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Let's settle this with science (and a side of fries)
May 18, 2011 10:11 PM   Subscribe

In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: a careful comparison of three hamburger heavyweights. (Previously.)
posted by rewil (259 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
So finally will people stop bringing up Five Guys in every In-N-Out thread? YOU LOST
posted by shakespeherian at 10:19 PM on May 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


The problem with Shake Shack is that I really don't ever feel like waiting 20 minutes in a line, in a park, just to order, and then another 20 minutes trying to snag a table and wait for my food.

Eating a burger shouldn't be like parking in manhattan.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:25 PM on May 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


None of them can beat my meat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:26 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just want In-N-Out to parboil their potatoes before they fry them. In all seriousness their fries taste like chalk.

Their burgers are god.
posted by Talez at 10:27 PM on May 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


There are none of these places where I live. The best burger is from a place called Hastee Tastee.
posted by nile_red at 10:28 PM on May 18, 2011


Wow, Blazecock, missed that earlier recipe of yours. Looks great. And you're right, La Morena FTW. (in adobo sauce!)

Why the thumb indent? To create a cheese pocket?

All the burgers in this post would be vastly improved with cheese-pockets.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:30 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this "science" isn't even a blind taste test, and the overnight storage makes more of a difference than they say. You have to judge the burgers right as they come out of the oven. A significant difference 2 minutes after ordering can be obliterated by the next morning.

And 25 Burgers anyone?
posted by neil pierce at 10:32 PM on May 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've never had In-n-Out, but I will make a point of it next time I'm in the DFW area. 5 Guys isn't that good. Here in Austin, I think P Terry's is the best. Mighty Fine? Please.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:36 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sonic.
That is all.
posted by jet_silver at 10:36 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why the thumb indent? To create a cheese pocket?

The cheese pocket is a gleeful side effect.

When a burger cooks, it tends to shrink - which can lead to a wonky shaped burger.

the thumb indention on the top helps it to keep its shape while cooking - you end up with a nice even disk instead of a burger ball.

Why? I dunno. Is there a burger topologist in the house?
posted by device55 at 10:41 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sonic.
That is all.


Wow, really? I'm guessing that you don't have any decent options in your area, like when people say Taco Bell is good Mexican food.
posted by joedan at 10:44 PM on May 18, 2011 [25 favorites]


Every time I've been to 5 guys there have been more people working the assembly line behind the counter than customers waiting to be served, yet I still never get my burger in less than half an hour. They look incredibly busy back there, yet all that activity produces burgers only at very long intervals. I suppose they're assembling the lettuce leaves one cell at a time with nanotweezers and generating the patties out of cow DNA and aerosol micronutrients.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:45 PM on May 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


You have to judge the burgers right as they come out of the oven

Your opinion on burgers is hereby irrelevant.
posted by LionIndex at 10:46 PM on May 18, 2011 [35 favorites]


In-n-Out wins for me in price and speed. If I'm going to sit down I'll go to Smashburger.
posted by birdherder at 10:52 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whataburger.
That is all.

24-hour service, with the dine-in portion open, AND tasty food? Yes.
posted by fireoyster at 11:01 PM on May 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


No love for Fatburger? Now I've gone and made myself hungry :(
posted by infinitewindow at 11:02 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yay, Serious Eats!

Their dissection/recreation of the Double-Double Animal Style is ridiculous and awesome.
posted by Condroidulations! at 11:03 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


A couple months ago they opened a 5 guys in my building. I can order online for a set time, run downstairs and grab my food. I ate nothing but 5 guys for almost 2 weeks.

Best thing about Shake Shack is that I stood in line behind Bill Murray on season opening day a few years back.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:03 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like Fatburger (mmm, greasy!), followed by In-N-Out. Never had 5 Guys or Shake Shack. The chili burgers at Tommy's are worthy, too...
posted by vorfeed at 11:07 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Five Guys and In-n-Out are completely different categories of food. Five Guys is for when you want a delicious, but deeply disturbing greasy thing that will leave you feeling like crap for the rest of the day. Sometimes this is necessary. In-n-Out is a completely decent burger sold for cheap, the sort of thing that shouldn't be rare but is. I think this is more frequently necessary than the soul-destroying gutbombs from Five Guys are, but I don't think this means that In-n-Out is strictly better. They're entirely different things.

