Covent Garden Market
Tel: 01923 555129
Shake Shack is one of those ‘rock up and order a burger and they do it for you’ places. Except that it’s a bit more than that. Sure, they do make their burgers to order but there is care and consideration at work here. And they are pet friendly to boot!
I met my dining chum J to check out Shake Shack (she hadn’t been and had been meaning to try it out – perfect). She had had a very busy day meeting royalty no less and had clearly worked up an appetite. The first thing you notice in Shake Shack is how much space they have. Situated in the old Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market it seems to go on forever and around a few corners as well.
We sat ‘indoors’ in the only part of Shake Shack that has glass walls and a contained roof, the rest of the place in the ‘open’ within the market. Just as well, it was a chilly night and neither of us fancied eating in the cold.
The form here is to go to the ordering bar, make your request and then they either bring it to you or they give you one of those electronic gadgets that flashes when yours is ready – simple. The staff are very helpful, Tacia explained everything to us and even offered her advice on popular dishes and her favourites.
I discovered that J is a cheese lover but not if it’s cooked, so her order of a ShackBurger became a standard burger with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce and no cheese. I have a positive love of cooked cheese and went without hesitation for a SmokeShack, a cheeseburger topped with Wiltshire smoked bacon, cherry peppers and ShackSauce.
Naturally they have fries which are crinkle cut (very pleasing to look at) which give you more surface area so are a bit crispier than regular fries. These are also available with melted cheese. No guessing which ones I ordered and which ones J ordered. Both were very good.
As well as burgers they sell ‘Flat Top Dogs’ having the appearance of a traditional hot dog they are actually sausages in a long bun. My ShackMeister Sausage came with crispy ale marinated onions and cheese sauce (No, J didn’t try it) it was fab, a real viable alternative to a burger that hit the spot.
As well as all the savory food there is a selection of desserts that fall into the really sweet category. J, an ‘open’ chocoholic went straight for frozen custard chocolate ice cream in a cone. Great choc hit with this, you couldn’t eat more than one, as it was very rich. I went for Tacia’s recommendation of Sticky Toffee, which turned out to be a vanilla custard ice cream with chocolate toffee, chocolate chunks, a salted caramel sauce and malt powder. Sugar rush is only the beginning of the story. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the cold temperature a variety of tastes fight for pole position and then set off for a grand prix of a taste bud assaults. Not for the faint hearted this is a whopper of a dessert that could easily be shared.
Shake Shack is the perfect pick me up with quality Angus beef burgers that aren’t faddy or adorned with superfluous ingredients. This is a pit stop of an eatery where the young and old come to refuel and recharge their batteries. When you add beer or wine it might take a little longer but sometimes that’s no bad thing.
J thought it certainly did what it said on the tin, which can be quite nice when it comes to a burger. And if you come along with a friend, a four-legged friend of the canine variety then there are a couple of options for them as well. The one that made me smile was: Bag O’ Bones, a doggy bag with five red velvet dog biscuits by Bocce’s Bakery. I wonder if the Queen is partial to a burger? (I must ask J if she knows) Even if her Majesty doesn’t I’m sure the royal corgis would like to pop in for a doggy bag.