Friday, April 29, 2011

Shake Shack's demented cousin (Square Burger)

Reflective signage

So if you actually want to read an objective view on how this burger tastes (i.e. not blinded by raw hatred), you should probably support AHT (even though they haven't been paying me on time, tsk tsk...) and read the original post over there... because this post is going to be the exact same thing, but written from an angry Asian person's perspective. Let's begin: Square Burger is an epic fail on Stephen Starr's part. Good job on Butcher & Singer, but you fucked up hard on Square Burger. It aspires to be everything that Shake Shack is, a small burger-centric shack that churns out a simplistic top-notch product at a reasonable price. Well they did one thing right by using a small hut, but it's a craptacular one at that. You can't even tell it sells burgers until you get within 20 feet because their giant metallic sign is a giant illegible mirror during the day. Good going guys. Okay... so maybe the shack looks demented, but according to every single other person in Philadelphia, the burgers are awesome... so it's okay!

Classic cheeseburger

... except sometimes I swear half of Philadelphia is either perpetually drunk or blazed out of their mind. After reading post after post after post (I'll refrain from linking since I basically just called them all twats) about how beautifully simplistic the cheeseburger is, you'd swear that its place in history ranks up there with when Columbus discovered America. Let me say this... the burger is not that good. This burger is not worth $4.75. It is nothing more than a glorified McDonald's Quarter Pounder that tastes more of mustard, ketchup, and pickles than meat. Does that sound like an appetizing burger to you?

Burger innards

Maybe if you REALLY like ketchup. Admittedly it uses better ingredients than McD's - it's built on Martin's potato roll and uses a proprietary 80/20 blend from some place - but none of that matters when I'm basically eating a ketchup and mustard sandwich... which I paid $4.75 for. Fuck, that's a Happy Meal at McDonald's. That includes fries, a drink, and a toy.

Cup of fries

Then I paid another $2 for fries. Theirs are frozen and then refried (hey, that's just like Shake Shack!). They're actually not awful, but for $2 I expect a little more than a 12 oz. cup filled with fries. Can you tell I'm still irked from that ketchup-mustard sandwich I paid $4.75 for? Yeah... the bitter flavor of mustard and pickles is a hard taste to erase.


This is the one thing you did right Square Burger. The only thing. Blending Tastykake butterscotch Krimpets into half-and-half and ice cream. Then adding more butterscotch syrup. Let's be completely honest here though, all those things are pre-packaged, and all you did was mix them together. La-dee-da, it just means that the only product you produce effectively is the one that effectively removes any element of skill. Put stuff in cup, press button, blend. That said, seriously... good job on this. If I had to trample senior citizens to get another one... so be it. It is straight sexual (not even holding back by using "sensual"). But back to the anger...

What pissed me off the most however, wasn't even the food. If you follow me on Twitter (which if you don't, you probably should... it helps my boost my low self-esteem)... I was obviously uber-excited to get a Cake Shake. Why did I tweet about it on so many different days? Because the people who run Square Burger make asshat decisions to close up whenever they damn well please. The first time I went, they told me they closed with park hours at 6 pm. Okay, that's fine - except the sign at the entrance of the park said closing time was 9 pm. Whatever. I go back the next day at 4 pm. Apparently the hut was closed because it had rained in the morning? What happened to "rain or shine?" Twice. I was lied to twice. In summary, it took three trips to accomplish what I had to, which was to be disappointed by one of the crappiest burgers I've eaten in Philly. The Cake Shake is truly fantastic, but it doesn't really make up for the general suckfest that is Square Burger.


Stephanie said...

500 > Burger²

esther said...

that's hilarious! If you're going to copy shake shack, at least use good quality meat. lol.

Barton said...

find your bitterness amusing, cheers stay sour

Nicholas said...

Stephanie - not that I disagree with that statement, but you could pretty much put any burger place in Philly on the left side of that equation.

esther - to be fair, I have no clue if the meat is good or not. I couldn't taste it. From the press it's some proprietary blend (and we all know those are phenomenal) from Indian Ridge or whatever.

Barton - don't get too used to it, I'm not usually bitter about things pertaining to food. I like eating most of the time, the experience here was just a bit ridiculous imo.

Jamie said...

the hours are infuriating, I am with you, I still haven't gotten to try their food because of that

Shirley said...

Nic, Mcdonald's classic cheeseburger is insulted and so is my childhood!!! At least I had a toy with my burger for $2.99!!!

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