Nevertheless, I do feel comfortable saying that Shake Shack is strictly worse than both. well, okay, to be fair I've only actually bothered to stand in that ridiculous line once.

In-n-Out tip: mustard fried, chopped chilis. you're welcome.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:09 PM on May 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Why do these people at Serious Eats keep ruining perfectly good In'N'Out burgers by freezing them and sending them to the east coast?

The whole point of this is the fresh off the grill taste. If you want a shitty, microwaved burger just go to Burger King and save yourself $115 in overnight express postage fees.
posted by Talez at 11:11 PM on May 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


device55: the thumb indention on the top helps it to keep its shape while cooking - you end up with a nice even disk instead of a burger ball.
Why? I dunno. Is there a burger topologist in the house?


From The New Best Recipe cookbook, where I learned this technique: "The culprit behind puffy burgers is the connective tissue, or collagen[...] When the connective tissue in a patty heats up to roughly 130 degrees, it shrinks. This happens first on the flat top and bottom surfaces of the burger and then on the sides, where the tightening acts like a belt. When the sides tighten, the interior meat volume is forced up and down, so the burgers puff. [The indentation trick described in previous posts...] On the grill, the center puffed up to the point where it was the same height as the edges."
posted by JiBB at 11:16 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


We have a Smashburger, In'n'Out, a Five Guys, a Fuddruckers and like a dozen Greek-family burger joints within spitting distance of each other. We don't have Shake Shack, but Salt Lake City is kind of a burger mecca it seems.

That said, my preferences as follows:

Smashburger when for pricier sit-down. Then Fuddruckers. Then Five Guys.

INO is for late-night snack attacks only (smaller lines). Their fries are an abomination unless you ask them to cook them a little longer. Animal style is efficiently tasty.

But really, my favorite burger is my burger. That I make at home. Here's the recipe:

1. Get your butcher brother-in-law to bring some of his "special grind" beef. The cut of beef changes depending on the day, but it will be guaranteed gristle free because your brother-in-law is a butcher and he hates gristle with a fiery passion.

2. Buy some good blue cheese. Actually I prefer gorgonzola but the local grocer usually only has maytag.

3. Mix lots of the cheese with the beef into a fist sized patty.

4. Flatten the patty out a little and pan-fry/grill that sucker on a nice high heat. I like mine pink in the middle.

5. Stick it on a potato bun with some friggin' bacon, lettuce, and Frank's Red Hot. And a little homemade Guinness mustard if you're feeling crazy.

Post-condition: When you are done, pass out in a blissful food coma. You will awake refreshed and happy (YMMV).

Also, your significant other may or may not observe this process with a tinge of sadness at the idea that eating something like this on a regular basis will probably shorten your life. Your grandchildren may never know you, but when they find your burger recipe on a greasy 3x5 card in an old shoebox they will understand.
posted by jnrussell at 11:17 PM on May 18, 2011 [21 favorites]


Apparently a Shake Shack just opened in DC. Good luck to them. It helps they're in a different price bracket because, with ingredients like black truffles, roasted bone marrow, and sherry and cognac sauteed mushrooms, DC is where the big boys come to battle.


awwww yeah.
posted by lemuring at 11:20 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Motherfiretruck New Yorkers and the In-N-Out wannaburger they rode in on.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:22 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Five Guys: Greaseburger with Cajun Grease Fries. Served with peanuts and a side of ranch. Bacon ranch.

In-N-Out: possibly the best thing to come out of my home state since we invented Hollywood and sodomy on the same day.

Sonic: this is where appetite goes to die. The carhops laugh at your misery. Yes, you will eat that soggy burger-thing. Yes, you will enjoy it. Yes, I will spend the lionshare of my minimum wage carhop paycheck on crystal meth. I'm still better than you.

Whataburger: this is where you eat in Texas after the clubs close at 2am and you're driving your friend back to his apartment and he's drunk off his ass and freaking out because he gave a blowjob to this guy in the bathroom and do you suppose you can get AIDS that way? OMG I'm getting tested tomorrow will you be there for me?!? Will you be there when they tell me I'm a goner?!? Oh woes- shit is that Lady Gaga? Crank that shit up!
posted by Avenger at 11:22 PM on May 18, 2011 [34 favorites]


Anyone else like The Counter for a sit down burger?

