In December 2017, Shake Shack’s first St. Louis location opened in the Central West End at 60 North Euclid Ave. Danny Meyer, St. Louis native and founder of Shake Shack claims the restaurant provides a “fine casual” dining experience because of the quality of their food and service. In this review, TKC explores whether Shake Shack truly lives up to the hype.
The ShackBurger includes one angus beef patty, American cheese, specialty ShackSauce (which is rumored to have a mayonnaise base, as the recipe is a tightly held secret), lettuce and tomato served on a soft toasted potato bun. The quality of the beef was excellent, and it was salted to near perfection. It provided a great base for the overall flavor of the burger. The bun was also a nice complement, as it had a good texture and held the burger together without a mess. I found that the amount of ShackSauce on the burger was unnecessary, and it distracted from the flavor of the beef more than it enhanced. Additionally, my burger was closer to room temperature than it was warm, which was disappointing. At $5.29, the ShackBurger will cost you more than a fast food burger, but you pay for the quality of its ingredients.
Crinkle cut fries have never been my favorite. That is, until I went to Shake Shack. Their fries have the perfect amount of crisp, and they were salted just right. No condiments are needed to enhance flavor, but if you desire, melted cheese can be added for $1, or bacon and cheese for $2. At $2.79 with a fairly hefty portion, Shake Shack’s fries are a real bang for your buck.
I ordered the Mint Cookies & Cream shake, and after tasting it, I understood why ‘shake’ is half of the restaurant’s name. It was excellent. The cookies and cream offered a rich flavor that wasn’t too sweet, and the mint accompanied it nicely. As well as the great flavor, the consistency of the shake was not too runny, nor too thick. It was spot on. Mint Cookies & Cream was one of the featured shake flavors, so it was priced at $5.69 as opposed to $5.19 for the classic flavors. All in all, it’s well worth the investment.
Overall, the atmosphere inside and outside of Shake Shack has an abundance of character. The wall outside the restaurant bears a mural that blends elements of Shake Shack with scenes of Forest Park and the simple color pattern and furniture inside establish a modern vibe. The wooden tables are unique and suit the restaurant well, as they are made from reclaimed bowling lanes from New York, where the chain was founded. Everything was pretty clean, and the staff was friendly. There is a good amount of seating for the space available, but the consistently overwhelming crowds may persuade you to believe otherwise. Even on a Sunday at 4 p.m., there was a sizeable line to order, and finding seating while waiting for our food was a struggle. We waited around 10 minutes in line to order, and nearly 30 waiting to get our food and find a table. If you are planning to eat at Shake Shack, be prepared to do a lot of standing before sitting down to enjoy your food.
Shake Shack leaves you wanting more of its quality-based approach to classic American fast food. Because crowds make it fairly difficult to eat at Shake Shack quickly, I hope that St. Louis gets another location soon.