One of the main things that we gleaned from our trip to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore is that it stays incredibly busy at all points during the day. The newly-opened Baltimore Shake Shack bustles in the same way, but unlike the stop-start traffic, the restaurant is able to quickly take orders and provide stellar service. The chain has increased in number since the beginning days in New York City, but the same high standards that bring celebrities in for their burgers have been duplicated in the Baltimore location.
The biggest hook for us at Shake Shack had to be the large menu that the restaurant touts; each burger, hot dog, concrete (blended custard) and drink that the restaurant offers feels separate from the other menu offerings. Shake Shack has made it possible for an individual to visit their store a few times a week and receive something wholly different each time.
The Concretes ($4.50 for a single, $6.75 for the double) represented the perfect canvas for the Shake Shack to paint on; the Pratt St. Pie Oh My hammered home a sweeter side of things with the inclusion of blueberry pancake pie from Dangerously Delicious while the Salty Balty worked more for those wanting a savory and filling dessert. Blending together chocolate and vanilla custards with a cheesecake blondie and chocolate truffle cookie dough, this concrete burst with a different set of flavors with each and every bite. The restaurant has increased visibility of the Moveable Feast charity by donating 5% of sales from the Salty Balty concrete.
While considered to be the baseline for a meal, the drink has been refreshed by Shake Shack. This means that the company has included the regular suspects along with Abita’s inimitable root beer. For those that want a lemonade, the company creates their own blend ($2.75 regular, $3.50 large) and includes a set of seasonal flavors. During our visit, we were impressed by the peach lemonade seasonal as it allowed the subtleties of the peach to shine. We shied away from Shack Shake’s adult offerings, but the company offers their own beer (ShackMeister ($5.50), brewed by Brooklyn Brewery) and the Shack Red or White wine ($7.75 for the white, $8.75 for the red, aged by Frog’s Leap winery).
The Shack Burger ($5.19 single, $7.99 double) hit on all cylinders, with the beef patties being juicy, peppery, and salted just enough to create a dense set of flavors when the cheese, bun, and toppings were considered. Shake Shack’s lettuce and tomatoes were at the peak of freshness, giving the burger a nice snap. The Roadside Shack ($1 more than the Shack Burger) was another hit, as the Shack Burger was given an upgrade with onions that were caramelized in bacon and the company’s own beer.
Perhaps most surprising during our time at Shake Shack were the quality of the fries. The company has found the sweet spot in terms of frying crinkle-cut spuds, making for a crispy fry that has just enough sweet goodness. A $1 upgrade ensures that a generous dose of Shack-made cheese sauce covers an order of these fries.
The Shake Shack caters to those with dogs, as well; aside from providing water and a hitching post for one’s four-legged friend, the restaurant also sells dog biscuits from Bocce’s Bakery.
Shake Shack’s Inner Harbor – Baltimore store is located at 400 E Pratt Street; hours are 11 to 10 from Sunday to Thursdays and 11 to 11 on Fridays and Saturdays. The location would be a perfect stop if one is going to the National Aquarium, Port Discovery Children’s Museum or the historic ships in Baltimore.
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