How long would you be willing to stand in line for a burger?
At this point, there’s still a 30 minute wait.
And those poor people at the end? At least an hour, and that’s just to order. It’s another 10 – 15 minutes before you actually get your food.
Is it worth it?
Burgers fall into one of the following categories: big (e.g., pub burger), small, gourmet (perhaps being topped with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and a nice aioli; aka: my favorite burger), and sliders.
Shake Shack subscribes to the small burger philosophy. Their meat comes from one of the finest purveyors in the city (Pat La Frieda), which results in extremely fresh, flavorful burgers.
While regular cheeseburgers are available, their specialty is the ShackBurger, topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their famous ShackSauce (pictured above). Cooked on a griddle, the burger has a nice char and is packed with flavor. I find most small burgers to be overcooked and under seasoned, but Shake Shack does not disappoint. I love that you can choose the temperature (rare, medium, or well-done). Oh, and the fries are to die for. Crispy, salty, fresh from the fryer. If only it weren’t raining I might consider heading down there now. What? 10:30 am is too early for fries?
For the vegetarians, we have the ShroomBurger: a large, fried portobello mushroom filled with muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato, and of course, ShackSauce. Are you drooling yet?
(I have never actually ordered this, but doesn’t it look good?)
Meat-lovers, vegetarians, they even cater to dogs. The Pooch-ini, described as “a chilly treat for those with four feet,” is a tasty snack made up of vanilla custard, peanut butter, and a dog biscuit. Cutest thing ever? I think so.
*Updated to include our puppy’s 1st poochini (July 2011)!:
Shake Shack also offers a rotating custard calendar. Each month new flavors appear. The flavors for August are salted caramel, blueberry coffee cake, cavaillon melon, basil, chocolate chuckles, caramelized peach, and sweet corn. Just want a shake or custard? Head straight for their “Line B.”
If you can’t make it to the original Madison Square Park location, don’t worry. They appear to be popping up all over the East Coast! There are currently five locations in New York City, one in Saratoga Springs, NY, and one down in Miami Beach, Florida. In a few months they’ll be opening their first store in Washington, D.C. Here’s to hoping that quality isn’t compromised by quantity.
The lines are long, the weather unpredictable, but visiting Shake Shack is a must.
Madison Square Park
New York, NY 10010