In the heat of the night: making that Shake Shack run

After complaining about not having had Shake Shack. I have finally had a Shake Shack burger, twice. Not once, but twice. It sure has been yummy. I was trying to put my finger on what makes a Shake Shack burger so tasty. Is it the hamburger meat? The delightful mix and consistency of the wonderfully seasoned Shack Burger patty sits in your mouth and melts wonderfully on your tongue. Or is it the combination of the bun, lettuce, tomato and Shack sauce? I’m really not sure which, but its just so damn tasty as a whole. (Although, I think the sauce might have something to do with it. Being under-sauced and under-seasoned are usually the biggest faults I find in a hamburger. Good seasoning and saucing can really elevate the hamburger.)

I never realized how popular Shake Shack was until I actually went. Which, both times were in the evening, mostly after normal dining hours.
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Yet, there was still a line during both trips. The first time I went was around 8:30 PM on a Thursday. The second time I went, it was 11:30 PM on a Friday.

I never really was that into hamburgers, but Shake Shack has shown me what they can offer.

You even get your little Shake Shack buzzer to alert you when your order is ready.
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I’ve realized now that both times I went  and got the exact same thing. Caramel Shake + Shack Burger = Awesome dinner. (Blurry picture, sorry!)
Shake in hand
Burger in hand
When I first got this burger and unwrapped it, I really wasn’t that impressed. It looks like a normal burger, right? Except, it is by far one of the tastiest burgers I eaten from a fast food establishment. It is by no means a gastroburger, but it is mighty fine. Bonus points, because the bun was perfectly toasted and crisp. Heck, the first time I had this burger was 30 mins after it came off the grill. It wasn’t superb, but it was still good. The second time, I had it fresh, and I thought it was delicious. (This time, I was already full from a dinner at Vandaag, so I can’t even say it tasted good because I was starving.)

Even close up, it doesn’t look that remarkable.
SHAKE SHACK!
In fact, looking at this photo makes me think the meat looks a bit thin. But, the burger was pretty good. I guess I would pay the $10+ for a burger and shake after all.

Now I’m going to interrupt this post with the Sofitel Hotel that I passed by while walking home from Ktown:
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Lol. DSK.

Anyways, continuing this burger adventure, I also made the trip to Burger Joint, located in Le Parker Meridien. Burger joint is this faux-hole-in-the-wall establishment located inside this super fancy hotel. I walked into the hotel restaurant with my usual weekend gear in shorts and flip flops and I thought they were going to ask me to leave because I was so casual, but alas, no. I walked through the restaurant into the lobby of the hotel just fine. Once you enter this hotel, you’ll see a suspiciously long line going into this curtained off area, which makes you wonder if some sort of peep-show is going on. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see that there is a neon sign that overhangs the line with “Burger Joint”. This was also supposed to be a “fast” burger, but for how much I paid, it was “meh”. (For definitions of what a “fast” burger vs. other burgers are, there is a nice post on seriouseats.com that I suggest be read.)

I ordered a regular cheeseburger, medium rare with ‘the works’ as they call it at Burger Joint. I also got a chocolate shake with my burger. You can see from the picture below that the burger was a lot messier looking than the Shack burger.
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This cheeseburger is, how can we put it, a lot looser than the Shack burger.

The meat was okay. It was cooked the way it was supposed to be, but under-seasoned and underwhelming.
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You can see the meat nestled between the buns, sauce, and toppings. It’s glistening grease and speckled outside belies its blandness. 😦

I was just no impressed with this burger, which is disappointing because according to one of my friends, this burger has been consistently rated higher than the Shack burger. I’m not sure if we went during an off day, but it really was just bland and not worth the $7+ I ended up paying. In addition, the shakes aren’t nearly as tasty as the shakes at Shake Shack. So basically Shake Shack > Burger Joint.

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