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CONNECTICUT: Holiday treats (and veggie eats!) at Shake Shack Westport

The holidays may be over (for now!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss what we ate!

Last week I was in CT visiting some friends with my brother.

We headed back to Shake Shack in Westport for some grub. (Here’s my previous post on the ‘Shack.)

Lo and behold, the custard menu was upon us. But not just any custard menu. The holiday flavors.

For every day of the week last month, you could try one of these 7 unique flavors:

Egg nog, figgy pudding, Christmas cookie, chocolate orange chestnut, gingerbread, candy cane crunch and apple spice cake.

I must say, ALL of these flavors sounded fantastic to me. I’ve heard about egg nog frappuccinos at Starbucks from a friend of mine, so I’m sure milkshake form would be incredible! I’ve always wanted to try figgy pudding after the famous Christmas song spoke highly of it. I’m a huge fan of gingerbread (and gingerbread lattes at Starbucks) so I know that’d make a great milkshake. Candy cane crunch sounds fantastic and if it’s similar to peppermint stick ice cream, it would definitely make a great milkshake. And the apple spice cake is making me think of the apple pie Cold Stone Creamery creation.

But as I was there on a Thursday, the flavor I got in milkshake form was the chocolate orange chestnut. This one had me really curious. Do you remember the chocolate balls the supermarkets used to sell where you whack them and it magically turns into orange-looking slices and it tastes like chocolate-orange? That’s exactly what I thought of when I was gearing up for this shake.

The addition of chestnuts I was most curious about. I’ve had water chestnuts in Chinese food, but never non-water chestnuts in my drink, or food for that matter. (I’m currently hearing the phrase “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..”). Would my drink taste roasted?

Here’s what resulted:

This milkshake was amazing and here’s why:

1) It wasn’t too sweet.

-The chocolate frozen custard mixed with the tangy orange and strong appearance of robust chestnut made it a nice balance of flavor.

2) It was not too thick, and smooth.

-You’d think mixing a bunch of chestnuts in a shake you might feel the texture of the nuts in your mouth. Wrong. This was smooth sailing.

3) It was filling.

-While the cup size may have been small, this shake will fill you up fast, along with your meal.

Which now brings me to my second topic of discussion in this post: the ‘Shroom Burger.

I made the picture bigger for you all to take a close look at this wondrous creation.

For you vegetarians and vegivores out there, this is a MUST-TRY.

I took a bite of this, and literally said “WOW!” in a loud voice to my brother and our friends.

The ‘shroom burger is not an ordinary burger. Far from it. It takes a large Portabella mushroom, some Muenster cheese, batter. Then it’s fried into that beautiful looking patty you see above. Then add juicy tomatoes, crunchy, crisp lettuce and the creamy, tangy Shack Sauce. Presto!

The mushroom is a perfect substitute for meat. It’s meaty, juicy and filling. My bite into the burger was filled with crunch from the batter, meaty/juicy from the ‘shroom and then BAM! The melted, tangy cheese soars like a rocket into your mouth. Hence why I said “WOW!” so loudly in Shake Shack that day.

My friends have been telling me to try that burger for awhile now, and I completely understand why now. Holy moly what a burger.

So, if you’re near a Shake Shack and are feeling adventurous, try one of its unique custard flavors and the ‘Shroom burger. You won’t regret it!

Shake Shack

1849 Post Road E.

Westport, C.T., 06880

Hours:

Sun. – Wed. : 11 a.m.  – 10 p.m.

Thurs. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

203-682-6570

National Pizza Month — What’s your story?

Recently I received an email from one of my favorite pizza chains, UNO, about this month being National Pizza Month.

Courtesy of blastmagazine.com

After reading it, it sparked me to dig deep and think about how my love for this delicious savory pie originated from.

I’ve spoken on here about several national food holidays, but a whole month dedicated to pizza? There is full cause to celebrate this entire month! And I hope you do, too.

So before I pose the questions to you all in the hopes of starting a pizza-filled daily conversation for the next month  (but hey, I could speak about pizza any time, any day!), I wanted to share with you a few thoughts about pizza itself.

I’ve always had a huge love for pizza, but now that I’ve really taken the time to think about my pizza-filled experiences, it really did start at a very early age.

Courtesy of dcomposing.com

I remember reading a children’s book when I was really young about where pizza came from. A little girl asks a grandmother-type figure about where pizza comes from and it turns into a beautiful story about its origin and and how its made. I remember it being a favorite book of mine, and after some research, I believe it’s the book called “How Pizza Came to Queens,” by Dayal Kaur Khalsa. (Anyone remember this book? If anyone can help me with this, please let me know!)

