The thing about Vale Park is you can easily miss that it’s there. The public space lies one floor up from Wythe Avenue and North 12th Street and is a part of Williamsburg’s The William Vale hotel. But heading upstairs is completely worth it. There’s a little collection of raised beds growing a few greens, a decent-sized grassy knoll perfect for watching the sunset and at the far end, a vintage Airstream. That Airstream is the home of Mister Dips, the hotel’s burger stands.
Mister Dips is one of The William Vale’s offerings from acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini, the man behind such delicious places as Bar Primi, The Dutch, Little Park, and Locanda Verde. He’s also won two James Beard awards and garnered more than a few stars from The New York Times. The man knows what he’s doing. Yes, even with grill top burgers and waffle fries.
You might have missed Mister Dips’ fall opening. Last October, the crew began service out of the Airstream, but given the wind and the chill, it wasn’t always the best eating environment. The burger would get cold too quickly, and your fingers did not want to be wrapped around an ice cream cone. But if you go now, you’ll see the Mister Dips they imagined, right down to the grown in shade tunnel over the tables. It really is one of the best places in the neighborhood to eat a comfort dinner and chill out while watching the sunset (though your background music is Output blasting EDM from their rooftop).
But really, you want to know about the burgers. As a connoisseur of griddle or roadside burgers, I believe these are a level above Shake Shack’s. The single dip ($6) is a simple burger topped with aged Cheddar and a little creamy sauce in a potato bun. The crispy char and juicy patty that make a griddle burger so special are spot-on here, and the level of salt and spices is perfect. It’s also available as a double. If you want a little kick, go for Special Dip, which features the famous Hatch chiles, Monterey Jack cheese, and sriracha verde ($7). There’s also the vegetarian Green Label.
And unlike some other burger joints, you’ll want to get fries here, especially if you’re a waffle fry fan. A big serving of crispy fries is $4, or you can get them covered in a spicy cheese and scallion sauce for $6. I really recommend either a fork or a wet-nap for the latter. You might need to keep napkins handy for the Instagram-worthy dipped cones because they are not to be missed. Soft serve is dipped in hard shells (caramel, chocolate, or strawberry depending on what you get) with fun treats like crunchy malt balls and salted peanuts. Or you can go with a float, including one made with neighborhood friends, Manhattan Special.
Special Fourth of July Holiday Weekend News: Viewing the fireworks from Vale Park and enjoying Mister Dips is sold out, but they are running a special with Du’s Donuts from Saturday through Tuesday. For $7.50, you can get a raspberry crumble-topped vanilla cone features a Du’s Donut with milk glaze, blueberry & raspberry icing.
Mister Dips is located in Vale Park, accessible via the stairs on North 12th Street or in The William Vale courtyard. It’s open daily from 12 – 9 pm until the weather turns in late fall.