all in all, a great burger. I sense a slight lack of consistency so far in the overall operations but not enough to deter a visit.
French Fries - Different this year. Same crinkle cut, but better potatoes. Still not excellent though.
Chicago Dog (with everything on it) - The sport peppers were really hot (hotter than I remember) and that's a good thing. I'm still not a fan of yellow mustard, but what can you do. The best change here is that the dog is griddled, not boiled. A very important change for the better.
Root Beer Float - As good as ever...or was the custard even better than I remembered. Either way - very good.
Concrete Jungle - I didn't sample any of this, but I imagine it was good.
The next day (yesterday), I walked Danna home again and decided to try out the Black Pearl, knowing that it would be easy to lure Danna there with the promise of a lobster roll.
Lobster roll - fantastic. It is the best in the city from what I can tell. Pearl Oyster Bar, Mermaid Inn, etc. have nothing on it. Fresh tasting lobster on a buttered hot dog bun and lightly seasoned with barely any mayo. Delicious. There was an entire claw, unchopped, as well as other larger chunks of room temperature meat (not ice cold like some places).
Fries - mediocre frozen fries. They HAVE TO do better than this.
Pickles - from Guss. Good thinking
Cole Slaw - VERY good. Might be better than Mayrose Diner's. Little mayo present.
Mussels Bangkok (thai curry, onion, coconut milk, etc.) - the mussels weren't the best (clearly New Zealand variety). I like them small, but these were huge and meaty. The broth was good, but the bread they give you (2 pieces) was too hard to enjoy/sop up the broth. Need to work on that. The portion size was very (too) large and served in a cheesey oversized martini-like glass.
Oysters - Kumamoto, Canada Cup, Mala Spina and another variety I forget - were all very good and clearly just-shucked.
This, plus a side of haricot verts (just okay) and two Brooklyn Pale Ales came to $69.
Service was very friendly but the room is less than cozy, interesting or generally well designed.