Shake Shack (UES) | 154 East 86th St. (bet. Lexington & 3rd Aves.) | 646.237.5037 |

THE WAIT IS OVER; let the waiting begin....! Soft opening right now is the newest of Danny Meyer's Shake Shack outposts (despite my recently expressed misgivings). By now—especially since the recent opening of a midtown location less than a month ago—these openings don't garner, or merit, the same fanfare as they once did. And although not may favorite NYC burger, it still is a memorably decent one.

Not one I'd travel downtown or cross the park for—much less wait an hour on line for!—but good enough for me to be excited about walking a few blocks for, during the less crowded two hours or so post-lunch rush and pre-after work crowd (just off the subway mere steps away).

They are presently training staff and trying to ascertain an accurate sense of how to handle and "flow" the customer traffic, and I got to get my bearings as I waited on the short 3:30 p.m. line and check the place out before I got to make my order, eight minutes tops.

I've previously reviewed Shake Shack (one of the very first PHUDE-nyc posts!), and I've only ordered from Shake Shack once or twice since then, ordering the same single or double cheeseburger. (Making a hobby out of trying new places makes return visits, even to favorite places, difficult.) So now was also a good opportunity to try something new, as I chose to sample both the Shack Stack®, topped with a breaded, deep-fried, cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom, and a New York Dog, topped with sauerkraut from Schaller & Weber, a great German butcher shop just two blocks away.

The flattop-grilled, "squished", Pat Lafreida beef is still stellar—caramelizing to a slight crisp on the outside while flavorful juices ran clear from the moist interior—and topped off with an "crisp"-fried, earthy, plump portobello mushroom oozing with hot, sharp and mellow muenster and cheddar cheeses, which winds up being more of a treat than a necessity, but is charming nonetheless.

The "New York" Dog (kind of like selling "Italian" pizza in Italian?) had proper snap and mild seasoning, with some well-prepared, moderately still crispy sauerkraut, all on a soft potato bun. (I topped it with Shake Shack's excellent mustard!) The crinkle cut fries had the proper crispy/airy dichotomy, although seem to feel more dense and heavy once they started to cool off.

For my beverage, I opted for a simple, regular-sized Sprite. Take note, however, that this branch sells booze(!!), including, among others, their own beer (ShackMeister® Ale) and their own wine (Shake Chard).

I also applaud them for finally making good use of the outdoor space, which I had waited for someone to make good use of for years and years. And enough people have waited for months and weeks for this Yorkville post of Shake Shack to open, to maybe wait for an hour for a $6 burger. Maybe that's why Burger King, a block away, has been running 2-for-1 sandwich specials. I still don't think the burger worth the hour wait on line. But it is worth the hour wait (during which I can still be at home doing work) until after the hour-long lines have subsided.

Bun Apple Tea!


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Shake Shack (UES) | 154 East 86th St. (bet. Lexington & 3rd Aves.) | 646.237.5037 |