2006_03_food_shake.jpgIt's the time of year when the Gothamist Food mailbox is chock full of pleas. You want it . . . you need it . . .you must have your Shamrock Shake. We've tried to help you find them in the past, but to no avail. But now, dear readers, the mystery of why a Shamrock Shake is nowhere to be found in the five boroughs has been solved, thanks to the investigative team at the Daily News:

"New York region no longer stocks the Shamrock Shake," Jennifer Nagy of McDonald's regional marketing told me. "Our branches can vote region by region," and in New York City, the five boroughs and surrounding areas, they're not voting green.

Not so outside the Empire State. "We have it," a worker at a Boston McDonald's told me when I called. "We'll have it for the whole summer!"

"Oh yeah," said a rep for McDonald's in Philadelphia. "And our area extends into southern Jersey."

Based on an extensive telephone survey, I discovered that New York is the only dry spot on the Northeast coast.

While the supply is spotty, the shake can be found at select locations from Maine to southern Connecticut. Then it disappears again until Trenton, N.J.

And although Gothamist was contacted by a cheerful PR rep for Chick-fil-A, offering a minty green alternative, the "Mint Cookies and Cream Milkshake," we found ourselves again faced with a similar regional crisis -- we do not have a Chick-fil-A in NYC (although there is rumored to be one in the NYU student center).

Are you willing to cross state lines to get your fix, or will you make do with the homemade version?