Ok kids, now this is PERSONAL. I am from sunny Southern California. Aside from Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the OC, our beaches, babes, & stars- California is ALSO known for a very successful burger joint that is STILL family owned & operated which I um.....also happened to work at for a few years right after graduating from high school. For those who don't know what I'm talking about:
Ok ok OK! So this post is SUPPOSED to be about Shake Shack....and it WILL be...but not without comparing it to INNOUT.
BTW, if you haven't already read this- there was a review done as recent as May 18, 2011 comparing Innout, Five Guys, & Shake Shack's burgers. You can view the article HERE.
When I moved to Kuwait I had no idea of how much awesome food there was out here. I also had no clue as to how many AMERICAN restaurants, fast food joints, donut stores, ice cream shops, frozen yogurt shops, & retail stores there were either.
With that said, I was warned that eating steak or burgers at most places would be disappointing since most of the beef comes from New Zealand & it isn't as good as "USDA" grade.
I think my first burger was at The Hard Rock Cafe in Kuwait. Now, when I arrived to Kuwait I didn't want to eat ANY American food. In fact, I was so eager to start eating Arabic food that I was really disturbed when I walked into the food court of one of the busiest Malls in Kuwait only to see.....McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Sbarros, Nathan's, Great Steak, KFC, Burger King, Popeyes, Subway, and I think an Indian restaurant. Anyway, I'm sorry to say that the food at the Hard Rock Cafe in Kuwait was over priced & not good AT ALL. I only went just for bragging rights. But I would never go there again nor would I recommend it.
Johnny Rockets is all over California- don't know where else in the states. When I ate there, I was in HEAVEN. The burgers were SO delicious, HOT, fresh. The music was poppin' & I was swaying while singing along to oldies but goodies. The chocolate shake was AWESOME, & their Iced Tea was.....American....which was the only thing on the menu that I think should be removed or MAKE THE ICED TEA LIKE EVERY OTHER RESTAURANT IN KUWAIT- LEMONY, FRESH, & SWEET!
After reading the article comparing the 3 burger joints, I soon discovered that 5 Guys opened up in California while I have been here in Kuwait & also read about Shake Shack for the first time. So when Shake Shack was opening up, you KNOW I had to try it & hate ;-)
That's what Shake Shack looks like at the Avenues Mall during opening week. Perhaps you can't tell but there was a line. I waited until later that night to eat & the line only got BIGGER.
The ambience was- aside from hectic- very cool because of the pop music they were playing through loudspeakers. They have a choice of burgers, hot dogs, Frozen custard, shakes, & beverages. I thought that frozen custard was exactly that- some type of pudding dessert that was altered to a yummier state while being frozen. It was then that my East Coast boyfriend informed me that it's just another term (though he says it's "smoother" in texture) for ice cream. It was still good but didn't get what I expected.
The chocolate shake I had was good.....but Johnny Rocket's is better....for my tastebuds at least.
Unless you specifically order the Shackburger- ALL other burgers come plain & you must specify if you want any lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onion, etc on your burgers. I was displeased with that AT FIRST- but- having past experience in this industry, it makes ordering far less complicated:
"Yeah I'll take a Double cheeseburger with no mayo, no onion, no pickles extra tomatoes..." Instead of writing on the receipt that goes to the cook what you DO AND DO NOT want (to confuse a guy in a hurry), just write down what you DO what & call it a day. So I think that is GENIUS.
The burgers were smaller than I expected but the meat was VERY good. Salty. I think that's why. To be honest the meat tasted nearly identical to that of Johnny Rockets. The lettuce was green- but the bun was a bit shriveled up & flattened a bit- not as toasty like INNOUT does it. The picture below was my boyfriend's Double Shackburger- notice how the wrapper sucks in the burger? The burgers are small...
And of course they have crinkled cut french fries which were pretty yummy- very crispy but not over done. Overall, I would certainly go back for more Shake Shack especially since their quality of meat (such as not using beef that has hormones). But I still think INNOUT is better. And in a matter of weeks, I'll be sinking my teeth into a Double-Double.