Have a Break and a Snack at DC’s New Shake Shack
Published: Monday, July 11, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 23:05
With barbeque season in full swing you can’t walk around on a given Saturday in Georgetown without picking up a whiff of something delicious grilling. No grill? No fear if you feel like taking a quick Metro jaunt up to Dupont Circle to try out what Manhattan-based chain Shake Shack has to offer.
About a five-minute walk from the metro stop on Connecticut Avenue, the Shack stands out with its vintage façade, and when you step inside and the saccharine cuteness continues. The fare is standard Americana-styled and Midwest themed with a range of hot dogs, burgers, sundaes, and of course, shakes. They also serve ‘concretes,’ consisting of custard blended with mix-ins and syrup with DC-inspired names like Presidential Sweet and Majority Whip.
The menu seemed to have something for everyone — with vegetarian and gluten-free options, and even a pooch appropriate sundae made with doggie biscuits and peanut butter.
One of Shake Shack’s signature dinner items is the Shack-cago Dog served with relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport peppers and celery salt. Since I’ve already had what seemed to be the perfect hot dog from Superdawg, a famous drive-through outside of Chicago, I opted for their ShackBurger instead. Smothered in an elusive secret sauce, the burger was undoubtedly tasty and at a manageable portion. But you pay for the trendiness — a single patty ShackBurger and small shake came to more than $10 with tax. Buns are an important part of any burger and Shake Shack uses soft, buttery potato buns. They may be a favorite for some, but they taste homey which doesn’t fit the designer burger price tag.
However, Shake Shack promotes some admirable business initiatives. According to the menu, their electric costs are offset by wind farm credits, all kitchen equipment are energy efficient, they compost all leftover material and they even offer fair-trade vanilla frozen custard. Also, they have some health consciousness with crinkle-cut fries that are 25 percent lower in fat than the average fry.
But if you partner your meal up with the signature Shake Shack thick shake you’ll make up for the small caloric loss. Their shakes are heavy thanks in part to their dense frozen custard. You’ll need a spoon to eat it or the quick walk back to the metro in the summer humidity to melt down the shake to a straw-appropriate consistency. You can also get cones or sundaes with the same custard, which include a wide range of tantalizing, unique combinations. July flavors include Sweet Corn, Salted Caramel and Sour Cherry Cinnamon.
While the burgers are maybe not as stellar as Five Guys or The Tombs, a trip up is definitely in order for all custard lovers and shake enthusiasts who want to get a culinary dessert treat from a socially responsible brand.