Shake Shack recently opened a new location in Paramus, NJ and amongst northern New Jersey burger lovers, that’s something to celebrate. This micro-chain is proof that truly great things often have humble beginnings. Shake Shack, created by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, began in 2001 as a simple hot dog stand in Madison Square Park. The cart was set up with the intention of raising funds for the park’s conservancy. The cart quickly became a local phenomenon and Shake Shack has been expanding in leaps and bounds ever since. They have already gone global and are planning more overseas locations in the Middle East, Russia, the UK, and Turkey.
The Paramus installation of Shake Shack is situated on a prime piece of real estate on the ever-busy Route 17 South. True to the original, this Shack offers a wide variety of classic fare including burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custards, and specialty beverages like root beer floats.
All of those options are fresh and delectable yet the big surprise with the Paramus opening for me has been the Shake Shack french fries. Unlike the original crinkle cut frozen fries originally used in the other locations, Paramus launched with a test of hand-cut shoe string fresh Idahos, even sending out a team of SS execs to meet with potato growers to increase their potato intelligence, so to speak. Would potatoes brought in year round by the ton meet consistent texture, crispiness, flavor and quality standards? This was a challenge for the corporate team who relied previously on the frozen variety to ensure those qualities.
The beauty of a beautiful fry? Never frozen, twice-cooked in canola oil, and always freshly made. The formula works well, with crispy exteriors and soft, potato interiors, skin on, gently salted. ($2.70 for an order).
The Shack burger are consistently delicious, full of beefy flavor, almost buttery in taste, griddle cooked with nice caramelization. ($4.60 for a ShackBurger single) SS burgers are made with 100% all natural Angus beef from the notable Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Their proprietary formulation of meat is derived from cattle that are hormone and antibiotic free. The flavor is ideal for a burger whether loaded up with toppings which can, in my humble opinion, compete with the bare beefy burger taste that I love, or simply enjoyed naked with a film of Schreiber’s ultra thin, fast melting American cheese which is practically transparent by the time the burger goes from griddle to bun. Buns are carefully chosen with a soft, non-intrusive quality that yields to and absorbs dripping juices. While a welcome blotter with tender wheaty flavor, I am holding out for a gluten-free variety which corporate tells me is being experimented with for in-house baking and production. For those who prefer no wheat bun, lettuce leaf wrapping is an option.
After indulging in delicious, salty eats like burgers, dogs, and those hand-cut fries you can top off the culinary experience by enjoying one of the Shack’s frozen custard options. Their ice-cream base is deliciously thick and creamy. The “concretes” ($4.25 single, $6.50 double) are an excuse to enjoy dessert with your burger – dense frozen custard blended with mix-ins like pumpkin pie, pecan sticky bun, cookie dough, and an array of dessert sauces.
And the best news is they will be offering breakfast in the near future at their JFK Airport Shack – now that’s something to shake, twist and shout about after you’ve gotten through those security lines.
Open daily, from 11 AM – 11 PM
Get your shake on at:
479 Route 17 South
(Between Midland & Ridgewood Aves)
Paramus, NJ 07652