Shake Shack: London

I know I’m a bit late on this one, but you’ll soon forgive me as the food porn is well worth the wait.

Shake Shack finally floated across the pond and swung open its doors smack bang in the middle of Covent Garden early July this year.
Londoners & expats alike queued up for hours, desperate to get a bite of New York’s famous burgers.

I was away in America at the time, but as soon as I returned, I was determined to size up London’s most recent burger addition.

Now I know what you’re thinking, another bloody burger restaurant!?

But just take a look at this.

Shake Shack: LondonThe critics and bloggers went wild for the much anticipated arrival, not all of which particularly enjoyed their bite of the American style burger.
Yet, Shake Shack soldiered on, with their Covent Garden venue being complately packed out everyday. Shake Shack: LondonWhen I finally got the chance, I marched my way down to Covent Garden ready to well and truly tuck in after all that pre-holiday healthy eating.   Shake Shack: LondonI perused the menu before making my choice.
I of course had to go for the classic Shack Burger, a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce.
What’s ShackSuace? you ask.
A crazy combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, dill pickle, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper which is then slathered all over your burger like frosting on a cake.

Shake Shack: LondonSince this was a celebratory feast of sorts (celebrating the opening of Shake Shack, obviously) I also decided I needed to try the SmokeShack Burger. This is an utterly filthy cheeseburger topped with a glorious combination of British free range Willshire cure smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers and ShacksSauce.  Shake Shack: LondonTo accompany the burgers, a mandatory order of crinkle cut fries was made.

The burgers themselves were great, chips were crunchy and delicious, but I realised what has all the critics’ knickers in a twist.

London’s recent burger blow up has been all about the gourmet burger.
Shake Shack’s fast food contestant doesn’t fight at the same weight as London’s other competitors, which is why there has been a little let down amongst diners.
It is however, a delicious fast food burger made from good quality ingredients, served in a darling atmosphere.

Now for you Shake Shack virgins, I have one final tip.
Order a concrete.
What’s a concrete you ask? all bright eyed with wonder.
A concrete is a heavenly dessert of dense frozen custard ice cream that has been blended at a high speed and is served with your choice of mix-ins.

Go ahead, have a look.

Shake Shack: London

Chocolate and vanilla custard with marshmallow sauce was delicious…

But just look at the chocolate and vanilla custard topped with peanut butter and gooey chocolate hazlenut brownies from St. JOHN Bakery.
SwoonShake Shack: London Shake Shack: LondonNow if you’re still reading and haven’t immediately run down to Shake Shack to join the queue, just remember to gauge your expectations.
The burgers are great and venue is perfect for a group meal with friends or fun date.
But most importantly, you must promise me you’ll order a concrete and send me a picture on Twitter @Alessandra_LDN to make me utterly envious.

Oh and…
Dear Shake Shack,
Please make adult version of this for me to wear ASAP. Thanks!

Shake Shack: London

Bubbledogs

Take a dirty American classic, posh it up with some bubbles, and there you have it, a bubbledog.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of London’s new take on an American classic called Bubbledogs.
The dogs are actually cooked in champagne, hence the catchy name, but the restaurant also offers a lengthy menu of bubbles to sip daintily from one hand, whilst gripping your dirty dog in the other.

The reason I haven’t tried Bubbledogs yet is one of my least favorite things as a Londoner: the queue. Two hours of shivering on a street curb isn’t my idea of pre-dinner fun and thanks to these new trendy restaurants with a no-reservation policy, there seems to be a mandatory pre-torture in order to experience a bite of the hype.

Luckily I hadn’t seen my Bubbledog dates for quite some time and we had plenty to catch up on. The apologetic hostess eventually seated us at the corner of the bar, which wasn’t particularly comfortable, but resulted in sampling the bartender’s yummy creation of candied ginger for her new cocktail.

Then came the moment we had literally been waiting hours for.
That first bite that determines whether or not the shivering bodies and chattering teeth were all worth a hot dog.
The first mouthful of flavor wrapped in a soft bun, escorting the all important bubbledog loaded with toppings and the necessary snap. Then the flavours came out: the chunky salsa, cool sour cream, fresh avocado, and spicy jalepenos all providing an epic burst of Mexican flavours worthy of the name José.

The best part of going to Bubbledogs with friends is the sampling opportunities. I also tried the BLT: bacon wrapped with caramelized lettuce and truffle mayo, Fourth of July: bacon wrapped with smokey BBQ sauce and coleslaw, New Yorker: grilled sauerkraut and NY street cart onions, Buffalo Dog: deep fried hot dog with spicy buffalo sauce, blue cheese, pickled celery and celery seeds, and Horny Dog: corn dog with corny bits. All of these were absolutely delicious and true to their name.

With our bubbledogs, we decided we must have an obligatory order of sweet potato fries and tots (give me some of your tots) which were the perfect sides to share.

Framed cartoon dog art lined the brick walls and menus of other restaurants covered the bathroom.

The bubbledogs were great and I’m glad I finally got to try them, but I will not be suffering the 2-hour wait again. If you’d like to brave the line, I’d suggest wrapping up warm and bringing some snacks!
Check out their menu here.