The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is on my embarrassingly long, list for restaurants I must TRY. Naturally, when it opened in Coral Gables this summer I was stoked to visit. It only took about 5 months for me to actually go but, now I can say I FINALLY eaten there.
I’ve read about Shake Shack at least a dozen times and heard that even my lover Anthony Bourdain ate there (so it must be awesome). My spoiled younger brother also told me the shakes are indeed the “bomb.” Damn, I mean anything that’s the bomb and involves Anthony Bourdain has got to be phenomenal. My expectations for this burger shack were sky high.
Yesterday, after a LONG day of shopping (even though it was a mere 2 hours, if one person shops at Dadeland Mall -the melting pot of insane shopping addicts- it is beyond exhausting and extremely painful) My BF Joey and I just wanted a snacky snack. We first tried to go to Chipotle, but like I suspected it was crowded with UMIAMI students. Seriously, I’ve yet to eat there because, I for one refuse to wait on a 1/2 mile long line for a frekin’ burrito. So, I quickly remembered Shake Shack was on our way home and very, quickly grew ravenous in excitement!
From my first sight I could easily tell that this joint is not just some quick burger stop. It looks very modern inside and apparently they are green friendly. According to the website, it is constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, “the tables are also reclaimed bowling alley lanes handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY, as well as window seating with wooden counters made from river-recovered cypress. ” This “pit stop” is set up in a classic take out way where you order at the register behind the counter which is also kind of the kitchen.
Everything is extremely clean too. The ketchup bar was far cleaner than a Lil Kim Song. I would not think “spotless or cleanliness”, from the slight image of an obese American biting into a juicy cheeseburger, followed by drinking a necessary and refreshing cold beer. Again though, this is Miami and most females here really do not eat. Shout to Lindsay Lohan- maybe when you get of jail you should highly consider relocating, I mean there also is a giant history of cocaine here too,so you will fit right in! ANY WHO…the inside is pretty big, not overly huge or overwhelming. This restaurant makes everything pretty simple, which I was not really expecting.
There is this new burger frenzy that restaurateurs are quickly picking up on. For these (sometimes), stupid reasons burger dine ins are really trying to elevate and change the image of a plain old good cheeseburger. Their menu descriptions no longer read cheese and burger. They now are about like 50 words long that can include ridiculous toppings (sometimes ridiculously good) like wasabi mayo, guava jelly, smoked something aioli, candied apple-wood bacon….I could go on and ON. I am a very indecisive person and it typically takes me at least 20 minutes to figure out what I want to eat on a date (I would not be able to date a guy who cannot share). My point is that Shake Shake has a simple menu and simple concept that my scatter brained self greatly appreciates.
Unlike these new overly gloried upscale burger joints, Shake Shack has ketchup, mustard and their house sauce and that’s about it. On the menu their 100% Angus beef burgers all include their own brewed Shack Sauce. The burgers include:
- ShackBurger: the signature and classic includes only cheese, lettuce and tomato
- SmokeShack: things get a little messier, with the Niman Ranch, chopped red pepper and apple-wood smoked bacon
- ‘ShroomBurger: they are taking veggie burger to a whole new level with a crispy fried portobello full of muenster and cheddar cheese ….even the tree hungers can eat here!
- ShackStack: can’t decide? Well, this stack has it all. It’s got a ‘shroom (not that kind) and a cheeseburger under one bun!
If you’re really hungry, any customer can double their patty and add more bacon, sauce, cheese etc…Shake Shack also has a hot dog and puppy food menu, none of which I really care for since I rarely eat neither...dog food is a tad too salty for my taste. For my fellow winos, this Shack might not be a shack after all, there is a god…and a wine menu. Also, if you’re just reading my blog – obviously this place has beer because, why the hell would I eat a burger and not wash it down with a beer (5 Guys, you need to strongly think about that statement ). They only had a few beers and draft, as well as some bottles. When I say only, I mean this is in the greatest way possible because, Magic Hat #9 was on the list which is all I need.
This burger stop is not quite a sit down restaurant, all you do is order, they give you one of those vibrating hand holders, and when your food is done it lights up and all that mumbo jumbo nonsense. It took about 5-10 minutes for our food to be ready. My boyfriend and I split the double SmokeShack burger and and 1 order of the crinkle cut Yukon potato fries. On the website I just discovered the fries are 100% free of artificial trans fat and contain 25% less trans fat than the average fries! I was tempted to try the fries smothered in cheese and bacon but, I needed to save some stomach space for Pollo Tropical night (and by that, I mean large amounts of YUCA fries and curry mustard sauce)
After my wand was shooting fireworks for me to get my food, I approached the counter to pick up my food and suddenly remembered I forgot to order honey mustard. I love myself some honey mustard on my french fries (I mean I would say, truffle salt but, I need to take in account that most economical burger restaurants do not have this handy). When I asked the nice lady on the other side for some honey mustard, she told me a dreadful response, “No Ma’m.” Umm…do I really look like a ma’am I am 22 years old not 22 going on 44.Oh right, and she said NO While walking over to a table with my head down, I told myself I would still live. As soon as I placed my tray down, I immediately returned to the register and ordered a side of the house sauce. I was hoping this could cure my honey mustard crisis. It did…. AND THEN SOME.
This burger definitely met all of my qualifications, the bun was warm, slightly toasty and the beef quality was superb with lots of flavor. I highly enjoyed the chopped red peppers, Shake Shack totally stole my burger with chopped red pepper v-card. Of course, I do have some criticisms… it was much too greasy for me. I’m thinking it could be because, of the bacon and cheese combo in general, or maybe the cook forgot to drain the oil from the bacon or maybe that is just the way they do things there (we do live in the like the fattest country). While chewing, I also realized a major thing about my palette ...I don’t like bacon on my burger. I never thought I would use the words “don’t like my bacon on…,” but I don’t dig the burger bacon combo and bacon usually works for me.
My Landshark was oh so cold and acted as the perfect chaser, but I think next time I’ll go for a classic Shack Burger Now, the crinkle fries-that’s a different story. Just looking at the crinkle fries made me think of a bag of frozen fries however, when I bit into the fried potato that imagery went straight down the drain. The fries were not too salty and perfectly crispy. There is nothing worse than a soggy or burnt potato people. If you dip a fry into the dipping house ShackSauce it is a home run foodie must. The sauce has a slight smokiness and pungent flavor.
All in all, I must first say this location is an absolute gold mine. It is right across University of Miami and who does not want a cheeseburger when they are hungover. I think I appreciate the idea of Danny Meyers original Shake Shack much more than the chain it is becoming. I did not order one of their famous shakes so I also feel this review may not even worthy..I mean the place is called, Shake Shack. The fries and Angus beef certainly qualify for an exceptional cheeseburger quick stop. The customer service definitely beat any other burger place I have been to (including sit down restaurants, where service should always come first). The manager came around to EVERY table asking how they were and informed every customer about refills. She was incredibly nice and seemed sincere which nowadays is hard to find. Great customer service ALWAYS appeals to me, and is ALWAYS just important as food.
Ironically, Union Square Hospitality group wanted Shake Shack to be the “anti-chain,” however there are now 2 locations in Florida and 5 in New York. I think Shake Shacks will spread like wildfire in the United States, and has the utmost potential to go global. Who doesn’t like a burger and shake? Now, I’m not comparing Shake Shack with some McDonalds empire but, I think the world would appreciate a cooler, modern, Eco (and dog) friendly, sort of healthier cheeseburger paradise. Whether Danny Myers likes it or not, he may have gotten himself into a pickle.