Shake Shack shakes up the burger scene

Burger lovers converged on Irvine Spectrum Center last month for the opening of Orange County’s first Shake Shack – one of the fastest-growing burger restaurants in America.

“This is just amazing,” said Laila Alihassan, after tasting a ShackBurger, which is made-to-order with Angus beef. “It’s super different and super healthy. You could just feel the freshness.”

Shake Shack grew from a small food cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan in 2001.

It was designed to be part of the community, according to CEO Randy Garutti. And the goal of each new store is to create a new community gathering place.

Spectrum Center is a great fit for that, says Chief Development Officer Andrew McCaughan, calling the location, near the Regal movie theater, “a huge opportunity for the company.”

Along with burgers, the restaurant serves crinkle-cut fries, hand-spun milkshakes, house‑made lemonades, beer and wine.

The Spectrum location also features an OC-exclusive Dreamsicle Shake, featuring vanilla frozen custard mixed with orange soda, topped with whipped cream and orange candy sprinkles.

Those looking for lighter fare can order nondairy shakes, nondairy frozen custard and the new Veggie ShackBurger.

“This was my first time trying a veggie patty, and I couldn’t even tell the difference,” said Stephanie Casillas, one of the first in line at the grand opening. “I thought it was a beef burger – that’s how good it was.”

The restaurant, near the Regal movie theater, offers plenty of outside dining.