The Shack is a burger joint out in Cypress, Texas, not to be confused with Shake Shack, another burger place that is near and dear to my heart. One of my favorite foodie websites listed the Shack as a top patio restaurant in Houston. This drew my attention because A) it is not in the loop like all of the other places on the list B) while I live closer to heart of Houston, I grew up in Cypress but had never heard of this place and C) how was this place prospering in the land of franchise restaurants? My parents still live out in Cypress so within a week of hearing about this place, I convinced my mom to go with me to the Shack for a Friday night dinner on what was actually National Cheeseburger Day!!!
Service: If you recall from my about page, some of my early foodie memories are of me going to burger places out in Cypress where I grew up. Well twenty years later and everyone in Cypress still takes their little ones to burger joints on Friday nights! When we arrived, the place was pretty full with families and large groups, which their large tables easily accommodated. We did not wait long to be seated and were quickly greeted by our attentive waiter. Here comes the bad, an hour after ordering our food we had only received our fries, which we demolished but STILL no burgers. At this point, it was past nine o’clock and most of the families had taken their kiddos home , so the place was empty! YET still NO BURGERS. The most glamorous burger does not take that long to make, particularly when the menu is only burgers. Our waiter apologized profusely and packed up our food to go for us because that point we were tired.
Food: When they brought out the order of fries we were so excited to see some food that we devoured them. At that point, I would eaten just about anything so it helped that the fries were actually GOOD. The fries had thin pieces of potato skin still intact, which leads one to believe that they slice these fries by hand in the back. They were seasoned to perfection and crispy. Since we took our food to go, I did not get the typical burger presentation just the styrofoam box. BUT as far as taste?? That burger is GOOD. I ordered the M’s burger. Let’s start with the bun. It is clearly homemade and what I think may have taken our order so long. The bun is sweet with a few pieces of jalapeno mixed in so it gives you the sweet and spicy combination. THEN the bacon. Thickly sliced, good hearty bacon, I loved that. My burger also came with green onions aka scallions. I do not know why no one thought of that before but that works on a burger even better than red or yellow onion. Sure it’s messier if they are diced but the flavor is perfect. Then the burger itself. As long as my burger has some seasoning, you will win points with me and the Shack does just that. Perfectly seasoned burger.
Drinks: I stuck with water and Sprite, but I can tell you the Shack has a pretty extensive beer menu. It was a couple of pages long. I do not think I have ever seen that many beers on tap. This is definitely a spot for beer connoisseur, which seems to conflict with the HUGE playground that draws a big kiddie crowd. But hey, guess mommy and daddy can responsibly enjoy a beer too.
Setup: Forgive me for my failures at descriptive writing and since it was dark, my pictures are not going to help. The Shack is one of those places where someone clearly spent a lot of money to make a place look like a shack, but it has all the amenities and effort of every other new restaurant in the city. The restaurant is just past 290 and Fry road, on the side that is not too far removed from being exclusively farm country. This helps with the look. You pull into a dirt parking lot to see literally a shack of a house with a tire swing attached to the tree in the front yard. Every aspect of this place plays up to this look. For the “dining room” most of it is outside. Then there are trees all throughout the space, which I guess was built around the trees. Parts felt like a treehouse especially with the all wood aspects of the building. In the “backyard” of the shack is a huge playground for the kiddos. Those kids were having the time of their little lives out there. The set up is probably a big draw. Even if the food was not good, people would come just for the look and feel of the place. You add on top of that, a great food? People will be clamoring to get in there. Now if they could just kick up the food wait time like 50 notches then I will plan to stop by every time I visit my parents in Cypress.
UPDATE: Within 30 minutes of me posting this my best friend swung by the Shack and got some great pictures for me to share. She went during the daytime on a weekday
so you can really get a good idea of the atmosphere! She also had the M’s burger and fries. She loved both and said the staff was really friendly. She was there by herself on a weekday so one of the staff members sat and ate lunch with her. See her pictures below