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