Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Best Massachusetts Burgers - Part 2

Shake Shack (430 Calories per cheeseburger)

Shake Shack is brand new to Boston; or more specifically the Chestnut Hill Mall area in Newton. This chain comes directly to Mass from New York and preaches great things about their food including, 100% all-natural Angus beef, vegetarian fed, humanely raised and no added hormones and antibiotics. These things are important to my generation health eaters who want to splurge on a good burger every once in a while. In addition to their high quality food source, Shake Shack also boasts 100% of the electricity used is offset through window and renewable energy, waste is properly recycled, most structures inside each location has been constructed from recycled material (table tops are repurposed from old bowling alley lanes), food properly composted and 5% of sales are donated to charitable organizations (think Costco). It’s clear, Shake Shack makes a point to go out of their way to differentiate not just by their food offerings, but by their presence in the community. Ok Shake Shack, you have my attention.
                 These burgers are fantastic. Probably the best tasting burgers I’ve ever-- well they are good! Perfectly cooked, juicy, with the perfect melted cheese to patty ratio. When you take a bite, it’s exactly how you would want a cheeseburger to taste.  You do not need to order a double cheeseburger here! A single patty burger will suffice.  Sure you can order a double, but there is little advantage in doing so. If you are worried about the amount of food you’ll receive, order two single cheeseburgers. The double patty is just big enough to be annoying to eat, especially when it comes directly off the grill. Your first bite will throw hot scorching juices to the back of your month, destroying your tongue in the process. Of course, the alternative is just waiting a few more minutes for your burger to cool, but when you’ve been waiting for 30 minutes for your food, there’s little patience left.

Fries are awful (as awful as fries can be… does that make sense?). They are tolerable fries because there’s nothing really special about them (especially when put up against the rest of the fries on this page) and it reminds me of the fries I used to get in middle school. Feels like they took the fries out of the freezer and threw them in the oven for 10 minutes and served them. In fact, I would go as far to say they reminded me of the old Burger King fries before BK started copying McDonald’s fries. But let’s face it; you don’t come here for the fries. 

Another big differentiating factor that Shake Shack has from other “burger places” is the hotdogs and frozen custard and shakes. All three are delicious menu options that allow Shake Shack to appeal more to families with different tastes in food and deserts. And I mean all members of the family. Want to bring your dog to hang out at the outside patio? Shake Shack offers “treats with those with four feet”, several different types of dog biscuits. The Dapper Dog, an all-beef hotdog with American Cheese and shallots will leave your taste buds drooling while the Concretes and Shakes are the perfect pallet cleanse to finish off a meal. Not a desert lover? Then Shake Shack can offer a verity of beers to wash down your burger and fries. Beer with burgers was once only dreamed of when watching Pulp Fiction. Everything on the menu should be experienced at least once.

I’m not going to say I was “let down” by Shake Shack…the food was definitely good… but when you walk up to the Newton establishment and see a line out the door for a restaurant that you need to order by a counter, it kinda takes the wind out of your sale. So that’s standing in line for 20 minutes, ordering, then finding table to wait for 10 more minutes. Would I drive all the way out to Rt 9 for their food? Not with my other options like 5 Guys and Bobby’s (Review soon to come). If I was passing by would I stop in for their food? Not if I saw the line out the door… like it is EVERYDAY. Your move Shake Shack