Charlie's Hamburgers, Folsom, PA


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No-Bull Burger Purist, born and raised in NJ, the heart of the tri-state area and home to the oldest (and best) burger joints in the country. I don't need all the frilly toppings, happy servers or trendy decor, just a good burger...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shake Shack, Paramus, NJ

Where: Shake Shack, Paramus, NJ
What: Double Shackburger & DogMeister 
Build: 100% all-natural Angus beef double patty topped with lettuce, tomato and Shack sauce. (all burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested).
Build: 100% all-natural hot dog topped with Shack Cheddar and American cheese sauce and crispy shallots. (The dogs ar split and griddled).
Comment: Good, but overpriced. And knowing that Jake's Wayback Burgers are easily on par with the freshness and flavor of the Shake Shack burgers and at prices that won't hurt you when you want to treat your kids to a burger, I won't be back anytime soon.  The burger patties also have a weird softness to the bite. (same as the one I had in NYC).  The meat can't be any higher than a 70/30 meat-to-fat ratio because it was (can't believe I'm going to say it) almost "too" greasy. (I said "almost"). The softness of the meat is the same soft, border-line mushy texture that a Checkers burger has. Not a fan. I'm also a bit in the dark on why SS has such a great reputation for "awesome" burgers, I mean they're very good, but there are others out there pumping out burgers that are just as good or better with less than half the hype - (if I had a burger joint, I'd check out who's handling SS's social media). I can see why SS does so well in NYC - they are charging under $5 bucks for a burger in a city that averages anywhere from $10 on up to $20 (and beyond) for a decent burger so there is little wonder as to one of the reasons their lines are out the door. $5 bucks is a great price for a burger, if, you're getting a good sized burger. The small size of the burger patty at SS absolutely requires that you order a double burger if you want the taste of the meat flavor to come through the toppings. (the double is a "must" folks).  A double? sure, just add another $3 BUCKS for that extra patty. Really? $3 bucks for one of those little patties? So now my burger has me out almost $7 and a half bucks. Geeeezzzz.  This is a prime example of how high prices like Shake Shack's are going to push families back to the fast food chains. 

Here is another reason why:

The demand for burgers is at an all-time high in this country and as the market keeps trending upwards there are new burger joints popping up everywhere. With that said, let's remember what no new business (large or small) can escape, the Stages of Product Life Cycle :

1 Introduction

2 Growth

3 Maturity 

4 Decline   


This is true for the life of any business and if you are not thinking about new ways to re-invent your product(s) by recognizing the Maturity point, you may find yourself riding the death spiral to Decline.  
The reason I'm pointing this out is because while eating at the Shake Shack this week, for the first time, I realized the burger market may be beginning to hit it's Saturation point. Why? Because I found myself eating a burger that was delicious, but yet, fell short in the "value" department. What this means is that I am no longer waiting patiently in line for over 30mins or more just to sample a burger. I am now conscience of price-for-product, AKA "value" and if I'm stepping back to say: "this is an okay burger, but not worth the wait and/or the price" then, others must be too. 

Back to the burger... Again, places like Jake's Wayback Burgers and Steve's Hamburgers are every bit as good, if not, better than Shake Shack but since SS has enjoyed so much praise from the burger-eating public it seems to me that anyone disagreeing will be looked upon as crazy.

Listen, SS has a great tasting burger, but the value left a bad taste in my mouth.  9.3/10

PS:  I need to mention the Hot Dog which I also ordered? The "Dogmeister"..... yeah, not really - it sucked, big time.  Just another reason why you should never order a hot dog at a burger joint... "what was I thinkin?" 

1 comment:

  1. Went to SS last week. Burger was OK, but small. Ratios were good but a double is necessary. The fries were cold. Did not like the rigamarole that occurred while ordering. Long line, inarticulate order taker and it seemed like the process to get the food to the customer was convoluted. It also appeared that no one was in charge. There was lots of help behind the counter but it seemed like they were tripping over each other to avoid getting me the order in a timely manner. Might go again at an off peak hour. Also was too expensive. And they had no Draft Root Beer.


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