Not all Instagram trends are actually good, but the CrazyShakes and burgers at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer are legitimately delicious. With national locations in New York City, Las Vegas, and Disneyland, and international locations in Singapore, Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland, the brand is an international burger superpower. We talked with Chef Stephen Parker, Corporate Executive Chef of Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, about the menu, the monthly specials that wow fans and all of the different location specials.
Inside Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
WT: Can you tell us about the process of creating a new burger or shake to add to the menu?
Parker: Through our travels and inspiration from our owners, Julie and Chris, we craft burger and shake specials using seasonal flavors for our specials while keeping in mind the current culinary trends. The creation of menu items is a process for black tap that involves a mixture of nostalgia, inspirations from our travels, and, again, keeping in mind current culinary trends.
WT: How do you plan out the monthly and seasonal/holiday specials?
Parker: We typically plan the monthly specials a year out based on upcoming trends; this year, our new Fresh in ’22 campaign prompted us to think fresh and flavorful for all of the monthly shakes and burgers. In September, we are currently offering an Apple Butter Jam Burger alongside a Miso Caramel Classic Shake - both of which are very unique and delicious flavor combinations you would not find at your typical burger joint and bring out the flavors of fall.
WT: Are there any location-specific specials in different cities?
Parker: The domestic locations are definitely very from the international locations, but within the US, the three major markets typically all have the same monthly specials and then will create unique specials depending on cultural moments happening in each city. For example, we recently created a Mermaid CrazyShake that was only available at the Downtown Disney location for World Disney Princess Week. For the most part, our locations offer the same standard offerings across the nation, but this can vary based on product supply.
WT: I love the CrazyShake Window at Downtown Disney. Do any of your other locations have a similar window?
Parker: The CrazyShake window right now only exists in our Anaheim location; however, the Black Tap Las Vegas is home to the brand’s first-ever standalone CrazyShake® bar.
WT: The Churro Choco Taco Shake was so beloved! Have the restaurants had a lot of sad diners who miss it now that it’s disappearing?
Parker: Guests do not have to be sad just yet; we stocked up on tons of Choco Tacos, so our Churro Choco Taco CrazyShake won’t be going anywhere for a little while! Right now, it’s available at Black Tap’s NYC and Las Vegas locations while supplies last.
WT: Can you tell us what new shakes and specials we can expect in the coming months? What can diners expect during the holidays this year?
Parker: Our next two specials are the ABJ Burger and the Miso Caramel Classic Shake for September, which will certainly bring everyone into a Fall mood... we are also providing a chance to win free cheeseburgers for one year on National Cheeseburger Day (9/18) with a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory golden ticket-inspired competition. We are looking toward Halloween and the holiday season right now; we aren’t ready to share just yet, but these newly inspired creations are worth getting excited for.
WT: Can you tell us about your most popular items in New York versus the west coast? What about your international locations?
Parker: Our All-American Burger is a fan favorite and the number one ordered burger across all our locations. In the US, the Waygu Steakhouse Burger is the second most ordered. CrazyShake milkshakes are, of course, a fan favorite and staple across the country.
This is also very similar overseas; all-American overall is the top choice, followed by the steakhouse in Asia. Europe is the All-American and followed by The Texan Burger. Dubai and the Middle East are quite similar to the US and Asia, All-American followed by the Wagyu Steakhouse.