Though not as quaint as the Manhattan original, Shake Shack has arrived just in time to satisfy Washingtonians' cravings for summertime classics, even if it is not the best choice for getting into bathing suit shape. At first glance, the food looks like amped-up cafeteria fare, but do not be fooled, these snack stand indulgences -- from shakes to burgers to dogs to fries -- are the real deal. Accouterments, such as garden fresh veggies and flavorful potato buns, take everything up a notch.
When Shake Shack opened its doors in Dupont Circle earlier this summer, the lines extended around the block. Fortunately, last week at dinner time on a Wednesday, I found nary a wait. As each item is prepared to order, there is however a ten minute lag time between ordering and your food hitting the counter.
The Shack Cago ($4) brings the hot dog to new heights. A Vienna all beef hot dog is "dragged through the garden," where it picks up relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Packaged in a potato bun, this mess is not date food! The richness of the hot dog is complimented by the sweet bun and crisp vegetables.
The yukon gold French fries ($2.65 - $3.65) are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. And while great just plain, they are positively addictive with the addition of the cheddar and American cheese sauce.
A meal here is not complete without a frozen treat. The DC location offers their famous"Concrete"(a custard based Blizzard type concoction) in half sizes. DC-themed creations include the Washington Monu-Mint, a chocolate custard base flecked with minted marshmallow and the chocolate truffle cookie dough that I fell in love with at Manhattan's Shake Shack.
So if this heat and humidity is dampening your spirits, head to Shake Shack for a classic summertime pick-me up.