Shake Shack x Dominique Ansel = Cronut™ Hole Concrete


By Dane Feldman

Photo by Dane Feldman.

On Tuesday in BTR’s own backyard in Chelsea, Shake Shack‘s original location in Madison Square Park teamed up with Cronut creator Dominique Ansel for one day only. According to eye witness accounts, the first 20 people were lined up by 6:45 in the morning to try the Cronut Hole Concrete, a combination of custard and Cronut holes.

Two of BTR’s staff members, Timothy Dillon and Molly Freeman, were on line by 8:45 and were among the first 100 served (they got free t-shirts!). Serving began at about 10; Timothy and Molly were served about 30 minutes later.

The Cronut Hole Concrete fueled yet another foodie craze, with some people claiming the dessert is “better than sex.” At a whopping $4.50 a piece, the 1,000 Cronut Hole Concretes raised money for two non-profit organizations, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Widows and Children’s Fund as well as the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Perhaps what’s most fascinating of all is the Cronut Hole Concrete craze itself. The Cronut craze has continued since chef Dominique Ansel released the first cronut flavor in May of 2013, meanwhile folks have been standing in line for Shake Shack since 2004. Needless to say, it’s a New York trend-follower’s dream for these two NYC icons to team up.

The Cronut Hole Concrete came in one size: huge. The custard was great, but a bit too sugary for my liking. The Cronut holes were a bit bogged down in custard, unfortunately, leaving them a little more dense than they ought to be. A Cronut is meant to be much flakier, so the Cronut holes probably would have tasted better separate from the custard. I would eat a Cronut Hole Concrete again, but I couldn’t finish a whole serving myself. With that said, I’m not disappointed that it may never be sold again.

Regardless of the flavor, it’s easy to be wary at this point in time. The Cronut is now a worldwide phenomenon, but as Timothy says, it’s important to “remember that it’s a treat and not a lifestyle.”

The creation of the Cronut Hole Concrete was for charity (but also probably because Dominique Ansel and the owners of Shake Shack knew this would explode). It’s good for business and we know that.

I’m happy to participate and I’m proud to be a foodie in NYC, but I’m also happy that Cronut Hole Concrete was a one-time deal.