Another Burger Joint?!
Burger joints pop up every now and again, presenting the All-American-rather-hard-to-mess-up HAMBURGER. And yet, it does happen. I think of Graffiti Junction in Orlando where they made decent burgers, but had a menu of other mostly lackluster items (ok, the zucchini fries and taco salad aren’t terrible. But I really felt I had to be in the mood for only a burger to go there. Then people talk about Burger-Fi and Shake Shack like these places are gonna save their lives from the prison of food monotony. But here’s the thing. I don’t think they’ve been to M Shack.
An out-of-town visitor wanted to try some of the local grub and read that some of the best burgers in Jacksonville were at M Shack. We weren’t able to fit in in out schedule, but I did make a mental note. Then a friend, who actually read my controversial opinion on TacoLu suggested we go to M Shack. So, we headed to Towncenter last Saturday night and got our burger on.
The Essential Burger Question
I walked into the place and first realized this is one of those stand-in-line-to-order then-sit-and-wait-for-your-food places. It seems like there’s quite a few of these in Jacksonville. A whole group of women from church was there, so I knew even if the food failed me it would be a good night.
Then, it was my turn to order.
I immediately clued in on the fact that I was in for a treat. The person at the register cut me off mid-order with one KEY BURGER QUERY: How would you like that cooked? Now, all these places I’ve been to don’t ask, won’t order to your specifications, and doll out dry, well-done super browned burger meat. Now I like it medium. I don’t hate medium rare and most places err on the done side, so I asked for medium rare – and that’s exactly what I got. (Sidenote: sorry to my friends who I recently grilled for; I sometimes forget not everyone likes it a little underdone).
Then I got all my favorite fixin’s: lettuce tomato, onion (sure, raw if fine), ketchup, mayo AND mustard. Do I want pickles? Why not? (I have zero pickle opinion regarding burgers). Well, I got the smallest burger they serve and it was stacked high and delicious. I wish the crew of How I met Your Mother was there to try it. (High five if you saw thae search for the best burger place episode).
Of Course I Want Fries with That
Now, the other thing I dislike about these newfangled burger joints is that it’s an a la carte deal- aka pay extra to order your fries. They decide since they’re not fast food, they don’t have to have combo prices. Fortunately, the fries were fairly tasty (I didn’t try the truffle ones!) and not too pricey, so I’ll accept ordering them separately. I also tried a friend’s taco fries which were nice and decadent.
Finally, I got a delicious vanilla milkshake. Just the right amount of ice cream mixed in, milky smooth taste and sweet vanilla crisp. Yeah, I like the simplest flavor, but it so reliably good!
Parting notes: The seating is pretty basic fast food (or medium-timed food) places. Hard chairs and get you in and out. I did spot a patio and bar area that warrant further explanation. The staff made some blips with getting everyone’s fry orders straight — leaving one person waiting for food and another with extra. Stuff happens. Saturdays get busy. Oh, oh, and they have those all-purpose soda fountains which are perfect if you want something unusual like Vanilla Coke, but if you want regular Diet Coke it might taste just a little off.
I hope to return and explore the bar area!
Other fave burgers: