Earlier this summer, I went with some friends for lunch at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. We don't usually go to the MSP location, not because we don't like it, but because the line is always really long, circling around the park at peak times. Although I was really tempted by the special Roadside Burger with caramelized onions, I knew I had to get the ParkBurger. It was introduced this summer after the MSP location reopened post-renovation and has been exclusive to the park location. When would be the next time I would wait in line long enough to get one?
The ParkBurger takes the usual Shake Shack patty and tops it with "cave aged Jasper Hill Farm raw cow's milk cheese sauce and all-natural Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon." It sounded a bit decadent with bacon and a rich cheese sauce, but I definitely wanted to try it. Unlike the regular ShackBurger which comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle (if you order it with everything), I noticed a significant lack of vegetables with this burger. I didn't know if you could add on those toppings for free, but I also didn't try because I wanted to try it as it was intended to be. So instead I got an order of fries. (Potatoes are vegetables, right? Ha.)
The burger looked pretty good when I got it, but the one problem with the way Shake Shack serves their burgers (on their side) is that sometimes the toppings can fall to the bottom. That definitely happened here since it was a cheese sauce and not just melted cheese. The half of the burger that was towards the "top" of the box had a little bit of cheese sauce, but most of it was towards the bottom and/or in the bag. Once I noticed that, I went back up for a fork because there was no way I was letting the cheese sauce go unfinished in the bag, and there was way too much to just scoop up with extra burger bun.
The ParkBurger had good flavor. The Shake Shack patty is one of our favorites and it was topped with some really good bacon. I liked that the cheese sauce was different from the usual burger's cheese, and I did like the taste, but I think the burger suffered a little bit from the cheese not being uniformly distributed and mostly being in the wrapper. The way the cheese melts on the regular ShackBurger is better in that respect, for sure. Overall, I liked the ParkBurger and I'm glad I tried it, but given the choice, I'd still choose the regular ShackBurger instead. Not only is it cheaper, but the balance is more to my taste since it has some vegetable toppings to lighten it up, and not just bacon and cheese. The classic burger wins again!