This past Saturday, I found myself harboring a dangerous combination of feelings: curiosity, boredom and anxiety. What does one do in such a situation?? Some drink, some take pills…and some walk 25 blocks and 8 avenues to Shake Shack. Yes, friends, I am the latter.
The thought of this peanut butter & bacon burger had me so perplexed, yet at the same time, I knew I had to try it. So I put on my walking shoes (actually they were flats – basically the opposite of walking shoes) and started my journey from 52nd st and 2nd ave to 77th and Columbus. You call it crazy, I call it dedication.
I know to most people that is a long, yet doable walk - however I have knee problems and a leg injury, so I definitely started to limp a little when I hit Columbus Circle. But I was so close! "Just a few more blocks until peanut butter and bacon," I kept telling myself. Around 69th and Columbus I passed Magnolia bakery, and I was in such pain by that point I considered giving up and just eating a dozen red velvet cupcakes. But I didn't – I forged on. Hell I made it this far, and by then it had become more of a personal conquest of actually getting there than trying the burger. I was so afraid by the time I got there that they would be out of peanut butter or something ridiculous like that. I finally reached my destination and saw the line wrap around the corner. Awesome. I was NOT going to let that deter me. I made it, and damn it I'm going to reward myself. There were a few drunk guys behind me that kept trying to cut me in line, so I very nicely told them to back the F up or I would have to start throwin elbows.
For such a long line, it moved fairly quickly; I'd say I only waited 15-20 mins. I finally get up to the cash register…and I decided to stock up. One PB & Bacon burger, one Shackburger (in case the PB one was gross), fries, and a black and white milkshake with peanut butter sauce. I figured if you're going to do peanut butter, do it big. 5 minutes later, my order is ready! I had to take it to go because there was absolutely nowhere to sit, so I hop in a cab, tell the driver to put the heat on and step on it. Clutching my somewhat greasy paper bag to keep it warm (yay body heat), we made it back to the east side and I hurdled up my steps to get to this ridiculous spread of artery-clogging concoctions.
Have I dragged this out long enough?? I bit into the peanut butter & bacon burger first, and…it was good, but not great. I didn't even taste the peanut butter on the first couple of bites, so I found an area of the burger with the most concentration of peanut butter and I bit off a chunk there. It was a little sweet, and the thick-cut, salty bacon was excellent. Supposedly, the bacon is cajun-bacon, but I definitely didn't get any of that taste in there. I think that peanut butter and bacon go well together, but I'm still unsure of the beef as a bed for it..? It didn't taste bad by any means though, and I would certainly not be turned off by it anymore, but if you don't really love peanut butter (like I do), I don't know if this would be appealing to you. I took a bite of the regular Shackburger to compare, and while the peanut butter/bacon has more of a distinct, salty bite to it, the Shackburger still wins hands down. It's just an awesome burger; paired with those perfectly-seasoned fries…mmmm nums.
Was it worth the swollen knee and charlie horse? Hell fucking yes. Any day topped off with two burgers and a shake is a good day. I wouldn't exactly go running back there for the PB Bacon burger (plus I physically couldn't), but I am glad I got to experience it. Now when someone asks me, "what's the weirdest thing you ever ate?" that'll definitely be in the top five. And until someone comes up with a marshmallow burger or something, I'll be sticking to my Shackburger and black and white milkshake…peanut butter is more than welcome in that one.