Shake Shack’s first Arizona location opened this weekend at Scottsfsle Fashion Square. We stopped by early Saturday morning to check it out.
After starting as a food cart in NYC the Shack empire has now expanded to 13 states and over 30 international locations, the company is continuing its rapid expansion with plans to open two more Phoenix-area restaurant later this year and a location in St. Louis next year. Where I once had to board a plane across the country to have a bite of their infamous burger, now I can just drive down the street and from the looks of it, soon you may have that option too.
After all this, does it live up to the hype? In short, yes.
The most common comparison a West Coaster will make is to In N Out, where one or the other will likely be “garbage” compared to the other. This is a result of using In N Out as our consolation prize for all the years that we didn’t have Shake Shack, and it is a misstep. In N Out is delicious and for about $5 I can get a whole meal and the ingredients are fresh and top-quality. It is by far the best fast food burger you can get, and that is where the issue is. While both signature burgers include an all beef patty, cheese, veggies and a “special sauce”, that’s about where the similarities end.
Although you order at a register and you will receive your food fairly quickly, Shake Shack is not fast food. You won’t find any drive thrus at Shake Shack or a countdown clock to remind the staff that they’re in a rush. Instead, after ordering, you’re handed a buzzer and you find your table and wait patiently for it to go off so you can enjoy your meal
In addition to delicious hormone- and antibiotic-free Angus burgers, they also serve fries, shakes concretes, and the newest addition to the Shake Shack family, the Chicken Shack. Hand-breaded and perfectly-fried chicken breast with herby buttermilk mayo, pickles and lettuce served in a toasty bun. It’s quite possibly the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had.
Arizona has two signature concretes, which are rich custards swirled with mixing – like the custard version of a DQ Blizzard. There’s the Dust Devil with vanilla custard swirled with peanut butter sauce, marshmallow sauce and shortbread cookie, then dusted with malt power and the CamelShack with vanilla custard, salted caramel sauce and a slice of The Bakery PHX’s banana cream pie. My only complaint is with our small concrete, which although the flavor was spot-on, I couldn’t help feeling jipped when it was served with a huge hole left from the mixer.
This place is definitely worth stopping by, you’ll find it in the very location where Fox’s Modern Burger lived and died, but I don’t see this place dying anytime soon.
Their next location should open at Uprown Plaza within a couple months, and later in the year their third Arizona location will open at Kierland Commons in North Scottsdale.
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