Stop the press! - Shake Shack of New York City have opened for business in the heart of the West End. Their fancy-pants new Covent Garden location is ideal for hungry theatre goers, tourists and passers by as its right in the middle of the Piazza. I went along to the day-before-it-opened sneakpeek to see how the UK Shack fared against my stateside experience of NYC's most beloved burger establishment.
First up is the £6.50 SmokeShack burger. Its a classic American cheeseburger with the addition of crispy Wiltshire bacon, mildly hot chopped cherry peppers with ShackSauce (kinda thousand-islandey). Its MY favourite Shack offering and probably the first thing YOU should try. It comes wrapped in a sweet and squidgy Martins potato roll which i'm guessing ShakeShack import themselves. This bun is THE American classic and really helps give this burger that American-ness i'm sure they didn't want to lose here in the UK. The beef comes from grass fed Scottish cows, and very tasty it is too, well seasoned and slightly pink in the middle. Perhaps not as seared around the edges as the patties i remember from the US, but its still just as juicy.
The £5 Shack burger (top pic) is simplicity itself. A beef patty covered in sticky melted American cheese, a slice of tomato, a leaf of lettuce and a squirt of ShackSauce. For £5. In Covent Garden. That's the burger bargain of the year.
ForThe £7.75 ShackStack is a cheeseburger with a mushroom burger on top, i'm not sure of the point of this one really, its awkward to eat and well, a bit of a novelty.
greedy fuckers those with bigger appetites, all burgers can be ordered with an extra patty for an additional £2.50.
The 'flat-top' dogs are great. This is half of a £4.75 Shack-cago Dog which is a German sausage, split, griddled and served topped with peppers, tomato, cucumber, onions, relish, celery salt and mustard. They also do some decent Cumberland sausage dogs for the Brit-banger fans, made from British rare breed piggies.Cheese fries are great, £3.50 gets you the excellent crinkle cut crunchy shack fries covered in a gloopy tangy cheddar cheese sauce.
Drinkwise the shakes are excellent, better than i remember in the US, and their own brewed Shack ale is worthy of your hard earned too.
Thanks to Daniel Young (centre) for convincing Shack owner Danny Meyer (right) to open a Shack in London, and for inviting us to this fun opening event. Cheers!
Taking the prices and location into account, the value here is through the roof. Sure you can pay double elsewhere to get a gourmet burger, but by crikey, Shake Shack offer great quality classic American burgers for a great price right in the heart of the West end. I can't see it being anything other than a huge success.
Covent Garden Market, The Piazza, WC2E 8RD
Tel: 0203 598 1360