Shake Shack in Covent Garden
Shake Shack, the roadside burger joint established in New York that has quickly become one of America’s most beloved fast-food establishments, celebrated its very first UK launch in its flagship store under the glass atrium in Covent Garden’s Market Building.
A massive team of eager and friendly staff navigated groups of journalists, photographers and celebrities with trays filled with Shake Shack’s famous burgers, fries, milkshakes, dogs, ice cream, wine, beer and ShackMeister Ales. Couple this with the brilliant rock band (The Crookes) and the fact that it was Independence Day, and Covent Garden never looked, felt and smelled so American.
First off the bat was the classic Shack Burger which, as promised, was superb. The high quality Angus beef sandwiched between ridiculously soft and sweet bread worked perfectly with typically plastic-tasting American cheese normally scorned by enthusiasts of the more traditional “gourmet” burgers that have saturated London’s burger scene in recent years. But this is precisely Shake Shack’s aim: to rival the more pretentious burger joints with honest, informal and relaxed fast food.
Other than the Cheese Fries, which were a little sickly, everything on offer was top-class. The milkshakes (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate) looked and tasted like something you would expect from a 1950s drive-through cinema, the coffee and doughnut ice-cream was even better than it sounds, and the strawberry-flavoured Shack-made Lemonade was one of the best non-alcoholic drinks on any menu in central London, perfect under the summer sun. The standout item was easily the SmokeShack, a bacon burger with cherry peppers and special ShackSauce. It is with this burger the Shack hopes to win over punters from rival burger connoisseurs, Five Guys, America’s fastest growing restaurant chain, which coincidentally also celebrated its grand opening on the same night less than 300 yards away.
Overall, the Shake Shack looks set to make a massive impact on the London burger scene and become a necessary sojourn for tourists and locals alike. It offers wholehearted, honest and very American fast-food at quite competitive prices. Equally as impressive is the location, with interior tabletops sourced from reclaimed bowling alley lanes and outdoor seating flanking the columns of the South Row; it is hard to find a more suitable place to enjoy the summer weather. Dog owners should also note that the Shack has a ”Woof” section offering Pooch-ini dog treats made with vanilla frozen custard, peanut butter and red velvet sponge. Yes folks, the Americans truly are here to stay.
Shake Shack: 48/60
For further information about The Shake Shack, 24 Market Building, The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RD, visit here.