Shake Shack, the famed NYC eatery in Madison Square Park, has opened its first overseas outlet in the Mall of the Emirates. The menu, full of kitschy, American, comfort-food classics, hearkens back to the pre-cholesterol-counting Mad Men era of “slow” fast food.
I will admit to being reluctant to try the spot because I do not understand Dubai’s persistence in importing foreign food concepts rather than creating something original and home-grown. Never mind that the Shake Shack’s commitment to “Going Green“* goes out the window of the 747 as they fly in their beef, vegetables and other foodstuffs to recreate an “authentic” experience.
Their efforts are not wasted, even if energy is. The food served in the MOE location, (a less inspired setting than a park with a view of the Flatiron Building), is nearly identical. Cheese fries look like they are topped with nuclear whiz, are in fact smothered with a nice cheddar sauce. The crinkle-cut fries stay crispy even when cold and, according the website, are 25% lower in fat which is some consolation for calorie counters. The ‘Shroom Burger explodes with molten muenster and cheddar. The classic Shake Burger (cheeseburger, lettuce, tomato with Shake sauce) is juicy and arrives in the perfect portion to allow yourself room to indulge in one of their namesake shakes. I like the chocolate malted. Because sometimes when you give a little bit, you might as well take the mile.
*Their green philosophy is written up on their website. http://www.shakeshack.com