OK, OK. One ShackBurger, some Cheese Fries, and a "Shark Attack" Concrete, please.
Fortunately, when I got there around 7pm the line was only - well, one person deep. Like I said, everyone's already been there. But the tables all around were mostly full, and there was a steady flow of customers. I got my order after about 10 minutes, which I spent watching 15 or so people mill busily about the open kitchen.
All of Shake Shack's burgers are made with hormone- and antibiotic-free Angus beef. I'd be curious to know whether the Miami branch is getting its beef from NY butcher legend Pat LaFrieda like the NY ones do; doubt it. The "ShackBurger" ($4.75 for a single) features a modestly sized 4-oz. patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and "ShackSauce." If you don't opt for the "ShackBurger," the burger will come entirely unadorned, or with your choice of lettuce, tomato, pickle or onion. For better or worse, there will be no "Stairway to Heaven" burgers topped with foie gras and truffles or "Rock Lobster" burgers with lobster, watercress and tarragon remoulade here.
How was it? After all the hype, frankly, it would have been a disappointment if this burger didn't do a triple axel with a back flip to arrive on my plate, while simultaneously giving me a handjob under the table, and taste like I was eating the very flesh of Kamadhenu, the divine Hindu cow that can grant all wishes.
So it did not quite meet expectations. It was a good burger: the beef was a nice flavorful grind with good texture, not too dense and not too fluffy, well-seasoned, and cooked - I was somewhat surprised to see - to a perfect medium, with still a hint of pink to the interior. The lettuce and tomato were perky and fresh. The American cheese was American cheese. The bun was an unmemorable but serviceable potato bun which perhaps had been kissed by the griddle in the same way that bartenders wave a bottle of vermouth over the glass to make a very dry martini. The ShackSauce, if it was in fact present, made no impression whatsoever. I enjoyed the burger and could not find any particular fault in it, but I can't tell you it made me see life in a new way.
The crinkle-cut fries in the Cheese Fries ($3.75) were delightfully crispy and I enjoyed them even before learning that they contain 25% less fat than average fries. The cheese sauce was a thoroughly unnecessary and regrettable addition.
Speaking of unnecessary and regrettable additions: here is the "Shark Attack" Concrete (a "concrete" being frozen custard blended with various "mix-ins," here featuring chocolate custard, peanut butter, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Valrhona chocolate pearls and chocolate sprinkles) ($6.75). This was a cold mess, if there could be such a thing. Perhaps I should have anticipated as much upon ordering something with that list of ingredients, but this was just intensely over-sweet, sticky and sloppy. I'm certainly not above a guilty pleasure, but this wasn't pleasurable, just cloying. Next time I will stick with the "ShackMeister Ale," supplied by Brooklyn Brewery.
So: A better than average burger. Good fries. The "Shark Attack" Concrete is not for me. Overall, a good value. I'll certainly go back, if I'm on Lincoln Road and craving a burger. But I can't imagine waiting in line an hour for one.
1111 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
[*]Soft opening actually started last week.