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Shake Shack Recommendations

So after living in Manhattan for about 2 years now and only a short walk to Shake Shack I finally tried it out recently. When I discover a new, quick place I like I tend to obsess over it for a while, wanting to try out nearly everything or at least the most talked about items.

My first order was...

Single Shack Burger
Cheese Fries
Concrete Jungle

My second order was...

Double Stack
Cup of Flan Custard

My question is for those who know this place much better than I, what else is highly recommended? Specifically interested in the special custard flavors since they only seem to be monthly. If I miss a special flavor one month how often do they bring them back around? I'm curious cause it seems today is my last day to get the salted caramel and I've read good things about it. I've also never had a Chicago style hot dog, so how do theirs stack up?

I feel like I just got fatter just from writing all that.

Thank you from my first post! :)

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  1. The Chicago-style hot dogs are pretty good, though texturally they're a bit off. A real hot dog with all the fixins should be the snap of the hot dog giving way to the juicy and tart pleasure of biting into a pickle and tomato quarter followed by the sweetness and spice of the relish and sport peppers.

    Shake Shack uses fine slices and dices that rob the hot dog of its variety (and they could shake on a little more celery salt), but they at least have the basic premise right. The flavors are there as is the all-important snap of a garlicky Vienna Beef hot dog. For what it's worth I get the hot dog probably half the time I visit.

    1. I had the salted caramel custard last week. It was very good. It did leave me thirsty though. :) I've also had a vanilla with peanut butter and chocolate chunks swirled into it but I forget what that special was called.

      I always order the 'Shroom Burger. Love them. They will probably kill me with all that fat but they are just so good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LNG212

        What you had was the Concrete Jungle, the same custard I had the first time, a permanent on their menu. I didn't understand until last time I went that you can get the special flavors with any of the shake or custard options.

      2. I usually get a Shack burger, because the other ones seem off balance for me and I love the Shack sauce. I'm not a huge fan of their fries but I usually get them and split with someone else, leaving room for custard afterwards. The concretes really seem like overkill (too much going on, too big) if you're already getting a burger and fries! Maybe you have a huge appetite? The cheese fries get too soggy too quickly for me, although, if you ask, they can put the sauce on the side.

        > Specifically interested in the special custard flavors since they only seem to be monthly. If I miss a special flavor one month how often do they bring them back around?

        Not that often, sadly. Sometimes it can take several months.

        > I've also never had a Chicago style hot dog, so how do theirs stack up?

        I thought they were good, but friends from Chicago pointed out that they got a few too many details wrong (too much mustard, relish not sweet enough, relish too finely diced, relish also too wet, dill pickle spear AND a cucumber spear seemed off to them).

        1. Actually, the relish on the Chicago dog is SO much better that the one from Chicago which is sickly sweet and a sickening green, chock full of weird food dyes and other yucky stuff. I can see where the traditionalists are coming from but the Shake Shack folks got it just right by me!

          1. Just got back from my third trip...

            Shack-cago Dog
            Cup of Salted Caramel

            I dunno why but to me it tasted just like the Flan I had there yesterday, could they have ran out of the Salted Caramel and just getting rid of the leftover Flan from yesterday or is my palette just not that good? I really enjoyed the Shack-cago Dog :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: morninghurts

              Interesting. I think I did notice them making the salty caramel less salty. Also sometimes they have flavors that just don't really taste like the advertised ingredient. Like I've had pancake custard that tasted really like yellow cake batter, and something like ginger-rhubarb where you couldn't really taste the rhubarb, or the coffee and donuts, which seemed more like coffee-flavored ice cream with donut bits in it, as opposed to donut-flavored ice cream. So not every flavor is a home run but they're usually pretty tasty.

            2. Salty caramel shake is my favorite. Also, this may be blasphemy but I really like their shroom burger. I get the shroom almost as much as I get the shack burger. A friend of mine went all out one time and asked them to put the shroom in the shack burger and apparently it worked out well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                I think they call that a Double Stack on the menu: cheeseburger and a shroom burger with lettuce, tomato, and shack sauce.

                Actually I think "all out" might be the Shack Stack! It's a "sandwich" of 2 cheeseburger patties and a ‘shroom burger with lettuce, tomato and shack sauce.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Ah, that's right! The next time I'm there it's going in my stomach.

              2. Do try the Shroom burger. I've avoided it for a long time and now is my absolute favorite. You have no idea how good that is.

                1. how is the red velvet custard? i am interested to try that, as well as the Flan.

                  i avoid the fries. single shackburger + shackmeister ale or single shackburger + shake.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scott.

                    The red velvet custard = concrete with cubes of red velvet cake. I added banana to mine.

                  2. I usually get the Bird Dog +fries+chocolate shack. Mmmmm

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: YummyInTheCity

                      I think I'll make my next order a Bird Dog and I haven't had a shake yet so I'm thinking Black and White Shake.

                      1. re: morninghurts

                        I can do this routine at least once a week- Shack Burger, Bird Dog (sometimes plain, without the extras), a black and white, and a shackmeister ale or 2 while I wait online. Fries are ordered only with other people, not necessary for the dolo trip.

                    2. this thread lead me to eat SS for lunch today and I must say the fries were much better than every other time i've been. hot and very crispy. skipped the shake today unfortunately.

                      1. I have been to the Shake Shack twice now. The first time I had a Concrete Jungle as I was only there for a snack. The second time I had a Shack Burger and fries. I was a little disappointed in the burger. I thought it would be bigger. I thought it would blow me away. It was good, but it wasn't mind-blowing.

                        However, I LOVED the fries. I thought they were awesome. They were so perfectly crispy. I'm surprised they get so much negative press here.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Avalondaughter

                          The burgers are thin patty style, not thick patty style, if you prefer a thick, bistro style burger, you may be disappointed. Regarding the fries, I think part of it is definitely personal preference. I like shoestring more than crinkle cut, and theirs are crinkle cut, so they'll never be The Best Fries Ever to me, but they're adequate.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            I'm in the camp that only thinks the fries are just OK. Does anyone know if they cut them fresh every day or are they of the frozen variety?

                            Another note about the Shroom Burger. I'm not a portobella burger kind of guy but someone told me that I still had to try it, that it wasn't like your typical 'shroom burger. Boy were they right! If I lived in Manhattan I'd have to get one at least once a week.

                            1. re: hopkid

                              They're frozen because they "don't have the capacity" to do them fresh, whatever that means.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Can somebody tell me how the hot dogs are cooked (ie, grilled, boiled, etc.) at the UWS location?

                              2. re: hopkid

                                I'm in the camp that thinks the fries are kind of gross and taste like they are cooked in Olestra or some other weird synthetic substitute for normal cooking oil. I'm also in the camp that cannot conceive of why anyone would spend an hour of their time waiting in line for what to my mind is a perfectly ordinary burger. But hey, different strokes...

                            2. re: Avalondaughter

                              the burger isn't as wide as a burger king whopper. I ordered the shack stack once and I couldn't open my mouth enough to get an entire bite from that burger