The First Burger & Fries at Shake Shack South Beach

Short Order was first on the scene today for the Friends and Family preview at Shake Shack. The much-hyped, high-quality burger joint from New York has been the talk of South Beach all spring. Naturally, we had to get there early to see the Danny Meyer eatery in action.

At 12:30, the staff was still in a team meeting. There was an air of excitement in the Lincoln Road space even before they served their first burger. Shake Shack CEO David Swinghamer said the company "wanted to capture the essence of Miami. This was not done according to a business plan." In fact, when they decided to expand to their first city outside of New York, Miami was on a short list, but not necessarily the first choice. They fell in love with the 1111 Lincoln Road building, which was designed by renowned architects Herzog and de Meuron, and the rest was history.

"Lincoln Road is the gathering spot of Miami," David continued. "And Shake Shack is about being a magnet in the community. We are about people being with people." Shake Shack is also known for long lines, sometimes upwards to an hour, in New York City. Sure enough, by 1:15, the queue had passed the door and pooled out into the street. No one seemed to mind the wait for burgers and cheese fries, but everything was gratis this afternoon.

Everyone was devouring their Shack Burger, which is the most popular item in the Shake Shack repertoire. (They sell at least 1,000 a day at each location in New York.) All of their burgers are ground daily from antibiotic- and hormone-free black angus beef. Sadly, the Bird Dog was not available today, which is chicken sage sausage from Usinger's in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, there were scrumptious cheese fries and frozen custards to fill the void.

Shake Shack created three customized frozen custards, called concretes, for Miami. The Key Lime Pie Oh My mixes vanilla custard with local Key lime pie from Sugar Monkey. Then there is the Shack Beach Diet, which is fruity with vanilla custard, coconut-passion caramel and fresh kiwi. (Unlike the South Beach Diet, there is nothing low-cal about this one.) Finally, the Shark Attack is for chocoholics with its chocolate custard, chocolate pearls, chocolate sprinkles and peanut butter. The shakes are all messy, gooey and delicious, but the Key Lime Pie Oh My was our favorite by far.

Shake Shack is officially open next Tuesday, June 22. Until then, they will be in soft opening mode, with limited hours. On Tuesday, after their private grand opening party, the hours will be 11:30 a.m. to Midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on the weekends. Look for the 60-seat outdoor seating area (across the way from Pottery Barn) to debut tomorrow, too.

Shake Shack
1111 Lincoln Road, South Beach

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Jacquelynn D. Powers