Shake Shack ! Shake Shake ! Shake Shack !!
It seems like every time you’re talking or reading about burgers someone’s always writing or praising about Shake Shack ! I remember the summer of 2004, when Danny Meyer opened this modern, architecturally sleek designed burger shack in the middle of Madison Square Park, I had visions of easily rolling up on the Shack and sampling their tasty burgers on a daily basis, however I soon realized that, so did every other Tom, Dick and Harry in the gotham of New York City!! The lines it seemed were around the block at anytime of the day! Not being the most patient of people, I asked myself, “Is this real ?” “How could a burger be this good ?” I decided very adamantly, that Shake Shack was not for me, because my “need it now” type attitude was unnecessarily and frequently tested. Surprisingly as the years went on, I watched in amazement as the Shack lines of hungry bankers, fashionistas and the odd culinary savvy tourist, were not swayed from the non-subsiding lines.
So, fast forward several years, and hundreds of thousands of burgers served, I found myself standing in a line for one of these iconic little treats. The air was cold and the sky was gloomy, so I opted for a nice warm nest under one of the few heated lamps that were scattered around the alfresco dining area. To monitor and speed up my wait, I was given a fancy plastic alarm type device, like the ones you find in those ghastly tourist type restaurants such as Hard Rock and Planet Hollywood. Before I knew it, the flashy little lights flickered intermittently, telling me that my greasy beefy delight was ready to be consumed. My first opinion of the Shack burger was, how pretty it was ! They were right out of a Van-Gogh painting, bursting with color and vibrancy ! The lettuce was leafy and bright green, the bun is soft and vibrant yellow, and the tomatoes were juicy and rosy red. I grabbed my little take out Shack pack of goodies and proceeded back to the comfort of my outdoor heater. The burgers meat is from yet again, burger blending genius Pat La Frieda, whose carefully selected blend of brisket and sirloin is grinded for Shake Shack daily.
The Shake Shack burger stand, for those of you who have been living on another planet for the last 6 years, has become equaled with hamburgers and New York, and still swears by their proven method of smashed burger cooking. Basically they slap the patty on a fiery hot flat-top griddle and then smash the patty into the grill, flattening the burger so the little meaty edges tear and break. In those little meaty edges, collects all the grease and yumminess from the seasoned griddle, and caramelizes into a crispy round the edges, soft in the middle, gorgeous burger patty. After its popped on a slightly toasted potato-egg bun and safely wrapped and tucked away in a neat little box. The burger wreaked of flavor and goodness, all kinds of goodness ! The meat and cheese juices oozed down my face which I happily ignored continuing to gorge on this fine specimen of burger handiwork.
The size of the burgers are small, so I suggest grabbing a douce of these bad boys. Couple it with some crispy crinkled cut French Fries, and a creamy mud-like shake, and you’ll have a smile on your face for the rest of the day, even if the boss gives you grief about spending too much time at lunch. If time is of an essence, but you really want a Shack burger, check out the handy Shack-Cam http://www.shakeshacknyc.com/ to ensure a speedy lunch time experience. I guess all those years ago when I was so impatient and pig-headed about the rigmarole surrounding Shake Shack, I never realized what went into this iconic burger establishment. The people and the vibe here was very humble and extremely friendly. And not surprisingly owner Danny Meyer has invented and secured a place in the culinary history books as a burger virtuoso.