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reg­u­lar fries ($2.25, 440 calo­ries) and choco­late shake ($3.69, 820 calo­ries). My char- served with let­tuce, toma­toes, pick­les and may­on­naise on a lightly sesame-seeded bun, was a dis­ap­point­ment, with a fla­vor that tasted odd and slightly of chem­i­cals in­stead of charred. It wasn’t juicy, and it wasn’t good. I didn’t fin­ish it. were in­dus­trial cut to medium thick­ness and un­re­mark­able, al­though crispy.

ex­cel­lent, with cus­tard ex­truded from a ma­chine mixed with milk and syrup and then blended in a Hamil­ton Beach mixer.

Food: burger, The fries The shake was

Dis­ap­point­ing that a place that looked so good was so un­der­whelm­ing in the fla­vor depart­ment. It does not hold a can­dle to that other Cal­i­for­nia burger leg­end, In-N-Out, which so far has not branched east of Texas.

My take­away: Rat­ing: cheese-

1 1⁄ pat­ties.

Shake Shack Back­ground:

Launched in 2004 as a sin­gle stand at New York’s Madi­son Square Park by ac­claimed restau­ra­teur Danny Meyer, Shake Shack has grown to al­most 200 lo­ca­tions world­wide, in­clud­ing six in South Florida. It of­fers An­gus beef, ap­ple­woodsmoked ba­con, or­ganic chicken, crin­kle-cut fries and cus­tards, con­cretes and shakes. Gluten-free buns are avail­able be­sides the stan­dard Martin’s po­tato rolls

I’ve been to many Shake Shacks in South Florida and be­yond, but my lat­est visit came dur­ing this past week­end’s soft open­ing at the new Fort Laud­erdale lo­ca­tion. An ea­ger, smil­ing and large work crew was on hand, and there was no line when I walked in at 4:30 p.m. The eatery was bright and at­trac­tive, with wooden ta­bles and seats, large win­dows over­look­ing Fed­eral High­way and many televi-

My visit:

sions scat­tered around the din­ing room. The lone draw­back: a split or­der (part eat-in, part take­away) re­quired two buzzers, which made things clunky. Both went off si­mul­ta­ne­ously af­ter five min­utes.

$14.70, tax in­cluded, for cheese­burger ($5.59, 530 calo­ries), fries ($2.99, 470 calo­ries) and black-and-white shake ($5.29, 770 calo­ries). The stan­dard

cheese­burger comes with two pat­ties, but I or­dered a sin­gle, with melted Amer­i­can cheese, Bibb let­tuce, Roma toma­toes and spe­cial sauce (red, creamy may­on­naise). It was smashed to a good crust but still juicy. The soft, pil­lowy po­tato roll soaked up juices and fla­vors. were fine, very light and crispy from the new fry­ers but the in­te­ri­ors were airy to the point of noth­ing­ness. There was hardly any po­tato in­side. The black-and­white shake was tremen­dous, a per­fect, creamy

Cost: Food: Shack­Burger The crin­kle-cut fries

balance of vanilla and choco­late and not too sweet.

A de­li­cious, pleas­ant and sat­is­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, but I won­der how it will do once the hangry mobs start swarm­ing.

3

My take­away: Rat­ing:

pat­ties.

Con­clu­sion

In my dream world, I’d take a Burg­erFi burger with Five Guys’ fries and a Shake Shack shake, from a restau­rant with Shake Shack’s ef­fi­ciency and Habit Burger Grill’s at­mos­phere. In the real world, I’d have a hard time de­cid­ing be­tween Burg­erFi and Shake Shack. Both are win­ners, but best en­joyed in mod­er­a­tion. New ar­ter­ies do not grow on trees. .

MICHAEL MAYO / SOUTH­FLORIDA.COM

Shake Shack held a grand open­ing Mon­day for its first Fort Laud­erdale lo­ca­tion, at 2400 N. Fed­eral High­way.

JOE CAVARETTA / SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SEN­TINEL

A por­to­bello mush­room burger with onion rings at Habit Burger Grill.

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