Some of you may remember back in July when The Drama Teacher came to visit.
Determined to venture out into new parts of the City, and wanting to show a veteran NYC tourist something new she hadn’t seen before, I dragged her down to Madison Avenue & E. 24th Street (Flatiron District), to the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
I first heard about the Shake Shack two years ago when I read a blog post about their webcam. Apparently the Shake Shack is so popular that people come from all over the world to see it--well, tourists make a point of stopping by once they’re here--and the line can get a little long. So before you go, feel free to check their webcam to see how long the line stretches.
We took the R train from the Midtown and got off at 23rd Street, and then strolled past the Flatiron Building and along the bottom of the park before snagging a place in line. We then debated the merits of each of the menu items and which one to order. We had lots of time to ponder.
By the time we reached the window, we were determined to experience The Shake Shack to the fullest, so we both ordered the Shack Stack, (it looked like it was the ‘coolest’ burger they had) fries, and a drink.
After paying for our meal, we were handed an electronic pager that would alert us when our food was ready. Freed from hovering near the Shack, we wandered to a nearby table and plopped down into some empty chairs.
A blissful moment passed while sitting in that dappled shade; a gentle breeze kept us cool. My back was telling me, “Oh goodie, something to lean against." My feet throbbed in agreement, in all, it was pleasant to kick back and relax after running around Midtown all morning.
It wasn’t long before a buzzing filled the air as my pager rattled merrily against our metal table. So I did what any rational hungry person would do, I hopped up to get my food.
Here’s what it looked like.
The Shack Stack
The Shack Stack: sandwich of 2 cheeseburgers and a ‘shroom burger served with lettuce, tomato and shack sauce.
The Cheese Fries
Looks absolutely fabulous doesn't i? I do have to admit, I was a little let down by this food, however, you may find it perfect. The Drama Teacher gave it three thumbs up, and the party next to us gave it five. (How they got five thumbs when there were only two people sitting there is beyond me. Perhaps I should have checked to see if he had six fingers on his left hand.)
As for me, I thought it was too salty all-around, and maybe a little too cheesy. Yes, I know, I chose to get the cheese fries. We were going all out, I didn’t have a choice.
The issues I had with the Shack Stack.
You see, the burger only had two wimpy little--soft & thin--slices of tomato,--yes they were that red--and one piece of lovely lettuce. Beautiful? Yes. Satifying? No. Especially when you take into account the triple middle. Two beef patties, one with cheese, and a muenster cheese-stuffed-breaded and fried Portobello mushroom in the middle.
I like a little crunch from veggies in my burgers. Some onion, perhaps a little dill pickle (although perhaps not on the Stack). So the veggie department @ The Shake Shack gets a couple of thumbs down. But somehow I don’t think they care. I’m probably not the demographic they’re targeting anyway. I'm thinkin' this type of burger would be right up my brother's alley. Perhaps when he finally comes to visit, we'll go.
Side note: I’m sad to say that just today I learned that I could have requested onion and pickle, if only I would have known… However, if I’m getting a triple pattie on a burger entitled “stack” you’d think they’d give you a little more lettuce and tomato, so I’ll stick to the thumbs down on the veggie dept.
The Shack Stack was yummy, but I definitely got my caloric and sodium count in for the day if not for the week.
The fries were lovely. Crispy and fresh, I don’t have much to say about them except perhaps the cheese fries are overkill when eaten with the Shack Stack.
Would I go again?
Sure, I now need to go try out their shakes. Oh! So many choices. But as for the burgers, I think I'll leave them for when friends are in town.
When planning your visit, keep in mind that their hours are seasonal, so if you're hankering for a Shack Stack when there's a foot of snow on the ground, check thier website first to see if they're open. As of now, they're toying with the idea of new winter hours, but haven't firmed anything up yet.
For those of you who always look for a second opinion, here's a link to Serious Eats. They're famous in the food blogosphere, and love the Shake Shack.
And before I sign off, a simple word of caution, The Drama Teacher was given an open and half empty bottle of water. The staff was very nice about exchanging it for a new one, but it gets busy there and mistakes happen. So if you order water, double check to make sure that you’re the first one to partake.
For those of you, who have experienced the Shake Shack, tell us what you think in the comments section.