"Alton Towers? It's rubbish. Next!"
- David Brent, The Office (Series 2, Episode 3)
"Shake Shack. From hereon in, it will be known as Shit Shack. Don't bother."
- A friend
Strong words indeed from a fellow dinner, but words that unfortunately should be heeded. I have to confess that I tried neither the shake nor the burger for which Shake Shack is famed. Perhaps then I should go back and start again? No. I don't think so. A queue of 45 minutes - which my own tardiness prevented me from standing in - is not something I could bear now knowing what awaits at the end; although it would suggest that Shake Shack can afford to swing two fingers in my direction. 'You just lost yourself a customer!' shouts Homer across the crowded bar.
Instead, I'll take the shrugged shoulders of the same friend with regards to the burger and another who said "s'alright" when I enquired about the shake. Not promising. As for my meal: a handful of fries that might constitute a crowd at Wigan Athletic FC, but a barren wilderness anywhere else, and a hotdog that was more bread than dog, with an unwelcome abundance of sharp pickle that tainted my next two pints. The lemonade was adequate.
I may have been slightly kinder to the food had the rest of the experience not been quite so awful - and I write that having been spared the lengthy queue! Covent Garden is never going to be the best dining experience on an August evening, but the service at Shake Shack seemed to work hard at making it worse still. I give them ten-out-of-ten for their piss poor attitude. Some staff stood around doing nothing, while others hunted the floor like jackals for anyone who'd dared to remain seated after finishing their food. Seriously?! I've paid to eat here and I'll sit for as long as it takes for me to chew down this swill. Given the hotdog is finger-sized I'll only be 18 seconds, so what's the rush?!
The final biscuit was taken when I went to collect a napkin. A member of staff actually moved my hand from the dispenser so she could take one for herself. I was speechless, and that doesn't happen often.
Anyway, good luck to them. I'm sure the thronging tourist crowds will cover the (presumably) astronomic rent in Covent Garden, but my pennies will not be assisting with their overheads any time soon.