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Shameful questions about two, um, less-than-five-star eating establishments

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Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 10:22 AM

Hi, all. The people that post here are much too sophisticated for these two topics, but curiosity has gotten the better of me and I can't resist asking:

1. First, has anyone been to that odd, presumably touristy restaurant Mars 2037 (or whatever the year is) near Times Square? Has anyone paid the $2 just to ride the elevator, which I assume has some rocket-ship appeal to it? Would Manhattan residents be caught dead there??

2. Second, can someone explain the appeal of the Shake Shack near the Flatiron Building? My wife and I went for the first time last week to see what all the fuss is about. We arrived early and were merely 20th or so in line, but still waited close to 45 minutes. It seemed pretty clear that by midday, people in line would have to wait a couple hours or more. Yes, I get it, the burgers, shakes, and other food are good. But TWO HOURS on a beautiful day in an amazing city with a million places to eat?? I must be missing something.

Thanks much.

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  1. c
    Cpalms RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 10:52 AM

    Shack Shack speaks to some people and to others she does not.

    1. s
      sam1 RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 11:09 AM

      shake shack shouldnt appeal to me but i go very often. the burgers and fries and shakes are the best of its kind...period...better than in n' out for 5x the price.

      i usually set boundaries though...if the line is past the second tree, i avoid it.

      having food there with friends on a nice night is a great experience. i have no issues with the place.

      1. p
        philw66 RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 11:10 AM

        1. Mars 2112 - Unless you have young children that might be entertained by a space themed restaurant I'd skip it.

        2. Shake Shack burgers are good - but it's your call on whether it's worth the wait... :)

        1. w
          windycity RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 11:13 AM

          I don't think you are missing anything on Shake Shack. The idea is that it's gourmet Chicago and Midwestern food and while I love plenty of Danny Meyer's other establishments, this one leaves me cold. I've had the real thing, and it's not close. Blah burgers, mostly bland frozen custard, numerous health violations and crazy lines make for a combination that I would just rather skip.

          I have never heard of Mars 2037, but I would guess that most Manhattanites wouldn't be making a special trip there.

          And it's ok to ask. My thoughts on CH are that we're all here to learn about good places to eat. Someone might rib ya though :)

          1. g
            G3B RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 11:14 AM

            Have been to both places. Mars was a zillion years ago just to see the decor. That was interesting, but the food was dismal which was kind of expected. Once was enough just to know what it's like inside.

            As for Shake Shack, went once on a very cloudy evening and it drizzled a little so the lines were not bad at all. Food was fine, but I will never wait in their crazy lines for a burger and shake. I do see the appeal of sitting in the park and having a burger and hanging out with friends which is what we did, but not worth the crazy wait IMHO.

            1. tastyeating RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 12:25 PM

              The Mars restaurant is terrible. You go through this whole really fake space experience just to get into the dining room which serves normal American fare at high prices but low quality. I wouldn't recommend it at all.

              Although I do like Shake Shack, I wouldn't wait 2 hours for it. But people are willing to stand in line for anything.

              1. w
                west79chiro RE: Frisbie Sep 9, 2009 01:13 PM

                Shake Shack is pretty darn good. Venture up to the one on 77th and Columbus. I've never waited more than 10 minutes.

                1. smokeandapancake RE: Frisbie Sep 10, 2009 10:05 AM

                  mars 2112 blows and it's a waste of money. I dont remember paying to get in the elevator. safe that sorta crap for disney.

                  1. t
                    tkm616 RE: Frisbie Sep 10, 2009 11:22 AM

                    mars 2112 might be a fun theme restaurant to go to if you're 8 yrs old, want to be an astronaut when you grow up and it's your birthday. otherwise, i would skip it. i went there when i first moved to nyc and i didn't know any better. the food borders on the line of inedible and the decor is just plain cheesy.

                    shake shack has another location in manhattan on 77th and columbus which i've walked past a couple of times and there didn't seem to be much of a line. from what i've heard, the food is the same so if you're just looking to see what all the fuss is about, i would go there. if you're looking for the experience of waiting in line, there are far better foods and restaurants worthy of your 2 hours.

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