Black Tap’s Signature Milkshakes Reign Supreme — But Are They Worth the Wait?

You better get in line right now.

It’s been barely 30 minutes since New York City’s Black Tap Burgers & Beer opened its doors Thursday afternoon, and there’s a line of starving patrons curling around the corner Broome Street in Soho. When they’ll get the opportunity to enter the hole-in-the-wall, retro eatery is questionable, but all I know is that I’m strolling right in, and I’m hungry.

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The newly opened restaurant, which has quickly become a Soho staple, is the latest establishment to use exotic menu items to delight tourists and grow its patronage. But this time, there’s no innovative hybrid pastry or a bourgeois bakery treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead, it’s an explosive, coma-inducing, heavily garnished, $15 milkshake.

As I squeeze myself onto a bar stool between two other diners, I’m immediately handed a menu with an array of craft burgers and drool-worthy side dishes. My plan is to go as simple and light as possible with the Californian turkey burger (I still choose to add bacon, because bacon) so I’m able to drown myself in the cookie dough milkshake of my dreams later on in my dining experience. 

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After consuming one of the best meat patties I’ve ever put in my mouth, I nonchalantly unbutton my pants before giving the waiter a nod to confirm I’m ready to continue destroying my body. As the clouds part and my shake arrive in front of me, I try to remember this food porn forever before it melts away. Crumbly graham crackers (which I mistake for bread crumbs at first) are glued to the rim with frosting, while a huge ice cream cookie sandwich hangs in the shake itself next to the heavy dollop of whipped cream and chocolate syrup. 

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Before I realize it, my mouth is wrapped around the straw and I’m sucking up the shake as hard as I can. I bit my lip out of pure ferocity and can taste blood, but my mind is too focused on the epic creation working its way into my stomach. It’s sweet, it’s delicious, and it’s exactly what you expect from a milkshake of this caliber.

Then, as if I’ve just tapped an entire keg on my own, it hits me. Four gulps later, after barely making a dent, and I was done — and not with the contents of the glass by any means. Maybe it’s the pile of onion rings I shoveled into my mouth just minutes earlier, or the diabetes my body was beginning to develop, but the idea of putting another morsel of milkshake near my mouth made me queasier than a pregnant woman in her last trimester. I was ready to tap out.

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After washing the contents of my milkshake off my hands and face, I gracefully thanked the wait staff and made my way back into the day’s unfortunate streak of humidity. The line had grown significantly longer, with the wait somewhere between 45 minutes to a painfully long two hours. Sure, I left Black Tap feeling extremely satisfied (and sort of bloated), but would I spend a typical afternoon waiting around that long essentially just so I can throw up a picture on Instagram

Eh. I’ve got better things to do.