We Tried The New Shake Shack White Truffle Menu. Here's What You Need To Know

If you missed out on Shake Shack's black truffle menu (or were lucky enough to sample it), you have reason to celebrate this week: The burger chain is bringing back the fancy fungi, though not quite the ones you remember. This time around, the beloved burger chain is upping the ante, bringing white truffles to the fold in sauce form (apologies to those of you expecting tableside shavings). Beyond the color, there are notable differences between white and black truffles. Even pricier than their cousins, white truffles are revered for their unparalleled intensely earthy fragrance with a flavor to match. 

We had the opportunity to visit Shake Shack's Innovation Kitchen over in New York City's West Village to try the full white truffle menu in advance of its release. And good news: you don't have to book a flight to Manhattan and have Shake Shack Executive Chef John Karangis personally cook for you to sample these dishes — they're available nationwide in just a few days. Here's everything you need to know about Shake Shack's new extra-fancy white truffle offerings.  

When and where is Shake Shack's white truffle menu available?

Hot on the heels of the debut of two new sweet Shake Shack shakes, the white truffle menu will officially debut nationally on Friday, February 10. But take note: Devotees of the brand who have the Shake Shack app on their phone will be able to scarf this special offering a couple of days early starting Wednesday, February 8. And trust us when we say you're going to want to order in advance to ensure you're not missing out on the latest in a long line of Shake Shack special menu items that are sure to cause a stir.

All three dishes use virgin olive oil flavored with real white truffles from Regalis to make a creamy sauce. Although both recipes incorporated parmesan, this sauce is not just a replication of the previous black truffle version, which John Karangis says "wouldn't feel good emotionally for me to do, even if it worked."

Instead, the new sauce plays to its differences with lighter supporting flavors: Madeira and marsala wines, for starters. White button mushrooms enhance the fungal flavor and body unobtrusively, while shallots and garlic bring a much less demure taste.

Per a representative from Shake Shack, the white truffle menu will be available through spring, but an exact end date has yet to be announced.  

How much will Shake Shack's white truffle menu cost?

There are three items in the new limited-time offering menu: a White Truffle Burger that starts at $8.99, a white truffle 'Shroom Burger for the same price of nine bucks, and parmesan fries with white truffle sauce, starting at $4.69 and up.

Given how rare the white truffle is (Shake Shack notes that they sell for four times the price of the black truffles), that's a fair shake for the real taste of a rare ingredient. A ShackBurger in NYC starts at $6.89 while most of the other mainstays are $8.50 to $9 or even above. That puts the White Truffle Burger squarely in the same ballpark as other options prepared with less expensive ingredients. You'd be hard-pressed to find a restaurant with real white truffles in the first place and not just a cheap approximation for a world where most truffle oil contains no actual truffles

What's the calorie count for Shake Shack's white truffle menu?

While we don't have specific macronutrient and micronutrient information for Shake Shack's white truffle menu, we do know the calorie counts for each menu item. The White Truffle Burger clocks in at 680 calories, but you can double up the patties to make a 950-calorie one-item meal. Those eating vegetarian (though not vegan) will find the White Truffle 'Shroom Burger a slightly lighter repast at 570 calories, though we can tell you from experience that it won't leave you feeling any less full, and may even be more satiating given how much cheese it contains even before it received a spread of umami-bomb white truffle sauce. If you're counting macros, or otherwise being mindful, you're going to want to examine the more detailed nutritional info at the restaurant once the burgers are available. 

People looking to add some carbs to their supper should know that the Parmesan Fries with White Truffle Sauce LTO will give you an additional 750 calories to carry around or burn, and you should appreciate every one of them for the joy that they brought you going in. We're not saying you have to order it, we're just saying commit to the do-or-do-not decision. 

Taste test: Shake Shack's White Truffle Burger

Rather than returning to the gruyere of the first truffle burger, the white version uses fontina cheese for a natural pairing with the intense truffle. The Alpine dairy product is known for its earthy flavor, which presents a mushroom quality all by itself. Paired with the so-called king of all mushrooms, fontina can keep the beat while getting to play a solo in every bite. Plus, this is a cheese that melts beautifully.

