I’ve never been to a Shake Shack, so when I was invited to the grand opening party, I decided to brave the Trader Joe’s plaza parking lot and head over. I arrived at 5:15pm and had no problem finding a spot in the parking lot- afternoon storms had just passed through and the construction crews were off-site.
Since I was early, I had a chance to explore. I walked past waterfalls, whimsical bronze sculptures and fountains leading me to the covered Shake Shack patio overlooking Lake Killarney. This beautiful view was once limited to Hillstone’s next door, it’s nice to have a casual option to enjoy the same picturesque view while dining.I was happy to see all of the local touches that this NYC company has injected into their menu. Adults can enjoy popular Florida craft beer from Funky Buddha, Brew Bus and Cigar City.
Or stay local with a famous Shake Shack Concrete made with Audubon Park’s own P is for Pie Bake Shop’s Key Lime Pie. (It was outrageously delicious!) But past the contemporary, open layout, cool menu and spectacular views is a hard working kitchen cranking out some tasty food at family-friendly prices. I was pleased to discover that Shake Shack uses 100% natural Angus beef with no hormones or antibiotics. Burgers come cooked medium, so if you prefer a different cook temp you should specify when ordering.
The classic burger and cheese burger received enthusiastic nods as people chomped into the tasty and juicy burgers. But the SmokeShack was a revelation to newcomers and seasoned Shake Shack fans, alike. It’s a cheeseburger topped with w/ smoked applewood bacon, chopped cherry peppers & ShackSauce, lots of big flavors made this the overwhelming crowd favorite.
The Dogmeister Flat-Top Dog Is 100% all natural, no hormones or antibiotics. The hot dogs are split and griddled, then topped with Shack cheddar & American cheese sauce with crispy Brooklyn Brewery Ale marinated shallots. Diners will taste a hint of the proprietary Shackmeister Ale and it’s a nice combination with the cheese sauce hiding under the pile of crispy fried shallots.
Speaking of cheese sauce, you may want to plan to go all in with Shake Shake’s Cheese fries. The crinkle cut Yukon potatoes were exceptionally light and nicely salted. The cheese sauce is described as “our special blend of cheddar and American cheese”. It’s special, in that it tastes pleasingly cheesy and not overly processed- it was crazy yummy.
Vegetarians rejoice, Shake Shack has got you covered with their impressive ‘Shroom Burger. It’s big and satisfying; the stuffed and breaded Portobello mushroom cap is fried in soy oil, with no chance of the meatiness from the grills messing up your tummy. Let’s talk about the stuffed part of this sandwich…
One bite and you are enjoying melty-cheesy goodness! Munster and cheddar cheeses take this vegetarian offering into the stratosphere. My next visit, I would love to mix it up and add in some of the chopped cherry pepper for that spicy kick. If you still want to indulge in the meaty greatness of the Shake Shack burger, but are intrigued by the mushroom, order the Shack Stack- a cheeseburger topped with the ‘Shroomburger. I have it on good authority that this combo is out of this world.
After you’ve walked off some of your meal by checking out the patio, playing some ping pong and maybe walked a few laps of the parking lot, get ready for the Frozen Custard. I grew up in the Northeast, so one spoonful of Shake Shack’s frozen custard had me reminiscing of family vacations and summers at the beach. Frozen custard is a richer cousin to ice cream, it’s a rich mouth-feel, but not heavy. Shake Shack points out on their menu “Our vanilla and chocolate recipes use only real sugar, no corn syrup, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones.” I really enjoyed the Key Lime Pie Oh My made with Vanilla custard and Orlando’s own P is For Pie Key Lime pie, and the above Winter Park exclusive Winter’s Wonderland, Vanilla custard topped with marshmallow sauce and crispy crunchies. Shake Shack has pledged that 5% of the sales of Winter’s Wonderland supports BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, helping children and their families living with cancer. Check out the rotating Custard Calendar in store or plan your stop by checking online.
You can also feel good drinking bottled water, as 1% of every Shake Shack bottled water sold goes to Waterkeeper Alliance, which supports the clean up of water sources around the globe. Which is especially nice to think about, while you are enjoying a beautiful Orlando sunset from the spacious Shake Shack patio.
Shake Shake Winter Park It’s now open to the public! (grand opening 7/30/2014)
119 N Orlando Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
Sunday – Thursday, 11 AM – 10 PM
Friday & Saturday, 11 AM – 11 PM