I know it's a chain but I also love Red Robin simply because of their awesome fries and I can get a half pound burger cooked medium rare and get it right 90% of the time. Oh and their cheesesticks oh my god the cheesesticks!
posted by Talez at 11:23 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I live with In-N-Outs all around (and worked there), so as good as they are they're just kind of old hat to me. We've started to get some Five Guys in this area, and they're pretty good, but not really worth the trip/expense. I have eaten at Shake Shack, and if I could eat that every day I would, but I doubt that'd even be possible if I lived in NYC.

All pretty much irrelevant to me now, though, as my newish favorite burger place is the local mom-and-pop MVP Burger. It's at least as good as 5 Guys and half the price. We've also got Dave's but I haven't checked out their original location yet.
posted by anazgnos at 11:27 PM on May 18, 2011


I know it's a chain but I also love Red Robin

Guilty pleasure for me too, yeah. Love the Royal burger with fried egg. I feel like they used to be a lot better in the 80s, though.
posted by anazgnos at 11:28 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soooo, why do you Americans keep all the good burgers to yourself and send us Europeans McDonalds and Burger King? You have some explaining to do!
posted by Harald74 at 11:29 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Around here, we have a place called Swenson's, that only does drive-in, and I am totally willing to show up there in the dead of winter for a Galley Boy.

It probably isn't scientifically a better burger or anything. I've never been to any of the three places mentioned here, although evidently we have a Five Guys in town now. It's just that Swenson's *means* something to me. It's part of the local history. It's part of what living in this city is about, along with calling the grass between the sidewalk and the road "the devil strip" and being convinced that they close lanes on Route 8 during rush hour out of pure sadism.

Nobody else's burger could taste like that.
posted by gracedissolved at 11:30 PM on May 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


The counter is pretty good, though the burgers tend to have structural issues.

Is there a burger topologist in the house?

Sentences like this. These are why I love metafilter.

Goddammit now I want In'n'Out. They're open for another hour and a half. I'm about 95% sure if I wake up my girlfriend that fell asleep on the couch while knitting and said LET'S GET IN'N'OUT she'd say yes, which is dangerous. DAMN YOU METAFILTER.
posted by flaterik at 11:31 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Swenson's

And that reminds me of Ron Swanson, so I assume the burger would be simple and manly and delicious in a way that I can only appreciate in fiction.
posted by flaterik at 11:32 PM on May 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've never been to In-N-Out. I hear good things, would like to try it, but have just never been in a state that had them. We have Five Guys here, and those burgers are phenomenal, so I'm happy with that.

But to order a Five Guys burger at 9pm, and then wait to eat it until the following morning? Well of course it's going to suffer. Any burger would. No wonder they bitch so much about the bun and the toppings, if they left it sitting in foil for twelve hours. And toppings on the side? You have no idea what you're doing. I don't care what you ended up siding with, your methodology is already fucked.
posted by kafziel at 11:41 PM on May 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


I had heard that The Counter is good, and was excited to try them... but they left me feeling like a burger heathen, because I can't honestly say I enjoy their burgers more than In-N-Out. I certainly don't like them enough to pay what they're charging for them.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:42 PM on May 18, 2011


I don't even consider the Counter and in'n'out to be the same category of food. I mean, they're both "burgers", but... They just have different goals.

It's almost like comparing KraftMacNCheese to Macaroni and Cheese. I am not trying to compare either In'n'out or the counter to KraftMacNCheese, despite my undying affection for all three. Actually my affection for the counter is probably a little dying. I haven't been there in ages and I don't have a horrible craving for it right now.
posted by flaterik at 11:46 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm somewhat biased as a longtime 5 guys advocate, but I was very excited to try Shake Shack this week for the first time. I thought the bun and the burger were both pretty flavorless, and the special sauce was pretty weak. Either way, it's not worth a half hour wait or the price.

Speaking of, which are two of them doubles and Shake Shack is single? It's not by weight, the In 'n' Out double is barely bigger than the 5 Guys single...
posted by nickgb at 11:50 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


flaterik: yeah, that's what I was hoping for from The Counter, but for whatever reason I wasn't too impressed by them. Like, yeah, obviously their burgers are objectively better quality than In-N-Out's, but there's something about them that I lack the language to describe that doesn't seem to come together for me. but yeah, that's why not liking them makes me feel like a burger heathen... I apparently prefer a perfect middling burger over an alright upscale one.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:52 PM on May 18, 2011


The problem with Shake Shack is that I really don't ever feel like waiting 20 minutes in a line

I've waited over an hour in the line at Madison Square Park just for that delicious Shake Shackness. Twenty minutes sounds like a breeze.

