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Shake Shack: Report from Westbury

At Shake Shack in Westbury, the SmokeShack burger

At Shake Shack in Westbury, the SmokeShack burger is topped with cheese, Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce. (Jan. 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

I thought I’d let the crowds die down before I visited Shake Shack in Westbury. The buzzed-about burgerie, brainchild of renowned restaurateur-uber mensch Danny Meyer, opened Nov. 10 to much ballyhoo — and lines out the door. Last night, we had to wait about five minutes before ordering at the counter but managed to find a free table in the dining room.

I’ve been to Shake Shacks in New York City, and this one, Union Square Hospitality Group’s 16th, was just as spiffy, the folks just as friendly, the food identical. I thoroughly enjoyed my SmokeShack burger ($6.25), topped with cheese, Niman Ranch bacon, chopped cherry peppers and ShackSauce, a slightly spicy pinkish mayo-based sauce. They get it all right at Shake Shack: The burger is crusty and juicy, the Martin’s potato bun buttered and toasted. There’s none of that telltale “fast-food” smell.

The crinkle-cut fries are previously frozen. I have no idea why. This is a place that makes its frozen custard, lemonade, iced tea. The fries are OK, but not nearly as good as Five Guys’, Cheeburger Cheeburger’s or Bobby’s Burger Palace’s. (Bobby Flay started out with frozen fries but converted to fresh-cut within a few months.)

Shake Shack occupies a free-standing building in the parking lot of the new Gallery at Westbury Plaza shopping center and has christened this location Shake Shack, Westbury, but in fact it is technically within 11530, a Garden City ZIP code.

Shake Shack is at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza, 860 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-620-2880.

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