By Andrew Dominick
Burger places in Fairfield County and beyond, beware, there’s a new kid in town that you should fear: Shake Shack. The much talked about New York City burger chain opened a location in Westport, Connecticut in July. Burger lovers, get ready to stand in line. Accept the wait, because the food is worth your time.
When pulling up to Shake Shack, expect a short wait in line but do not worry, it can move fast. In 15-20 minutes you will be placing your order with an additional wait time of around five minutes. While you wait, find a seat. Even in the summer, this open-air restaurant is nice and cool and offers plenty of indoor seating. Kick back with your buddies while you watch ESPN on the flat screens. But when that buzzer shakes, it’s time to pick up the goods.
On your first visit, keep it classic, go with the Shackburger. A basic sandwich consisting of Shake Shack’s delicious Black Angus beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and what they call Shacksauce. The beef is juicy, not greasy like other burger chains, tender, and well seasoned. The lettuce and tomato were present but Shake Shack gets it right by not giving you a salad sandwich. In fact, make yours a double. Your taste buds will appreciate it.
Let us not forget that the word “Shake” is in the name. So why not try one? Rather than ice cream shakes, Shake Shack uses custard, a much creamier, more velvet like texture than the stuff we are all used to. They supply all the original flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry with others like caramel, black and white, and peanut butter. All shakes have the “malt option” if you choose to do so. The shakes were easy to drink and the size is perfect so you can leave without feeling guilty or without needing that two-hour nap afterwards. Shakes are $5 and Vincent Vega would approve. Here’s to hoping you caught that Pulp Fiction reference. Floats, cones, and sundaes are available as well as something they like to call a Concrete. Concretes as described by Shake Shack are “dense frozen custard blended at high speed with toppings & mix-ins.”
If there was one negative it was the fries. Shake Shack’s crinkle cuts were crispy and did not kill the potato on the inside of the crisp and were salted well. Crinkle cuts are not everyone’s favorite fry so this is more of a preference thing. Did I eat them? Yes. Would I get them again? Absolutely. Some type of seasoned curly fry or fresh cuts would have put the whole meal over the top.
Shake Shack even offers beer, including one from the Brooklyn Brewery and their very own brew called Shackmeister Ale. Wine, fresh squeezed lemonade, fresh brewed iced tea, and root beer on tap from the Abita Brewing Company in Louisiana are other drink options.
Burgers at Shake Shack go for $3.75-$8.75. The Shackburger is $4.75 for a single and $7.25 for a double. The average meal here, a burger, fries, and a shake will come out to around $15 per person. For more information visit Shake Shack online at www.shakeshack.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shakeshackfans, on Twitter at @shakeshackfans. If that’s too much trouble, Westport’s Shake Shack can be reached at (203) 682-6570.
So Five Guys, Swanky Franks, diners, or any other burger themed restaurants in the area, I will not be returning. Shake Shack has my loyalty now. When you decide to eat at Shake Shack, and at some point you will, you’ll know exactly what I mean.