New Yorkers are an arrogant bunch. When Danny Meyer opened the first Shake Shack in Madison Square Park way back in 2004, the Big Apple food press and customers were so effusive in their praise, you woulda thunk they had personally discovered the secret to putting a fried ground beef patty between two pieces of mushy bread.
Most of the poor souls weren’t aware that In-N-Out Burger (and others) had perfected this process — in California — decades earlier. And if they’d thought it about for a second (and allowed actual facts to overshadow their hubris), they would’ve realized that SS was basically an imitation of In-N-Out, albeit one with an insufficient sear, feckless fries and an insignificant sauce (that is a direct copy of the better, tangier version INNO uses).
About this time, all of you dyed-in-the-wool, provincial New York food snobs are thinking to yourselves, “Criticize the new franchises all you want ELV, but the first SS was much better.” To which ELV responds, “No it wasn’t. We were there (in 2006) and it was a copy of INNO then…and now the new one (in New York New York Hotel and Casino) is a copy of a copy of a copy, and no better for it.”
To add insult to injury, the malt in the shake was non-existent and the fries even worse than we remember.
So if you’re dying to try SS, may we at ELV make a suggestion? Save yourself the schlep of getting to NYNY (the most annoying, inaccessible hotel/casino in town), and the wait in line, and head to the In-N-Out, Smashburger or 5 Guys closest to your house. You’ll get a better burger and leave in a better mood.
That is all.
New York New York Hotel and Casino
3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
P.S. For an interesting look at how better burger joints and fast casual restaurants are challenging our preconceptions (and the business model) of fast food, check out this article in the New Yorker.