March, 2011. After a late night of dinner, disturbing theatre (Sleep No More) and a little too much drinking, i was lucky to escape with little more than a headache so thought it a perfect opportunity to try a Shake Shack cheeseburger. I strolled a few blocks and found the Upper East Side Shack buzzing with life. Perusing the wall menu, i was impressed to see they had draft beer on the menu, i really couldn't face anything other than a Cocacola though so went for that, fries and a single $4.50 Shackburger, "hold the onions!".
I was handed a shaker which would 'shake' when my order was ready - genius. I was pretty excited at this point, East Coasters have wanted their own version of the West Coasts In-N-Out Burger for years and Shake Shack has quickly become something of an institution on this side of the US.
My tray arrived and i found somewhere to sit. At first glance, the burger looked a little on the small side. It contained a thinnish pink-in-the-middle patty covered in a melty american cheese. The patty was fairly juicy but not quite as well seasoned as i would like. Perhaps i should have gone for the double to up the beefy ratio in this burger.
I think the squidgy buttered bun is a Martin's potato roll, and it just managed to hold together the lettuce, pickles & tomato. There's a dash of shacksauce in there too, which tastes like a mix of mayo, mustard & ketchup. The fries were great, really crunchy and yet fluffy inside.
You can't help but compare Shake Shack to In-N-Out and as good as the Shack is, i still think In-N-Out has the edge. They are in no way scared of salt, have a fun secret menu and their venue's have that old diner feel which appeals to me. But perhaps i was kidding myself that i wasn't that hungover and this was clouding my judgement somewhat. All in all a great fast food burger for under five bucks. I'm definitely going back at some point for more tasty shack boigers!
Upper East Side
Address: 154 East 86th Street (south side of street,mid-block between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)