I've lived in VA, NYC, and California. When I got to NYC, I missed Five Guys until I discovered Shake Shack. Then a Five Guys opened in the city and I could pick my poison. When I got to Cali, I checked out the legendary In-N-Out, because that's just what you do, and found myself underwhelmed. Luckily, Five Guys has come out here. Shake Shack, where art thou?
posted by Mikey-San at 11:52 PM on May 18, 2011


(And despite my obvious Shack bias, I agree that this comparison is shitty. The moment you decide the burgers aren't going to be eaten right away, your methodology is, at a minimum, highly suspect.)
posted by Mikey-San at 11:54 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find In-And-Out way too salty. And yeah, lackluster fries. I don't care if it's referenced in The Big Lebowski.

Here you go: Bacon, avocado, and .. wait for it .. Roquefort cheese.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:58 PM on May 18, 2011


I knew when I clicked this link that everything's closed and I'm a two-hour commute from Apple Pan. Why do I do these things to myself?
posted by Space Kitty at 12:01 AM on May 19, 2011


Shake Shack is easily the best burger of the three, in my opinion. But both In-N-Out and Five Buys are pretty damn good too.

I really don't like Five Guys' fries though. In-N-Out's are a little better, but I understand most people don't agree with me. What bothers me about both places is that they seem to think there's something superior about fries that go from potato to fryer with as little prep as possible. The double-fried McDonald's-style is WAY better.
posted by mullacc at 12:10 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What bothers me about both places is that they seem to think there's something superior about fries that go from potato to fryer with as little prep as possible. The double-fried McDonald's-style is WAY better.

Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good
posted by eddydamascene at 12:20 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I lived in LA for over a decade, and I still visit all the time, and I couldn’t care less about In-N-Out. I’ve only eaten there a handful of times in total, and if people at work are going out to get them and bring them back (for free), I always pass. It’s not that it’s terrible, it’s just a non-event, the Kraft mac and cheese of burgers. If I’m going to eat something that bad for me I want it to at least be good. I even prefer Hardees.

Fatburger is the true hamburger in LA. With egg, bacon, and cheese.

I enjoy the 5 Guys when I’m way out east.

What do I know, I hear some people even like McDonalds. Weird.
posted by bongo_x at 12:20 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The real problem with Five Guys is the lack of shakes. I mean really, who decides to run a burger joint without shakes? That does not make sense! The fries are great though. In-N-Out is all-around solid. Shake Shack I have never been to, because of course it comes to DC after I move away. My favorite burger in DC was unquestionably Ray's, and the best shake was the toasted marshmallow at Good Stuff.

If anyone knows where the best burgers in Boston are, please clue me in!
posted by naoko at 12:21 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


5 guys is pretty good, but has to be fresh and don't plan on doing anything for a couple of hours afterwards. Smashburger is good for a sit-down burger joint. Never had an In-N-Out burger.
posted by arcticseal at 12:24 AM on May 19, 2011


Hate that line in Madison Square Park for your Shake Shack? Go to the indoor sitdown location right behind The American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. Don't go to the location at Citi Field, though-- there's always a huge-ass line there, too. Besides, Mama's of Corona is THE best dining option while watching the Mets.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:26 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whataburger: this is where you eat in Texas after the clubs close at 2am and you're driving your friend back to his apartment and he's drunk off his ass and freaking out because he gave a blowjob to this guy in the bathroom and do you suppose you can get AIDS that way? OMG I'm getting tested tomorrow will you be there for me?!? Will you be there when they tell me I'm a goner?!? Oh woes- shit is that Lady Gaga? Crank that shit up!

This comment is for and against Whataburger. I have fond memories of the place myself, they may or may not resemble the above quoted comment.

I don't really eat fast food so I think these burgers which have been pitted against each other in this epic obsessive battle blog post all actually suck.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:26 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


You are all wrong. There is one burger that reigns supreme over all above. It is the burger that you hellishly crave under only the most optimal of circumstances:

It is 3:30 in the morning. You and three of your friends, still coming down off the coke. You just blazed that blunt. You've given up searching for Steve, but he'll be okay, the woods were only twenty miles away, and Steve is good at hitchhiking. The aftertaste of the nine Schlitz's you drank earlier has made for the taste in your mouth that is part sour, part musty and part decayed.

