It’s been three years since I ate at Shake Shack. Theirs is a burger close to my heart, because it was the burger that helped me realise that the burgers I’d been eating in New Zealand were mere shadows of the real thing. Sadly, while NZ leads the way with coffee, it lags behind when it comes to the hamburger.
As you can expect, I had high expectations and I wasn’t to be disappointed. I succumbed to my weaknesses for bacon and chose the SmokeShack, complete with sweet and hot cherry peppers. It’s a quality sandwich, though I was kicking myself for once again choosing bacon over the classic. Fortunately, C had plumped for the ShackBurger, so I got to wrap my gums around the purist’s choice. It’s a delightfully balanced burger, complimented simply by lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce – you don’t need anything else.
The patties themselves are cooked using the “smash“ technique, which may seem odd, but it’s apparently responsible for the crisp, chewy exterior. You won’t get the really juicy flavour that we’re seeing from the thicker pattie burger outlets these days, but it’s not that type of burger, is it? It’s plenty flavourful as it is. From memory, it doesn’t have quite as much beefy flavour as the one I had in New York, which may be to do with the difference between grass-fed (London) and corn-fed (US). On the other hand, I may simply have romanticised my first ShakeShack experience.
The buns are simply delicious – Martin’s Potato Rolls transplanted straight from the US. C was particularly enamoured – she has a strong dislike for the oversized, heavy rolls you find too often here.
And a surprise highlight – the Cheese Fries were delicious. Sure it tastes a little processed, but the sauce is sharp and cheesy, elevating the already (surprisingly – crisp and tasty) perfectly cooked crinkle fries. Don’t forget to grab some with your burger.
Just one downer – it ain’t cheap for fast food. £23.50 for two burgers, a side of fries, and two lemonades hurts the pocket a little more than it should.