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Food

NYC: Black Tap Burgers

Tiny front entrance.
Tiny front entrance.

I used to imagine that trends are characteristics intrinsic to consumerism. The thought was that, without choices, the society can’t be chasing after cool and unique stuff. Think about it this way – you wouldn’t imagine in dystonia 1984 worlds, there would be people in skinny jeans talking about kale waiting for cronuts. However, the more I thought about it, the less it seems that trendsetting is part of this materialistic society. Rather, it feels like a human nature to want to look different from others (and then others realize there is a way to be different, and they started following this new habit. Hence, a trend). I could easily name some examples – the Kim haircut in N. Korea, or the colorful rows of building in Havana, Cuba and Nyhavn, Copenhagen.

Typical Sports Bar.
Typical Sports Bar.
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The girl in white shirt is Jamie’s heroine. She just finished the NYC tri that morning.
View of booth.
View of booth.

Anyway, I digressed. Black tap became famous earlier this year for their extraordinary milkshakes. They were Instagram worthy, and exploded on the social network, even though their original focus was on comfort food. The milkshakes were so pretty that people queue up for hours in the cold, harsh winter. I promised myself and Issy to visit Black Tap and look at it myself. Knowing that the line is going to be long, I hadn’t have the opportunity to visit them, until this weekend.

"Mexican" grape soda.
Jamie’s “Mexican” grape soda.

I knew that the large milkshake will have thousands of calories, so I was conservative during lunch (it was vegetarian anyway, so I wasn’t really missing out). Jamie, DP and I were in line by 2pm, and there might have been 2 dozen people before us. The queue moved quickly initially, but it didn’t budged for 30 minutes. Even though the weekend was pretty hot, the weather was not bad when we were in line, and we also had some shade, making the wait someone pleasant. I looked around, and believed everyone is crazy enough to pay $15 for a milkshake. That’s my kind of crowd.

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We were led inside cramped into a tiny booth. Not knowing what to get (Note to self, should have been checking Yelp rather than catching Pokémon while waiting), I ordered the fancier Cookie Shake and Eric got the Sweet N’ Salty. That alone took them sometime to deliver so I used that time to scan the room. Mostly young people, dressed casually in a sports bar, and everyone had a giant well decorated milkshake in front of them taking lots of pictures. The cotton candy milkshake looked much more colorful among all the contenders, but we all agreed that they were all huge.

DP and his Sweet N' Salty: Peanut butter shake with chooclate froasted rim with chocolate gems & PB cups, toopped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle.
DP and his Sweet N’ Salty: Peanut butter shake with chooclate froasted rim with chocolate gems & PB cups, toopped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle.

Well, that’s until our desserts were brought to the table, and the milkshakes looked much larger that they seemed. Part of it has to do with the clear thick walled glass jar and the amount of decoration that aren’t edible. I assumed my milkshake was coated with cookies, but that turned out to be a thin layer of cookie crumbles. I tried to bite into it, only to taste hard glass and it made me sad.

The Cookie Shake: Vanilla Cookie shake with vanilla frosted rim with cookie crumbles, topped with a 'Cookiewich' crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle.
The Cookie Shake: Vanilla Cookie shake with vanilla frosted rim with cookie crumbles, topped with a ‘Cookiewich’ crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle.

Let’s get it out of the way – the vanilla milkshake was rich and delicious. There is a large mouthful of ice cream in that cup. The fancy stuff, though, is lacking – my $15 milkshake had only 3 cookies, and nothing else. I tried to scrape off the crumbles on the glass, but gave up after a couple of minutes – that took too much effort to be worthwhile. I was wondering if they ever wash that coating since I don’t think anything lick the entire layer, and cleaning it is a messy process. In comparison, the Sweet N’ Salty have so much more stuff in it that Eric couldn’t finish. There was pretzel rods, pretzels, “sugar daddy” and a couple of king-size worth of M&M; surrounding the cup. I would choose that if given a second chance.

Look at the size!
Look at the size!
Side by side.
Side by side.

This is the first time I went somewhere to line up for food I heard based on looks alone. I don’t know how I feel- I’m glad that I had tried it, but I think it is overpriced and overrated. Maybe the cheaper shakes are more worth it; I don’t know. To be fair, the shakes themselves were pretty tasty, but I reckon the time used to wait in line could be better spent elsewhere for other food. Definitely head here to get a meal, and enjoy the milkshake as dessert, not as main course. That though, will cost you an hour of time, $40 per person and at least 3000 calories.

The aftermath.
The aftermath.

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Address: 248 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Website: http://blacktapnyc.com/
Visited: July 24th, 2016 @ 2pm for dessert.

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