Your friends all realize that there must exist a perfect food. A food that will erase the memories of burying that cop. A food that will heal the gunshot wound in your left arm. A food that has was developed in a 1950's government laboratory where they determined the truly perfect shape to cook a burger quickly and evenly meant it had holes in it.

You scrape out the last change in the carseats. You find that mystical twenty dollar bill, crumpled up next to your three month old court summons. You pull in the drive thru. "One Crave case. Half cheese, half jalapeno. And a sack of chicken rings."

White Castle. It's what you crave.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:33 AM on May 19, 2011 [28 favorites]


This article is so well written and documented that I almost forgot that they are judging burgers that are one day old.
posted by cell divide at 12:36 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Honestly though, my favourite burger is the Monty Mushroom Burger from White Spot. A slice of Canada and I can get it in Hong Kong.
posted by arcticseal at 12:40 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am over Five Guys. I was all excited when they got here (and just down the street from me!) but after a few visits I've soured on the experience. It's not BAD, it's just, well, meh. The burgers are squished and gloppy and their much-vaunted fries I find to be limp and greasy, if flavorful.

I think the reason I've soured on Five Guys is the place that has opened up not three hundred feet away from them: Baha Burger. It's a silly name, and the
whole surf theme is silly. They don't even have the balls to carry the theme through and play nothing but surf music, which would be kinda cool, IMO. But what they do is right is this: meat variety. Pork, chicken, turkey, salmon, lamb or veggie. Ground into burgers. Oh yeah, and beef. I can pay $7.00 for a grease-oozing pile'o'burger at Five Guys, or I can get a burger of ground lamb with feta cheese, red onion, baby spinach, and taziki sauce at Baha for the same price. Or ground turkey with bacon, caramelized onions, pepperjack cheese, and remoulade, which fucking rocks. Plus they have really skinny salty fries the way God intended. Maybe a burger should only be judged on beefiness. I dunno. I've never eaten a beef burger at Baha. But the lamb and the turkey and the salmon burgers are all really tasty.

If I want a burger of honest beef, I go to the Green Valley Drug Store lunch counter, where it's served on a paper plate, a smallish burger, bursting with flavor, hot off a dirty grill, and the waitress calls me honey and makes the chocolate shakes in a battered old stand mixer with real ice cream.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:42 AM on May 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


Take that, In-N-Out! If only you charged an extra buck-and-a-half for better cuts of beef, you too could have 9 locations around New York, you fools! It doesn't matter if you do everything else better. Sirloin, brisket, and short rib taste better than than chuck. At least, when it's a day old and re-heated.
posted by team lowkey at 12:43 AM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Goddamn this burger is delicious. Thank you, metafilter, for informing me of the chopped pepper option in the last thread.

I brought it home, which is a dangerous move with fries well done. They held up. And now I have bourbon in my milkshake.
posted by flaterik at 12:43 AM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Soooo, why do you Americans keep all the good burgers to yourself and send us Europeans McDonalds and Burger King? You have some explaining to do!


If it is any consolation european mcdonalds are much mich better than the ones we have here in god's country.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:47 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, White Spot, Hong Kong, Back Up?!

My favourite is Burger Baron, but is that only an Alberta thing, I crave the motherfuck out of those burgers (and shakes!)
posted by PinkMoose at 12:49 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Betty_effn_White. If it is any consolation european mcdonalds are much mich better than the ones we have here in god's country.

What? I part of the McD deal was that the food was identical everywhere?
posted by Harald74 at 12:59 AM on May 19, 2011


Yeah, what a ridiculous test. How the burgers taste after sitting overnight says very, very little about how they taste fresh out of the oven. They shouldn't even have bothered.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 AM on May 19, 2011


(and yes, "fresh out of the oven" was perhaps a poor turn of phrase given we are talking about burgers)
posted by Justinian at 1:07 AM on May 19, 2011


5 guys has invaded Houston. I am still trying to figure out why anyone would go there when they could go to Becks Prime.
posted by nimsey lou at 1:30 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


What? I part of the McD deal was that the food was identical everywhere?

Similar, not the same. There's a noticeably different taste between even American and Canadian McDonalds.
posted by clorox at 1:45 AM on May 19, 2011


Wait, White Spot, Hong Kong, Back Up?!

