Shake Shack is one of the newest editions to the Covent Garden restaurant scene.
It’s been brought to England all the way from New York, where it originally started as a hot dog cart in Manhattan. The restaurant in Covent Garden opened last year, and so far it’s the only one in the UK.
Recognisably American, the menu offers a selection of burgers, flat-top dogs (that’s hot dogs to you and me), fries, and frozen custard (milkshakes made from custard-based ice cream).
I went there with friends on our annual festive day out.
I opted for the Shack Burger; a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and Shack sauce (I think this was red sauce) with fries and a soft drink. I wasn’t daring enough to go for a ‘concrete’ milkshake alongside this for the fear of not being able to finish my burger! Strangely enough, a drink being marketed as ‘concrete’ didn’t seem that appealing…
The burgers were really tasty, and I enjoyed the zig zag shape of the fries – very exciting!
The hot dogs looked nice, and ever the adventurer, Matt went for a drink called ‘fifty/fifty’ which was half lemonade, half iced tea. He said it tasted good, but I wasn’t sold and couldn’t be tempted away from my coke.
Unusually, the menu lists food that you wouldn’t expect to see sold by a London food outlet: namely, dog treats. Simply printed under the heading ‘Woof’, you can buy red velvet dog biscuits for your furry friend. Is it normal to dine out with your dog in New York?
The ordering process was very strange too. You order food inside at the counter, and are then presented with a buzzer. Then you can wander off to find a table, and wait for the buzzer to go off. When it flashes and vibrates, it means that your food is ready to collect and you have to venture back to the kiosk.
It was a bit of a hard-to-grasp set up, mainly because each member of staff we asked about the process explained a completely different procedure – one of them even seemed to think that it was waitress service!
Nandos is always a good benchmark for fast food-type restaurants, and Shake Shack proved to be much more work than you have to do at Nandos! Nandos seems like a luxury in comparison – you are shown to your table there and your food is even delivered to you…
My Shake Shack meal was tasty though – and good if you want to grab something quick that’s a bit nicer than your average Mcdonalds or KFC. It’s even better if you want to treat your dog to a meal out and you know that he likes red velvet biscuits!