Popular East Coast gourmet burger chain specializing in frozen custard

Shake Shack –

Sandy, UT – Burgers, Ice Cream – $$ – Fast Casual
Sifter Critique

Brandon O. - Pro Sifter & PhotographerAugust 2, 2019

Overall – / –

This post is sponsored by Shake Shack. No ratings will be provided for sponsored posts.

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Food

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Service

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Ambience

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Value

Overview

I’m not typically a fan of chain restaurants, but I have to make an exception to try the newest outpost of what The New York Times calls the “anti-chain chain,” saying that “its dedication to quality and customer service bucked stereotypes of traditional fast food.”

Danny Meyer’s started this New York-based restaurant, with humble beginnings, as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park back in 2001. It’s hard to envision that today considering the East Coast Legend that it’s become. Now Shake Shack’s expanded menu with its popular hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, milkshakes, frozen custards, chicken sandwiches, nuggets, beer, and wine can be found in select cities from Los Angeles to New York City, to Hong Kong, with Sandy Utah or “Salt Lake City” being one of it’s the newest locations.

P.S. It’s not uncommon to wait thirty minutes to an hour in line even at some of Shake Shack’s well-established locations. Similar to In-N-Out’s introduction into Utah, expect the allure to last a while before it quiets down.

Value

The prices at Shake Shack are a little more expensive than traditional fast-food joints, but they are known for using higher quality ingredients, as well as beer and wine. I would categorize them instead as a premium fast-casual restaurant. Concerning prices, an entree will run you between $5-$11 based on if you go with a classic ShackBurger or something more gourmet. Their fries are charged as an add-on and will run you around $3 for the basics and up to $5 for the Bacon Cheese Fries. Their shakes or frozen custards sell for up to $6 and their house-made lemonades or teas will run you $2 to $3. Put this all together, it’s not uncommon to pay between $10 to $20 per person for a meal.

Concerning the size, the burgers lean towards the smaller side than what some might expect, given the price. One classic burger will please my wife, but I usually need an option with lots of toppings or a second patty to get full, unless I add fries or a shake.

Most popular dishes

SmokeShack, ShackStack, Shroom Burger, Shack-Cago Dog, Bacon Cheese Fries, and Pooch-ini dog treat for your pet (dogs are welcome in outdoor seating). The shakes and concrete custards are also very popular. Other than your standard vanilla or chocolate, the flavors are specific to each location.

What I ordered

The ShackBurger, SmokeShack, Shack-Cago Dog, Chick’n Shack, chicken nuggets, cheese fries, frozen custard, and milkshakes.

Food quality

Shake Shack itself spends very little on marketing because they believe the food should speak for itself. They use clean ingredients like 100% antibiotic-free Angus beef, applewood-smoked bacon, natural cage-free chicken, cage-free eggs, and real cane syrup. These ingredients align with the values of modern consumers who demand top-notch food quality.

The ShackBurger

The meat on the burger was very tender and juicy. They prepare it using a smashing technique and then cook it on a flat top grille. The bun was buttered and toasted well, both soft and airy. The topping themselves were that of your classic American burger, cheese, shrettuce, and tomato with the exception of the ShackSauce. The sauce itself tasted of mayo, ketchup, a little dijon mustard, and some spices. Overall a good fast-food burger.

SmokeShack

This burger was similar in quality, but with some heat! It’s topped with cherry peppers, bacon, and ShackSauce. The peppers themselves are a bit spicy sweet while the bacon is salty, making a sweet and savory sandwich.

Shroom Burger

This sandwich is meatless. It features a crisp, fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with shrettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce. It’s a bit messy so don’t forget your napkins! It comes with a toasted bun as well.

Shack-Cago Dog

The hot dog and bun are of Chicago standard but the toppings were what made it shine. The peppers were acidic and tasted similar to pepperoncinis. The relish added sweetness while the pickles had a great vinegar flavor. The tomatoes were ripe and fresh.

Cheese Fries

These crinkle-cut fries were lightly salted, which I liked. Between the two sets of fries that we ordered, one batch was very crisp and the other batch was a bit limp. I preferred the batch where all of the fries were thoroughly crunchy and crisp. The cheese sauce itself was American cheese thinned with milk.

Chick’n Shack

This was the first time that I’ve tried the Chick’n Shack. Poultry wasn’t on their menu last time I was in the Big Apple. To my surprise, it was fantastic! I loved the thin, crisp breading, the tenderness of the meat, and the light blend of what tasted like cajun and poultry seasoning. The bun was nicely buttered and toasted. I also like the simpleness of the shrettuce, homemade pickles, and ranch sauce.

Frozen Custard

This was my favorite part! I order the salted caramel and Pie Oh My concrete. It is very dense, smooth, and didn’t melt quickly like many other custards I’ve tried in the past. Concerning the shakes, I liked that you could drink them through a straw. I also liked how well it was blended and the strawberries didn’t taste like a fake syrup. Overall really tasty.

Dog Menu

The Shack offers a dog menu with every U.S location, so your dog can accompany you in the outdoor dining space and enjoy a meal too! Look for the Dog Sunday or Bag O’ Bones!

Ambiance

Shake Shack is housed in what’s called the Old School yard. It’s a refurbished space from the 1930’s that was originally an elementary school and, later, a high school. Once considered for demolition, the burger joint has brought it back to life by blending the old with a modern flare. The space itself makes use of large open areas and windows to let in lots of ambient light. Because of the brick walls, it was a bit noisy. However, if you want to go somewhere quieter they have a large area for outdoor seating.

Service

After ordering at the counter, Shake Shack will give you a food buzzer. They also have all sorts of games to keep you occupied while you wait for your food. Some examples are ping pong, shuffleboard, corn hole, or board games that you can take back to your table. It’s a nice touch. Most of the staff was also very friendly and attentive. I hope everyone will have as good, or better, of an experience as we did.

What I liked most

Everyone in our group loved the Chick’n Stack the best. The bun condenses nicely so you can get your mouth over the huge juicy piece of fried chicken. The pickles, lettuce, and sauce round it out perfectly. The concrete was a real winner too!

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