Yep, ignore the coming soon logo. They're open, only serve the burgers, but they are very close to the ones served in Canada.
posted by arcticseal at 1:49 AM on May 19, 2011


nimsey lou - I foudn the burgers at Becks Prime kind of overdone and overpriced the time I've been there. Could just be the stores I've been in though.
posted by arcticseal at 1:50 AM on May 19, 2011


Y'all are killing me with the burger talk at 5AM (especially as I haven't eaten in 24 hours as I was sick.) Damn, the closest decent burger place is an hour from here and I am vehicleless today. Friggin' Evil Metafilter.

I'm going to have to make my own!
posted by SuzySmith at 2:05 AM on May 19, 2011


This whole thing is completely, utterly flawed. On the face of it, 5 guys isn't even in the same category with In-N-Out and Shake Shack. Not even close. Can not compete. Putting it up against these two stalwarts is akin to tacking on a 3rd horse to the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral: it doesn't matter what horse you pick, its not going to matter.

So, now that we've dismissed that, let's take this still completely flawed study and examine its outcomes:

If you tally up the results of the individual components, In-N-Out takes it with three and a half victories against Shake Shack's two and Five Guys's half.

Let's remember In-N-Out split the toppings category with a disqualified contender, so when we add that half back in, In-N-Out actually won over Shake Shack 4-2, beating Shake Shack by a full 100%. They commend the In-N-Out burger with accurate aplomb:

The In-N-Out burger is really more about the Total Burger Experience

This burger, more than any of the others, becomes greater than a sum of its parts

In-N-Out excels at consistency and customer care


...and then turn around and announce a winner based on a silent vote of an unidentified number of unidentified judges with unidentified qualifications. This, after In-N-Out traveled cross-country to beat the other two contenders, hands down, on their own playing field.

This is beyond the pale in its inaccuracy and lunacy. There's only 2 corners in a boxing match, and there's only one contender that gets the crown. We all know who that really is.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:26 AM on May 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


This post is torture. Currently I have gall stones and my diet is restricted to no more than 5g of fat per meal. I haven't had a good burger and fries for months.
posted by the_artificer at 2:51 AM on May 19, 2011


Coming up next, a performance evaluation of 10 year old cars...

Day old burgers???? I don't think we learned much from this... a lot of trouble for nothing.
posted by tomswift at 3:06 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah. I understand that it wasn't supposed to be anyway near a scientific test. Kenji even says in the comments that it was basically for fun. But they flew somebody across the country to buy burgers. Get 'em while they're hot or don't do the test at all.
posted by Splunge at 3:13 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"1. Get your butcher brother-in-law to bring some of his "special grind" beef."

Remarrying might be a little bit overboard, don't you think?
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:35 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you're ever in the Louisville area, you owe it to yourself to go to Home Run Burgers, a local chain which is kind of like a Five Guys with a lot more heart (and better burgers).
posted by jbickers at 3:47 AM on May 19, 2011


You'll find bible passages referenced on various pieces of their packaging.
WTF? What is wrong with you people over there?
posted by brokkr at 3:53 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Five Guys used to do it for me, but that was until I discovered Cook-Out.
posted by emelenjr at 4:15 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do y'all really eat a big greasy burger and then manage to cram in a milkshake? I'm not judging, just in awe, if true.

Mmmmmmmm, Cook-Out caused me a few minor heart attacks in my brief shitty time in Greensboro, NC.
posted by willie11 at 4:32 AM on May 19, 2011


burgerville USA yo :P + they help cover most of their employees' health insurance!
posted by kliuless at 4:37 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


People, people, people. Forget Five Guys. Forget INO, and forget that whippersnapper upstart snotty Shakeshack.

Elevation Burger is where it's at. Marvelous burger with the perfect level of grease, actual cheddar cheese, glorious toppings, AND their beef is 100% organic, grass-fed cow. Fried are fried in olive oil, and are sofa king good.

Eating at Elevation Burger is the way to go, because you bump up your LDL and your smug levels.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:39 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I had Five Guys once. Once. It was during an ill-fated re-attempt at liking Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I was one of two customers and it took fifteen minutes to get a hamburger. Afterward, it felt like someone had taken a paint pot of warm grease, mixed in some candle wax with a low melting temperature, then carefully painted every crevice of my mouth with the mixture.

