I'm feeling a lot better. I spent the past week recovering from a violent bout with food poisoning, and I am finally feeling like I can eat normal food again. Soup, saltines, and ginger ale have been my diet, and that's all I've been able to stomach. So daughter Melody told me she wanted to go to a new restaurant, one she had gone to while in New York City with friends last summer: Shake Shack.
Shake Shack is basically a chain of burger joints, and they just opened a location over at the Mall at Columbia, right across from the movie theaters. So we headed over to give it a try.
First of all, the place is hopping. It's still relatively new, so there was a huge crowd inside even though we arrived at around 5 pm hoping to beat the dinner crowd. Second, it isn't really a sit-down restaurant, like I expected. You place your order at the counter first, find a table, and wait for your name to be called when your food is ready.
Shake Shack does not have a varied menu. It's pretty much all burgers. After the week I had, I wasn't sure about whether I should take the chance of eating something like a hamburger, but given that there isn't much else, that's what I got. But before I ordered, I wanted to make sure I looked over the entire menu. The lady at the counter taking our order didn't seem to have a lot of patience for me, and kept asking me what I wanted. I finally settled on something I wasn't sure I wanted, but I went with it. At least Melody knew what she wanted, and was able to fill the idle time. I should add that Shake Shack also specializes in shakes, and Melody ordered one. I got a double burger, but I wanted to add a side of their secret sauce, since that's what makes the place unique. No problem, she said.
We paid, she gave me a pager, asked for my name, and then we looked for a table. I'm disappointed that, when they designed the restaurant, they really didn't take into account its popularity. They needed a heck of a lot more tables. There were a lot of people just kind of hovering around waiting to pounce on a table as soon as patrons vacated one. That made it virtually impossible to find a place to sit. Melody and I decided to just hang out near the counter and wait for our food, then just leave. It was not nice enough to eat outside, so we determined that it would be easier to cross the parking lot and head for the food court inside the mall and eat there.
Our pager went off before our food was ready, so while it flashed and vibrated in my hand, we continued to wait until they brought our food from the kitchen to the counter, when they yelled for "Eric!" I grabbed our bag of food, we got a bunch of napkins, a couple of straws, and bailed. We hustled over to the food court and easily found seats. That's when I discovered that, while we had all of our food, they neglected to give me my side of secret special sauce. Obviously, we weren't going to walk all the way back to the restaurant to get it, so I stewed a bit. I was really disappointed. I also have to add that the burgers were the really greasy kind, a lot like what you might get at Five Guys. They were good, but VERY greasy, and probably not something I should be eating. Melody was happy, though, and particularly enjoyed her shake.
All in all, I wasn't impressed with Shake Shack. I'm not a big fan of Five Guys, and other burger joints like it, so it's just not my thing. If I want a good burger, I'd rather use my George Foreman grill and make it with leaner ground beef, but that's me. If you like basic sloppy burgers, though, then maybe you'll like Shake Shack. I can't vouch for the secret special sauce, though, since they didn't give me any. I also recommend going at a time when no one else is eating, since you likely won't find a table. Sigh. I miss Uno's.
Have a great evening, everyone!