Another childhood memory of mine involving pizza is a board game I used to play called “Pizza Party.” Anyone remember this too? A memory-styled game involving toppings on a pizza.

Courtesy of metalsucks.net

But it wasn’t only the books and games that got me hooked-on-pizza. It was the pie itself.

I grew up in C.T., now live on Long Island and at the very early ages of my life (0 – 4) , I lived in New Jersey. While I may not have been old enough to remember everything about my time there, I have distinct memories of a few things. One being pizza.

In the beautiful town of Wayne, N.J. lies a pizza place with a truly distinctive name: Bachagaloops.

I remembered this name so well I used to sing the name when I was younger. And now that I’ve been pondering this for the past few days, I definitely think it was to the tune of the Addams Family theme song. (Brother, correct me if I’m wrong, please!)

I don’t remember how the pizza exactly tasted, but I remember going there often and recall it being delicious. And when I had moved away from N.J. into C.T., I remember going back there and trying it again with my family and the pizza being delicious.

Food to me always sparks conversation, but I’d love to hear more from you all about your memories of pizza. It could be what your favorite pizza is, or even your first memories of pizza.

Why? Because everyone’s story will be different.

And to start it off, here’s my latest vlog with some of my pizza memories.

I look forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories.

CONNECTICUT — Sasco ‘Crete at Shake Shack, Westport

It’s been almost a month since my hometown of Westport, C.T. has been graced with the presence of popular NYC burger joint: Shake Shack.

I’ve only been to the ‘Shack in NYC once, at the Times Square location, with two of my AJ friends. That day we tried its shakes and Concretes (similar to Dairy Queen‘s Blizzards with candy/fruit/etc. mixed into ice cream, except with the ‘Shack’s frozen custard).

The first Concrete I had was a make-your-own-concrete with chocolate custard with chocolate covered pretzels and marshmallow sauce. It was so delicious and perfectly thick: it had the sweet chocolatey ice cream and marshmallow mixed with the sweet yet salty chocolate covered pretzels. I thought that if I went to the new Shake Shack in Westport, I’d find the same ingredients to make a similar Concrete.

Well, nope, I was wrong.

But happily surprised, I was.

What I noticed, after looking at the Westport menu and at all of the Shake Shack menus online, is that the Concretes ($6.50 for a regular size, $4.25 for a half size), and the ingredients for the make-your-own-concrete, are very much based on the location you’re in. For instance, the Times Square location had one called “The Great White Way” with vanilla custard, marshmallow sauce, and crispy crunchies.

At the new Westport location, where I have stopped by twice over the past two weekends, is located right next to the Old Sasco Mill and Sasco Creek. Shake Shack actually decided to make a concrete called the “Sasco ‘Crete.” It was so clever and exciting, and what was inside the frozen custard mixture excited me even more: a slice of locally baked, seasonal pie. The day I went and tried this particular concrete, the pie of the day was blueberry. Yum! I had to try it out.

After seeing this Concrete on the menu, however, I first thought, “Wait a second, how is a whole slice of pie going to be mixed in with the thick custard?!”

But here’s the result:

Oh my goodness. The texture and consistency may look funny to some, but oh my gosh, what a heavenly dessert. The combination of blueberries and vanilla frozen custard are perfect together: tangy blueberries with sweet, creamy vanilla frozen custard. But what took it over the top was the taste of the flaky, buttery, chunky crust with a hint of cinnamon. Wow.

If you’re in Westport, I definitely recommend trying the Concretes at Shake Shack, as well as the delicious fresh made burgers and fries:

And if you’re looking for a dessert with a local spin on it, definitely check out not only Westport’s Shake Shack, but all of the different Shake Shack’s in the City and beyond. You never know which Concrete you’ll like! Or you may just develop one of your own that steals your heart away.

(P.S. – At the Westport location, also try the Banana Post Rd. concrete, which has chocolate custard, caramelized cocoa nibs, bananas and sea salt! It was absolutely a “balanced nirvana” mixture of sweet chocolate, fluffy bananas and the hint of sea salt to balance it out.)

Shake Shack

1849 Post Road E.

Westport, C.T., 06880

Hours:

Sun. – Wed. : 11 a.m.  – 10 p.m.

Thurs. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

203-682-6570

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