Welcome one and all and god bless America for this is the week that America has once again changed its course of history by electing a right wing fascist imbecile who can not even string a coherent sentence together and here we are striking at the heart of american burger chain Shakeshack to drag them over hot coals, to hell and back and unleash our carnivorous fury.
New Oxford Street the location for todays taste test. Thursday lunchtime and we step into the busy and bustling Shakeshack, looking half modern / half diner in style, the ceilings are high and the restaurant is spacious, we queue up to place our order. Single cheeseburger with all the salad, fries and help ourselves to water, the burger is a bargain price of £5.50 and with the fries comes to a more than reasonable £8.50. The girls on reception are extremely friendly and interested in our challenge, after payment we are handed a plastic buzzer which aptly buzzes violently like Donald T in one of his babbling xenophobic hissy fits.
Five minutes and we are buzzing heading back to the space at the end of the counter where our metal tray lined with branded greaseproof paper with repeated Shakeshack icon print. The burger was separately wrapped in paper and the chips came in a cardboard tray and were crinkle cut and handsomely salted.
Whilst the price of the meal was modest so was the size, the burger was small, perhaps the smallest yet and if we weren’t keeping a level playing field for the challenge we certainly would have doubled up the patties, the fries tasted nice cooked well and the portion was adequate, the burger tasted wonderful, the bun was a little flaccid and seemed battle ravaged but the combination of the flavoursome patty with the texture of the processed cheese and salad and sauce was a winner. On further inspection the patty itself was a little rough around the edges and there was no selection on how we want the patty cooking it was the tiniest bit pink but fully cooked and this was reflective of the inferior meat quality to other places on the list that they will not allow the beef to be particularly pink. Divin was still hungry as was I after the meal and Divin decided to order another cheeseburger to satisfy his needs, taking his meal up to £15. He had the cheesy chips which was processed cheese made into a gooey hot sauce and generously poured over the crinkle chips, to me they added nothing to the chips but made them more sickly.
I like Shakeshack as a quick in and out typical fast food burger and chips meal – it annihilates the likes of Burger King and Mcdonalds, but this isn’t really what this challenge is all about we are talking quality burgers and quality taste, the taste is good but for me the notion of a place like Shakeshack undersells its burgers and it doesn’t deliver what I want from a burger place. In the coming weeks we will putting Five Guys to the test, a very similar set up but with its reputation of great burgers it will be good to throw them into the mix before heading to the more upmarket meat liquor and London favourite Gourmet Burger Kitchen.