In this day and age, there are a lot of restaurants (and other businesses) that have become overly popular after Instagram sensation. It can be both good and bad. It obviously is great for the restaurant, but if I found out about that place through this route, then, about the time I discovered it through Instagram, so did other hundreds and thousands of people…creating long lines and/or reservation is really hard to get. The Black Tap was one of those places (for me).
I discovered this place when people started to post crazy, colorful, huge milkshakes on the Instagram. And there came the looooong line outside the door (they do not take reservation). After doing some research, I have been trying to think when would be the best time to go. Well, in NYC, people go away during Summer, especially during the holidays. So. we decided to go to the SoHo location on one of those holiday weekends. We got there about 30 min they opened, and they already had people waiting in the line, which was expected. The wall next to the line had turn into a “memory wall” of some kind, people had put their names, some interesting words, or drawings on the wall. I would say it might be a fun way to kill a couple of minutes of long wait time, and reading what others wrote was fun too.
On his holiday weekend, the wait was short and easy, thank goodness! when it was finally our time to go in, I was just so excited and happy! The inside was pretty small, just counter seats only, and they were pretty packed in, not much room to move around. The “shake only” area is right by the door, there is a small counter bar by the window, without any chair. If you want to order just the shake, this is where you will be directed to. The walls had some interesting artworks, everywhere I looked, I saw something fun or artistic or intriguing decoration. There are about 20 seats around the bar, and if you are the first 20 people to get in (which we were), then you are all set! The next crowds had to wait until someone leaves, and from what we saw, that could take anywhere from 1 hour or longer. This makes the line moves really slow, after the first group goes in.
Once we sat down at the bar counter, they brought us water bottle with small mason jars as drinking glasses. I thought that was super cute.
Since the milk shake is rather large, we decided to share a burger so that we could each order a shake. They had many tasty looking burgers, so it was not easy to decide… But finally, we went with The Pizza Burger ($17). It comes with zesty tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and shaved parmigiano reggiano. When it came to us, I was so glad that we only ordered one. It was humongous!!!
Once I “assembled” the burger, it was even more humongous. It was not easy to bite into, but somehow I manged. And it was a pretty darn good burger! Very flavorful, juicy patty cooked perfectly to our preference, with fresh tomato sauce, and super thick mozzarella. Every ingredients were fresh and tasty. Since it didn’t use “pizza sauce” it was more of a tomato flavor, but I still liked it very much. The fries were also really, really tasty! Crispy and addictive, and went perfect wit the burgers.
Then, off the milk shakes!!! Their special shakes that caused the Instagram sensation are all $15 each, and they currently have 4 kinds: Sweet N’ Salty, Cotton Candy, The Cookie Shake, and Sour Powder. They do have “regular” shakes ($7), like vanilla and chocolate, if you are not into the glamorized version. We decided on Sweet N’ Salty and Cotton Candy. The Sweet N’ Salty is a peanut butter shake made with chocolate frosted rim with chocolate gems and PB cups topped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle. Yes it is a mouthful, in every way. It was very peanut buttery, with just the right amount of chocolate drizzle to add the extra sweetness. The contract of that sweetness against the saltiness of the pretzel played out pretty good, it also provided that nice crunchy texture that we so enjoyed. On the outside, it had lots of M&Ms around it, which also gave added texture, and it was fun to take them off one (or more) at a time and pop them in my mouth!
The Cotton Candy is a strawberry shake with vanilla frosted rim with blue, pink and pearl chocolates, topped with a lollipop, rock candies, whipped cream, and yes, cotton candy! It was very festive with lots of color. The strawberry shake tasted really great, and cotton candy, oh boy! I don’t remember the last time I had cotton candy, it was so good, I see why I used to love it as a child. The little chocolates were kind of like M&Ms, but more round, making it look more like jewels. It is soooooo much of shake, unless you are here to have just the shake, I don’t think anyone can really finish the whole thing. No matter how much you love the shake, there is a limit to how much of it you can put in your stomach… At least I got to take home the lollipop, but everything else, not something you can carry home…
And the size of these shakes are truly massive. So big that they start to melt before they can finish constructing it. So, about the time it reaches you, there will be some melted ice cream, but it still is super pretty and even more so, super impressive. The staff there knows how everyone wants photos with these beauties, they are ready as soon as they bring you the shakes. The female staff who was working on this day was really nice, she took several photos for us, as she has done for anyone and everyone who asked. She was really considerate, made sure the shakes were facing the right way, and took photo with and without flash to ensure we have at least one photo that we can be happy with. Now that is full service!
When we were finishing up with our enormous shakes (or when our stomach was begging us to stop eating), we saw a beautiful Gayle King walk in with her staffs! She was very personable and sweet, and when I asked for a photo, she said of course with a big smile. She spoke with other customers and restaurant staffs, seems very approachable, just as she seems on TV.
Overall, everything was perfect, from the burger, shakes, and service. I am so glad we decided to go during the holiday in the Summer time, when many of the New Yorkers are away! And, it helps when you go before they opens up for the day. I would say it was once in a lifetime visit for us, even though the food was great, I don’t think we can afford that much of calorie again, not for a while anyways. Maybe we will plan for another holiday, when the city goes quiet again.
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer @ SoHo – 529 Broome St, New York, NY 10013