OK… so here I sit, feeling a bit of euphoria after a quick visit home… I made it there in time for one of winter’s last stabs at asserting control the day before St Pat’s- always a big day in the City. And while I was there, I did my best to hit all the necessary spots and make sure my old standards are keeping up with their, well… old standards. In the midst of all my reminiscing, though, I was introduced to a new venue that will undoubtedly be a lock for my next trip.
Tucked away on a side street in Brooklyn (Carrol Gardens, but right on the border of Red Hook- as a matter of fact, they bill their location as the “Gateway to Red Hook”) is a little place called Schnack. Consistently voted best burgers in Brooklyn, even though they are so much more. I walked in the door and was smacked in the face with a smell that just set my stomach to grumble mode… it was great, just what i needded after a long day of walking around the old stomping grounds. The specials board advertised RC Cola Ribs and Beer Milkshakes… I knew I was in the right place.
I sat in the corner with a few friends. We were quickly greeted and within a short time, we were fighting over the baskets of onion rings and sweet potato fries (a seasonal treat and, sorry-the season just ended!). Everything on the menu seemed to scream about comfort, but I was in the mood for a burger, so burger it was gonna be!! It was, in fact, a Super Combo and a pint of Schwag, one of the three house beers.
The burger came out just as the natives (aka my friends) were getting restless… and what a sight we were given- not sure how the table supported the weight of all this food! The burger was great- stacked high and loaded with all kinds of flavor, completely living up to the beautiful smells that greeted us at the door. What a great texture, too… the meat crumbled and blended with all the other great flavors. The levels of taste just got more and more complex. I wiped my hands after the first bite, but I knew it was pointless and after that, I dealt with the mess till I was done.
The meal was, in a word, perfect. On a cold night with day-old snow on the ground, what could make you feel more warm and toasty (and ready for hibernation) than a nice heavy meal? I ate like a of guy headed to The Chair, with little regard for how I would feel the next day. And, unfortunately, without giving thought to the finer offerings on the menu, namely, the Beer Milk Shakes. So now I sit here, 2500 miles away, kicking myself and wondering what I was thinking, just where my head was at… no Beer Milk Shakes, jamming that burger down and not taking up the offer to try some of the RC Cola Ribs, limiting myself by ordering the quad… what a mess. All the more reason to go back though. Schnack has hammered out a space in my heart and I know its going to be there for a long time.
Dr Seuss, a personal favorite of mine, once wrote: “I have cracks in my shack/I have smoke in my stack/and I think there’s a Schnack/ in the sack on my back…” Well- I’ll tell you what- if the good Doctor was lucky enough to have a sack full of Schnack, then there wasn’t much else for him to be worried about. Especially if he could get a Beer Milk Shake to go!!
I have eaten many a burger in many a place, but nothing could possibly stack up against this Quad… it represented everything a great burger should be. And if a great burger is what you’re after, there’s no need to leave town- just make a quick trip to the outer boros. Everyone needs to satisfy a burger fix now and again; when the need hits you, do yourself a favor and head over to Schnack. ‘Cause Johnny Tomatoes says so!!
122 Union St