The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Burgers @ Shake Shack, NYC

Okay, I admit that I'm not a burger person, yet I've managed to eat burgers three times in the last few months. Perhaps Rob likes burgers? The Shake Shack in Madison Park is touted to churn out the best burgers in NYC, and what better place than New York to try a good burger? Unfortunately, like with most things in NYC where the popular places gets the most publicity and hence even more popular (even if they're not necessarily good), you can expect a huge line at the Shake Shack during the peak meal times. The website even has a live webcam so that you can check out just how bad the line is before you make the trek to the shack. Rob was keen to check out just why the Shake Shack's burgers are so good to draw such crowds, and we headed there on a chilly Sunday early afternoon for lunch.

There was already a quite a queue up to the shack when we arrived at Madison Park around 12:30 (we aimed to get there earlier, but you know how it is with a baby). This is not the place to go to if you're on a diet (or just like to eat healthy), because the only healthy thing on the menu that's not laden with fat and/or sugar is bottled water. Even the vegetarian burger has been junkified: fried cheese-filled mushroom burger. And with the small-ish sized burgers served, you'll most likely be tempted to order a lot more than just burgers if you came hungry. According to their menu, the burgers are served plain, and extras like lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles have to be requested. Rob got the single ShackBurger (US$4.75) which already comes with cheese, lettuce, tomato and the "Shack sauce". He requested pickles and onions, but unfortunately it came without both, and he couldn't be bothered making a complaint. I ordered the single Hamburger ($3.75) and requested lettuce and tomato with it.

The hamburger and the ShackBurger (with the cheese):

So the verdict? The burgers were good - the burger patty was juicy, and I appreciate the fact that the burgers are ground daily to ensure good quality. The lettuce and tomatoes were nice and fresh too. I liked the soft and slightly sweet bun which I thought went really nicely with the burger, although it is clearly a matter of preference because Rob said that the bun was the only thing he didn't like about the burger. Our only gripe with the Shake Shack is the fact that this place is so popular and busy that
1. the girl who took our orders didn't get it right - it was good that she repeated what she thought we'd ordered so that we could correct it, otherwise we would have ended up with two cheeseburgers (which sounds nothing like "shackburger" or "hamburger", right?);
2. there was a rather long wait for our food. We probably waited about 30 minutes from arriving at the shack to eating the burgers.

Overall, I do think it's worth the wait, especially if you like burgers.

Shake Shack (Madison Square Park) on Urbanspoon


  1. i just read your "love affair with new york' on facebook ... hehehe ... you're going to go through (a neverending) withdrawal like me :)
    I'm glad you tried this place, I had it on my list and I was in/near Maddison Sq Park several times, but in the end I didn't feel like a hamburger or waiting and didn't buy into the hype.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay! When are you back in Tokyo?

  2. We only have a bit more than a week left in NYC. Wish we could stay longer...

  3. Hope you guys enjoy the last week and make the most of every opportunity to eat lots of wonderful food!!! :) xoxox Shan