Once in awhile the Taste Critics crew will get a new blip on the radar that takes them out of the Fort Lauderdale area. This is one of those reviews. While doing a random Google search for “Best burger in south Florida” I came across a blog that showcased a few top notch burger places (Five Guys, In-n-Out burger) and this place called the Shake Shack in Miami. I was reluctant to say the least because I had never heard the Shake Shack and it seemed like a subliminal advertising article. No need to twist my arm though, I’d gladly travel a few extra miles to try and find the best burger. So off to Miami we go on a Saturday evening…
After doing some research I learned that Shake Shack is based out of New York and they have a handful of locations in the north east United States. Their entry to Florida is in a sole location (as of June 2011) in Miami’s luxurious shopping district in South Beach on Lincoln Road. Getting here was a little work with challenging parking, but once you find a spot, the rest of your time can be relaxing and enjoyed.
|Shake Shack Restaurant|
|Location (map):||South Beach|
The Shake Shack has a good sized restaurant that has a large open-air feel to it. The style is very unique and trendy. The spacious indoor area is complimented with about 8 tables outside if you want to dine out and enjoy the view (people watching is quite enjoyable here). Outdoor tables are over sized and are under shade.
There was a fair amount of people coming to eat when we got there (around 7:30 pm), but they were quick to process orders and get the food out. One last note is the menu had a diverse offering of beer and wine for those looking for a little something extra to go with their meals.
Todd Reviews the Double ShackBurger and fries
Browsing the menu, the choice seemed to be clear which one to try. The Double ShackBurger (with ShackSauce no less!). I got my usual condiments… onions and lettuce. Ketchup is added later from a condiment bar, where I didn’t see mustard. Hmm.
Waiting a few minutes for my beeper to go off you look around and notice everyone seems to be having a great time with an upbeat atmosphere. Alas, the beeper beeps…
The ShakeBurger is an impressive size. It’s a tad larger than the Five Guys double with most of the extra size in the beef patties which makes for a very filling meal. Other than that it’s pretty much on par with a Five Guys burger (in regards to size).
I take my first big bite and wait for the taste explosion… it’s definitely good. The patties are cooked medium well with a hint of pink, which is perfect for me, and to be honest I am surprised to see a ‘fast food’ place offer anything other than well done. All in all it’s a very solid entry.
Comparing it to the best burgers I know which are currently offered by J Marks and Five Guys… it doesn’t quite stack up to that level of perfection. It is very good mind you, but the most minor flaws prevent it from being a “Best Burger in South Florida”. The patty size; being larger doesn’t always mean better. The large patties make for a disproportionate amount of meat, taking away (slightly) from the overall experience. This is a minor nitpick. Another flaw is the ShackSauce. When isolated and tasted on its own, it is actually sort of dull and lackluster. It seems to be missing a little something. It’s got no zing, it’s not salty and just seems ‘okay’. The bun on the burger is well enough and makes for a good burger, but I am forever spoiled by J Marks and the extra effort they put in their buns (grilled with a dab of butter like a grilled cheese).
The Double ShackBurger is a winner, but if I have to nitpick a few things to give you the real deal, then I think I did a fair job describing them to you. I would definitely go back and get another one, especially if I was in the South Beach area again, but I would probably skip the ShackSauce and perhaps try the single patty version to keep the ratio of condiments in good order. The fries were average and nothing to write home about, so I won’t waste much time talking about them.
Todd’s score: 88/100
Pros: A very-good burger that beats just about all but the best
Cons: ShackSauce was nothing special, double patties made for excessive meat, bun was good but not perfect.