Tasting the New Concretes from Theater District Shake Shack
In another installment of the continued and delicious saga entitled "Shake Shack Takes New York," this week saw the opening of the new Theater District outpost of our favorite burgers-and-custard joint. We headed over to check it out, and of course the burgers and fries were as delicious as we'd expected. But what I was really hankerin' after were the three new concretes, made only at this Shack location.
The only real variation among Shake Shack menus are the concretes—frozen custard blended with various mix-ins. The Madison Square Park location has the Shack Attack; on the Upper West Side you can get my favorite, the Upper West Slide. Let's see how the Theater District offerings measure up.
The Great White Way
This concrete, pictured at top, has a vanilla custard base, with marshmallow sauce and "crispy crunchies." The blend is certainly sweet, but the crunchies break up the creamy texture and keep this from being a total sugar bomb. We loved the simplicity of the shake, which allows you to really experience the tasty nature of the Shack's high-quality custard.
Pretzel! The Concrete
This rich concrete has a chocolate custard base, with peanut butter sauce, marshmallow sauce, and large pretzel chunks. The mix got high marks from the chocoholics among us, as well as salty-sweet addicts. Generally I find their chocolate custard a tad grainier than the smooth-as-silk vanilla, but its deep flavor is undeniable. All the flavors married nicely here, making for a satisfying chocolate-lover's dream.
Jelly's Last Donut
Certainly the most topping-heavy of the bunch, this concrete has a vanilla custard base, with Doughnut Plant donuts, strawberry preserves, and cinnamon-sugar. Our first reaction was that this concrete is very sweet, largely due to the strawberry preserves that tasted a heck of a lot more like jelly doughnut filling than any jam we've ever tried. That being said, I kept dipping back for the combination of flavors—the doughnuts were still chewy (not mushy), and the cinnamon gave an elusive, spicy break to the sweetness. This concrete's decadent nature made it feel the most like a guilty pleasure—but that's what we're here for, isn't it?
These are some tasty, tasty shakes. While every eater had their preferences, few real complaints were voiced beyond the necessary nit-picking here and there. Everyone smiles when they have a concrete, and the Theater District additions are just three more reasons to grin as you tough out the rest of the summer's heat.