I have been crushing on South Harlem hard. We are actually hoping to move there very soon so I recently went to check out an apartment and grab lunch in the area with my father. Everyone has talked and talked about how great Harlem Shake is and since my Dad loves greasy burger joints, I figured it was the perfect spot.
Harlem Shake looks like a diner from the 50s. From the stools to the letterboard menu, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time – especially if you hit up the bathroom with its Jet magazine wallpaper and vintage hand dryer. But don’t worry – there’s some new school mixed in with the retro vibes. They make sure to source quality ingredients, using Pat Lafrieda for the burgers and Blue Marble for the ice cream in the shakes. Speaking of, while we didn’t try the red velvet milkshake, I’ve heard it’s to die for.
So I may not have gotten the shake at Harlem Shake, but I did try the Georgette, another very tasty drink. I’m a big fan of the Arnold Palmer (half tea, half lemonade) and this is a similar concept only half lemonade half watermelon juice. It was so delicious and refreshing, particularly during the Indian Summer weekend we were having.
Onto the main course. My father got a patty melt (he loooves a good patty melt) and said the burger patty was like a steakburger (that’s a good thing when you’re talking patty melts). Extra points for the caramelized onions and special sauce they added. I got the hot honey chicken, which was a massive piece of fried chicken with hot honey, jalapenos, and mayo, sandwiched between a soft bun. Nicely fried with a good balance of sweet and spicy. I was a fan. I also liked the fresh cut fries (I dipped mine in some of their jerk mayo.
It looks good, it tastes good, and they do good. Harlem Shake is big into supporting the Harlem community. They’ve got a live camera feed from the corner, host live local music every Friday, donate to Harlem charities, and make a point to hire staff from the neighborhood.
I think I may have to go back to try a shake or go real old school with a float. No matter what I get, I have a feeling I’ll be back.