More Concrete, Please!
I know Danny Meyer has the magic touch when it comes to restaurants, but a burger joint named “Shake Shack?” You betcha. The burger was great, but let’s face it, my blog is Desserts Required and burgers can be skipped anytime to save room for a fabulous dessert. In this case, I had four; yup you are reading correctly, four desserts that fall under the category of what Shake Shackcalls “Concretes”. A Concrete is kind of like a Dairy Queen Blizzard® that has been bumped up to Nirvana.
I should back up a tad to give you a better idea of how badly I wanted to try these concrete desserts. I gathered a group of friends to drive 1½ hours each way to have lunch at a burger joint. Shake Shack is located just off Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. We arrived around 10:10 a.m., too early as Shake Shack opens at 11:30 a.m. We moseyed around, wandering in and out of shops until finally it was time. We rounded the corner and I saw the sign over the door and the Shake Shack umbrellas blowing in the breeze and the excitement built.
Walking in, the first thing I noticed was the sign with the daily frozen custard specials. We went on a Wednesday, which meant Figs and Honey. Delicious, but I wanted concrete. When I placed my order for a burger and three desserts, the lovely lady behind the counter asked if she heard correctly. Absolutely!
My first dessert was the Vice Crispy Treat – vanilla custard blended with marshmallow sauce and crispy crunchies. From reading the menu, I thought it would be like a rice crispie treat, but then I tasted this concrete and realized how off base I was. It is not just a marshmallow sauce. It is a smooth, perfectly sweetened sauce that reminded me of the consistency of salt water taffy after it is played with for several minutes. I love a crunch to my food and these crispy crunchies hit the spot. It was perfection, not to be topped UNTIL…
I tried the Shark Attack – chocolate custard, peanut butter, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Valrhona chocolate pearls and chocolate sprinkles. OH MY GOD. Seriously, who thought of this one and how do I sit with him/her every meal? The cookie dough is to die for; the peanut butter is not overpowering, but adds another layer to the flavor depths found in this concrete. Getting the bites of the pearls and finally the sprinkles just takes this to a whole other league from simply dessert. I forgot to ask why the name is Shark Attack. Perhaps because if folks tried to take it away from me, they would be confronted with an attack that Steven Spielberg could never have imagined.
The third dessert I tried was the Peach Pie Oh My – vanilla custard blended with a slice of peach pie from The Sugar Monkey. In my humble opinion, they could not have ordered a better pie than from Jennifer at the sugar monkey and it did not disappoint. The only issue I had with this was that the crust, which is a perfect butter crust, is better warm than mixed into the frozen dessert. I would love to have the sugar monkey’s warm peach pie with a giant scoop of vanilla custard, perhaps blended with a few other treats to compliment the pie.
When I chatted with Dan Tavan, General Manager of Shake Shack, and could not stop raving about the Vice Crispy Treat and Shark Attack, he asked if I had tried the Key Lime Pie Oh My. I told him I had not and when he suggested I should, well, how could I possibly say no, especially when I heard that it was made with a slice of the sugar monkey’s Key Lime Pie. Oh My just does not sum it up. Picture this, you have creamy, smooth, delicious vanilla custard and then you get the pucker up perfection of key lime filling to take you right over the edge from Oh My, to OH MY. Plus, you get wonderful bites of the graham cracker crust. Seriously, what does it take to get Shake Shack to open up in Palm Beach County?
Then again, if Shake Shack were really this close, I would be the size of a house and my family would beg me to stop talking because as it is, they have to listen to me go on and on and on about why we have to drive 3 hours to eat “concrete”.