An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Jun 6, 2014
01:30 PMThe Connecticut Table
Shake Shack Celebrates 10th Anniversary with All-Star Burger Lineup
Attention burger lovers: we’ve got some good news and some bad news.
The good news is next week (June 9 to 13) the beloved burger institution Shake Shack will mark its 10 year anniversary with an epic “Decade of Shack” celebration that will feature five special edition burgers designed in collaboration with top celebrity chefs, including Andrew Zimmern, host of "Bizarre Foods America (pictured below).
The bad news: these mouthwatering meat and bun creations will only be available at the original Shake Shack in New York City’s Madison Square Park, and therefore Connecticut meat lovers won’t be able to sample them at Shake Shack locations in New Haven and Westport.
(At right: Zimmern's burger creation)
See our related story: Best Burgers in Connecticut, in Honor of National Burger Month (May)
“Since we're celebrating our 10th anniversary it makes sense to only offer these at the original Shack," explains Greg Waters, Shake Shack’s senior manager, marketing and communications. It's a special, limited time offering. It's one week only with a different burger available each day. Only 1,000 burgers will be available per day.”
The press material for the event states:
“Curated by Shake Shack’s Culinary Director Mark Rosati, the line-up of world-class chefs includes Daniel Boulud (Chef/Owner, DANIEL, Café Boulud, db bistro, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, DBGB, and more), David Chang (Chef/Owner, Momofuku), Andrew Zimmern (Chef/Co-Owner, Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, and Host of Bizarre Foods America on Travel Channel), Daniel Humm (Chef/Owner, Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad), and April Bloomfield (Chef/Co-Owner, The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, The John Dory Oyster Bar, Salvation Taco, and Tosca Cafe).”
(Above Left: Chang's Momofuku Burger)
Though Connecticut won’t be directly part of the 10th anniversary party, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate—after all there’s still a lot of Shake Shack burger goodness to enjoy in our state. In honor of Shake Shack’s 10 year anniversary and because (as I said when writing about Bobby's Burger Palace) any reason to eat a burger is a good one, I visited Shake Shack in New Haven (pictured below) last week.
(At Left: The Breslin Burger)
The menu clearly states that the burgers at Shake Shack are made using a proprietary Shack blend that utilizes 100 percent all-natural Angus beef with “no hormones and no antibiotics ever.” The result is a burger patty of exquisite flavor. The ShackBurger, the restaurant’s signature offering, is a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce (a wonderful condiment that tastes somewhat like ketchup and mayonnaise combined, only a whole lot better). When it comes to simple culinary pleasures it’s hard to beat this classic cheeseburger. Other standouts include hand-cut fries, which have the skin left on and are twice-cooked (which helps give the fries a crisp exterior and soft interior); creamy frozen custard that is made daily at each Shack location and uses only real sugar (no corn syrup here); and a variety of not-to-be-missed shakes that give the place its name.
In addition to these standard items, the menu at each Shake Shack location has a unique section inspired by local flavors. New Haven-specific menu items include Elm City Coffee Break (vanilla custard, coffee cake marshmallow sauce, and scratch baking pecan shortbread), and Skull and Cones (named for Yale’s secret society, Skull and Bones, and featuring chocolate and vanilla custard, shattered sugar cone, peanut butter sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough).
Guests who are over 21 can also sample ShackMeister Ale, a pale ale brewed by Brooklyn Brewery exclusively for Shake Shack and designed to compliment the flavors of the ShackBurger. And for the chain’s 10th anniversary, Brooklyn Brewery and Shake Shack have teamed up for a new beer, SHACK X IPA, which will be offered on tap at all Shake Shack locations until September.
(At left: Humm's burger)
The first Shake Shack opened in 2004 in Madison Square Park. People quickly became hooked on the Shack’s creations. Burger pilgrims would come from far and wide and happily wait on long lines outside the humble Shake Shack structure—it is quite literally little more than a shack. I was able to try the original Shake Shack only once, while it was raining—there was still a line but it was just shorter then normal. The owners soon realized they were onto something and began expanding the burger and shake joint. There are currently 46 locations worldwide.
Connecticut burger lovers who feel like venturing to New York City may want to mark down June 12 on their calendars. This is the date of Shake Shack’s actual 10th Birthday and to mark the occasion, the Madison Square Park location will host the Decade of Shack-Fest, an all day celebration (rain or shine) featuring live music from Catey Shaw, The Tall Pines, Cheerleader, Ski Lodge, and Miniature Tigers.