Shake Shack knows how to make burgers fairly well, and chicken extremely well, but what about breakfast?
Only six of the chain’s 110 locations worldwide serve breakfast — and luckily for Business Insider, four of them are in New York City.
We went to the closest one at Fulton Center — the others are at JFK Airport, Grand Central Station, and Penn Station — to find out if the famous burger shack knows how to serve up breakfast, too.
The Shake Shack breakfast menu is small and simple: sausage, egg and cheese sandwich; bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich; and an egg and cheese sandwich. You can order one or two eggs on each, with two eggs costing a little extra.
First off, the egg and cheese. Perhaps the most humble of all breakfast sandwiches, the egg and cheese holds no pretense or airs — it merely… is. I notice that the bun is just that: a bun. Using the classic potato bun also used on the burgers and chicken sandwiches is an interesting move.
And it ends up being a good move, at that — the soft potato bun translates to breakfast flavors remarkably well. One bite in, and one immediately realizes that this is a step above any normal fast-food breakfast sandwich. The fried egg is real — that’s right, a real egg, no glutinous swatch of pale yellow. The yolk reaches the sweet spot between runny and firm, and the cheese is rich and velvety.
With the welcome shock of the delicious egg and cheese, I’m looking forward immensely to the addition of sausage. Upon seeing it, however, I’m hesitant. It looks completely charred on the outside, and my taste buds battened down the hatches in anticipation of burnt meat.
Yet, there is no disappointment here — only elation. It’s a juicy, large pork sausage patty with a slightly sweet hint of maple flavor, perhaps. It tastes like a real, honest-to-goodness, made-in-a-real-kitchen sausage sandwich. It eclipses any fast-food sausage I’ve had. The masterfully fried egg is a match made in heaven; the cheese, gooey and melty as ever, is icing on the cake — or cheese on the egg, as it were.
Finally, we come to the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I’ve been burned by bacon sandwiches before — too little bacon, underwhelming flavor, etc., but Shake Shack has done the unthinkable here. Four pieces of bacon. That’s right, folks, this is it. We did it; we’ve beaten the measly three-piece industry standard, and I couldn’t be happier.
In a better, purer world, where no one cares about holiday cups and avocado shortages never happen, this is what a bacon, egg, and cheese looks like. The bun is pliant, light, and humble, graciously sharing the spotlight with the applewood smoked bacon, fried egg, and cheese. The bacon is thick and flavorful — smokey, with a whisper of sweetness. This is, by and large, a fantastic BEC.
Incredibly, I think these three simple breakfast classics are more satisfying and delicious than Shake Shack’s burgers, even. They deliver on every promise made, because they don’t attempt to gussy up or be gourmet for the sake of gourmet. My question is this: why don’t all Shake Shacks serve this superb breakfast menu?