It’s funny how songs can take on new meaning depending on what’s happening in your life. For us, Christmas songs this year seem to have a slightly different tune. So when hearing ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, we say, “Forget the sugar plums! We’ve had visions of custard shakes dancing all night long in our heads!” All you want for Christmas is your two front teeth? Who needs ‘em? Give us two “S’s” in the form of Shake Shack!
And with that, standing in a line that wrapped around the building on a particularly bitter and chilly December morning for frozen custard didn’t seem like a bad idea. Because when Shake Shack finally lands in St. Louis after much hype and speculation for nearly the past two years, you go regardless of the temperature and wind chill. Ah, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
It’s true, we’re unabashed followers of the cult favorite, a modern fast-casual burger and frozen custard joint founded by St. Louis’ own Danny Meyer. So why did it take this long for the East Coast chain to open a location in Meyer’s hometown? All good things take time, and Shake Shack is no exception. What Meyer began in 2000 as a small hot dog cart in NYC’s Central Park for three years slowly evolved to be renamed and called Shake Shack for another five before finally opening a second location. Shake Shack spread to the Midwest when a location opened in Chicago in 2014; Once it became a hit, Meyer suspected a location in St. Louis ought to bode well.
Shake Shack is known for its smashed burgers, caramelized on the outside yet slightly pink on the inside and served on a golden potato bun, and delightfully crisp crinkle cut fries. The dense, rich and creamy frozen custard, not too far off from what St. Louisans are accustomed to at Ted Drewes, certainly is not to be missed.
Christmas Cookie Holiday Shake
No need for milk and cookies when you can get both in one cup. Hand-spun sugar cookie frozen custard is topped with whipped cream, crumbled shortbread and festive red and green sprinkles. The flavor of everyone’s favorite Christmas cookie is apparent without being tooth-achingly rich, while the intoxicating scent of butter and sugar may have you thinking you’re back in Grandma’s kitchen. Nab one while you can before they leave the menu after the first of the year.
Central West Blend
Frozen custard and gooey butter cake are two sweet treats that need not be put together as each is rich enough on its own, but “need” does not apply when eating Shake Shack. Staying true to his roots — as all Shake Shack concretes are tailored to the local flavors of each location — Danny Meyer blended Park Avenue Coffee gooey butter cake with vanilla frozen custard and topped with salted caramel sauce. The gooey butter cake seems fresh, not frozen, impressively retaining its slightly crunchy crust and gooey interior amid the velvety smooth custard. And if that weren’t enough sweets packed into one cup, Shake Shack adds salted caramel sauce to take it a step further, though a slight drizzling may have been a better approach. But hey, who’s complaining?
Bless you, Danny Meyer. Shake Shack was well worth the wait and then some.
If You Go …
60 North Euclid
St. Louis, MO 63108