I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a mild obsession with burgers – and I’m getting a belly to prove it. I’ve covered nearly all of London’s offerings; Meat Liquor/Market/Mission, Dirty Burger, Tommi’s Burger Joint, Burger and Lobster, Bar Boulud, Burger & Shake, BRGR.CO, Patty&Bun, Honest Burger and even Joe Allen’s “secret” burger, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard Shake Shack was to open its first London outpost in Covent Garden.
Shake Shack originally started as a hot dog stand selling burgers in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan by a guy called Danny Meyer and it quickly became a hit. They’re now all over America and even in Turkey and the Middle East. It’s not just London that loves a good burger!
It was a fairly straightforward set up – you queue up, order at the counter, they give you a buzzer, you frantically try and find a seat somewhere and then you go to the hatch to pick up your food when your buzzer buzzes. The main seating area was inside the Covent Garden market which meant we were deafened by a woman singing opera for our entire visit – it was the noisiest burger I’ve ever eaten!
The Smoke Shack burger (Â£6.50 for a single) was a touch on the small side for my liking and I would definitely recommend making it a double (Â£9). It was however delicious and the addition of the chopped cheery pepper sauce made it surprisingly spicy; it had a real kick to it. The free range Wiltshire cured bacon was great and there was loads of it too.
The Shack Stack burger (Â£7.75) was by far my favourite as it featured a beef patty AND a crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted cheese. Woof! In fact, it was one of the tastiest burgers I’ve ever eaten. The cheese oozed out of the crispy mushroom gloriously which made for a wet burger which actually held its shape very well. I’ve been dreaming about this burger ever since.
The fries were crinkle cut and two were available; plain (Â£2.50) or topped with a blend of melted Cheddar cheese (Â£3.50) so we opted for both. They were both really enjoyable and perfectly seasoned but I think the cheesy ones offered more in the way of flavour.
Sadly as it was their first ever day and they were still finding their feet it meant we didn’t get to try their “concretes” which is thick frozen custard with a variety of mix-ins; some feature paul.a.young chocolate chunks and St.John Bakery biscuits which sound amazing!
All the staff were really friendly and exuded enthusiasm in that charming American-like manner – I was high fived three times which is sweet if you’re into that kind of thing. Shake Shack is a great addition to the London burger scene and I can see myself regularly popping in for that mushroom burger. Oh dear!