I wrote about Clarke's Standard a few months back, pitting the burger at this newfangled/old-fashioned "soda shop" spot against its more expensive cousin at the long-established P.J. Clarke's proper.
The Clarke's Standard model, The Cadillac (basically a bacon cheddar burger) won by a mile, and the fries were first-rate too. Also: amiable service, lively decor, and cheap-eats, family-friendly prices. In fact, the only downside to the Clarke's Standard way back then in mid-May was its location, a single outpost on Lexington and 54th which, unless you happen to work right there, isn't exactly the usual Glenwood stomping grounds.
New NYC Locations of Clarke's Standard
I couldn't stop thinking about my Clarke's Standard Cadillac, though, and even considered a return to Midtown East just to try more of the items on the menu. And then: BAMMO, two new Clarke's Standard have opened right near Glenwood residences, in the Financial District on the corner of Maiden Lane and Pearl Street, and just last week, near Columbus Circle on Eighth Avenue. On our quest for the best burger in nyc, plus two visits and two different burgers later, I'm convinced that Clarke's Standard has the potential to be, maybe not quite a Shake Shack, but certainly better than a lot of other burger chain-lets in this town.
Comparing Locations and Their Menus
All Clarke's Standard have the same menu–burgers, dogs, various styles of fries, shakes–the same design (which falls on the right side of kitschy fun… the typography, especially, is nicely handled), and each offers delivery to an impressively wide area. At the FiDi Standard, I devoured a Brooklyn au Poivre (with gouda, peppers and onions, and a cracked pepper sauce giving it some bite) and Cheesy Tater Tots, which aren't the gloppy pile you might expect, but a surprisingly sophisticated boat of crunchy spuds dusted with parmesan. And at the spanking-new Columbus Circle Standard, I wolfed a Black and Bleu Burger (black bacon, bleu cheese, crispy shallots), and will be back again soon. New York Magazine thought the St. Joseph's bun at Clarke's Standard to be overly assertive, but I disagree: the meaty, juicy patties and well-sourced toppings can definitely stand up to the soft, chewy bread. It's good to have these guys around.
More Information: Clarke's Standard
Clarke's Standard is now in three locations, including the Financial District and the Columbus Circle area. Visit them online for more information, on-line delivery orders, and a look at the complete Clarke's Standard menu!