Everybody is talking about Shake Shack, the burger chain founded by Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke) in 2004. The first experience I had was not very good: it was on a hot Summer day, two years ago. We were walking close to Madison Square Park and decided to try what was supposed to be a mouth watering burger. There was a very long line and considering how hot it was outside, my expectations were high; I manned up. I ordered a cheeseburger and fries. I remember the service was very slow and the kitchen seemed overwhelmed. Then came our order: what a disappointment! The burger was not good at all! The bread was soggy and the meat tasteless. The fries were not crispy at all and had a weird taste. There was clearly something wrong!
Then, end of 2011, Shake Shack opened near Time Square. Each time I was passing by, I saw the long line of people waiting for their burgers. I still heard people claiming that this place was the best burger in New York. So, I decided to give it another chance and went yesterday. Place packed, so no surprise there considering the buzz and location. It was extremely difficult to get a seat and there was no way I was going to eat outside: it is not a weather for this! We found a spot, but before that, had to look like vultures at tables where people finished or were finishing their meal.
I went for the Shake Stack: a cheeseburger and a mushroom burger topped with lettuce, tomatoes and the Shake Shack sauce. What you see on the photo that seems to be burnt is the mushroom burger (at first, you think there are two patties). What is interesting is that it gives some crispiness to the overall dish and is surprisingly filled with cheese. I did not fully taste the mushrooms, but I thought it was a good idea.
The meat was good, cooked perfectly (medium) and very moist. The bread was a regular bun.
Overall pretty decent.
The fries were good also: crispy and tasty, not too salted.
I also had a vanilla milkshake: thick but not to the point where you will break your jaw trying to get the milkshake go through the straw. It was a pretty good one.
Overall it was a good burger. But it is not the best for me in the city. If you would like to know which one I prefer, check My favorite restaurants page by clicking here. Opening near Time Square was a very smart idea and I am sure it will continue to get packed and crazy there!
Enjoy (I did)!
And remember: I Just Want To Eat!