To tie these soft, pillowy ingredients together — potato roll, medium burger, melty cheese, and truffle sauce — the ground beef patty derives texture as well as a more powerful taste from a handful of sweet, lightly pickled onions crisped up in a fryer. The satisfying crunch of the breading as it shatters gives way to a frizzled, potent aromatic whose flavor ties the sauce's own allium to the solids as surely as the cheese shakes hands with its mushrooms.

At first bite, an involuntary grunt of approval reeled out of us. A good burger will have you gobbling it up, but a great burger will result in nibbling for fear of ending too soon. In this case, it was the slowest we've ever savored a Shake Shack cheeseburger, which is saying something.

Taste test: Shake Shack's White Truffle 'Shroom Burger

Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? If you have to choose between the hamburger and the 'shroom burger, this one is even richer than that perfectly cooked beef fat. Skipping the Fontina this time around, Shake Shack's classic stuffed portobello mushroom brings muenster and cheddar to bear on its fellow fungi as the ubiquitous white truffle sauce tops it off.

The Black Truffle Burger never received a 'Shroom edition, but John Karangis and his team felt the more delicate flavor of the white made it more feasible to fold into the Portobello and cheese.

They're right. Reader, this is not a sandwich for the faint of stomach. It is rich enough to buy its own social media platform. No, wait, that's too rich. This sandwich is rich enough to retire early without being a jerk about it. Yeah, that's the right level of rich. The type of rich you could have a beer with — and should! (This would pair rather well with a Kolsch, we suspect.)

It was a wise call not to use the crispy onions here because this burger is already popping with as much flavor as your tongue can handle. It is joyfully heavy eating, and one will do you just fine. Now let's pause to admire that it's a feat unto itself when a vegetarian burger ranks above a Pat LaFrieda select blend of beef that we'd just finished eating and praising.

Taste test Shake Shack's Parmesan Fries With White Truffle Sauce

A serving of the chain's famed crinkle-cut fries gets a drizzle of the white truffle sauce along with an accordion-wave dusting of Parmesan. A ramekin of the sauce accompanies your order because even dressed fries like a good dipping now and then.

Here we find one fault: The Parmesan doesn't adhere to the fries perfectly, and you may grab for a fry swimming in Parm only to watch a lot of it blow away like paper confetti. In part, it's a failure of its own beauty. The Parmesan is so artfully, thinly shaved it's susceptible to the least force. Given how crumbly a cheese Parm normally is, this is an accomplishment, but a thicker cut of grating might be the missing trick here.

There's obviously plenty of umami in the sauce itself, but it doesn't have the texture of the dry cheese. Those fries that end up with a Parmesan cling will satisfy greatly. If, in your heart, you can bear to let good cheese go, this order will have you happier than the more queso-like cheese fries served year-round.

Is Shake Shack's white truffle menu worth buying?

Unless you eat vegan or don't like the taste (or aroma) of truffle, it's hard to think of a reason you wouldn't make this your next Shake Shack order. Anyone who likes ShackBurgers will find themselves savoring the taste of this extremely umami suite of flavors. The White Truffle 'Shroom Burger brings a much-missed mushroom LTO to its most obvious demographic of vegetarians who still want a meal rippling with flavor, and is, we think, arguably even to ourselves, the better sandwich to order of the two. (We're going back and forth on this almost hourly, but the fact that the vegetarian option's even a contender is really telling. It also proves why we settled the way we did on the eternal burger debate of whether Shake Shack is better than In-N-Out.)

One final tip to avoid oversaturating your palate: You may find it smarter to order one item, max, then pair it with a different menu item for balance — i.e. you might not want to follow up your White Truffle 'Shroom Burger with some fries that bang the white truffle gong. Get a nice classic order of fries, then come back tomorrow to pair the Parmesan Fries with a Smoke Shack. The world is your oyster ... er ... truffle!