Tag Archives: Shake Shack

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…

ChickenShack at SHAKE SHACKThis was the year of the fried chicken sandwich. People waited in line for David Chang’s version at Fuku, barbecue restaurants started frying up fowl, and Shake Shack introduced a brand new non-burger item. The ChickenShack is only available at their Brooklyn locations and is a golden fried breast that is juicy and seasoned perfectly. It’s served on a buttered Martin potato bun and topped with buttermilk herb mayo. It’s an excellent alternative to the chain’s overly popular burgers. Price: $6.29

SHAKE SHACK
409 Fulton Street (between Willoughby and Adams Street),
Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
(718) 307-7590
1 Old Fulton Street (at Water Street),
Dumbo, Brooklyn
(347) 435-2676
170 Flatbush Avenue (between 5th and 4th Avenue),
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
(347) 442-7721
shakeshack.com

My search for the best hot dogs in New York continues….

Everybody goes to Shake Shack and orders the burger or a shake. I like being a little different. And so I got a thrill out of getting to the front of the line and not even considering their beef patties.

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Category: Hot Dogs

Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

I’m a big fan of themes. I enjoy Christmas music (in moderation, of course) on Christmas Eve. I want to watch scary movies on Halloween. And I love making themed playlists (for example, all songs about rain or something like that). It’s not too dissimilar to my obsession with lists. Must have something to do with my ADD or OCD or one of those neurotic abbreviations.

So I love that Shake Shack, Danny Meyer’s blossoming burger joint  names their concretes (custard sundaes) after whichever neighborhood the restaurant is situated in. Shake Shack started as a small stand (with long lines) in Madison Square Park and continues to expand and expand and expand. A Brooklyn location was just announced and a Shake Shack just opened in both Miami and Dubai(!)

They serve the Shark Attack concrete in Miami, the Upper West Slide on Columbus Avenue and the Pineapple Upper East Side Cake on the… well, you can probably guess where. But the only location to offer the Great White Way concrete is at one of the newer locations – in the Theater District, of course.

I know I’m in the majority when I say that I’m not a huge fan of the burgers at Shake Shack. I think they’re rather bland and reminiscent of certain national fast food chains, which they are slowly becoming. I don’t understand how and why it’s the most waited for burger in the city. I think they’re just mediocre.

But the concrete we got from Time Out’s list, the aforementioned Great White Way, was worth waiting in line for (although you can use the faster B-line for ice cream treats). It doesn’t sound like anything too inventive (unlike their daily special custard flavors, which rotate and include everything from pumpkin to concord grape to pancakes and bacon)- this is vanilla custard with marshmallow sauce and rice crispies mixed in. Obviously it’s a re-creation of that childhood favorite: the rice crispy treat.

Now I was never a huge fan of those gooey squares. They had to have enough marshmallow for me otherwise I thought they were rather dry. But here it works on a whole different level.

The marshmallow flavor is subtle enough and the creamy vanilla custard sweetens up whatever the marshmallow sauce misses. And those rice crispies are snapping, crackling, and popping in my mouth. They make for a crunchy texture that manages to hold on throughout the dessert.

I never made it to Shake Shack on my official ice cream search (mainly because they’re technically a restaurant that serves ice cream as opposed to an ice cream specialist). And I’m not sure that they’re custard is the best. The vanilla flavor is a little too sweet for me and the other options tend to hinge on the gimmicky side. But when you mix in some interesting and appropriate ingredients (like these), they seem to elevate the custard to be one of the most intense and enjoyable desserts in the city. And giving it a themed name makes it that much more appealing.

Would Shake Shack’s Great White Way Concrete make my Top 100 of the year? The liquid rice crispy treat is better than the real thing and gets an 8 out of 10 because I could (and would) eat it after every meal.

SHAKE SHACK
691 Eighth Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Street)
Theater District
(646) 435-0135
shakeshack.com

As I waited in the 90 minute line at Shake Shack, I realized this is not the first time I’ve done something crazy like this and it probably won’t be the last.

Unlike anywhere else I’ve been (except maybe Disney World), New Yorkers will wait in line for almost anything. Especially if it’s free or if it’s been written about and exploited.

Shake Shack proves my hypothesis because it is not uncommon for the line to wrap around the edge of Madison Square Park. And all this for a burger, fries, and a shake.

I’ve been to Shake Shack (both at this original location and the newer Upper East Side indoor spot) a few times before. It’s no doubt one of the most popular burgers in the city (hence the long line) and it’s run by my boss, Danny Meyer (he also runs my restaurant The Modern), who just happens to be the most successful restaurateur in all of New York (and perhaps the nation).

The concept is brilliant and so simple. A good old fashioned burger stand (or shake, in this case) in the middle of a park. They also happen to rely on fresh local ingredients and sustainable products. It’s all the perfect recipe for a successful food empire.

And judging by the line, it’s working. This particular Saturday was the longest I’ve ever seen it and for some reason, it was the one we chose to attempt the next list item. The Shack Stack.

At Shake Shack, you can order a single, a double, or a Shack Stack (the next list item). Let me tell you about this beast: it’s a single patty of beef burger topped with cheese and then finished with their gigantic deep-fried and cheese stuffed portabello mushroom. It’s overwhelming in every sense but I waited this long, there was no turning back now.

You know, I didn’t love it. Maybe if I hadn’t waited in this huge expectation building line, I would have been more on board. But I found the fried mushroom to overpower the flavor of the burger. All I could taste when I bit into the sandwich was cheese and breading. Where’s the beef?

The burger itself is good, but I find it lacks seasoning. It tastes like a less processed chain fast food option. Not as exciting and groundbreaking as the eternal line (or Time Out New York) leads you to believe. I’ll have to check the Shack Cam (an option on their website that will show you the visual wait time) before I go next time. Because as cute and green as Shake Shack is, it’s not worth this wait!

Would Shake Shack’s Shack Stack make my Top 100 of the year? I find this gutbomb of a burger to be overwhelming and while it’s a tasty gimmick, it gets a 6out of 10 because I prefer to be able to taste the meat rather than overwhelm it with crispy fried cheese.


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