Photo courtesy of Eater
I ordered and received my food all within 20 minutes-- much more efficient than Madison Square Park already. To satisfy my burger craving I got a double Shackburger (I think the cheese in the stuffed mushroom overwhelms everything else in the Shack Attack). It had by far the best sear of any Shake Shack burger I'd ever eaten, but as a result was completely cooked through with only a light schmear of shack sauce. Oh well. Minor quibbles, since there's still plenty of flavor in the beef. Craving definitely satisfied (for now).
The key to this Shake Shack is the new concrete flavors. Owing to my usual priorities of a meat and fry heavy diet (and the obscene cost of $6.75), I've actually never had a concrete before (though I have had the shakes a couple times). But it was just too damned hot, and I needed ice cream to cool myself down. I went for a "Jelly's Last Donut" with vanilla custard, pieces of Doughnut Plant jelly doughnuts and cinnamon sugar. I ordered an Arnold Palmer for additional lubrication.
Photo courtesy of Eater
I briefly tried to carry everything outside, but after realizing that this was not just stupid, but futile, I found a spot in the far back corner, right by the side door opening onto 44th and 8th Avenue. Stand in this corner for great people watching (and extreme AC). But this cuts both ways. Tourists who have only heard fleeting whispers of Shake Shack gawked at me while I ate. From behind my sunglasses, I saw a guy wearing black shorts and a black Rolling Stones t-shirt walk by with his family in tow while "Shine a Light" blasted through my headphones. They slowed and watched as I shoveled chunks of doughnut and rapidly melting custard into my mouth between bites of burger and sips of Arnold Palmer. The now rare tranny couple also did a double take in front of Shake Shack (hopefully for the burgers, not looking at me). Then, a massive group leaving a matinee pushed towards the line, crowding the pavement while I listened to... Pavement (too direct of a connection?)
Although I finished my burger quickly, I took my time with the concrete, still people watching. The jelly doughnut chunks held up surprisingly well mixed into the vanilla custard.
With Manhattan's third and most visible Shake Shack packing people in and a gigantic Upper East Side branch on the way (plus the recently opened location in Miami), it's only a matter of time before Shake Shacks (equipped with their own unique concrete flavors) are unveiled in Columbus, Ohio, Dubai, Kansas City and London. Who knows if the quality will hold, but standing on the corner drinking the last melted drops of my concrete, I could care less.
300 West 44th St (at 8th Avenue)
New York, NY 10036