NYC Restaurant of the Week: Shake Shack

I’m really bad about blogging: I go to a great restaurant, eat amazing food, even take photos and then let them sit on my camera for months. Well, not anymore. Time to play catch-up. Let’s start with my most recent visit and a notorious Manhattan fixture: SHAKE SHACK.

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Shake Shack is literally a little shack or kiosk in Madison Square Park located at 23rd and Madison in the Flat Iron District of Manhattan. There are a couple of other locations but this is the original. Here is a nice view of the Shack and the tables in the park. (Visit their cute website: http://www.shakeshacknyc.com/ – featuring a webcam live feed of the line. creepy cool!)

So when you get to the park you just stand in line. I went with 2 other first timers and we just went with it. There is one line and it is LONG so just stand in it. Unless you are getting only custard or concretes (their equivalent of a blizzard) then you can stand in the B-Line or Express Line. If you want burgers and dogs and shakes, suck it up and get in line.  I suggest coming with people who are good conversationalists or bring a book or crossword. Maybe not a good idea for first date awkwardness. Or maybe if you like that kinda thing. We clocked ourselves at 1 hour, ten minutes to place our order. Once our order was placed we waited approximately 3 minutes. Very fast!

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Eventually you get to one of the free standing menus. Then someone comes by to give you a taste of custard. Then you get really excited. So what’s the deal with this place? Best shake/burger combo in NYC is the rumor. If you like diner style, no bullshit burgers and dogs and custard, you have to try it. If you can read the menu you will see they have a small but varied selection. They are also reasonably priced for NYC: I got a Shack Burger, Fries and a Black and White Shake for 12.75. Not bad.

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Krinkle Kut fries rule. I also found the portions to be just right for someone my size. I snack a lot through the day and when I eat a meal I prefer to be delightfully sated. Like, almost full. But not bursting, bellyache full. This was the right amount of food for that.

So as you can see I got a cheeseburger (Their Shack Burger) with LTMayo. I added ketchup and mustard as well. Good burger. Chargrilled. A bit greasy but not too greasy. Perfectly melted cheese. Not too thick bun. God, I’m salivating thinking about this again. It was really good. The fries were perfect – not soggy, not underdone, not old/stale – just right.

As for the shake…I can tell you a shake made with custard is thick, creamy, delicious, and very pleasing. You really need to suck it up your straw. I like that. I opted for the Black and White shack (chocolate vanilla) because sometimes all chocolate is too much. This was really good. Maybe it could’ve been more chocolately, less vanilla-y, but that’s what I get for not ordering a full on chocolate.

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Happy customers!

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Can you see the joy in my eyes? Truly, it was a beautiful thing.

So, was Shake Shack worth the long wait? Does it live up to the hype? My clean plate says yes.

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7 Comments

  1. I truly think this is the summer of classic american treets. But then I guess, that’s the goal for every summer right?

  2. i will be in nyc this weekend and have these in mind!! what do you think??
    ippudo
    momofuku ssam bar
    katz deli
    russ and daughters
    grays papaya
    lombardi’s
    keens or peter lugars
    viet nam banh mi so 1
    mandoo bar
    shanghai mong
    shanghai cafe -soup dumplings?
    congee village
    Halal Cart 53rd and 6th
    yasuda sushi
    Mosco Street. 5 for $1
    SAMMY’S HALAL
    73rd St. at Broadway, Jackson Heights
    Joe’s Pizza
    Ramen Setagaya
    mantou chinese sandwiches

  3. This bullshit is like Hot Doug’s in Chicago – fancy ass hot dogs that people wait in line an hour for. You don’t wait in line for food like this. Part of the whole experience is it’s fast and simple. Oh, yeah and CHEAP. $12.75? The Miller High Life guy will be coming to take the beer back from your bougie ass when when he finds out you paid that much for burger fries and shake.

  4. – tasty chomps
    i havent been to all of those, but i can vouch for the following on your list:
    ippudo
    katz deli
    grays papaya
    lombardi’s
    peter lugers
    viet nam banh mi so 1

    – ds
    yeah but i guess the interesting part is that people are taking fast and simple food and taking it to another level or doing something different with it. you can get a hotdog anywhere in chicago, but if you feel like have a, uh, exotic one, you go to hot doug’s. if you want a regular hamburger you can go to mcdonalds, or you can try one from shake shack that’s from a different blend of beef and made to order.
    a lot of times the inflated price comes from the fact that they use higher quality ingredients (though i will say its hard to justify sometimes).
    and in terms of the lines, you just gotta go the old cause and effect route. a place makes good food? a lot of people are going to go there.
    ill side with you to the point that sometimes these things just get out of hand. but hey, if you never try, youll never know. and if you like burgers that much, i guess curiosity just gets the best of you.

  5. This place looks great. i’m crafty. If I lived in NY I’d figure out a way to get there when there’s no line or a much shorter line.

    This post was also a reminder of the fact that New york be craaazy expensive sometimes. It looks like it may be worth it, but you have to put the ‘for new york’ if you’re going to put ‘reasonable’

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