In an over-exhausted London market, where the city is literally teeming with new chains, there’s a lot of pressure for the food to be phenomenal or at least have some kitschy selling point to reel in curious eaters. Now, hoping to up the ante overseas, Shake Shack London debuted its first Shacktoberfest to celebrate the German holiday of beer and brats this past week.
The menu comprised of special edition biers, bratwursts and burgers including but not limited to, a flat-top griddled Emmanteler cheese bratwurst, crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots and ShackSauce. For the brats, there were four to choose from: the Spicy Brat, Currywurst, Bavarian Brat and Cheese Brat. In case that wasn’t enough to induce a food coma, the famous Shake Shack crinkle-cut fries were on deck, in addition to the German-themed dessert menu of an Apfelstrudel Shake and a German Chocolate Pecan Concrete — chocolate frozen custard blended with coconut–pecan caramel and chocolate truffle cookie dough. Did I mention the Shacktoberfest Bier Stein, 20 oz. of ShackMeister Ale (which tasted more like lager, but that’s not overly important), and the mug is yours to keep? Clutch.
Take a closer look at the boozy offerings and meaty eats below.
Spicy Brat and Cheese Brat
The griddled Emmentaler cheese-stuffed bratwurst was perfectly cooked, with gross amounts of cheese melted into every bite. We did have one complaint: For a German sausage, it could have been heftier.
Crinkle-Cut Cheese Fries
An absolute winner. Who can resist the good old American gooey, fluorescent orange, American cheese generously melted over a heap of crispy, salty crinkle-cut fries?
Shacktoberfest Bier Stein
Of course, it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without beer — the best deal on the Shacktoberfest menu by far. A 20 oz. beer mug is yours to keep for only £10. Filled to the brim with Shake Shack’s very own ShackMeister Ale, refills are available for £4.50. We apologize for the blurry picture, we were a few brews deep at this point.
German Chocolate Pecan Concrete
The chocolate custard is amazing in its own right, now overload it chock-a-bock with candy and you’ll be drowning in delicious. Oh, and blending the custard with chocolate hazelnut brownies from St. JOHN Bakery (which arguably makes the best doughnuts in London)? Genius.
This dessert is sinfully sweet, yet quite pleasant. Its smooth milkshake-like consistency blended well with a cast of cozy autumnal spices, making for a comforting and filling dessert.
A prime example of the globalization of food — an American chain, in London, celebrating German heritage and culture. Whether simply a glorified fast food endeavor or an attempt at truly integrating American exports with another country’s celebrations (or both!), if it means more frozen custard for everybody, then hey, who can complain about that?
24, Market Building, The Piazza, Covent Garden
London WC2E 8RD
020 3598 1360
Photography by Erica Schecter