Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned.
I have lived in New York City for 6 years,and had never been to Shake Shack.
I know, I deserve to be shunned.
I corrected that sin.
And it was a glorious, magical time that I spent repenting.
Shake Shack is Danny Mere’s homage to his nostalgic favorite burger joint, Steak ‘n’Shake. It specializes in fast food style burgers, hot dogs, and fries, made with high end meats, produce, and other ingredients. It is the ultimate in low end/high end food.
Though for years the only way to get one of these beauties was to wait in line for hours at the original Madison Square Park Shack, the restaurant has recently expanded all over the city and as far as Miami and Dubai. The Upper West Side location is often crowded, but with such fast service,tables turn over pretty quickly. Don’t go downstairs to eat unless you want to be blasted with intense heat.
Come to mama. I am so sorry In-n-Out, but I am leaving you for Shake Shack. THIS is what a classic “fast food” burger should taste like. I mean, this is just insanely good. The potato bun is soft and stretchy; pleasantly saturated by meaty juices. The patty itself is thin but not flimsy, with enough heft to have a bit of pink inside, contrasting with the salty, charred exterior. The vegetables are crisp and vibrant, and the only thing I can say about the cheese is: what have I been missing all my life?! It is, of course, some unholy fatty and carb-laden cheese flavored sauce, and it is OUTRAGEOUSLY tasty – melty, tangy, all things cheese should be. The shack sauce is almost unnoticeable between the meat, the bread,and the cheese, but it adds a slightly sharp/sweet taste towards the end of the bite. The only way that I would change this is to add some of the excellent chopped cherry peppers found on the SmokeShack burger. They have a particularly piquant heat that would be welcome here. This went down way too fast…next time, I’m getting a double.
Never have I ever had such awesome crinkle fries. These are usually thin, flaccid fries, soaked in grease and devoid of potato flavor. At Shake Shack, they are divine – the buttery, rich flavor of Yukon Golds in crunchy fry form. Blanketed in that unbelievable cheese sauce, they are salty but not too sodium laden, crispy but also creamy, and perfect when spied through a ketchup and mustard mix (yes, that is a Fritos and Foie favorite). Needless to say, these alone are worth the trip.
This custard-blizzard-like concoction was the least exciting part of the meal. It was very butter and incredibly sweet - only really hardcore sugar addicts need try this dessert. Next time, I would try a shake that might cut the intense ice cream with at least a little milk.
Or once a week.
Who the hell am I kidding…I’ll see you there later today.