Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dear Shake Shack: A Side Request.

Dear Shake Shack:

I'm just going to get this out of the way: I like you. Like, a lot. For years we played the whole adorable, yet straining long distance thing. Upon my sporadic New York jaunts though, it really was true: distance does make the heart grow fonder. We'd jubilantly reconnect over a Shack burger, Crinkle Cuts and a Concrete. We were a real life, albeit somewhat peculiar, indie rom-com couple.

That was then though. Now you're as golden as the state in which you're proliferating. You're suddenly all up in my west coast grill. Which is 1) cool, 2) a big step for us, 3) intimidating, 4) changed our relationship. I'm going to focus mainly on number 4 here because it's the most pertinent. Shake Shack's expansion has shifted my Shake Shack eating habits. No longer is SS a special NYC treat in which every drop by (which was infrequent) I go goddamn calorically gangbusters. Now, Shake Shack is (kinda) part of what I call "the rotation." As in, along with other oft-visited lunch spots (Tender Greens, BacoShop, Sweetgreen, Cava, Loqui, et al), when the afternoon starts to hit, I mentally flip through my rotation to decide which establishment to proffer my lunching services.

I, however, often cannot chose Shake Shack. This is because you only have ONE side dish, girl! Just one. And they're French fries. You see, as a general rule of thumb, I abstain from fries during weekday lunches because, well, I don't want to die prematurely? I understand at your core, you probably think of yourself as the little burger stand franchise that could that doesn't need a side other than fries. But to that I repute: you were never just a "burger stand" because... you were originally a hot dog stand (ha ha, got ya, sucker!). More importantly though, you're not a burger stand to me. I'd imagine, as you expand, I'm not alone either. In fact, when I visited today, you were playing Nick Jr. on your TVs, obviously orchestrating to the mother-baby afternoon crowd. 

You're more than a burger stand now. 

In truth, I haven't had any of your burgers in a year. My usual: the new grilled chicken sandwich (add cherry peppers because DUH) and... THAT'S IT. There's nothing else to reasonably order - aside from maybe two sandwiches? I don't really want to order two sandwiches though, due to the whole aforementioned mortality expediency thing. Thus, I can't really have you in the lunch rotation. Only on the abnormal day (like today) will a grilled chicken sandwich solo do the trick. Most days it's simply not enough for a growing young Los Angeleno (note: I haven't grown for years and am not young anymore).

SO THE HECK DO YOU WANT, BRO? Good question. It's as simple as (a) pie (Concrete): I want a dang side! Any side. Something to accompany my very, very lonely chicken sandwich. Something that isn't fries. Exactly what that is? I don't know, girl. Almost everything I've devoured at the Shack is good. I'm sure you can think of something. I'd be happy to brainstorm to help out as well. Maybe... Soup? A Caesar? Baked zucchini sticks? Basically anything that isn't either deep-fried or celery with hummus. NO CELERY WITH HUMMUS for the love of God.

Shake Shack appears to be run incredibly efficiently. Almost as if Rosey from "The Jetsons" is in charge. You also, via your rotating specials, consistently demonstrate a desire to mix things up to please your customers. With this in mind, I hope you take my suggestion seriously. I imagine I'm not alone with this request. Remember when In 'n Out added Hot Chocolate and the internet lost its shit in excitement? This would be bigger. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my note. Hope to add you to the vaunted, highly-coveted rotation full-time soon.

Hugs and hugs,

P.S. Bring back the Hot Chick'n sandwich already. 
P.S.S. It can't be Mac 'n Cheese.
P.S.S.S. Something healthy-adjacent, but not too healthy adjacent, you know.