Smiles All Around at Midtown East Shake Shack Opening

We reported back in February that a Midtown East Shake Shack was to open in autumn. Since when has a New York restaurant opening been on schedule?? Leave it to the staff at Shake Shack to roll out on time, 11/11 @ 11:00am to be precise! But does Midtown East REALLY need another Shake Shack?

From the healthy size of the crowd, on a quieter Veterans Day, no less, I’d say everyone in the hood is more than happy to have this second location. I got in around 12:30, 10 minutes to the register, 15 to get my food, and another 5 to inhale it. I must have beat the lunch rush since I had no issues finding an awesome window seat. Don’t let that line intimidate you. They get details right, like have a greeter near the beginning of the line, handing out menus and big smiles. You say you don’t need a smile or a menu? Well, it sure helps move the line quickly, especially for slow pokes like me who need time to decide.

The menu is standard except for the Concretes that change from location to location. They have fun with the naming: East Slide,¬†Murray Hill Malt, and Jitney. The Jitney has my fave Tate’s chocolate chip cookies mixed in with peanut butter, so no brainer there! My only complaint is the cookie pieces being smaller than I like. But really, I just need a whole bag of Tate’s on the side.

The cashier asks if I want to donate 5% of my Jitney concrete to “the animals”. Wait, what animals? The one I’m about to eat? Apparently a portion of Jitney revenues go to local animal shelter Bideawee. And what if someone said, NO? Either way, I appreciate the opportunity to notch up my karma just a little.

I’ll admit, ever since they did away with crinkle cut fries, I haven’t gone as often as I used to. But, hello, they’re back and as awesome as before! Nothing like perfect renditions that can rewrite my memories of soggy microwaved crinkle cut fries from my latchkey years. Don’t worry, you can find the crinkle cuts at any Shake Shack, not just this one.

And my ShackBurger? Right up to par with the other locations as expected — hot, flavorful with that crusty char on the outside. But it tastes even better with the window seat.

Unlike Grand Central, this location has some beers on tap, and even more bottles to choose from. They don’t mind you lingering, I guess?

That must be the one of the smoothest openings I’ve witnessed for any store. Not a trace of nervousness or disorganization, just smiles all around. Even Danny Meyer was there to congratulate employees personally! (That’s him next to the tv.)

My only real gripe? I actually schlepped from Penn Station to check out the opening, and the moment I stepped out of the subway station near my office, my Shake Shack paper bag got as much attention as the woman in that street harassment video. Everyone would turn, all eyes on the bag, even call out “Shake Shack”, or try to strike up conversation asking how they could get some. It’s great to have men focused on the burger for a change, but hear us out Shake Shack. We’re deprived out in Crapensta! Especially after the crowd favorite location at Madison Square Park closed for renovations. Open another one here, please.

The +

  • Crinkle Cut Fries are back!
  • Duh, the burgers
  • Tate’s Chocolate Chip cookie mix-ins
  • Beers on Tap
  • Save the animals

The -

  • Why open so close to another Shake Shack already in Grand Central?
  • You don’t care about animals except for which cut you’re chewing on

Shake Shack, 600 3rd Ave (on 40th St.)

3 Comments

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    I was on the fence about being happy that there’s now a Shake Shake in my neighborhood, but the fact that they have partnered with Bideawee (which is also in Murray Hill on 38th btwn 1st and the FDR) actually makes me like it more :)

  • Tried it last night and the service, wait time and food itself were up to Shake Shack standards. Spacious location with 3 televisions with ESPN on. Non-rush feel. Also, fewer hipsters which made for a better time.

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