When the news came down yesterday that Shake Shack would be replacing Five Guys at Nationals Park, there was palpable excitement in the D.C. blogosphere and on Twitter. Local burgerheads have been clamoring for this day even before the news broke in August that New York restaurateur Danny Meyer was eyeing a move to Dupont Circle.
If you’re not familiar with Shake Shack, it’s got a huge following in the Big Apple. New Yorkers routinely stand in long lines at Madison Square Park and elsewhere, even in inclement weather, for a griddle-cooked Shackburger with crinkle-cut fries and a black-and-white shake or a Concrete — basically, a McFlurry made with frozen custard.
But wait a second — Last we checked, you guys love Five Guys (not as much as Ray’s Hell Burger, but still). The lines for Five Guys at Nationals Park were always at least an inning long, and if you’re asking my honest opinon, it was for a better product than what’s coming down I-95. Especially if you like bacon cheeseburgers, which Shake Shack doesn’t have on its menu; or toppings like jalapeno peppers, grilled onions or grilled mushrooms; or, heck, a greasy paper bag of cajun fries!
Are we really so burger-deprived as a city that we have to cheer about a New York import at our ballpark at the expense of a local success story? We’re a city that’s used to seared foie gras and truffle oil on our burgers. Au poivre, if possible.
So is losing Five Guys in favor of Shake Shack really worth celebrating? If Ben’s Chili Bowl left Nats Park in exchange for a Nathan’s, how would you feel?
I know you Five Guys loyalists are out there, and that you’re unhappy about losing your fifth-inning ritual. So in the spirit of the first Opening Day at the ballpark without Five Guys, I ask: Whose side are you on?