Shake Shack

February 13th, 2016 by Benjamin Billings

There was much excitement when Las Vegas got its first Shake Shack.  It’s second location in Summerlin was met with nearly as much anticipation. Was it worth the wait and hype? Let’s check it out.

Shack ShackThe first thing I noticed about Shake Shack was the gleaming clean restaurant, and the way the smiling employees hustled. When it was my turn, I was treated like I was the only customer in the shop. Sometimes this customer-centric approach backfires because of long lines, but having multiple people at the registers kept the line moving at a brisk pace. On finding out that this was my first visit to their location, the hostess made friendly suggestions and answered my questions. Through it all her smile and enthusiasm never waned. I selected the double SmokeShack (Cheeseburger with all-natural smoked Niman Ranch bacon, chopped cherry pepper, ShackSauce), French fries (they only offer one size) and a large cranberry ginger lemonade.

I was invited to sit and wait for my food to be prepared. The dining room has large televisions throughout, though thankfully the volume on all was muted. I had no sooner sat down than an employee came by to see if he could bring my order to me when it was ready. I happily agreed.

All the great service in the world cannot make up for a terrible product. Happily there are no worries there. The beef tasted like, well, beef. The only down note of a great visit is that the burgers are not cooked to order and when burgers are cooked medium well they always loose some juiciness. The potato bun was perfect.  It was sufficient but not over powering and was soft and not crumbly. I had some concerns about the cherry peppers, it is easy to overpower a meal with too much heat, but here they added a dash of flavor but they let the beef be the star of the show. This burger comes with ShackSauce. I am really not sure what it is, but it would be a mistake to think it is like McDonalds secret sauce, despite the similar color. I believe it is a mayonnaise based concoction, but aside from that I cannot guess what it might be made of. It does not matter; it is good and supports the smoky bacon, gooey cheese, savory beef and spicy cherry peppers by providing a flavor note in a slightly sweet direction. All said; it was absolutely delicious.

This review would not be complete if I did not mention the French Fries. They are crinkle cut and cooked to that perfectly fine line, with a crunchy exterior and a soft interior. They were simply divine. As good as they were, they were nearly over shadowed by the cranberry ginger lemonade. This is a seasonal beverage and may not be available when you go, but if you can get it make sure you do. It did what Shack Shake did consistently through my meal, they took ordinary flavors and made them extraordinary by using good ingredients mixed at the perfect proportions. The lemonade managed to be not too sweet, not too sour and used the ginger and cranberry to support a great base.

As the meal progressed I was surprised that the same employee that brought the food to our table got drink refills and brought extra napkins unsolicited. The food was great, with the only suggestion for improvement being to custom cook the burgers. Over all this was a great experience and I am looking forward to going back.


Overall Score: 83


Burger Cost: $9.64

Meal Cost: $16.18

Burger Adjusted Score: 8.6

Meal Adjusted Score: 5.1

Additional Notes (the following notes were not considered in my review but might be useful for someone planning a trip here):

Shake Shack has vegetarian options.  A dining companion ordered the ShroomBurger and said it was quite good.

Shake Shack has a beer and wine menu.

This Shake Shack has abundant parking and a menu for dogs, along with plenty of outdoor seating if you want to share a meal with your canine best friend.

Shake Shack is widely noted for paying above the prevailing wage to attract top talent (certainly evident on my visit) and for their community involvement.

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