Shake Shack Goes South

I had my first Shake Shack experience at the first and original location on a trip to New York, where a distinguishable line of people wrapped around Madison Square Park, waiting to try delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custards, made from fresh and organic ingredients, all from a humble hot dog cart. However, Shake Shack brings its own twist to the South. Instead of a little stand, Shake Shack Atlanta is located in the mixed-use Buckhead Atlanta center; which will be filled with designer shopping, upscale restaurants, and high-rise apartments once it opens. Even though the line here does wrap around the property, there is plenty of room to eat, once you step inside the establishment, which includes a downstairs dining room, and a rooftop patio where patrons can enjoy their food and drinks while watching the view of the Atlanta skyline.

oh my pecan pie shake shack
Oh My Pecan Pie Frozen Custards

I savored the Shake Shack classics – the ShackBurger (cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce), and the crinkle cut cheese fries. The fries were nice and crispy and had a perfect amount of salt. The ShackBurger was also superb, but meat lovers beware, the “single” is pretty light, so I recommend upping the protein to a “double.” I also had my fair share of the frozen custard blends, which were specific to the Atlanta menu, and included Pecan Pie Oh My (vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of pecan pie from H&F Bread Co.), Campfire S’mores (chocolate frozen custard blended with marshmallow sauce, graham crackers, and dark chocolate chunks from Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co.), and the Peachtree (a caramel-peach milkshake). The Campfire S’mores was my favorite and it was rich, thick, and creamy. I was surprised I wasn’t a big fan of the Peachtree, but the caramel peach combination sounded as odd as it tasted.

Shake Shack Cheese Fries
Shake Shack Cheese Fries

For anyone who has never been to Shake Shack, I do recommend giving it a try when in the Buckhead area, but beware of the hype. Although the food is great and customer service is excellent, waiting in a long line for burgers and fries can be irksome when there are plenty of other organic burger joints to choose from in Atlanta.

shack burger
Shack Burger

Shake Shack Buckhead Atlanta
3035 Peachtree Road NE, Suite A146
Atlanta, GA 30305
buckhead@shakeshack.com
(470) 809-9201

Where to eat at the airport?

A dear friend of mine from high school, who is now settled in Australia, sent me a note the other day saying “I am a picky eater and don’t know what to eat at the airport when I am travelling. Should I try a new cuisine while I have a layover in a foreign country?” I promised her that I will respond in detail, so here it is.

Airport is not the place to experiment with food or try a new cuisine that you are unfamiliar with. Generally, airport gourmet consists of fast food or sport bar like restaurants. Very rarely, would you find a palatable freshly cooked meal at an airport (with some exceptions). My recommendation is to stick to what you are familiar with. If there are certain brand names that you have tried and liked before, eat there.

Since an airport caters to people from different cultures, ages and preferences, the choices tend to be more international than local. You will tend to find pretty much the same categories of foods – American, Chinese, Italian, Coffee Shops, Bars, etc. at each airport without fail. There may be one or two restaurants that would offer regional fare based on the location. For example Mexican is quite common in Southwestern United States, steaks in the Midwest. Again, if you have eaten a stake before, go ahead and have one. But if you are a newbie, please don’t make the airport a place for your virgin foodie experience.

Frequent travelers often complain about not being able to eat healthy while on the road. Your choice of what you are consuming is perhaps the most important decision factor in picking an airport restaurant. I have found that if you do pay attention and look around, you can always find healthy options such as soups, salads and sandwiches at the very least. The hardest part is to control your mind that may be wandering off to the tempting smell of French fries and doughnuts.

Some common sense should also be used when picking from the menu. You don’t want to eat seafood in a fast food restaurant. A lot of people are conscious of where their meat comes from and I bet your airport restaurant will not be able to provide you this information. Best option is to stay vegetarian as much as you can, but go easy on the cheese and white flour. Eating too many carbohydrates can leave you feeling bloated in the sky.

I like to pack my own snacks before I leave home. Granola bars and dried fruits (almonds, raisins, etc.) are my favorites. That ways, I always have something on me in case of delays and I am not famished and reaching out to the first available food joint that I spot. These days, there are outlets for frozen yogurt and nuts everywhere, so you can forego the free peanuts, pretzels and cookies.

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