With locations across the U.S. and abroad in the Middle East, Turkey, Russia and the United Kingdom, Shake Shack is a recognizable global brand. But the burger chain still takes the time to customize menus within its regions, bringing in local baked goods as mix-ins for its custards and "concrete" desserts and even experimenting with a fried chicken sandwich at its three Brooklyn restaurants in July.
Shake Shack's latest personalization effort, the Surf 'n'Shack burger, is exclusive to its stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut and available as a limited-edition menu item until Sept. 20. The burger, with an all-natural Angus beef patty, lettuce, tomato and creamy ShackSauce, is gilded with a generous portion of mayonnaise-dressed Maine lobster - chunks of what appear to be claw and knuckle meat. The crustaceans come from lobster wholesaler Homarus, according to Shake Shack's website.
We know Connecticut lobster eaters love their hot buttered rolls, but even with mayonnaise, the surf-and-turf combination works surprisingly well here. The mix in the lobster is just enough to hold it together, and there's no chopped celery or onion to complicate the seafood. The patty is well-seasoned with an impressive griddle crust, and the lobster doesn't overwhelm the quality beef flavor. The soft potato bun does a good job of containing the whole construction.
At $8.99, the lobster burger is significantly pricier than Shake Shack's $5.19 single cheeseburger, but it's just $1 more than McDonald's seasonal lobster roll, which returned to New England stores in early July for a summer tour.
The Surf 'n'Shack is available at Connecticut's Shake Shack locations in New Haven, 986 Chapel St.; and Westport, 1849 Post Road E, and the Massachusetts stores in Boston (Newbury Street,) Cambridge, Chestnut Hill and Dedham. shakeshack.com.