You’ve probably heard of Shake Shack. They serve up pretty kickass burgers and shakes. It was the brainchild of one of New York’s most successful restauranteurs. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Does the name Danny Meyer ring a bell? Anyway, the past few years have seen the fast casual burger joint skyrocket in popularity to the point that it actually got its very own listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Just in case you want to invest and buy some stock, it’s under the ticker symbol SHAK.
From October 13 to 18, two of Shake Shack’s DC locations were given the honor of serving up a limited edition burger for only six days. Why would they do that, you say? Why wouldn’t they just add it to the regular menu like any other restaurant? I’m thinking it’s just to keep thing interesting, but I’m not one to make assumptions. They’ve actually done this before to celebrate their tenth year in operation.
So I guess it’s not really a surprise on any level, but I wish this menu item had stuck around a little longer; maybe for a couple of months at least so I could grab another one. I’m sobbing on the inside right now. I’m not afraid to admit that.
Shake Shack was hand-selected by the queen of the 30-minute meal, Rachael Ray, to create a burger that would pay tribute to her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, for reaching the 10-year milestone. So what did Shake Shack come up with? How would it be able to create a burger that could live up to the name?
Its answer was the Pickled Jalapeño Burger. To break it down simply, it’s a cheeseburger topped with crispy, crunchy fried shallots and pickled jalapeños between hamburger buns slathered in Sriracha sauce. It was sublime.
Deconstructing the Burger Behemoth
Shake Shack is known for incorporating ingredients from local businesses into a number of its different menu items, most notably their concretes, and it’s continued that trend with this specialty burger by using pickled jalapeños from DC’s very own Gordy’s Pickle Jar. To simply state that these are just your everyday pickled jalapeños would be a crime. Gordy’s has chosen to go down the Asian path and pickle them in a Thai basil brine, which plays amazingly well with the Sriracha sauce that’s in each and every bite you take.
But you know what makes everything better? Deep frying, of course. Being the well-respected burger chain that it is, Shake Shack takes these pickles a step further and fries up these hot and briny bad boys to add an extra dimension of texture; let’s call it the “crunch factor.” If that weren’t enough, Shake Shack also fried up some shallots and added it to the burger as well, just for good measure.
So if I haven’t got you salivating yet just from the description of what’s actually in this burger, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How the heck did it taste? I found it to be perfectly balanced. From the marriage of the pillowy soft bun and the crunchy shallots to the amount of brininess from the jalapeños that cuts through the richness of the cheese, you couldn’t add a single ingredient to make this burger any better; not even bacon (never thought I would say that).
So in the words of Rachael Ray, this burger was “DELISH!”
If you are aching for a dessert afterward, let me recommend the concrete. Each location has its own version. The one that I visited in Penn Quarter had one called Doughnuts are Forever and, *SPOILER ALERT*, it had doughnuts in it. Not just any doughnuts though; they came from nearby Astro Doughnuts. So honestly, ending your meal with a rich vanilla custard that’s got doughnut pieces scattered throughout garnished, of course, with rainbow sprinkles, ’cause we fancy, makes the perfect end to any meal.
In case you missed Shake Shack’s rendition of the burger, the recipe is available in November’s 10th Anniversary issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. Now you can enjoy this burger at home whenever you want.