I Got Beef With Shake Shack

I Got Beef With Shake Shack

Here is a challenge for you. Think of a strong opinion you have that's loosely held. If this is your first time hearing this, then allow me to explain. I first heard this phrase from super venture capitalist Marc Andreesseen on the Tim Ferris Podcast. Strong opinions are obviously something you truly believe, for example, spring is the best season. I'll enter into any debate about the seasons and passionately argue that spring is the very best. However, if I encounter a foe with a better argument for winter, I could be convinced. See, that strong opinion is loosely held.

I used the seasons' example only to illustrate the idea. Like a teacher, now that I have your brains thinking about your strong opinions closely or loosely held, allow me to share my strongest opinion, and after this most recent challenge, the grip is only getting tighter. The strong opinion:

Chick-fil-A makes the best chicken sandwich. Period.

Chick-fil-A was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, May 23, 1946. I was founded in Conyers, Georgia forty-plus years later. This point is important. I am making my conflict of interest very clear. I've been eating those beautifully peanut-oil bathed chicken breast since the beginning of my time. After nearly three decades of eating the same chicken sandwich, you would think that I would grow tired of them, or would have found a better chicken sandwich. You would be wrong. There have been challengers: McDonald's, Zaxby's, KFC, (insert your favorite fancy restaurant), and more, but they've failed.

Then, last week, my good friend said to me: "Do you know who makes a really good chicken sandwich? Shake-Shack! And I've heard that it's better than Chick-fil-A!" I love a good challenge. After work, and after happy hour with my colleagues, I tried shake-shacks chicken sandwich.


That shit was garbage. I should have known better. A burger joint attempting to step into the thunder dome with Chick-fil-A? Are you serious? Foolish.


The first warning sign was the bun. You can't use a burger bun for a chicken sandwich. The texture doesn't work. It would be like wrapping a sushi roll with a tortilla. Chick-fil-a's bun is artisanally made for that incredible piece of meat. The second mistake was the crispy skin. (A quick reminder that I'm from Georgia – I know all about crispy skin.) It's lazy and disrespectful to make chicken crispy and not flavorful. Lazy because you took the effort to make a batter to coat the chicken but decided against adding seasoning? Why Shake-Shack? Why? It's disrespectful because people count calories now. If I'm going to indulge on a sandwich that probably isn't good for me, at the very least it should be good to me. But this sandwich wasn't. They tried to make up for their laziness and disrespect by adding a pickle, lettuce, and buttermilk herb mayo, that sounds delicious, but it's not.

It is my strong opinion that Chick-fil-a has the best chicken sandwich on this earth. This opinion is loosely held so I welcome all challengers. But if that sandwich is trash, you will being hear from me about it.