Jack’s Shack is one “green” fast food place serving burgers, hot dogs, salads, smoothies and more.
The new Glen Head counter service eatery (and prototype for a future franchise operation) is built from reclaimed material and serves what owner William "Jack" Degel says are all-natural meats and locally grown organic produce. Degel -- who also owns Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse with three locations in Bayside and Manhattan -- built the place himself. He also supervises and cooks on the line. Degel defined the eatery's vibe as cool and laid-back, its pricing geared to family affordability.
It's also an attractive place, with a display of colorful produce and an antique refrigerator filled with beverages. Healthy, interesting options abound. Buns, rolls and tortillas may be had in whole grain or whole wheat as well as white. Choose from an assortment of free toppings and sauces, among them pico de gallo, guacamole, coleslaw, chipotle mayo and several kinds of house-made ketchup. You can also get your fries (sweet potato, regular potato, plantain or a medley) dusted with a custom spice mix from the “dustologist” behind the counter. Will it be truffle or “ragin’ Cajun?” There are others, too. It's almost exhausting.
Consider me a fan of the juicy turkey burger ($4.75). The regular burger ($3.95), though, I found a bit dry — even when requested rare (it’s ordinarily done medium). What impressed me most was the deeply flavorful, juicy “Jack’s famous” steak sandwich ($10) — sliced Black Angus prime rib with sauteed onions on a club roll. I also liked the “sausage dog” ($4) ordered with caramelized onions. A real surprise was the vibrant “market” salad ($7) done with roasted beets, Granny Smith apples and more, a house-made dressing (I liked the rosemary ginger) on the side.
Bonus: Every hundredth check (or anyone with a birthday) gets a chance to spin Jack’s “Wheel of Winners” for a free item.
Jack’s Shack is at 671-A Glen Cove Ave., Glen Head, 516-676-7001.