One Sunday lunch, I was unexpectedly ditched by my dining companion. Freed from dietary constraints (they like to avoid the fried stuff), I rejoiced at my chance to seek my heart’s delight. I thought about indulgencing in my guilty pleasure, fried chicken, but then thought that recently I have had a bit too much of that. I could go for ramen but my last experience of that was not great. Then I thought that I would seek out a burger, at least those memories were not yet polluted.
I also thought about reliving my youth where a trip to McDonalds was the week’s highlight. When I was a kid, for a reward for sitting stoically while having a haircut (I would often fall asleep and be cuffed by the hairdresser), I would get to have a McDonald’s happy meal. Life was simple and good in my young and stupid days then. Now I’m just not the young bit.
The view from my table. Let me explain how you get your food. You order your food, you are given a buzzer, wait outside the kitchen for them to give you your food, take your fppd tray and try and find a seat by yourself. Once you are done, you clear your tray and bring it to the racks.
It is definitely a fast food experience. Just not at fast food prices.
SmokeShack burger, cheese burger, with applewood-smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, ShackSauce. The bacon was rather nice. Crispy and flavourful. The patty was generic meat, I wouldn’t be surprised if some horse managed to find its way into that. Let’s not talk about the cheese. The bun was extremely weird. It tasted like brioche, as it was sweet and yellow inside. It most certainly did not gel together with the rest of the burger as its sweetness overpowered the umami of the bacon and beef.
Cheese fries, crispy, crunchy, salty potato-y goodness topped with our special blend of cheddar and American cheese sauce. The fries were nothing special. They were brought low by the cheese sauce. I have multiple issues with the cheese, first the consistency of being slimy and clingy. Second, the taste as not being of cheese but instead some weird chemical product that comes out of America. Third, its rather full price. You paid more than 50% for the version with the cheese piped on top.
Although I guess there are some good points about this eatery as at least when you eat, it is not to the overwhelming smell of frying oil. Then again, that’s probably because at this branch, you are forced to sit outside. For this privilege though, to state in the syntax that ShakeShack likes to use, it is more expensive-y. I found that the type of language on their menu is cringeworth-y. Although, looking for the silver lining, Shake Shack proved that I’m not young. Perhaps a kinder way of finding this out than hitting the disco dance floor. As for the other adjective that I used in my McDonald’s loving days, I’m not so sure that I’ve outgrown my stupid-y – what made me think that going here would be a good meal?
A quiet eating 4/10.
Lunch (burger and fries) was GBP15 excluding drinks and service.
24 Market Building, The Piazza
London WC2E 8RD