Tag Archives: Shake Shack

Adios, Oaxaca

Oaxaca — the Compo Acres Shopping Center restaurant featuring cuisine from Mexico’s southernmost province — has closed.

Oaxaca was in business for a bit over a year. It succeeded Thali, an Indian restaurant. For a long time before that, it was the pan-Asian TaiPan.

Compo Shopping Center -- across the Post Road -- is reflected in the glass door of Oaxaca. A simple sign announces the restaurant has closed.

Compo Shopping Center — across the Post Road — is reflected in the glass door of Oaxaca. A simple sign announces the news.

The dining scene in Westport constantly changes. 323 opened recently — after many delays — to good reviews, in the spot formerly occupied by Bogey’s.

Shake Shack has stabilized the location that for years saw an ever-changing cast of cuisines. Everything was there, from a steak chain to Mongolian.

Some places — like the corner of Post Road and Myrtle Avenue — evolve from restaurants (Glynn’s, etc.) to commercial uses (it’s now a real estate office). Others go the opposite way: 5 Guys spent years as a Western Auto, before morphing into a girls’ clothing store.

No word yet on what will take Oaxaca’s place. But its New Haven location is still open.

Shake Shack: A Very Important Restaurant

Shake Shack is one of the 20 most important restaurants in America.

That’s not me talking. The declaration comes from Bon Appetit.

The New York-based chain is right there at #16 — nestled between Seattle’s The Walrus and the Carpenter (?!) and Austin’s Franklin Barbecue. #1 is Momofuku.

A summer's night, at a very important restaurant.

A summer’s night, at a very important restaurant.

The magazine notes that these are not the nation’s best restaurants. They’re the ones that “define how we eat out.”

Here, Bon Appetit-ically speaking, is how we eat out at Shake Shack:

Danny Meyer didn’t just redefine the fast-food experience — the meal, the look, the level of service — he created a damn good burger. With its custom-blend patty (and nostalgic nods like gooey American cheese and a soft bun), it is a burger worth standing in line for—and you will likely have to, for up to an hour.

The Shack Burger

The Shack Burger

Like all fast-food chains, consistency is king, but here that means beef supplied by meat guru Pat La Frieda; cool, urban-chic spaces by architecture firm SITE; and a definitive menu, though they do tailor the “concretes” (frozen custard with mix-ins) to each location. (We’ll have the “Fudge-eddaboudit.”)

In under a decade, they’ve grown to 22 locations, from NYC to Dubai. Look for 5 more in 2013, including Istanbul.

Right now, there are only 2 Shake Shacks in Connecticut. Ours opened in 2011; New Haven followed last year.

Five Guys did not make the cut.

What are they — chopped liver?

Danny Meyer On A Roll

This coming Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has a loooong article on Shake Shack (and many other restaurants) owner/legend Danny Meyer.

There’s no specific mention of Westport in the text — beyond an anecdote from last March, when he told an industry crowd about his plans for a Connecticut restaurant to “huge applause” — but there is a nice photo of him addressing new hires.

In Westport.

(Photo by Gillian Laub/New York Times)

Our Long Wait Is Almost Over…

…because Shake Shack opens July 20.

It’s the most eagerly anticipated Westport hamburger news since way back in 2010, when Five Guys came to town.

Shake Shack sees Five Guys’ burgers and fries, and raises them with hot dogs, shakes and frozen custard.

Plus beer and wine.

Let the burger battles begin.

Shake Shack Seeks Shots

It’s a popular parlor game:  trying to name all the places that once tried to do business at the site of the soon-to-open Shake Shack (across from the now-closed Toys R Us).

Perhaps the 98th time is the charm? (Photo courtesy of Westport Patch)

Most recently it was Pho Mekong, a Vietnamese place.  In previous incarnations it was a Mongolian restaurant, a seafood spot, a Beefsteak Charlie’s — or was it Steak & Brew?  The mind boggles.

“06880” — and the readers who frequently ask me to remember all the long-closed restaurants — are not the only interested parties.

Here’s a request from Dave Yearwood, Shake Shack general manager:

Does anyone know what was at the new Shake Shack site at 1849 Post Rd East, Westport?  We are trying to find out if there was a business, farm or house on the property before the 1950’s, turn of the century, etc.

We know that  Old Sasco Mill was on one side, and the other side was the Benjamin F. Bulkley House.  However, we are not sure if our space was once a part of either of those properties.  Please let me know:  dyearwood@shakeshack.com

Thanks.

If you’ve got photos, I’m sure Dave would love to have them.  And please copy “06880” — I’d also like an answer to this very popular question.