Our big beef with Shake Shack has always been the fries. Since the first location opened in Manhattan’s 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 Island’s 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 Island’s very best French fries, a list that includes both Five Guys (all over the Island) and Bobby’s Burger Palace (locations in Roosevelt Field and Smith Haven Mall).
For the overall menu, I’d pick Shake Shack over Five Guys in a heartbeat, but Bobby’s 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 Bobby’s, though his run about $1 more than Shake Shack’s. I love that Shake Shack makes its own frozen custard whereas Bobby’s uses regular ice cream. But I’d still declare a draw where the chocolate malteds are concerned. Bobby’s fries, however, are markedly more delicious than Shake Shack’s, and his slightly spicy BBP fry sauce puts the win clearly in Flay’s court.