Review: Shake Shack

by Cate on September 3, 2012

Shake Shack - entrance
Shake Shack has been around since 2004.

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.

Natch.

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.

Shake Shack - menu board

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.

Shake Shack - portobello burger

Cheese fries are a given.

Shake Shack - cheese fries

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.

No kids menu, but they have a menu for the dogs. Weird, right? Wonderful, but weird.
Shake Shack - dog menu

Shake Shack - lunch

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.

Really.

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.

There are Shake Shack locations in New York, DC, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and in the Middle East. You can follow them on Twitter, facebook, and even Instagram.

Happy eating!

Hungry for more?
Sarah and I dined at this Danny Meyer restaurant last year (although it feels like it was way longer!).

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

JOanne September 4, 2012 at 6:38 am

Shake Shack in the middle east? Now that is crazy! I’ve actually never been there but I might have to make the trip downtown for that shroom burger!
JOanne recently posted..Recipe: Creamy Spinach Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

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beth September 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

Feeling a little slighted over here … But it isn’t a true SS trip until you’ve been to the original and eaten a burger… I mean, that’s what they do. And a coffee shake. The fries are awful, we never get them.

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Cate September 4, 2012 at 9:18 am

I know, we need to plan a Fall NYC trip… I just got lucky that there was one superclose to the aquarium. Also heard about a new-to-me burger place near here that we need to check out.

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Sarah Caron September 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

I might be the last person on Earth to try Shake Shack. Did I tell you I stayed in a hotel basically above a Shake Shack a little over a year ago? And by the time I realized it was Tooooooooo Late.
Sarah Caron recently posted..Egg Salad BLT Wraps

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Barbara | Creative Culinary September 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

My daughter’s first job after college was in Connecticut so we made the trip to Mystic and the aquarium and to a Shake Shack when I went to visit her. It was OK; sometimes the reality just doesn’t measure up to the hype!

That being said, I grew up in St. Louis and Steak and Shake was our nirvana. They just recently opened in Denver and it was months before I had one, the lines were so long. Again…just OK. Nothing can measure up to the memories of high school, curb service and a boyfriend with a cool car; not even a really decent burger. :)
Barbara | Creative Culinary recently posted..Cheese and Herb Waffle Toasts for a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich for #TwelveLoaves

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Meg September 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

I’ve heard so much about Shake Shack and was dying to visit one on my last trip to New York, but my schedule didn’t allow for such a delightful detour! Next time, for sure.
Meg recently posted..Life in literature

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