Archive for the ‘Hot Dogs’ Category

Shake Shack – First Madison Square Park, Then the World!

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

The Foodie Say: Cosi-Cosi

My curiosity was piqued as I strolled through Madison Square Park and saw an extraordinarily long line snaking its way from a petite steel cottage, or “shack” if you will.

“What on earth are they serving from that little stand?!?,” I thought.

  • Turns out it was burgers, fries, hot dogs, and custard being vended,
  • The shack was not a shack at’all but a singular outpost representing a much larger string of burger joints across Manhattan…and that chain was again part of a larger entity – the Union Square Hospitality Group of Danny Meyer fame.

I was intrigued by this stealth operation that appeared to be growing quite rapidly.

>>>>Fast Forward to May 2013>>>>>>

…and grow they did – with locations up and down the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to, yes my dear friends, our very own land of the pilgrims – Boston.

It appears that the ‘shack ain’t stoppin’ there either – there have been sightings in London, JFK airport, and the Saratoga Race Course.

But, fellow Bostonians, Somervillains, and Cantabridgians – you’re most interested in your neighborhood Shake Shack located in Chestnut Hill, aren’t ya?

So let’s cut to the chase – how was the burger?

DISCLAIMER: Burger reviews are a highly personal affair. One woman’s precious meat heaven is another woman’s mickey D’s. So know that this food blogger (a man, it turns out) likes his burgers thick, medium rare to rare, well-seasoned, and usually pretty traditional – with some flair welcome. The following discussion is based upon this set of preferences.


My heart was racing, mouth salivating, hands clammy, and tummy full of butterflies as we waited for our little order status thing-y to vibrate and light-up.

The Shack had us in its clutches, as our existing hype around the place had been amplified by a 20-minute line to order (a short one for Shack standards I’m told) and then another 15 minutes awaiting our just reward.

But finally our piece of plastic lit up along with my heart as I triumphantly retrieved our tray of two standard “Shack Burgers”, two orders of “Shack Fries,” and one Frozen Custard “Hand-Spun” Vanilla Shake.

This is what our prize looked like:

Shack Snack

As I began the burger tasting, I swore to myself that I would not utter a single judgment about the sandwich until the whole thing had been eaten.

  • Munch
  • Munch
  • Munch

At the end of the experience I thought: “That was a mighty-fine burger patty with good texture and a beautiful soft little bun – but all I tasted was the cheese?”


It’s true – this is a decent burger, people. Do not get me wrong. And it is a fun location with a careful eye for marketing and design. But I was disappointed by the poor seasoning of the burger patties and the very flavorless “Shack Sauce” that promised to magically sweep me away to a land of plenty but left me wanting.

I do applaud the ‘Shack for rekindling our love affair with the simple fare you used to be able to trust from your local street cart and burger cottage before the behemoth burger chains pumped evil into their food with no shame….I’m happy that I can now walk through Terminal 4 at JFK and choose a trustworthy, made-to-order burger that was not freeze-dried before it was defrosted in a nuclear pressure chamber.

… and that is where the whole value of Shake Shack comes in.

They ARE NOT McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy’s. They are making it OK again to eat simple burgers and fries in a casual setting without worrying that you’ll wake up with a badonkadonk and diabetes the next morning. Words like “all-natural,” “100%,” “Angus Beef,” “no trans fats,” and “no hormones and antibiotics ever” are found plastered all over the menu to reassure us. The burgers are in-fact hand-pressed from ball form into thin patties using large metal pressers with handles.

It was refreshing to see a grill being operated again in the kitchen of a burger chain.

…For that, I applaud the ‘Shack and wish them well in their quest to quickly rise to glory and steal large chunks of market share from Jack in the Box…

So I say “bravo” with two hand-claps and a strong nod to the ‘Shack for it’s mission and vision, but when it comes down to flavor – I’ll stick with my local favorites.

Trina’s Starlite Lounge – Bring Dollars for Dogs

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Location: Cambridge, MA

The Foodie: Recommends

In a few words: No, it’s not a strip club.

Though it looks possible from the outside, Trina’s Starlite Lounge is not filled with pole-dancers and dollar bills.

Instead, it’s a hot dog fest. In a good way guys. We’re talking about the following:

  • Best corn dog in Boston. Hands-down. Amazingly-fluffy “corn,” all-beef beautiful dog. Nothing bad at all to say about this bad boy.
  • Dog of the day: Last time I was here, it was an amazing dog stuffed inside a puff pastry and topped with legit grain mustard.

Beyond the dogs, they’ve got a mac ‘n cheese that is made with love and ends up being about as good as a lap dance. I don’t know how they do it, but American Cheese, cream, huge pasta shells and crumbled Ritz crackers never tasted so decadent. One of the best mac’s in the region folks. Straight-up.

Come to Trina’s to eat devilishly. Gorge on hot dogs, eat a heart-attack “mac,” enjoy legit micro-brews, and live life.

I’d share pictures, but it was too dark inside. Ha.