Renegade Review: Shake Shack (New York, NY)

It was a wind-swept rainy day in New York City. I was hungry, and I had time to kill. My brother-in-law and I decided to check out the world-famous Shake Shack—the original one, near Manhattan’s famed Flatiron Building.

I went with the classic Shack Burger—a quarter-pound patty (cooked medium by default) with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and “shack sauce.” The rain reduced the infamous long wait time to just a few minutes. On a beautiful spring day, I’d have no complaints that Shake Shack’s only tables were outside. Today, however, we soon found ourselves under a Credit Suisse alcove across the street.

The order of the build was standard: burger, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and sauce. The juices of the burger bled into the grilled potato bun, softening it. The tomato and lettuce were crisp and fresh—definitely cut that day. The sauce was interesting. I was expecting Big Mac-esque special sauce, but I was pleasantly surprised: It was sweet and tangy—maybe a bit too watery—reminiscent of diluted barbecue sauce mixed with teriyaki. The patty itself—more like a slab of ground beef, actually—was very good.

Despite eating the burger under cover in a downpour, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d like to give it another spin on a sunny day, to take in the atmosphere with a big crowd. I hear that in the summertime, the wait can be 45 minutes for a burger. I can see why.

My rating: 4 out of 5.

Shake Shack (Madison Square Park) on Urbanspoon