Friday, September 29, 2006

Here's the beef

Ah, summer love--so intense, so exciting, and yet, so fleeting. Perhaps that’s part of the thrill. But now that it’s autumn, I have to say good-bye to my summertime fling, the Shake Shack Double Shack Burger. I enjoyed those late-night rendezvous when it was just the Double Shack and me, no huge crowds of people also vying for its deliciousness. Yes, the long lines for Shake Shack are legion, but its popularity is well deserved: how can you not love thick and juicy well-seasoned meat, fresh green lettuce, bright flavorful tomatoes, oozing American cheese, all sandwiched between a perfectly proportioned potato bun. Shake Shack had me at first bite.

But as good as the Double Shack may be, I think the real reason I fell so hard was because it reminded me of a taste of home. There was something in the peppery meat and perfect balance that made me swoon. And even though the two are completely different feasts, something about the Double Shack reminded me of my first burger love—Whatburger.


I can’t get Whataburger in NYC, the company hasn’t expanded that far North. But for a fast-food burger, it somehow always tastes fresh and special. Perhaps because it’s made to order, on a grill with nary a microwave in sight. And they spice the meat at Whataburger, giving it a deliciousness not found in many other places.


I’ve enjoyed my summertime eating at the Shake Shack. For the cooler months, however, I’ve found a satisfying substitute—the Chelsea Gallery burger. It’s a diner burger, but rises above mediocrity with excellent beef cooked to order. They also provide fresh veggies and while the sesame bun isn’t perfect, it holds the whole sandwich together, no mean feat with a juicy, overstuffed burger.

Recently, many chefs have tried to outdo themselves with towering creations crafted from Wagyu or Kobe beef, stuffed with fois gras or bone marrow, but for me, just keep it simple: good beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato and bun. A burger doesn't need anything more.

Are you a Shake Shack fan? What's your dream burger?

Related Stories Widget by LinkWithin

13 comments:

anythingwithcheese said...

I loooove hamburgers from Dan's in Austin. So yummy, cheesey, delicious. If I have to opt for fast food, Sonic gets my vote. There's just something about their mayo...

Yvo said...

Wow, do you read A Hamburger Today? There's a debate going on about Shake Shack, sort of, and someone mentioned What-a-burger.

I like Shake Shack but I'm not a huge burger person, so I'm generally happy with a few things. Shake Shack is my favorite/most notable burger for now. :)

Backyard Chef said...

I think my favorite burger is...the hottest one that's close at hand. Hardy-har-har. Actually, I love the Shake Shack, but I had some pretty strong feelings about In-n-Out Burger...and Pj Clark's...Ok, I'm hungry...thanks alot!

vlb5757 said...

It's funny that you should mention Whataburger. Every time we go home there are "must" eat places as we travel from family to family. Number one on my list is Whataburger! It used to be number two but since Grandy's went out of business in our home town, it got bumped up to the number one spot. Other than a freshly cooked backyard burger, Whataburger is the best hamburger for me.

melissa mcgee said...

backyard burgers are by far the best - my mom's actually, with butter and bleu cheese right in the ground sirloin. she makes one hell of a chi-chi burger. her downhome burgers are just as good with nothing more than some fajaita seasoning on the meat. when i can't get a mom burger, whataburger is about the only burger i'll pay money for, and gladly so. i loves me some whataburger.

never been to shake shack - i didn't know there was a burger place with that name, actually! all i know of shake shack is in the closing, carnival sequence of the movie "grease". hehe! of course, you can't have a good burger without a good amount of grease...

Homesick Texan said...

Anything With Cheese--I don't think I've ever had a Sonic burger--I'll have to try it.

Yvo--I do read that blog, but I hadn't seen the Whatburger vs. Shake Shack debate--I'll have to check that out.

Backyard Chef--I've only been to PJ Clarke's once but remember it being quite tasty. Sorry I made you hungry!

Vib5757--How sad your hometown Grandy's went out of business. That's another place I like to hit when I go home. Chicken fried steak fast-food style...yum!

Melissa--Your mom's burger sounds divine! Anything with bleu cheese is a winner with me. And I'd forgotten about the Shake Shack in Grease--very appropriate indeed!

matt said...

Last April while driving to Arizona we found a Whataburger. I'm almost embarrassed to say we ate there 5 times in 3 days. But hey, we had to :)

Anonymous said...

Chris Madrid's in San Antonio. Mmmm.... the Tostada Burger. Refried beans, chips, cheese and a burger. What more could you ask for?

Andrea said...

OMG I just found your website and it is cracking me up because it is so true. Every time I go to New York I wonder why nobody has put a Whataburger in Times Square!!! I predict a Starbucks-like invasion

Anonymous said...

Looking to see how somone could franchise a Whataburger up here in New England. Having just returned from Gainsville, Fla and being introduced twice to Whataburger, I am sitting here thinking only of Whataburger and how great it was!!! Sad to say, up here in New Hampshire, we won't be getting one anytime soon. Next time I get to go down there I'll be stopping by a few times!

Homesick Texan said...

Matt--No need to be embarrassed, I'd do the exact same thing!

Anon--I've never been to Chris Madrid's, but will have to try it.

Andrea--I agree! Why hasn't one arrived here yet?

Anon--You're not alone, they should definitely come to NYC and New England.

HungryHoustonianInUpstateNY said...

I miss Fudruckers and their condiments bar. *sigh*

Molly said...

Just found your site recently. Love it! Despite being born in the Midwest, I have the tastes of a native Texan, and being a transplant to Washington D.C. has not been an improvement.

Best burger anywhere: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, all over the D.C. area. They have honed the concept of doing one thing and doing it really, really well. Handformed, cooked when ordered, topped with your choice of about 30different condiments...great stuff.

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated to avoid spam. And if you don't have a blog, please leave your name as it makes it friendlier that way!