By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
I’ve reviewed the Madison Square Park Shake Shack location before and in the months since then, Shake Shack opened its first New Jersey location on Route 17 in Paramus, NJ.
This time around, I ordered a SmokeShack: a cheeseburger topped with applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, and Shake Shack’s famous ShackSauce.
The SmokeShack is probably the best burger I’ve had to date. In addition to the fact that Shake Shack uses 100% all-natural, hormone-free Angus beef in all burgers, the SmokeShack is delightful with a kick thanks to the deliciously fresh cherry peppers.
The Paramus Shake Shack serves fresh-cut fries as opposed to the crinkle-cut fries at the original Madison Square Park location. While I’ve said before that I enjoy the Madison Square Park fries, the fresh-cut fries in Paramus are some of the best fries I’ve tasted. That in itself is all preference, however. I’m a sucker for skinny fresh-cut fries and Shake Shack makes these twice-cooked, which leaves them tasting slightly crispy and looking a beautiful light brown.
Like the original location, this Shake Shack offers milkshakes, fresh lemonade, various fountain sodas, tea, and beer. However, the Paramus location doesn’t have a liquor license so you won’t find ShackMeister Ale, Shack Red, or Shack White wines.
I ordered a black and white milkshake and am quite pleased with the consistency as it is near perfect. My only complaint is a personal one with which most people will probably disagree: the shake was more chocolate-heavy than vanilla, and I prefer vanilla. Would I still order it again? Yes, but probably not until I try the other flavors.
Much like the Madison Square Park location, a long line forms in Paramus. It moves quickly, though, as the service is efficient and helpful.
The inside of this Shack is beautifully rustic. Repurposed wood tables and chairs made in Brooklyn from bowling alleys line the restaurant as they do at almost all other US locations.
All in all, I’m glad to say that the first New Jersey Shake Shack location successfully represents the burger joint as a whole: delicious, consistent, and ever-busy.