It was once OM, where celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Ann Hathaway partied after receiving their Hasty Pudding Awards. Now it has become the upscale fast food spot known as Shake Shack with a line that seems never ending and where hipsters, tourists and Harvard types rub elbows while enjoying a burger and shake.
The impressive line in the kitchen seems to ensure that the experience goes off in a timely manner and without a hitch. We are told, after perusing the long line, that it's a bout a 4 minute wait to order and 5 more to get the food. We were skeptical but the times were quite accurate. All of the burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise specified and consistency is the key.
The upstairs dining area is packed and you may have to wait just a few moments to snag a seat depending on the size of your party. The room overlooks Winthrop Park in Harvard Square with floor to ceiling windows.
We ordered the Shack Burger ($4.85) and Dogmeister ($4.00) with Fries ($2.85), a Hasty Pudding Shake ($5.00 on limited time special) and a Root Beer Float ($5.00), perfect comfort food for a brisk night. The burger is good, not outstanding but certainly not disappointing. It's a thin burger with cheese, tomato and lettuce on a fresh potato bun (not toasted). The Hasty Pudding was a thick blend of vanilla frozen custard, banana and salted caramel sauce and my favorite part of the meal. The dog (not pictured) was served with a heap of fried shallots.
The shoestring fries are passable, perhaps a bit soggy. They just didn't have the crispness I was expecting. Overall, the burger surpassed other chains like Five Guys or Tasty Burger, in my opinion. Worth a visit.
92 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138