Here at SE:NY we don't mess around. As soon as we heard about Shake Shack's Shacktober Fest, we descended en masse to taste test every item on the Shacktober Fest menu. It is indeed a tough job, but someone has to do it—and since we consider it our mission to lead you to everything delicious in New York, that someone happened to be us.
Our order that cloudy Monday:
1 Bratwurst with cranberry horseradish relish 1 Andouille Sausage with braised red cabbage 1 Polish Sausage with celery root slaw 1 Cran-Apple Strudel Concrete 1 German Chocolate Cake Concrete 1 Apple Honey Cake Concrete (it was the concrete of the day) 2 pints of the pumpkin spice custard An order of spicy mustard (it's only .25)
The verdict after the jump:
The Andouille Sausage is meaty and is spicy enough (at least for me), and the braised red cabbage works really well as a topping.
The Polish Sausage is nice and juicy, and with the celeriac slaw and the mustard, makes a fine tubesteak lunch.
The Sheboygan-style Beer-Soaked bratwurst leaves a great deal to be desired. It was devoid of flavor and had an unappealing (too finely ground) texture. There were flecks of black pepper throughout, but for some reason even they added no discernible taste. The cranberry horseradish relish completely overwhelmed the brat.
The German chocolate cake concrete was a knockout: very chocolaty, extremely creamy, and was mercifully not too sweet.
The cran-apple strudel concrete could have used a little more cranberry and a bit more strudel-y crunch, but overall was a fine concrete specimen.
The apple honey cake concrete, perhaps an ode to Danny Meyer's Jewish grandmother, was perfectly fine, but not all that inspiring. It didn't have a pronounced honey flavor, and the apples were a little too sweet.
The pumpkin spice custard was intensely pumpkin-y. If you are a fan of pumpkin desserts you will love it. I really liked it, but I felt myself longing for a pumpkin pie concrete, a Shake Shack invention I fell in love with a couple of years ago. I'm sure that particular concrete will find its way to the Shacktober fest menu sometime between now and the 17th of October, when Shacktober fest ends.
So go to Shacktober Fest, have the andouille or the Polish sausage with the shack-made slaws, spend the extra .25 for the spicy mustard, and wash them down with the German Chocolate Cake concrete. Or wash them down with one of the specialty beers and have some pumpkin custard for dessert (you have to go on a Monday for that). And if they happen to bring back the pumpkin pie concrete, order one. If you like pumpkin pie, you will not be disappointed.
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