Pushed It To The Limit: The Pants-Splitting Black Tap Popup At Humboldt & Jackson
Ok, so the headline is a bit of a misdirect. A few years ago on a trip to Barcelona, after stuffing myself silly with salty cheeses, meats, olives and wine for a week I actually did split my pants—and with a sweatshirt tied around my waist, I had to make an emergency run to H&M to appropriately clothe myself. So before I headed to Humboldt & Jackson’s Black Tap takeover on Saturday it actually crossed my mind that all the calories might cause another trouser explosion—but thankfully my will, and my pants, held strong.
Humboldt and Jackson (434 Humboldt Street) has been delighting the neighborhood with popup chefs and restaurants since they opened their doors three years ago—so if you’re a foodie you can get in the know and impress your friends by following their Instagram, which is where they announce all their events. And on this occasion, they teamed up with Black Tap. In case you’ve been living under a pile of fancy foodstuffs (or you’re not a millenial), the restaurant is famous for their epic and Instagram-worthy #crazyshakes boasting lines that can get up to six hours long. It’s a next level burger and shake joint and on many tourists’ Manhattan-must-do lists.
The shakes started flowing and the burgers started stacking at 2pm, with a crowd of a few dozen lined up before the doors even opened. Fans had even driven in from Long Island with their extended families to get a taste of the full Black Tap experience.
I ordered the All American Burger medium rare, which was a classic prime burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, american cheese and special sauce for $15. Would I normally pay $15 for a burger? Probably not. Was this one worth it? Probably yes, on occasion. I wouldn’t call it my favorite burger of all time, but it definitely stacked up against some of the best. Juicy, cheesy and satisfying. My dining companion and I were also surprised and impressed by the fries—thick cut, and they packed just the right amount of crispy punch and greasy softness.
For shakes, we chose The Cookie Shake (a vanilla cookie shake and a chocolate frosted rim with cookie crumbles, topped with a “cookiewich,” crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle) and the Cookies N Cream Supreme (an Oreo shake and a vanilla frosted rim with crushed Oreos, topped with a “cookies n’ cream” sandwich, crumbled Oreo, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle), each at $15 a pop. There are many desserts I prefer over shakes (anything lemony, chocolate cakes, candies, cheesecake, to name a few), so it’d be rare for me to spend $15 on a single shake. But I have to say I was a little awestruck, not just by the shake’s size, but also by the combination of flavors and textures. I honestly couldn’t get enough. The frosting on the sides of the glass holding the toppings on was a delicious stroke of genius. The shakes were so good, my friend and I kept them at our table to pick at, even after they’d pretty much melted away.
Would I wait in line for six hours in Manhattan to check out the real Black Tap? Likely not. But if Humboldt & Jackson decides to do another collab with these folks I’d stop by again, and make sure I’m wearing sweatpants.