Most might not have noticed given its proximity to Burger Royalty otherwise known as Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, but in 2009 a new burger place opened called Fresh & Fast Burgers. It's a small establishment with colors resembling more of a McDonald's instead of a real NYC burger spot. There are no tables, but rather a small counter to sit on to go along with its very simple menu. Despite all of these apparent shortcomings, I visited the place back when it opened and found the burgers to be rather delightful, albeit not anything special. Enter new owner, Heath Wolfson.
Wolfson has re-imagined the burger cast off and implemented a number of key changes in order to take Fresh and Fast to the elite level of NYC burger stardom. Wolfson described his vision as re-imagining and old time burger fast food place. Whenever we hear the term "fast food" we think of low grade chain restaurants. Decades ago this was not the case, and Fresh and Fast strives to return this idea to Manhattanites.
The core of any great burger place is of course the burger itself, and in Fresh and Fast's case, they took this to heart. Their new burger is made from a custom-created blend from Master Purveyors, who take the Angus prime cuts from the same cattle that supplies steaks to many restaurants around the city including a little steak house known as Peter Lugers. As it stands, Fresh and Fast are currently the only game in town when it comes to quick serving paired with Master Purveyors.
Fresh & Fast also features fresh fries, which are never frozen. Their menu boasts a Coney Island Hot dog and cheese fries to go along with its burger options. The drink menu also stands out as it offers lemonade, iced tea, the classic Arnold Palmer, Boylan's root beer, or even actual beer, which is unheard of in the world of fast food.
On Tuesday January 10th, I was able to attend a soft opening to sample the new flavor of Fresh & Fast and walked out not only full, but extremely satisfied. Their recommendation of the double bacon cheese burger was fantastic, which included their secret sauce. More changes are ahead for the burger newbie, but it looks like they got the most important part down: the taste. Fresh & Fast provides an ample alternative to the lines and tourists inhabiting Shake Shack, and could be a major player in the burger world sooner than later.
Fresh & Fast is located at 111 East 23rd Street, and offers delivery from 13th street to 33rd street across to 6th and 1st avenues during all hours of operation. Fresh & Fast is open from 11am – 11PM Monday – Thursday, 11am – midnight Friday and Saturday, and from 11am – 10pm on Sunday.