Walking into the gothic style restaurant on the corner of South and 12th Street with giant metallic letters spelling out “Shake Shack,” I found myself in Philly’s fourth and newest location of the highly popular burger chain. Shake Shack is home to the classic Double Burger, Shack Sauce, and crinkle cut fries, but the new spot had some new twists that its fellow locations do not.
While a classic Shake Shack milkshake always satisfies the sweet tooth, this South Street spot has added three additional and exclusive sweet treats to their menu: the Liberty Shell, Shack Attack, and Pie Oh My concretes. Made from custard blended with a variety of mix–ins from cannoli shells to slices of pie, the Shake Shack concrete has put its own spin on ice cream, creating three desserts you won’t want to miss trying out.
The Liberty Shell
The South Street Shake Shack has taken the iconic Italian cannoli and put a frozen spin on it with the Liberty Shell concrete. The concrete is made with a base of vanilla custard, blended together with broken Termini Bros cannoli shells, lemon ricotta cannoli cream, and strawberry puree, creating an ice cream treat containing a variety of textures and tastes.
While the custard is already thick itself, the added cannoli cream elevates the concrete’s creaminess to a whole new level, making it feel absolutely delightful to the tongue. The lemon flavor is also quite subtle, but blends so well to create a delicate fruity taste. While the strawberry puree gives the concrete a little bit of an artificial taste, the cannoli shell helps to give a sense of crunch that makes it feel like you are biting into a freshly baked cannoli.
When Shake Shack calls the concrete a Shack Attack, it really is an attack of pure chocolate. Made with chocolate custard, fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Mast Brothers dark chocolate chunks, and topped with chocolate sprinkles, it’s a concrete that would make any chocoholic die on the spot.
The amount of chocolate sounds like it would be too intense, but the chocolate custard is so smooth and rich that it isn't overwhelming at all. The bits of chocolate truffle cookie dough are so soft that they melt in the mouth, contrasting to the crunch of the dark chocolate chunks to create a combination of textures that work extremely well together. The concrete is truly a one–of–a–kind chocolate treat, allowing one's palette to experience many flavors of chocolate in many different ways.
Pie Oh My
Taking two desserts and combining them into one, the Pie Oh My concrete takes a whole slice of pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds and blends it into vanilla custard. The concrete also changes by the season based on the pie, so I was able to try the blueberry pie blended concrete.
While on first sight the blueberries swirled together with the vanilla custard to create a vibrant and flavor–filled sight, I was a little let down as there was mostly a flavor of vanilla custard. There was only a slight hint of blueberry pie, leaving me feeling unfulfilled as I was left wanting more of a taste of that fruit-flavored filling. However, the pie crust created a flakey and buttery texture that gave the concrete an extra depth of flavor that reminded me I was eating a pie and ice cream fusion. The fact that a portion of my purchase from the Pie Oh My will go to Philly's Attic Youth Center, an organization that helps serve LGBTQ youth, made the dessert all the more sweeter.
Overall: While Shake Shack isn’t a specialty ice cream store, the concretes that are new to South Street make this a spot you need to hit up. If you have any level of love for chocolate, the Shack Attack is the move. Otherwise, the Liberty Shell would be the best option to try, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of their concretes, new or old.