Shake Shack

1216 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

My event driven work week is continuing and we had a ceremony on Capitol Hill today in the afternoon.  This was great on two counts.  We could go out to dinner afterwards (Boqueria post coming asap) and I could grab lunch in DC before the event.  I had been wanting to try out the Shake Shack downtown for quite a while now to see if they continues to produce great quality burgers as their empire grows beyond NYC.  It's also right around the corner from Boqueria so an easy place to park my car.

Shake Shack in DC is located right below Dupont Circle in an area that they call the Golden Triangle which seems like a really pervy name for neighborhood in DC.  Is that just me?  I think it may be.  Anyway, back in the days of my youth, I remember...ahem...frequenting a ton of these places in the area from the Lucky Bar to the Big Hunt.  I think my favorites used to be the 18th Street Lounge and Ozio.  I may or may not have been at Ozio one night when Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears showed up while they were still dating.  Yeah, that happened.  Let's move on.

I've now been to the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, the new on in Midtown West, the one in Nationals Park, and now the one in Golden Triangle (I mean I start to laugh hysterically when I write that.  Still just me?  Okay.).  It feels like they all have different personalities.  The original is your elevated hot dog stand, the one in Midtown is the slick contemporary food factory (a la Chipotle), the one in Nationals Park is your regular ballpark food vendor, and this one feels like the sports bar Shake Shack (with the TVs going and the wood paneling).  So, I'm going to go with O.G Shack, Slick Shack, Ballgame Shack and Sporty Shack.  Yeah, some of my formative years were when the Spice Girls were popular.

I ordered my usual order of a ShackBurger, a side of fries, a diet coke and ordered a black & white milkshake to go as I was heading out the door to get a cab.  The fries are my next favorite kind (besides big, thick steak fries) which are the crinkly type.  Remember when fast food chains were experimenting with different types of oils to make fries with lower fat content way back when and the taste of those fries changed forever and left us with kind of a plastic/metallic/artificial after taste?  Well, these are them.  These are light, fluffy and crunchy with great potato flavor and just enough to not over-stuff you.

The burger certainly is not lost in the translation when you go to all the different Shake Shacks.  The ShackBurger came out nice, hot and juicy with the right amount of sauce, lettuce and tomato.  I think what I like best about these burgers is that they're the perfect size.  In the world of over-stuffed fancy burgers that we live in, it's always nice to find a burger place that emphasizes a nice, clean, well-cooked burger that doesn't require half a cow to make.  It was also good because I could eat it quickly since I cut it really close to when I had to get to the event and it left me some room for a black & white milkshake.

It is called Shake Shack after all so it's almost a requirement to get a milkshake.  I can't say that they make the best milkshake in the world as that chocolate syrup was a little lost in all the vanilla and as we all know, its a black & white milkshake not a white & black milkshake.  The one thing I liked best is I didn't get a dry parched feeling in my mouth after I was done with the shake.  You know that feeling.  It was a particularly hot day so I was thankful for that.  It was still a good milkshake and I'll probably continue to order them and I'll just probably ask for more syrup in the future.

Shake Shack has done a good job of maintaining their quality as they branch out from New York City.  The burgers remain well done and the perfect size and the rest of the food keeps pace.  I saw that the DC version (and probably all the locations) has a new Smoked Shack burger which looks appetizing but its difficult not to order the original Shack Burger.  But, I'm glad they're adding more variety as they go along.  I do think the one huge advantage that Sporty Shack (see what I did there?) has over its NYC counterparts is that I didn't experience a line when I ordered my lunch.

Shack Burger


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