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It was cold out, but we did it. We stood in the lunchtime line at Shake Shack--the first Chicago outpost of the NYC-based cult burger chain--for 35 minutes.

We Instagrammed. We explained to tourists what the fuss was all about. We made sure not to block the entrance to Big Bowl next door.

And in the end, we didn’t even order a burger. Instead, we got the Shack-cago Dog, since it was too tempting to see if a New York outfit could pull off our relish-and-sport-pepper tradition. 

The split-in-half, griddled dog ($4) was served on a buttery bun, and the peppers were super hot. (Good work, Shake Shack, though your relish could be a bit more neon.) We cut the heat with a side of crisp crinkle-cut fries doused in oozy cheese.

Then we tried another Chicago-y thing: the Salted Carame“L”, dense, creamy frozen vanilla custard topped with crumbles of an old-fashioned doughnut from local shop Glazed and Infused ($4.30 for a single). 

So was it worth the wait? The food was solid, and we had fun being part of the frenzy. But when you’re in a hurry, you can't go wrong with Portillo’s. Or M Burger. Oh, and we love Epic Burger. You get the gist.

Shake Shack, 66 E. Ohio St.; 312-667-1701 or

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