The Harlem Shake isn’t just a viral dance craze…it’s a retro burger and shake joint on 124th and Malcolm X Blvd, right in the heart of Harlem. I was invited to try the food, and ended up enjoying more than just that.
At first, I couldn’t stop looking around at all the stylish details; the overhead menu, the witty labels, the Jet magazines papering the walls of the bathroom, the cozy booths. I thought this place was actually an old 50s diner, turns out it was just created to look like one – JOKE’S ON ME.
Burgers, shakes, fries: the menu is retro too. Except if you look closely, you’ll see that the restaurateurs are on top of today’s food trends; every shake is organic, the burgers are fresh not frozen, you can substitute beef patties for turkey or veggie ones, they use locally sourced butter, free range eggs only, vegan pastries, vintage soda vendors-the impressive list goes on. It’s not just a delicious restaurant, they also GET IT.
Vegan choices, locally sourced and healthy substitutes aside, the food is damn good. Move over, Shake Shack. Harlem Shake is more comforting, friendly and just plain savvy to its New York City locals. Plus, the prices were, dare I say, REASONABLE. (This is not normal for New York City, therefore my mind was blown). I would definitely come back again, likely to hang out with friends and have a drink and a burger in the outside seating area.
Let me tell you what was on the menu for me and my lovely, hungry guest and, Scott:
- Harlem Classic with Cheese (Two juicy patties stuffed in a massive potato bun, somehow manageable to eat.)
- Hot Mess (Not manageable to eat, thus the name. Dat smoky chipotle mayo and pepper-bacon relish though…)
- Regular fries (Hand-cut, salty, cooked in beef tallow for the win.)
- Jerk fries (Seasoned with jerk, comes with jerk mayo.)
- Cole slaw (Crunchy, cold, refreshing.)
- Regular sized Harlem Shake (Red velvet flavor, easy to see why this is the namesake shake.)
- Shortie sized Double Chocolate Bacon Shake (Shut up, just shut up. I should have ordered a regular size.)
The restaurant also hosts a bunch of events during the summer: Every Tuesday, they show Harlem-themed movies and provide $30 unlimited beer, soda and food from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and every Sunday from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. they have “Weekend Wine-Down” with discounts on wine and sangria pitchers. Plus, they have a Miss Harlem Shake competition going on – if you live in Harlem, go for it! You win money for yourself and a charity, and get free burgers for a year.
So, whaddya say, cool cats? Don’t be a pooper, catch a flick at Harlem Shake flat out, Daddy-O. (Yeah, I definitely looked up 50s slang on the interwebs).
Bonus fact: a new music video for “She Don’t Like Me” was recently shot at Harlem Shake. Check it out:
Be sure to follow @HarlemShakeNYC and grab a bite soon!
To note: Scott and I received complimentary food during our visit to Harlem Shake, however, all opinions are my own.