Burgers are juicy, served on a soft bun and ground daily from hormone-free, antibiotic-free Angus beef. Prices range from $3.55 for a single to $8.80 for a double Smoke Shack (with cheese, applewood smoked bacon, Niman ranch dressing, cherry peppers and Shack Sauce). Vegetarians can try the 'Shroom Burger ($6.55), a crunchy portobello with the consistency of falafel, that oozes molten cheese. The grilled, all-beef hot dogs that have a nice skin snap when you bite them ($3 to $4.40). Fries ($2.65, $3.65 with cheese) are crinkle-cut and crispy.
The sweet stuff: Shakes, cups, cones and concretes are made from the Shack's own custard mix in chocolate and vanilla, plus rotating special flavors. Shake Shack Philadelphia has 'em with soft pretzels, La Colombe coffee beans and Termini Brothers cannoli shells ($4.25-$6.50).
Summary: Shake Shack fits nicely in the middle of our burger renaissance — better than fast-food but without the heft, nuance and price of Village Whiskey and Rouge. The burgers aren't as thick as 500 Degrees', and there aren't as many variations as at Bobby's Burger Palace, but you can get a cheeseburger, fries and regular soda for just under $10 and be very satisfied. Add in a dessert and you will be very, very satisfied — and very, very, very full. n
Every other Thursday the Chain Gang reviews the latest chain restaurant dishes.