bobby flay claims his first victim
t says: Ok. So we knew that Shake Shack is the hottest thing since sliced bread. g, having spent nearly three years working in NYC, was well aware of Shake Shack’s reputation and did want to go and see Philly’s version, but warned us: “People go there to hang out – not necessarily to eat the best burgers ever.” I heard her, but I just don’t think I listened to her (I have husbandearitis), so I was actually super-psyched when we went there on a whim the other day with cm and k.
August 2012, Saturday Dinner, Party of 4. We went and there were no lines. This made me super-happy. g and I ordered up the mushroom “burger”, classic Shake Shack burger, and, of course, some cheese fries. This is what they looked like:
In the end, we decided that Shake Shack is more like a fancy McDonald’s. The meat does taste a bit more like meat, and the tomatoes and lettuce are real lettuce and tomatoes, but that’s about the extent of the compliments that I can extend to Shake Shack, as there really is nothing further remarkable about in the sandwiches. The toppings are plain (the special sauce isn’t very “special”). The burger was underseasoned. The bread was 80% butter. The mushroom was 5% mushroom and 95% cheese (that had an oddly-congealed texture). The fries were tasty, but I’m not sure if there was really really $1 worth of cheese on it.
And then cm (or maybe it was k?) said it: “Bobby’s is better than this place.” And he (or she?) was dead-on. Better bread, better sauces (and I don’t even really like Bobby’s sauces), better meat, super-way-better toppings, and still <$10 (although I guess Shake Shack is cheaper by 30%). But is that a fair comparison, as one is in West Philly, and the other is in Center City? I guess not, because it’s not like g and I are going to venture across the river just for Bobby’s Burger Palace. Of course, g and I aren’t going to venture 4 blocks to Shake Shack just for a burger, either (we’ll go if others want to go!). In this area, alone, Rotisseur has better sandwiches. VW has way-better burgers. I’m sure Rouge could teach ’em a thing or two (I haven’t had a Rouge burger yet, but some day!). So I just can’t figure out why one would ever wait in line for one of these guys. Gotta be for the shakes (we were a little sugar-overloaded from a previous dessert party, so we’ll have to visit the shakes again later) …
I guess all I can say is this:
When Federal Donuts moves into the area, we’ll forget all about Shake Shack.