Our first taste of Shake Shack in Saratoga

Shake shack at the track

Shake Shack at the track.

The first time we tried a shack burger we were sitting outdoors at the Shake Shack in Manhattan's Madison Square Park -- in November.

Folks from the Capital Region don't get to dine in the park in November so much, so we thought the atmosphere may have contributed a lot to the experience.

The second time we tried a shack burger was this morning. In the rain. Ankle deep in the mud at the Saratoga Race Course.

Did it change the experience?

Sure.

Did it change the quality of the food. We don't think so.

burger 3.jpg

Yep. It's a burger. And there's only so much you can do with a burger -- even if you charge $25 for it. But Shake Shack does it well.

shake shack burger

We had the single burger ($5.75) -- it was juicy and just a little pink on the inside, and it was enough for us, especially with the fries and shake. They do offer a double.

We were the first customers in line (we're a little ashamed to admit that we stood in the rain for a while to obtain the honor), but the burger we had tasted as if they folks who made it were already pretty experienced. It's one of the best tasting "fast food" burgers we can remember trying. The fries were hot and crisp (We're big on crisp) and there were more than we could finish. And then there was the shake.

Sloppy track shake

We tried the "Sloppy Track" shake -- partly because drinking the sloppy track at the sloppy track was a little too meta not to, and partly because it just sounded yummy. It's a salted caramel shake dusted with cocoa powder.

Yeah.

It was as good as it sounded. The salted caramel and ice cream were a really fun combination, and the dusting of cocoa powder made it look like the muddy track, but it also changed the flavor and texture, especially if you skipped the straw. It was great on this cool damp day, but might be a little much on a hot, sunny day at the track. Also, we'd recommend sharing. It's really rich.

It's also $7, so it is best sipped slowly to celebrate hitting a big trifecta.

Did we eat all this at 11:30 in the morning? Umm... yes (please don't judge).

But hey, that meant we got to overhear the opening day pep-talk for the Shake Shack staff. Included in the advice: "Be sure and wish the customers good luck," and "Be nice to the other people that work at the track -- say hello, offer them drinks."

It kind of made us like them just a little bit more.

__

Other takes on Shake Shack -- from Kristi and Drew. Also, Danny Meyer said to CBS6 of the people working the shack: "... the nicest people I've ever met in my life, and we want to export them down to New York City!"

Comments

more pictures please! the burger is hidden from the fresh lettuce ripe red tomato and delicious cheese.

bun toasted?
adequate amount of fries?

what is it going to run me?

Wait a minute...salt in a milk shake? Can't say that sounds terribly appetizing to me.

@BobF - the idea of salted caramel initially sounded squicky to me too, but it's a great combo. They're not just tossing salt in at the end - it's basically like using salted sticks of butter to make caramel instead of unsalted, if that helps.

@BobF Salt(y) carmel ice cream, gelato, or shakes are a great flavor. It's not much like it sounds and tastes more like a vanilla carmel ice cream with a hint of salt.

Make some for yourself:
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/04/salted_butter_c.html

I was already planning on it this weekend.

Shake Shack is one of my favorite burgers in Manhattan! Do you have to be in the race track grounds to eat there? Will they only be open while the track is open?

what about blue smoke?? you're totally overlooking one of n.y.c's best bbq houses.

Your fries even look crispy in that photo. Yumm.

miles, if you want to see more pictures, check out our blog post on the Times Union website. (dan w., we also have images of Blue Smoke in that entry).

Daaaaamn, Matty Dubs, we were neck and neck there. Wanna save me some of that deliciousness you're making?

Shake Shack shakes are all that -- the burgers are OK, nothing special imo (based on a couple of times at the Madison Square Park one). I'm not an expert in bbq, but thought Blue Smoke in nyc was pretty mediocre.

Hey all,

The post has been updated with a little more info and prices. All in all, we'd definitely go back to The Shake Shack if we were at the track, but you do have to find parking and pay admission to get in. Oh, and we agree, the photos are not our best work. But in our defense, we were trying to keep the rain off the food before we had a chance to sample. Still, we're going to file this under #dammitdarcy, and go experiment with ways to duplicate that salted caramel experience.

I had no intention of going to the track this year -- but now I have to go. Salted caramel milkshake. 'Nuff said. Must go, must buy.

Bah! I was hoping you could get to Shake Shack and Blue Smoke without paying to get into the track. Laaaaame.

i cannot stop thinking about this combo! we are heading up there next weekend. orange cheese!

I'm trying to decide if it's worth $10 to stop in for a shake on my way north this weekend - The LAST weekend Shake Shack will be open this year :( The Sloppy Track photo is very convincing...

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