I've eaten at Mama's Too on the Upper West Side more times this year than at any other restaurant, and after devouring countless slices in all sorts of outdoor situations, I can tell you with confidence that Frank Tuttolomondo still makes the best pizza in New York City.
Earlier this year Tuttolomondo also got into the sandwich game, starting with a monster of a Meatball Parm and, after a pandemic pause, charging ahead with a different one-day-only special on the Mama's Too menu almost every week. There's been a Steak Sandwich, a Bufalina Fried Chicken Sandwich, a lovely Spring Chicken Cutlet number, and right now: Tuttolmondo's take on the classic BLT.
Rewind to last fall, when Tuttolomondo and Mark Rosati, the Culinary Director at Shake Shack, were hanging out at a food festival and started scheming about working on something together. Several variations on a burger-topped pizza were created and discarded, but once the Mama's Too sandwich program really took off, the collab became clear: surround Shake Shack's classic smash burgers with Tuttolomondo's amazing focaccia and what do you get? A brand new burger that's instantly one of the all-time greats. Unfortunately, as of now, it's only available for one day: Thursday, August 27th, and only at the Madison Square Park location.
As you bite into this beast it's a Mama's Too experience at first, with that chewy, cheesy focaccia and Tuttolomondo's spicy 'Nduja tomato sauce. And then you hit the double stack of the Shack's proprietary beef blend, dripping with Stracciatella cheese, and the whole thing really comes together. A few bitter greens and crispy garlic chips add life to the party as well.
It's a rare creature, the perfect collab, one that plays to the strengths of both parties and emerges better than what either one of them would have created on their own, and in this case it promises to be scarce as well. They're only making 500 Mama's Too Burgers, and they're only available tomorrow at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, starting at 11 a.m.
To avoid a crowding situation around the kiosk you must preorder your Pizza Burger on the Shake Shack app, and it's likely to show up on there as early as 7 a.m. that day, so set your alarm, place the order, then leisurely make your way over to the Madison Square Park for a lovely, albeit quite gut-busting, picnic lunch.
The Shake Shack Madison Square Park is located at 23rd Street and Madison Avenue (order.shakeshack.com)