Shake Shack Las Vegas just opened at New York-New York and the burgers are pretty much what you’d expect. The design and layout of the restaurant are very cool and I’ll get to that another day.
I just want to focus on the food today. Specifically the famous ShackBurger.
The buzz on Shake Shack opening in Vegas was heard all around the country. People that have visited Shake Shack in other parts of the country compare the burgers to In and Out Burger. A fair comparison as they’re both fast food burgers and use fresh high quality ingredients.
The Vegas Shake Shack Las Vegas location offers a much larger menu than a In and Out Burger or normal fast food or quick serve restaurant. So it’s important just to focus on the burgers (and shakes, the restaurant is called Shake Shack). Okay, on to the food.
Nothing fancy here. I wanted my first meal to cover the basics so I ordered a ShackBurger, fries and their Shack-Made lemonade to drink. Before discussing the ShackBurger I need to talk about the star of my meal – them fries.
The crinkle cut fries are thicker AND crispier than any fast food fries I’ve had before. After a little googling and I found out that these fries were brought back late last year because of customer demand. I also learned that each batch is double fried and that helps with the crispness. Here’s a close up of the light, crispy french fries. I’m not much of a fry guy but they were gone before the burger. That never happens.
Believe it or not, there is a burger hiding under the lettuce in the photo above. Here’s a better picture of the ShackBurger.
The burger is small and almost got lost, literally and figuratively, behind the lettuce, bun and Shack Sauce. My first thought about the burger while I was eating it was that it was just okay. My feelings changed slightly a day later.
The bun was soft and buttery. If you’re not a meat eater (Gasp!) you should order the off-the-menu grilled cheese just to have the bun. It was that good. The lettuce provided a nice barrier between the somewhat overpowering Shack Sauce and the nicely seasoned beef.
The burgers have a stronger season than just salt and pepper you’ll get at other fast food burger restaurants. I was impressed as it helped bring out the flavor of the small patty of meat. Shack Sauce is similar other burger sauces but a bit more tangy and flavorful. Here’s the recipe if you’re curious.
Monday afternoon I thought the burger was okay but not great. Monday night I thought the burger was good but not great. Tuesday afternoon I fought off a craving to drive back to Shake Shack all day for another burger. It was good and not great but the combination of ingredients was very memorable.
ShackBurger is not the average fast food burger.
It’s also not the Pizza Rock burger, which costs twice as much.
My first impression of Shake Shack was favorable but not life changing. The burger and fries were very good but I wouldn’t go out of my way for them. If I was in the Tropicana area of the Vegas Strip I would likely choose Shake Shack over the majority of restaurants. However, if I’m elsewhere on the Vegas Strip I wouldn’t make the trek just for a Shake Shack burger.
Here’s the cost of my meal:
- Cheeseburger (single) – $5.19
- Fries – $2.99
- Lemonade – $2.75
- Total – $11.77 (after tax)
The price of the meal puts it higher than In and Out Burger off the Vegas Strip. In fact, this Shake Shack meal is about twice as expensive. However, the price is in line with most other fast food or food court meals on the Vegas Strip (and the Brooklyn Shake Shack location). Having said that, you’re getting a quality of food that most fast food restaurants don’t offer.
I’m pretty sure that my friends would rather hop in a cab at 2am and head to the In and Out Burger drive thru instead of going to Shake Shack. I wouldn’t argue with that.
UPDATE: Shake Shack Opens at Downtown Summerlin
I went to the friends and family day the afternoon before the 2nd Vegas Shake Shack opened in Downtown Summerlin. The staff was slammed but in good spirits. I tried the Shack Burger (no peppers), cheese fries and the Desert Crunch-Stellation concrete.
Once again everything I ate was good but not life changing. Unlike my visit to Shake Shack at New York-New York this bill was comp’d. The retail price would have been $16 for the 3 items.