Yes, it’s been a long time coming for this review. This was my most anticipated restaurant since I’d arrived in NYC, but logistics just hadn’t worked out until now. I did get to try the burger at Citi Field, but I only had a half of one (if you have half a double cheeseburger, do you have a cheesburger?).
I’ve been by Shake Shack in Madison Square about five times, but I’ve never seriously been in line for the food (I was once full and got in line anyway, hoping the person I met would want to do halfsies; no dice). The first time I was in line for serious was at Citi, and surprisingly, there was no line. NO line. Not one person in line. Of course, it was the 8th inning of a game in mid-April, but I still count myself pretty lucky.
Unfortunately, they’re not set up to serve the Shack Stack at Citi Field. As you can see by the logo there, that’s the one that I was excited about.
When I leave the house, I don’t base my restaurant choices on what I am hungry for at the moment. I base them on what I want to write about or what I have on my list to try. If I’m in a location that I normally wouldn’t be in I try to find something interesting, or if there’s a place that I wouldn’t end up at with a group of people. I don’t always end up getting exactly what I want, but I get a variety of food and hope I can write something clever about it.
It just so happened that today, I left the house at an odd hour, had to make a bank deposit on the Upper West Side, and remembered Shake Shack. Here was the scene at 4:30:
Lucky again. No line! The shack stack was in my immediate future. Here’s the description:
A cheeseburger and a crisp-fried portobello filled with melted cheese and onions, topped with lettuce, tomato and shack sauce
Lawrence had told me about his experience with the shack stack and I was pumped. How can you go wrong by putting cheese-stuffed fried anything on a burger? It’s incomprehensible and would always work. How about some baked brie on a burger? Brioche bun, fried onions, baked brie with some gorgonzola overtones, filet mignon burger. I am doing this. I’m going to call it the Sex Burger: after you finish it, you want to have sex with the chef.
The shake stack isn’t that far off from my creation. After taking a bite of this bad boy, I immediately felt more of an attraction to Danny Meyer. I’m not gay or nothin’, but this burger can make a man question his sexuality. It was excellent. That lettuce â€¦ so green. And look at that ginormous chunk of fried cheese. I hanker for a hunka that shit just looking at right now:
I had someone tell me that the mushroom was fried too crisply for her. Maybe she got an overcooked one, because mine was perfect. The one thing I regret is that it wasn’t super gooey inside like the one pictured in Lawrence’s post. It didn’t take away from the experience too much. I hesitate to think that my food blogger tendencies of letting the food cool down contributed to this problem.
I usually eat the fries first for this reason alone – fries usually are the first thing to go as far as temperature is concerned. You know how Wendy’s fries are the best of the top three fast food chains when they’re hot, but if they lose a degree of temperature, they’re the worst? I’m always afraid that foreign fries are of the same ilk. The cheese fries at the Shake Shack are not in that family, not in the same class, not even in the same phylum:
They stayed crispy for their short time on this earth. The cheese is not simply cheese whiz from a can; this is some expertly prepared melted cheddar. And Krinkle Cut Fries? The most underrated fry out there. Try to think of a more underrated fry. You can’t. Don’t come at me with that shoestring bullshit. The shoestring is not underrated; the shoestring isn’t even that good. If you’re going to slice my potato that thin, I’d rather have latkes or potato sticks.
It was just me ordering here, and I was full, but I had to have one of their ice cream products. The shake of the day was the Mississippi Mud, but I decided to go concrete because the line had gotten longer after I ordered:
The problem with the concrete (as with all of these McFlurryesque confections) is that there isn’t enough of the topping past the top of the cup. When I go to the theatre and I order popcorn, I ask them to fill it halfway, butter it, then fill it to the top and butter it again. I wish they did this with the concrete. I think Danny probably knows that people are irritated about this. Why doesn’t he fix this? I went to the nearest Duane Reade and bought more Oreos to mix in after I’d finished the dusting on top.
I had a stomachache after this; I think I’m lactose intolerant.
Doesn’t matter. Totally worth it. Loved every second of the meal. Now I understand the hype.
Get a Shack Stack.
366 Columbus Avenue
New York, NYâ€Ž 10023