The term “All-American” is definitely losing popularity these days with the changing social climate. But when we moved here from India as kids, it was all we could think about.
On a freezing holiday-season morning in NYC, my brothers and I were faced with the oh-so-familiar challenge of coming up with a lunch idea. We had tried authentic fast Chinese at Xi’an Famous Foods and the authentic slice at Joe’s on Carmine, but we were craving something simple but decadent. Something new, yet familiar. And then it clicked. It was already on our to-do list – “The All American Lunch”.
My brother and his coworkers had come up with it one day at their office, but never actually tried to pull it off. It was a simple lunch – the classic burger, fries, and milkshake. The stuff the big Micky D’s was built on. But the unique part was WHERE the burgers, fries, and milkshake came from. Here’s the menu:
Burger: ShackStack from ShakeShack + RED CHERRY PEPPERS
Fries: Large Cajun Fries from Five Guys
Milkshake: Häagen-Dazs Shake (of choice – but strongly recommend the chocolate oreo shake)
Order of Consumption: Burger > Fries > Shake > Repeat
It was like your three favorite artists collabed and made the most epic track you’ve ever heard in the history of music. Granted, I was a little skeptical about SmashBurger’s shake because I had never heard of SmashBurger prior to this. But it delivered.
Although a bit on the pricey side for a burger ($10), the ShackStack delivered. The warm gruyere that oozed out of the portobello as soon as I took that first bite was a pleasant surprise. The gooeyness of the cheese complimented the crunch of the veggies and the chewiness of the burger perfectly. The tang and kick from the cherry peppers made such an impact that I don’t think I’ll ever eat at ShakeShack without them. To leave them out would be an insult and a disservice to yourself and the food community.
The cajun fries speak for themselves. If you haven’t had these thick cut babies, you must. The cajun seasoning and the crunch of the skin leading in to a softer tater bite leaves these fries to only be beat by Wurstküche. And the best part about Five Guys’ fries? Size doesn’t matter. Even if you get a small, they’ll pack on those bad boys to their heart’s content!
And finally the Haägen-Dazs shake from SmashBurger. If I could give both these companies a hug for joining forces, I would because they just did something great for this world. You know how perfect HD’s ice cream is. Well, for some reason, SmashBurger knows how to shake the sh** out of it and make it drinkable. It provided the perfect balance to the meal, refreshing the palate with a cool, sweet taste right before you hit it again with another bite of the ShackStack.
Don’t be discouraged, Angelinos. All these places are in LA. You just need to get yourself and 2 other friends together and time it out perfectly, so that the milkshake and fries are at ShakeShack by the time the burgers, which take the longest to prepare, are done.