In the past few months London has become a haven for burgers; if it’s not your local boozer trading a meaty pie for a patty, then it’s the invasion of giant American burger houses in our smoky capital.
I recently visited the newest arrival in the West End, a New York staple now hidden away in the market halls of Covent Garden. I use the term hidden very loosely, as the queues are so elongated that one feels as though they’ve arrived long before there’s sight of any logos implicit of location. Shake Shack has had the crowds salivating in Manhattan since 2004, when it opened with a welcome reception and it has the same grand plan for the West End. It was time for us to check it out.
Thankfully, my good friend and I were excused of the ‘queue ordeal’ – considering the sun had maintained its place three feet above our heads all day, this was the most welcome respite from the blinding heatwave. After a cold local brew and carefully selecting the calorific delights, our burgers arrived – in the most seductive form.
I had the ShakeBurger, a simple cheese burger, with lettuce and tomato. It was rather pleasant, as burgers go, but a tad too overwhelming. Topped with the regular sized, cheese coated crinkle-cut fries, I practically had to drag myself home; though I wasn’t quite ready to depart before devouring one of their feted Concretes. A delicious, custard come ice cream that perfectly ended the beefy evening. I ordered the Drury Lane Jam, a vanilla/strawberry concoction with a brown sugar biscuit and bits of fresh banana. Just the sort of thing you need on a steamy summer night. Go get in the queue and taste for yourself…