Shake Shack (SHAK) premiered a new menu item today — the ChickenShack —a crispy chicken breast sandwich with buttermilk herb mayo, lettuce and pickles, and I was first in line to try it.
I, Yahoo Finance’s summer intern, was tasked with buying six of these sandwiches and rushing them back to Yahoo’s Times Square office in under an hour so we could try them on our live midday show. They're currently only available in Brooklyn.
It was no “running of the interns” à la last month’s Supreme Court rulings, but I won’t say I didn’t book it to get these sandwiches back for myself and my colleagues.
Here's our take on the ChickenShack:
We unanimously gave the new Shake Shack chicken sandwich a thumbs-up. No game-changer, but a worthy menu addition. https://t.co/TFJtsItI4L
— Michael Santoli (@michaelsantoli) July 7, 2015
— Lauren Lyster (@LaurenLyster) July 7, 2015
Yahoo Finance's Aaron Task said the pickle was a nice touch, and I couldn’t agree more. The added crunch and saltiness paired well with the richness of the mayo.
And hey, I’ll admit it, the mayo was my favorite part. I thought Shake Shack added just the right amount — enough to get some savory flavor in each bite but not so much that mayo starts dripping out the other end of the sandwich.
Business Insider labeled the ChickenShack a “Chick-fil-A killer," theorizing that the sandwich is “taking aim” at Chick-fil-A, the current leader in the fast-food chicken market and a company that is benefitting as Americans increasingly choose chicken over pricier beef.
Yahoo Finance doesn't see it that way.
Chicken is the only common denominator between the two, and Chick-fil-A offers more than just a fried option. That's the kind of choice Yahoo Finance's Aaron Task appreciates. “That is a good sandwich and you can feel better about eating it because it’s not fried,” he said of Chick-fil-A's grilled chicken option.
Our producer Kevin Chupka said he thought that the meat quality of the ChickenShack was significantly better than that of Chick-Fil-A though both companies use hormone-free meat.
Nutritionally, the sandwiches are pretty similar. The ChickenShack has around 600 calories while a similar item from Chick-fil-A with sauce has 580.
So, does the ChickenShack deserve a spot on the menu at Shake Shack, a chain that tries to keep its menu focused on burgers, shakes and fries so as to not overwhelm customers with too many options?
Yahoo Finance deems the sandwich worthy. But for now, it's only available in Brooklyn and for a limited time.