Shake Shack, New York

Other than being in your warm embrace, my favourite place in the world is New York City.

Like everything else I love in my life, it has taught me some valuable lessons. Lessons like don’t follow a shady guy who claims to be a taxi driver into a parking lot when there are dozens of taxi drivers a few steps beyond him. I did this once on my last trip to the states and was terrified that my liver would be on the black market within the hour. That didn’t happen, but I did have to pay three digits for a single cab ride from the airport to my hotel.

That’s one thing I never want to try again.

Something I did want to try again? Shake Shack.

And try again I did.

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Shake Shack should be a national heritage site. It should be placed on all ‘places to visit’ brochures of every city fortunate enough to boast one of (if not the best) burger franchises in the Milky Way. Am I being hyperbolic? Hell, I might be underselling the greatest burger experience I’ve ever had.

I’ve had a lot of glorious burgers but this is on a completely different stratosphere.

Located on the upper west side near the Museum of Natural History, Shake Shack is worth braving temperatures of minus one degrees (30 degrees Fahrenheit for my American homies).

Artists at work
Artists at work

No matter what time of day you visit, the place is teeming with people. Tables are premium real estate and are swooped upon like girls you’ve had crushes on forever who have somehow always been in a relationship when you were available (note: I’m always available).

I've never wanted something to shake more. It's like the opposite of how I feel whenever Miley Cyrus attempts to dance
I’ve never wanted something to shake more. It’s like the opposite of how I feel whenever Miley Cyrus attempts to dance

Let’s start with the fries:

Hand cut fries
Hand cut fries

Things have changed since I last visited my burger oasis. Shake Shack used to offer premium crinkle cut fries that were incredibly delicious. The classic crispy on the outside and fluffy white on the inside; characteristics you always associate with premium chips.

Shake Shack has chosen to get rid of the crinkles and have opted for authentic hand cut fries. I was skeptical at first but my doubts evaporated faster than the snow the following day. These are great fries and part of the rare group of chips that are fine on their own and don’t require any condiments. However, you can never go wrong by splashing some cheese on top which is an option that Shake Shack provides.

Now, on to the main event:

The Shackburger with tomato, lettuce, cheese and an incomparable patty
The Shackburger with tomato, lettuce, cheese and an incomparable patty

There are so many impeccable elements that go into the creation of this burger. First, the beautifully soft buns that encase the glorious ingredients that serves as the foundation of this example of food at its apex.  Then there’s the single leaf of lettuce that gives you its green smile. The solo slice of fresh tomato ready to expel its juices with every bite you take. Oh and you can’t forget the signature Shack sauce that graces the filling with its presence.

Oh and the star of the show, the divine patty; a dynamic combination of sirloin, chuck and brisket that just melts in your mouth and takes you to Nirvana.

I assure you that people have planned vacations for much less than sampling the pinnacle of fast food burgers.

So good, that I just had to go back one more time and sample some more stuff:

Peanut butter milkshake
Peanut butter milkshake (photo courtesy of Shake Shack’s Twitter account).

Considering milkshakes are relatively simple to make, it’s amazing how often places mess one up. Too much syrup, bad consistency, giving you a spoon instead of a straw (Ok, I made that one up).

Shake Shack’s peanut butter shake is liquid gold. It was -13 degrees outside when I went for one (not a typo) and yet I got all hot and bothered as soon as I realised how delicious it was. It was quite thick and you really had to slurp it out of your straw but the reward far exceeded the effort required.

This is a Kelis-tier milkshake. Damn right, it’s better than yours.

Speaking of things that are better:

The Smokeshack topped with Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce.
The Smokeshack topped with Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce.

My formula for success? Just add bacon and you’ll probably amplify the quality of your product.

This burger was just over the top. It’s like someone buying a Mercedes then adding custom rims on it and making it glow in the dark. It was awesome and better than most but I preferred the simplicity of the original Shack burger with the lettuce and tomato dynamic being sorely missed. Still, I would be hard pressed not slapping a ring on the finger of this majestic burger.

Here’s the TL; DR for everyone who hates the fact that I made it back to Sydney

– Shake Shack, please, please, please open a franchise in Australia.

– The Shack Burger belongs in the same sentence as the Mt Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and Disneyworld.

– Hand cut fries are Sirius Black. So Sirius.

– Shake Shack’s milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Spelt my name wrong, but you can call me Angela as long as you keep feeding me delicious burgers.
Spelt my name wrong, but you can call me Angela as long as you keep feeding me delicious burgers.

Shake Shack, upper west side

(On the corner of 77th and Colombus) 366 Colombus Avenue, New York

Opening Hours:

Open 7 days

10:45 am to 11:00 pm

Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

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