Months ago, rumors started swirling that Shake Shack, a popular fast-food eatery that started as a food cart in New York's Madison Square Park, would be opening a Chicago location.
This month, the company has made it official with an announcement that it is planning its first Illinois location at 66 E. Ohio St., which is part of the Shops at North Bridge complex.
The restaurant is slated to open in late 2014, according to Greg Waters, senior manager of marketing and communications for Shake Shack.
Details have not yet been released about the Chicago location's menu, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that it's similar to the original. Here are 5 reasons we're excited for the arrival of Shake Shack in Chicago.
1. The burgers. "They serve the best fast-food burger that I’ve ever had. Everything tastes like it’s been grilled in butter," said Elite Truong, an intern for RedEye's sibling site Metromix.
2. The cheesiness. "Shake Shack knows that you already want a cheeseburger, so cheesy options dominate the burger menu," Truong said. "Who orders burgers without cheese?"
3. The custard. There are only a few custard shops in town -- Scooter's, Lickity Split -- and as far as we're concerned, more is more. Shake Shack uses its frozen custard to make shakes, floats and concretes (custard with toppings and mix-ins). Creative concrete options at other locations include Jelly's Last Donut made with vanilla custard, strawberry preserves, cinnamon sugar and doughnuts from NYC's Doughnut Plant. Maybe there's an opportunity to pair up with a local doughnut shop here for something similar? Here's hoping ...
4. The vegetarian options. Here's a thought: Just because vegetarians don't eat meat doesn't mean they always want to eat a super-healthy quinoa/black bean/kale burger. Shake Shack delivers with a veggie burger that's seriously indulgent: A deep-fried cheese-stuffed portabella mushroom.
5. The fries. There are simply not enough burger joints in Chicago selling crinkle-cut fries. Shake Shack's will be a welcome addition.
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