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Vegas Eats: Shake Shack at New York New York

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 8th September 2015 3:50pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6


New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review Review

Immediately after a giant breakfast at Tom's Urban, I looked at my phone to see what time it was... oh snap Shake Shack opens in 20 minutes! I deliberated for point two seconds and made the decision - I'll take quick jog around The Park then queue up at the Shake Shack for lunch.

By jog, I meant walk up the stairs to the front of Shake Shack, wander over to the patio on the side and try and sneak a peek the fence surrounding The Park. Whew. I'm exhausted. And hungry.

The good news? I am first in line at the much vaunted, heralded and hyped to the moon Shake Shack. I have never eaten here.

Shake Shack's hype machine arrived in Las Vegas a full six months before they plugged in the grill. Fortunately, I am a bit of a skeptic by nature. I've learned to distrust nearly everything reported in the Las Vegas media, new, old or otherwise. Media ass grabbing is strong within the city limits of the company town. Shake Shack seemed to bring out the worst of these tendencies in most of the clickfarmers. I know this much, the Shake Shack started as a food cart somewhere in New York City in 2004 (the same year VegasTripping launched) and is now an international corporation with a $1.72 billion dollar market cap (on close of market 9/8/2015.)

I'm here to test the theory, does hype sell hundred million hamburgers?

Minutes before opening, a small crowd has formed on line behind me. With a teeny bit of fanfare the big sparkly neon sign turns on, the window shades slowly rise and an employee unlocks and opens the door. "Welcome to Shake Shack!"

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review

I make my way past the ginormous menu board to a bank of register kiosks, shoulder to shoulder with the guests who were once behind me in line. The whole affair has the feel of a military operation, employees are scurrying about in the open kitchen, restocking ingredients and making preparations as burgers and fries steam and sizzle. I place my order, pay and am given a number. Casual pleasantry has been disbursed for studied, efficient courteousness. I may be the first in line, but the Battle of Shake Shack Hill is already underway.

I take my seat at a booth with a view of the kitchen. I'm infinitely curious if my first order in will be the first order out of the kitchen. Six minutes later, the answer comes. My order is ready.

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review

A Smoke Shack burger and a vanilla shake served on an aluminum tray - recyclable!

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review Shake

The vanilla shake was sweet, delicious and not so frozen that you got an aneurism trying to move the sweet stuff through the straw. Yummy.

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review Smoke Shack

I opened my yap and took a bite. You can't complain when your first bite comes with surprise. I was expecting a variation on the standard smoke house burger with tangy smoky bbq sauce. What I got was something entirely different that tickled the same zone in a very fun way.

Shiny bun, some red vegetable looking stuff, two thick cut slices of medium rare bacon, cheese atop a thin burger patty. Let's open it up.

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review Toppings

The red stuff is chopped and blanched cherry red peppers. No BBQ sauce on this Smoke Shack, the flavor comes from the sweet/tart/spice of the peppers, the smoke in the bacon and dollops of the ShackSauce (mayo, ketchup, mustard and pickles).

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review Meat

The patty is made of discs of meat that are smushed onto the grill with a spatula, sort of like Johnny Rockets (who stole their recipe from legendary Los Angeles burger joint The Apple Pan.) The result is a burger with airy nooks & crannies like an English muffin and a great grill-seared crust.

The sweet tangy spice of the peppers, the goo of the cheese, the cream of the ShackSauce and the tender patty that really was mouth-melting. Yummy.

Shake Shack was great. I'm not going so far as to say it was the greatest burger I've ever eaten, but it was certainly intriguing, and piqued my interest to dive bomb the rest of the menu items in the future.

New York New York Shake Shack Las Vegas Review The Check

Lunch for one, no fries, no cocktails came to $12.91. That hype machine costs money.

Tagged: vegas eats   dining   new york new york   burgers   johnny rockets   


Comments & Discussion:

VINCENT: Did you just order a five-dollar shake?
MIA: Sure did.
VINCENT: A shake? Milk and ice cream?
MIA: Uh-huh.
VINCENT: It costs five dollars?
MIA: Yep.
VINCENT: You don't put bourbon in it or anything?
VINCENT: Just checking.

Shake Shack is at the very least the equal of In and Out. It may even be better. I just wish that the Mlife line was Gold and above not just for Platinum and Noir.

Looks pretty tasty, although your innards might be struggling to digest eggs benny and a bacon burger.

Loving the Apple Pan reference! Been there dozens of time when I lived in Culver City and Brentwood. The actual size of the Apple Pan's burgers always seemed just right. Easy to finish, not so big that you felt destroyed afterwards. And hot crisp fries as well. The surly demeanor of the staff just added to the experience. My legendary friend picked up a 19 year old girl outside Apple Pan when he was 28. She looked 16 - he was a dirty pervert. Just wanted to share.

There are a few of these in Chicago and I have been at least three times. The burgers are nice and flavorful and the peppers add a nice component. Cheese fries come with a unique fork that lets you stab them and create a perfect grouping of cheese and fry. The military style operation gets your food fast which is a must because there is always a line here. Being on the strip gives it the advantage over In=N-Out but the burgers further down at Bobby's Burger Palace are better.

We went to Miami last weekend and I was so excited to find out they put a SS down there. We walked damn near 10 blocks in the heat trying to find the damn thing to no avail. After getting hangry, we ended up getting beers and a sandwich at Hofbrauhaus, only to find out Shake Shack was only 2 more blocks down the road. :-(
This place looks awesome! They also have one in London (which we would've tried back in May had it not been packed to the gills with tourists!)

We have a Shake Shack here in Atlanta, but I've had little interest in trying it out. The thing is that just about every decent-sized town in the US has plenty of spots for really good burgers that isn't a chain like Shake Shack or Five Guys.

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