It took me 8 years to get my first visit in.
My friend, Beth, has been talking about planning a day trip to NYC, centered around Shake Shack forever.
And yet it was a trip to the aquarium (and Shake Shack’s Connecticut location) that finally did it.
When we decided to go to Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium a few weeks ago, I did what any food-centric person would do.
I took to Twitter to see what must-stops there were in the area.
As soon as I saw the message, “Shake Shack is at Exit 19″ from a fellow food blogger that I met at last year’s TechMunch Conference in Boston, I had myself a plan.
And really, it was less than 10 minutes from the aquarium. How could we NOT go?
Especially when practically everyone I knew had already been.
Well, not quite as dramatic as all that.
But you know.
The parking lot is easy to get in and out of, and there were ample parking spots available, even on a weekend afternoon.
I had such a hard time deciding what to get. I should have gotten a burger, perhaps, for the full-on Shake Shack experience, but I decided to be a little more virtuous and I went with their ‘Shroom Burger. Stuffed with Meunster (one of Nick’s favorite cheeses) and Cheddar, a big puddle of cheesy goodness burst right out after I took my first bite.
Cheese fries are a given.
Although they look good, they weren’t anything to rave about. In fact, we left more than half of them, and with our affinity for cheese fries, that should tell you something. The cheese sauce tasted weird, for lack of a more concrete description; it was thin, and well, not especially cheesy.
The kids went with hot dogs and demolished them.
Shake Shack does not have a kids’ menu. I, for one, think they need one. They also don’t have juice or milk boxes for the kids. A bit short-sighted, in my opinion. Not that the kids noticed, of course, since they plowed through the lemonade.
The lemonade, which was awesome. And prompted a refill to go. I don’t know if they make it fresh there or not, but it was fab.
The staff is super-friendly (even gave Nick a free refill on the lemonade), and the restaurant and bathrooms are super clean. The bathrooms (one stall for men, one for women) are extraordinarily large. We were surprised that they didn’t divide each one into two, to net more restrooms. It was that extra large. They had Dyson hand dryers. An odd little side note mostly because our crew is somewhat obsessed with them. And it prompted texting pictures of the hand dryers to Mystic and my friend’s husband.
It’s the little things.
Shake Shack first started as a hot dog cart borne of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. You know, Danny Meyer of Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe fame. They are big on protecting the planet and our environment, using recycled and sustainable materials, and use beef products that are free from hormones and antiobiotics. They are committed to giving back to their community and running a green kitchen, which is all sorts of awesome (you can read more about their mission right here).
We will definitely be going back – do pop in if you’re in the area. Nick says they’re worth a visit for the milk shakes alone. He is a sucker for a good old-fashioned milk shake.
Happy eating!Danny Meyer, Gramercy Tavern, Shake Shack