Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a formerly shake-free zone, began testing milkshakes at select New York and New Jersey locations earlier this year. I’ve always admired the fries at Five Guys. My relationship with the burgers is more complicated. I don’t exactly like them ... and yet I can’t stop eating them. (Readers: Has this happened to you?)
So when I learned that six of the shake-testing stores are here on Long Island, I high-tailed it to Huntington Station. (The other five are Garden City Park, Hauppauge, Long Beach, Merrick and Nesconset.)
The verdict: No admiration, no strange fascination, just disappointment. Five Guys claims that the shakes are hand spun and, indeed, a woman used her hands to maneuver the plastic cup around the spindle of the milk shake machine. Into the cup she released a thick, white substance which, I learned from fiveguys.com, is a mixture of milk fat and nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, whey, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, carrageenan, natural and artificial flavors. I had ordered a chocolate shake ($3.99) and, to the shake mix, she added some chocolate syrup. Then — again, using her hands — she held the cup while the shake was spun.
Not surprisingly, the shake tasted mostly of sugar and artificial vanilla flavoring. But thanks to the cellulose gum and carrageenan (a thickener made from seaweed), it retained some of its creamy texture well past the two-hour mark.
Folks, here’s how to make a milk shake: Combine whole milk, freshly scooped ice cream and flavored syrup and blend. Hands optional.