Shake Shack, Freehold

Culver’s is a huge chain in the Midwest.

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Culvers burgers are nothing to write home about.

Their frozen custards, however, are great.

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And that’s what Danny Meyer was going for… a throwback to what he grew up on

I did Google Culver and discovered where the chain was located before you posted about it. We haven’t been to the Western part of the country since the 1980’s.

You’re right that Danny Meyer’s intent was to recreate the burgers, franks, and soft custard he grew up with in Chicago. We didn’t get the soft custard this time. But we’ve had it countless time, and it is delicious. (The Madison Square Park often has a dedicated custard line, so would occasionally get some even when weren’t getting anything else.) I tried the SS Chicken Bites right after they were introduced a few years ago. I felt they were not nearly as good as McD’s Chicken McNuggets which I always get instead of the burger.

Culver’s started in WI with the idea of simply bringing fresh to fast food. They ain’t cheap, but most are pretty decent. Mind you, I’ve had one (desperation) experience with Shale Shack, but it was at a time when I needed a lift and a decent meal, in a stinkin’ airport. Thank God I ate at Sky Harbor and not O’hare. I very infrequently eat fast food; but, when I do, I usually get the walleye sandwich from Culver’s. My fave FF sammy of all. I don’t write home about any FF experience, but the walleye-which is the best FF sandwich I know if. $13, but it kicks tail. Their custard is good, but, if you’re from Milwaukee, it’s nothing to write home about. Kopp’s is king, there. Better sandwiches, too. In fact, I know if no other FF place I’d rather patronize than Kopp’s. Mother burgers and the best custard you can find.

Still, I liked Shake Shack. Maybe it was a case of “hunger makes the best sauce.” I dunno.

In-and-Out isn’t bad, though. Another place I tried, years ago, in AZ.

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SO wish I had known this when I was in Milwaukee! Sigh.

I mean if you’ve got the means to not care about price/quantity that’s great, but I always take patty size into considering the value proposition. It looks like you get almost 2x the beef at the Matawan burger shop. Having said that you can make it a double at SS for 10 bucks which puts the patties at roughly equal footing at both places, but at the matawan shop 10 bucks gets you all sorts of fun custom burgers. And probably more bun and toppings as a result of the bun size. Seems like they definitely have the better value.

I mean I feel like this thread is sort of turning into you arguing “Shake Shack is going to be better than all of your best local burger joints” which just feels… weird to me? I mean I’ll still try it but a chain FF should offer something concrete - typically value - over local places.


Better value is a combination of quantity and quality. Without one, the question of “value” becomes meaningless.

That said, my point isn’t to make it sound like Shake Shack is the end all be all of fast food or fast casual burgers, just that size in and of itself is not, and should not, be the overriding metric of what makes for a good burger (read: not a burger with high QPR, just a good burger).

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The burgers at Burger25 get high marks in both categories. Which is where my bringing the shop up began. Now if we are also including high profile, then SS may have the upper hand.

I encourage a RL experience.

That’s was why I brought up Kopp’s in MIlwaukee. To set up a burger place within 5-10 miles might mean certain defeat.

here’s their menu. These burgers (all of them) are 7"to 8" across., and made with quality beef. Look at the prices compared to SS. You might not get a million choices of toppings; but the quality of beef and massive size bring people in the door. Then, when you’re done struggling to finish the burger, you go to the custard line. New flavor of the day every day, plus the classics you love. I feel that’s the reason the only SS in Milwaukee is located far far away in the third ward. I know of no chain that could compete with this place.

In terms of chains, I’ll take Whataburger (the one I tried was in Houston, TX). Other than that, most chains are so-so. Shake shack is better than McD’s, but I don’t get what’s special about it. I liked the sandwich. It was good. Not enough to make me think about SS when I got the burger appetite.

I think value is quality, quantity and price. Any SS burger is a horrid value if they were $20 each. SS is competitive with Kopp’s in price, but it sure doesn’t stand out in the quantity nor the quality. I think most locales would have a homegrown that whoops Shake Shack’s ass. But they don’t have the gimmicky side, like SS does. Good marketing, though, IMO does not add to value.

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Freddy’s Custard is well worth checking out. Like Culver’s, it’s a Midwest concept and now has several NJ locations.


I like the Culver’s burger. I think I like it as much as I like Shake Shack’s burgers.

I like Culver’s and Shake Shack more than Wendy’s, In N Out or Carl’s Jr.

Wendy’s quality varies a lot from location to location, in my experience, as does A & W’s, Burger King’s and McD’s,

I like to get Shake Shack burgers when I need a quick bite before a Broadway matinee. It’s the best fast food I’ve found within short walking distance of Times Square.

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What about Red Robin burger/fries? No NJ mention? Excellent value for their combos. Last time the 1/2 lb onion ring topped beef burger with unlimited steak fries ran me $11.00 plus tax. Very tasty.

OMG I used to go to RR for their zucchini sticks… WHY DID YOU REMIND ME OF THAT?? :rofl:

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Ha! The $11.00 burger is now $14.50 but the bottomless menu has expanded for those looking for value.


I always pair my burger order at Red Robin with the AYCE steamed broccoli


Shake Shack has gone so far downhill. It’s a real shame. Customer service and quality are just a ghost of their former self. I don’t even think the ingredient quality is better than average fast food at this point. They really have become no different than just another lowest common denominator place. I used to be a huge fan.

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I recall your love for broccoli.

Sadly this happens with every place that expands into something for the masses. Especially those that find their way into highway rest areas, as Shake Shack certainly has.


Yep. Every time the choice is profit over quality.