I always find visiting New York City challenging. Part of me wants to become a New Yorker - wearing stylish impractical footwear for a day of subway hopping and walking, avoiding Times Square at all costs and eating at delis morning, noon and night. Not that I don't love deli's, but there is so much other food to enjoy in NYC and the bright lights of Times Square amaze me every time I walk through it in my comfortable not-so-stylish shoes. It was after the boyfriend dragged me from Times Square that we stopped at another set of flashing lights, the Theatre District Shake Shack.
Shake Shack has been serving freshly ground, hand formed burgers since 2004 at its original location in Madison Square Park. Since then it's become a New York City favourite and has become known not only for it's burgers but for hot dogs, fries and frozen custard. In 2008 they branched out, opening a concession stand at Citi Field stadium and five other locations around the city. In 2010 the chain made the big move out of the city, opening locations in Miami, Washington even Kuwait City, Dubai.
No matter which location you go to, there will be a line to wait to order you're food and a line to wait to pick up your food. At the Theatre District location we were lucky, the line that usually snakes down 8th Ave was short and we only had to wait 15 minutes to place our order for Shack Stacks and concretes, receive a buzzer and fight with other tourists and New Yorkers for table space.
The Shack Stack is a glorious combination of cheeseburger and 'shroom burger that's larger than your mouth and your hands! When I finally got a grip, I bit into the beef, mushroom combination and was hit by a flavour explosion - literally. I tasted the soft bun and cheeseburger and then I hit the crisp, fried portobello mushroom, stuffed with muenster and cheddar cheese. Cheese bursted out of the mushroom onto my cheek, beef juice and Shack sauce dripped down my face on my shirt but it was delicious and I was happy - worth the clean up.
I washed down my burger with a glass of Shackmeister Ale, a beer brewed by Brooklyn Brewery exclusively for Shake Shack. Served in a plastic cup the lightly hopped and bready malt brew was a perfect compliment to the umami packed Shack Stack. I finished my meal with Pretzel! The Concrete - three scoops of chocolate frozen custard blended with peanut butter sauce, pretzels and marshmallow sauce.
I've been wanting another Shack Stack since I finished my first. I'll either have to return to satisfy my craving or figure out how to stuff a portobello mushroom..