Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shake Shack - New York

As most anyone who regularly reads Serious Eats may know, there’s a relatively contentious burger debate happening in this country. It boils down to three separate camps, The In-N-Out camp, The Five Guys camp, and the Shake Shack camp. People have sworn an oath of fealty to their respective burger purveyor, the battle lines have been drawn, and first blood has been spilled; it’s brother fighting brother, families torn apart, a veritable beef based, cheese topped civil war. In an effort to settle the debate, the good people at Serious Eats have even gone as far as to fly an In-N-Out burger across the country to see which burger chain would win. For we burger nerds, it’s all been quite interesting, but I’ve felt slightly disconnected; I’ve never had a Shake Shack burger. However, once I was back in New York, I made sure to remedy that situation.

Leaving my hotel on 44th street with my buddy Alex, we were gunning for a Shake Shack burger, preferably the closest one. That meant heading to other side of Times Square. After a short walk through the masses, there it was. With a gleaming, twinkling sign that spelled SHAKE SHACK in grand fashion, the Times Square outpost and there wasn’t even a line out the door.

After hemming and hawing through the menu, our orders were placed and it turned into a waiting game. Soon enough, our buzzers went off and we returned to the counter to pick our food.
Up to this point, I had only had Kenji’s fake Shake Shack burgers and they were damn good, but this burger was even better.

A juicy, beefy patty with a well seared crust and topped with perfectly melted cheese

sandwiched between a doughy soft, sweet bun. This truly was king of the fast food burgers.

And the Shake Shack fries?

Going against Alex’s advice, I got my fries with a healthy dose of cheese sauce topping.
I never like crinkle cut fries, they’re almost always gummy and poorly cooked but these were the exception to the rule. Salty, fried to a delightful crisp, and covered in cheese, the fries were a more than adequate companion to the Shake Shack burger.

What did I take away from all this? Well, even after I visited the wrong, per Serious Eats, Shake Shack, I was quite satisfied with the Shake Shack burgers. They were everything I hope for in a fast food burger, but where does it fall in the fast food hierarchy? While I have nothing against Five Guys, they don’t hold a candle to In-N-Out or Shake Shack, and between the last two, I think that Shake Shack just edges out.

Shake Shack Address & Information

300 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036 // 646.435.0135 // Shake Shack Website // Shake Shack Menu

Shake Shack (Theater District) on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Everything looks delicious. I love the burger at Hickory Pit but since I drench my hamburgers in ketchup, I'm no hamburger expert.

Do you ever get to DC? I'm dying to sample Rasika's menu.

Cynical Cook said...


I don't get to DC often enough. It's been two or three years since I was last there. I've never really heard of Rasika as I don't think it was there when I was in school but it looks pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I'm obsessed with Indian food so I sought out Dawat the last time I was in NYC. Rasika is said to have the best Indian food in the United States. Jacksonian Ann Cashion has a restaurant in DC, Johnny's Half Shell. She sold Cashion's Eat Place which is still in existence. Both Johnny's and Cashion's get rave reviews. All will probably be around the next time you go. If so, please provide a full report for us eager readers. Thanks. Jane.