[ American ]
Shake Shack - Original Location (Renovating)
Madison Square Park
E 23rd St & Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
FOOD: 5 - Juicy tasty burgers with great shakes
INTERIOR: 4 - Clean comfortable modern decor
VALUE: 5 - Great value for premium ingredients
ENGAGEMENT: 4 - Pleasant professional servers
SCORE: 18 - Much better than most other fast-food places
What do these high-end restaurants Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and The Modern, have in common with a hamburger joint? It would be the savant restaurateur Danny Meyer. Harnessing 16-years of hospitality experience and having opened five-star culinary gems, he would shockingly turn his focus to opening a hot dog cart. From this humble beginning, a genuine challenger to McDonald's would rise from the hedgerows of Madison Square Park.
Shake Shack uses only first-class beef. These photogenic burgers taste just as awesome as they look. Caramelized angus beef, crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and a buttery bun are dressed with their Shack Sauce. They offers five types of burgers; Shack Burger, Smoke Shack, 'Shroom Burger, Shack Stack, and the Hamburger. The vegetarian 'Shroom Burger is made from a fried Portobello mushroom with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses. Their burgers are tasty cheesy delights.
The Shack Dogs are surprisingly good. It holds the same high quality standards as their other offerings.
Made of 100% meat frank, no nitrates or antibiotics, griddled flat. The DogMeister is a delicious but messy option, topped with melted cheese (a blend of cheddar and American) and crispy shallots. Even the chicken dogs are great and packed with flavor, superior to other substitute sausages.
The milkshakes taste fresh and are fantastically rich in texture. They go great with the burgers, but can leave you a bit full. The Concrete is a frozen thick custard drink and just like the shakes, it's made of quality dairy.
The interior is modern and clean decor, but lacks enough sitting capacity. Well worth the cost for premium ingredients prepared with skilled cooks. Well-mannered and agreeable staff are probably the results of paying employees above minimum.
Shake Shack was determined to use only premium ingredients that are prepared with expert techniques. Their pledge started with master butcher, Pat La Frieda. Together they created a proprietary hamburger blend made of sirloin, brisket, and short ribs. It's all-natural, 100% Angus beef with no hormones or antibiotics. Furthermore, fillers are never added to the Shake Shack blend.
The cooking technique to their perfect burger starts with the spatula. Associates are taught to gentle press the puck-like patties onto the grille. This would create the most contact with the heated surface, thereby creating outstanding Maillard reaction. Most important, they should not press down on the cooking patties. It would squeeze most of the juices out and create a drier burger.
Shake Shack represents today's Americana and its future. Not the staid bloated menus of yesteryear. Successful restaurants will not serve pink slime with mystery fillers. Iconic franchises will serve quality food with a side of healthier conscience.
Hint: The refills are free for all soft-drinks.
RESTAURANT CATEGORIES: Fine Dining (Full service with dress code); Casual (Table service); Quick Service (No table service, includes food carts and trucks). Ratings correspond with each restaurant type. A fine dining restaurant and a quick service restaurant that are both rated 5 in food does not imply their food quality and taste are of equal standings. But, they both do signify the best in their respective categories.
RATINGS: Ratings range from 0 to 5, with 0 being the least favorite and 5 representing the most favorite. The numbers embody the reviewer’s reflection of the food (quality and taste), interior (decor and sanitary), value (worthy of the cost), and engagement (service). These four elements are tallied to produce the score, with 0 the lowest to 20 being the highest score achievable.