Yes, Shake Shack is a chain, but it’s not a chain we’ve had in Massachusetts prior to 2013. As with all newly opened chain restaurants from another area, people feel the need to start hyping up the quality. I heard all kinds of things ranging from, “It’s way better than Five Guys,” and then sacrilege in the form of, “It’s way better than In-N’-Out Burger.” With hype like that, I had to see for myself.
My friend, Double Down, and I decided to stop in at the somewhat recently opened Shake Shack in Chestnut Hill, MA. We were on our way to pick up an engagement ring for Double Down’s (now) fiance (congrats again, guys!), but asked ourselves what better way to accomplish this goal than to fuel up on burgers?
49 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Service and Atmosphere
There isn’t a lot to say about the atmosphere of a Shake Shack. From the outside, it looked kind of like a warehouse with inviting signage advertising the treats inside. One prominent point to make about the outside is that there is a patio area where people can eat outdoors when it’s warm out. I guess maybe you could even eat there when it’s cold out because they have those heat generating lanterns outside, but that’s your call.
Inside, the order line looks like most fast food places, but the dining area looks like it could almost be a low-level steakhouse with its dark tones and arched ceilings. The menu on the wall is a giant billboard filled with choices. I almost didn’t know where to start, but Double Down who had been there before suggested we just try the classic cheeseburger with fries. When we placed our order, the service was friendly and kept the line moving, so of course I appreciated that.
The burgers came out looking pretty incredible. The double patties were lovingly hugged by layers of cheese and wrapped in a cute little paper bundle. The vegetables were piled high and raised the top of the bun like a gentleman tipping his hat in a “How do you do?” sort of way.
The meat in the burgers wasn’t a pre-formed patty, so different bites of the burger had different textures due to different ratios of the ingredients (I mean that as a positive comment). The bun held up well to the formidable quantity of the ingredients inside, but as I neared finishing the burger, the bun started soaking up the burger juices and getting a little flimsy. Nonetheless, this is only a problem if for some reason it takes you like 20 minutes to eat a burger this delicious. Otherwise, the mingled ingredients absorbed by the bun offer up yet one more different taste for the burger. The one thing I will say about what turned out to be a pretty incredible burger is that it is fairly salty. I don’t mean it was too salty, I’m just saying that there is a good amount of salt in this burger and you can taste it. Somehow, it’s not off-putting though and works really well. Just keep in mind that the burgers are on the smaller side, so get a double patty if you’re hungry.
The fries were golden crinkle-cut fries and looked just as they should – i.e. not burned and not soggy or under-cooked. They were good, but pretty standard as far as fries go. If you went and bought a bag of Ore Ida Fries from the grocery store and fried them at home yourself, you could easily have a batch of fries that matched these. That’s fine with me though, because a solid fry is really just a complement to a delicious burger.
Highly recommended if you’re looking for a quick bite that is better than the usual fast food. As far as the hype goes, I would solidly rank this burger as a close second to In-N-Out Burger, but with a good lead over Five Guys.