Black Tap Bust: What’s With All the Hype?

All American Burger—The highlight of the Black Tap experience was the burger, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and special sauce.  Photo by Elizabeth Smith

All American Burger—The highlight of the Black Tap experience was the burger, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and special sauce.

Photo by Elizabeth Smith

By Elizabeth Smith

As the freezing wind hit my face as I trudged through the streets of New York City, the sheer sight of the “Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer” sign in the distance made my mouth water. With every step forward, I felt the warmth of the heat just waiting for me on the other side of the door. However, I soon realized that all of the people on the lit-up street leading up to the restaurant were also waiting to step foot inside, so I zipped up my coat and walked to the end of the block. I prepared myself to wait in line right along what seemed to be half of New York City’s population.

Finally approaching the front door of the restaurant, I could almost feel my fingers defrosting—but I spoke too soon. After waiting for over 45 minutes in the freezing cold, I waited an additional 10 minutes for my waiter to take my order for the milkshake and burger I had been dreaming about since I saw photos of them on Instagram.

The arrival of my long-awaited order melted the excitement away as soon as I laid eyes on it.

Let’s start with the shakes, seemingly the highlight of the restaurant experience. I realized that this was just not the case once I put my mouth to the straw. The shake itself was way too sweet and too big for anyone to possibly finish in one sitting. Three people could have comfortably shared a shake this size. In addition, the desserts on top, like the ice cream sandwich or brownie, tasted like they were a day old. While they complemented the aesthetic of the shake in my pictures quite nicely, they did not do the same for my stomach. The desserts tasted like a cube of sugar and had a tough hockey puck-like consistency.

My milkshake brings all the kids to the restaurant­— Each costing $15, three of Black Tap’s most popular milkshakes include the Sweet N’ Salty (center), Cotton Candy (left), and Cookie (right).Photo by Elizabeth Smith

My milkshake brings all the kids to the restaurant­— Each costing $15, three of Black Tap’s most popular milkshakes include the Sweet N’ Salty (center), Cotton Candy (left), and Cookie (right).

Photo by Elizabeth Smith

If I had to give one compliment to Black Tap, it would be for their burgers. During my visit, I had the classic All American with cheese, special sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. The meat was cooked to just the right temperature and tasted like it was prepared by the most expensive chef in New York City. The patty was neither dried out nor too juicy. It was also a normal portion size. Black Tap has a special sauce that it puts on all of its burgers that ties the flavors together very well—it almost reminds me of Thousand Island dressing, but has a little bit more of a spice to it. However, it is also true that you could get an even better burger that is probably more affordable and more readily available at almost every local diner.

Overall, I was very disappointed with Black Tap. The long line isn’t worth the wait, and the shakes are not worth all of the empty calories. While I might have found the perfect picture to complement my Instagram feed, my stomach has not found a new restaurant to call home.

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