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Finally went to Shake Shack

Yesterday seemed the perfect day to give it a try - we were running errands in the neighborhood and the foul weather had abated, so we headed over at about 11:30. No line - I had a plain burger, my husband had a double and we shared fried and a diet coke - I resisted the urge to order a shake - doubly hard when I saw they had caramel shakes. We were very pleasantly surprised - juicy burger, tasty bun - didn't realize we had to order lettuce & tomato but they gave us some, which we added. Krinkled fries were crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and really tasted like potato. Perfect dusting of salt ... when I asked what kind they used, they showed me the box of Kosher salt. Only nit would be that it didn't seem as if the bun had been toasted, which I prefer. At $12.35 we decided this was the cheapest lunch we'd ever had together. I'd definitely go back ... but don't think I'd wait in line more than 5 -10 minutes. Also impressed by the wine selection.

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  1. I went there for the second time yesterday, drawn by the good experience my first time and the non-line. Brought a friend who'd never been there. Both ordered double shacks with fries. From the comments on this board, I thought the fries were going to be terrible but they were anything but - light, crispy, nongreasy and still nice and potato-y on the inside. Maybe they use the same kind of oil Burger King does for their fries (the last I remember having them is when they were touting their superiority over McD's fries, so they were using some kind of oil that made them really crispy on the outside and some stuck together). But the shack burger was great - nicely seasoned meat (slightly on the salty side for me), great bun (this makes so much of a difference). The lettuce and tomatoes were vibrant, but couldn't taste them; barely any tomatoes. But great burger.

    1 Reply
    1. re: janethepain

      I had the same concern about the fries based on board comments ... I can imagine that one's view of the place could easily be influenced by how long one waited in line.

    2. I've always been a bigger fan of SS's fries than others on this board, but I thought they were about twice as good as before when I tried them about a month ago. I wonder if there's been a recipe improvement.

      I took advantage of the short line too yesterday, but I got the frozen hot chocolate concrete--great and not too rich.

      1. I agree--I made my second trip to the shack yesterday (the first was just earlier this month), and I have enjoyed my meals, especially the fries, both times. I was expecting them to be subpar but was pleasantly surprised with the flavor and texture. I think their burgers are a good size, and a good value considering the quality. The meat has a good flavor, the toppings look and taste fresh, and the apple brown betty custard is a little piece of heaven. It's a good thing I don't live in the neighborhood.

        2 Replies
        1. re: brookew

          I agree, the Apple Brown Betty custard is divine (especially the crunchy bits of pie crust), and barely beats out the fantastic Maple Walnut (with carmelized walnuts with the barest hint of salt).

          I hope both makes an appearance on November's custard menu.

          1. re: kathryn

            Mmm, apple brown betty, maple walnut, pumpkin concrete. Ice cream has never tasted so good while braving the brisk outdoors.

        2. I agree that the wine list is quite good for a park snack bar While I really like the burgers, the pricing on the wines are way over what I would expect. I mean, the wines are OK, but breaks down when drank in plastic cups and, especially when ketchup and mustard on burgers are involved . I understand that plastic cups are how it goes in a public park snack bars. However, I'd prefer lower cost wines served in plastic cups and which would be more in line with eating burgers and fries in an open park.

          1. Next time you stop by try a Chicago Dog.

            1. I stopped by here for the first time last week.

              Had a shack stack. I really enjoyed it and would consider it a very good burger. I personally like the burger joint at LPM better for the burger but you really are getting the scene here as well.

              The fries were ok, as i had the cheese fries. But they certainly were not horrible as I've read in places.

              1. The fries are good when hot, but seem to lose temperature rapidly and are not as good cold. The crispness starts to make them taste kind of crunchy -- almost stale.

                Complaints about plastic cups aside, my biggest beef is the lack of a tarp. Pretty lame to urge people to come when it's raining (to skip the line!) then make them wait in the rain for their food.

                Better yet, open a Shake Shack indoors...

                1. I have never considered coming here before because of the line. I love burgers, but no casual-eats-then-bus-your-own-picnic-table place is worth the wait. Even at Corner Bistro (which I've grown disenchanted with anyway) I only endure the line because my friends want to.

                  However, today was a lovely day, and I had some time to kill after work before going to a concert downtown. Walked to the park from k-town, and at around 7:30 there was not a single other soul in line. There were of course many tables full of happy customers and there was a short line when I left, so I probably just got lucky.

                  The lack of a line probably heavily influenced my enjoyment, plus the fact that the fries came right of the fryer while I was at the window. The burger is indeed incredibly greasy (I'm not sure I would call that "juicy") but nice and pink inside, not too finely ground, and really, it's a burger...I like the grease. Fries were perfect, and had me dreaming about cheese fries for next time.

                  Do they have a specific closing date? I'll have to give it another try around this time of day.