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» NYC’s Shake Shack Goes to Washington
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NYC’s Shake Shack Goes to Washington

By • Aug 13th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

That sound you just heard was legions of Beltway burger fanatics having one collective (albeit anticipatory) burgergasm.  New York City’s venerable Shake Shack announced plans this week to open a new location in the nation’s capital, causing an East Coast version of the foodie frenzy usually reserved for In-N-Out grand openings out West.

The DC Shake Shack, to open in “the first half of 2011,” will be located at 1216 18th Street NW in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, seen in the following photo released by Shake Shack HQ:

The space is certainly no stranger to cheeseburgers, having formerly been a Fuddruckers location.  But the cultlike following that Shake Shack has garnered since debuting in 2004 will undoubtedly make the NYC chain’s 8th shop an incredible overnight success.

Danny Meyer opened the first Shake Shack in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park and quickly won New York magazine’s “Best Burger” award.

Satellite stores have since sprung up on the city’s Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, in the Theater District, and at Citi Field, where the New York Mets play ball.  (Another one’s coming to Battery Park in 2011.)  This year saw the chain expand operations outside of the Big Apple, putting one Shake Shack at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York and another in Miami Beach, their first restaurant beyond the Empire State’s borders.  But the Madison Square location is still the flagship, and even boasts a webcam streaming a live look at the ungodly-long line, where hungry customers often wait for over an hour to place an order.

But for their trouble, they’re rewarded with one of the most celebrated burgers anywhere.  Their “proprietary blend” of daily-ground beef is a well-guarded secret that took New York meat maestro Pat LaFrieda almost 20 tries to perfect. (Our burger buds over at Serious Eats approximate it to be a 2:1:1 ratio of sirloin, chuck, and brisket.)  The “roadside” burgers are then smash-cooked on a griddle and dressed in very simple toppings: American cheese, green leaf lettuce, plum tomato, and their famed Shack Sauce on a grilled potato bun.

Five Guys, Ray’s Hell Burger, BGR, Ben’s Chili Bowl… and now Shake Shack.  Washington, DC is indeed a burger-mad town.  And thanks in part to the Carnivore-in-Chief and his heavily-publicized lunch runs, the city is rapidly becoming a true mecca for cheebie chowhounds everywhere.  Sounds like I need to start planning a road trip…

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