I don’t know guys, am I missing something? I’ve spent years hearing about how amazing Shake Shack is from all of my New York friends so of course I was excited to try out our new outpost in Dupont Circle. I will admit that the expectations were high, but I just found myself thinking “it’s good, but nothing special”. Here’s my take on how my experience went down:
I made a big mistake today… I checked the nutritional information on the Shake Shack web site just to see how badly I was going to set myself back after working out and eating well almost every day this week. Well, the calorie counts were a little scary. So I decided beforehand that I would go with a single cheeseburger, skip the shake (which is double the calories of the burgers in most cases), and share the fries with my friend Jen. The line was just out the door when we arrived and the staff was friendly and helpful in passing out menus for us to peruse as we waited to order. The woman at the door even told us that our wait was about 15 minutes until we got to the counter which I thought was informative. The space is cute– it feels nicer than a fast food joint, and has a comfortable vibe that makes it easy to sit and enjoy your meal instead of taking it to go. The menu is simple and includes burgers, hotdogs, fries, shakes, and concretes (custard blends with toppings). Shake Shack scored major points with me when I found out that all of their burgers come plain… I despise mayonnaise and mustard and hate when burgers come with them slathered on the bun. This was a plus in my book.
We ordered our meal and received a buzzer which took no more than 10 minutes to go off so we could collect our tray. We took a seat at a booth in the back and dug in. I really enjoyed the cheeseburger, especially the smushy potato roll bun. It was satisfying and the single wasn’t too much to handle, but I wouldn’t say anything about it was out of this world. However, the fries were a huge letdown. I personally am not a fan of crinkle fries to begin with, but these just really tasted like they came from a freezer bag, and I didn’t even feel the need to finish them. I took a taste of my friend’s black and white shake which was tasty, but I wouldn’t venture to say it was any better than the shakes at Potbelly or other places around town.
Ultimately, meh. I wanted to love it, but I just didn’t think it was anything worth writing home about. If I’m going to indulge and break the calories bank for the day, I think I’d rather get the lobster mac and cheese at Founding Farmers, the pasta sampler and balsamic steak at Acqua Al 2, or the burger with manchego at Estadio. But it really doesn’t matter what I think because that line will continue to wrap around the block all summer long and Shake Shack will find a nice home for itself here in DC.
1216 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036