As any fast food aficionado will tell you, when it comes to menus you should never judge a book by its cover. While every successful chain has gradually built up their own array of classics, the real rewards are often hidden just below the surface. For fans of any franchise, the secret menu is the Holy Grail of pigging out.
Shrouded in mystery and often more myth than meal, these menus are the industry’s dirty secret. Though there are many legendary offers from across the fast food pantheon, few are as tantalising as cult burger brand Shake Shack. The New York-based business has turned secret menu building into an art form, and the results are spectacular. Strap yourself in. Prepare to feel hungry. Here are 7 secret Shake Shake menu items that will change your life.
1. Grilled Cheese
If ever a sandwich proved that less is more, Shake Shack’s grilled cheese is it. Deceptively simple, yet staggeringly delicious, the key to this secret item is in the preparation. While lesser joints might be content with sandwiching a wedge of average cheddar between any old loaf, Shake Shack show that they care. The two halves of the roll are flipped and buttered, so that the soft outside is exposed to the pan. The result is a pillowy, gooey mess that will change the way you look at cheese.
2. Peanut Butter Bacon Burger
The dance between sweet and savoury has been tempting foodies for decades. However, Shake Shack’s riff on salt and sugar may just take the biscuit. To get your greasy mits on this ultimate breakfast-meets-burger, bacon-meets-butter, peanut-meets-pattie smorgasbord, simply ask for a bacon Shack Burger with peanut sauce. Then, surrender as the sandwich manages to press all your buttons at once.
3. Shack Sauce and Cheese Fries
Though they might be best known for for their burgers, it’s really the sauces that send Shake Shack to the next level. Their signature Shack Sauce is as beloved as a Big Mac or a Whopper, and with good reason. For those who like their lunches saucy, the chain has a secret menu item to keep you satisfied. Ask for an order of Cheese Fries and Shack Sauce and prepare to experience potato like never before.
4. Shack Cago Dog
With so many tasty treats on display, Shake Shack’s impressive array of hot dogs often slip under the radar. Proving that every dog has its day, the secret Shake Cago is as good anything on the market. Featuring a frankfurter topped with pickles, tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers, this is one sausage that deserved to be placed centre stage.
5. Bunless Shack Burger
Fast food doesn’t have to be all about indulgence. Proving that they really have thought of everything, the bunless shack burger caters explicitly for the growing number of health fanatics turning their noses up at anything deep fried and carb heavy. This stripped-back sandwich contains all the elements of a traditional Shack Burger - minus the starchy potato bun. Simply request your burger “bunless” and chow down guilt free.
6. Shake Shack Quad Burger
The jewel in the crown of one of the world’s best secret menus is really something to behold. Completely customisable and a true test of even the most sizable of appetites, the quad burger concept is essentially a riff on any of the chain’s standard items - just with four times the meat. Available at all outlets, this colossal sandwich is as much a test of character as it is a question of taste.
7. Root Beer Float
All this salt demands something sweet. Fortunately, the Shack’s secret menu even has this base covered. Simply ask for a cup of root beer with a scoop of vanilla custard and sit back as you ascend to sticky sweet heaven. As a way to round off a secretive scoffing spree, it’s tough to imagine anything better.
Ordering off menu and moving away from tried and tested classics can be intimidating to all but the most seasoned of fast food diners. Worries over whether you get it wrong or are scoffed at by sneering staff are all in play when you step up to the pass. Fear not fast food fans. As these items proved, the results are undeniably worth it.