Shake Shack converts to fresh fries

Shake Shack at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza Shake Shack at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City is now serving fresh-cut French fries, April 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

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Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Our big beef with Shake Shack has always been the fries. Since the first location opened in Manhattans Madison Square Park in 2004, the burgerie has served previously frozen crinkle-cut fries along with its carefully sourced beef and freshly made frozen custard. We were not alone in our outrage and, in August, the chain began a rollout of a new fry that was hand-cut, skin-on and freshly fried to order. The new fries have now reached Long Islands sole Shake Shack at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City.

Last night I stopped by to sample the fries ($2.85) and they were hot and salty and perfectly satisfying. But they lacked the addictive, deeply potato-y savor of Long Islands very best French fries, a list that includes both Five Guys (all over the Island) and Bobbys Burger Palace (locations in Roosevelt Field and Smith Haven Mall).

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For the overall menu, Id pick Shake Shack over Five Guys in a heartbeat, but Bobbys menu has the breadth and depth to challenge Shake Shack to a true burger-joint throwdown.

The burgers at the two places are comparable. I have a slight preference for Bobbys, though his run about $1 more than Shake Shacks. I love that Shake Shack makes its own frozen custard whereas Bobbys uses regular ice cream. But Id still declare a draw where the chocolate malteds are concerned. Bobbys fries, however, are markedly more delicious than Shake Shacks, and his slightly spicy BBP fry sauce puts the win clearly in Flays court.

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