And the fries, ugh. Having just seen Kissed, I decided that was what fellating a corpse would be like: limp, cold, and waxy, with the dim thought of "Why am I doing this? Oh, yeah, I paid to do this." while grimly finishing the deed.

The book is still worse, though.
posted by adipocere at 4:43 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


As soon as I saw that they weren't even eating the burgers fresh I stopped reading. Anyway, I learned long ago to just say no to overpriced mass-produced hamburgers with toppings that came from one of Alice Waters's menus. Really great hamburgers don't come from places that have websites; Here in Augusta that meant one of two places: the late, lamented Delta Sandwich Shoppe or the fortunately still going strong Sports Center. We now have both a Five Guys and Red Robin in town, but neither can hold a candle to the patties that are slapped out and grilled right in front of you and homemade onion rings at the Ports Center, washed down with a fishbowl full of ice cold draft Budweiser (not the best beer, I know, but we are talking greasy spoon hamburgers here).

I bet most of you have a similar place in your town.
posted by TedW at 4:49 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ordering burgers "dissasembled". Using recreated sauce. Putting them in a fridge overnight. Reheating everything. Fuck, come on, what? This is a bullshit sandwich with jackoff sauce and I'm sorry I gave them a pageview.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:52 AM on May 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm partial to Betty Burgers here in Santa Cruz. They recently opened up a third store which I haven't tried yet, so if any of you Bay Area Mefites* ever want to come down I'd love to buy you a burger!

(Offer also open to select out-of-towners if you're ever in the neighborhood. Y'all know who you are.)
posted by sambosambo at 4:52 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Five Guys is the only one near me, so they win by default. They beat fast food options (they're not quite fast-food fast, but they beat a sit-down place at least at the ones I've been at), but they're not quite as good as a steakhouse burger. And I actually kind of like their fries, but I like greasy salty potatoey things no matter what the situation. The best fries come from steakhouses, too, in my experience.

Steak and Shake is also a pleasure when I'm out to visit relatives, but they're in MO and I'm in NJ. Their fries are basic fast food shoestring fries that aren't so great, though. I should just order two burgers next time I'm in town.

Burgerville is also quite good, but I'm rarely in the Pacific Northwest. And the cheese could stand to be sharper. Love the Wala Wala onion rings, though.

That said, if you're not eating the burgers fresh (seriously, why!?), you're not doing it right. Just fill out a questionaire, and repeat it for the other places. It won't be scientific, but at least you're trying the burgers in their prime, not when they're reheated in ways God didn't intend.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:54 AM on May 19, 2011


My favorite burger is the one I build every time I go to The Counter: In-N-Out style. Best of both worlds.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:01 AM on May 19, 2011


After a careful synchronization of watches, burgers were ordered from their respective establishments at precisely 1 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (that's 9 p.m. EST, 6 p.m. Pacific) and not tasted until the following morning.

Yeah, I don't really care about the rest of the article after that. I'm going to go puke now.
posted by empath at 5:06 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find it amazing how five guys has gone from being the underdog that everyone was rooting for to a microsoft-like enemy invader in threads like this.

It used to be unanimous among everyone but californians that five guys had the best burgers.

Now everyone loves to hate them, I wonder why that is.

I used to eat at the original restaurants all the time and I think that they're amazing, but there seems to be some not-great quality control at different franchises. Are some of the franchises out there just really bad? Because people's experiences with them in this thread don't seem to match my own. I know the georgetown one in DC was fucking dreadful when I went there.
posted by empath at 5:11 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Shack took it by a pretty healthy margin (more than three times the votes of the other two), and before you get all "but you're all New Yorkers so of course you'll pick the Shake Shack," may I point first remind us of the old Calvin Trillin quote: "Anyone who doesn't think that their home town has the best hamburger place in the world is a sissy," and then point out that more than half of us here are born-and-raised West Coasters, which makes at least a few of us in the office sissies.

Just to provide a different perspective: I'm a Northeasterner, born and raised, and currently live in New York City. For all I'm concerned, the rest of America except for everything to the upper right of Jersey could be overrun by Red Dawn Soviet aggressors and I would merely shrug and get myself a lobster roll and wish the rest of you a good day. I care not a whit for California and its repugnant notions of sunlight and warmth.

That being said: I choose In-n-Out over Shake Shack in a heartbeat. Shake Shack has a very tasty burger. In-n-Out is god-damned sublime. May the Lovecraftian culinary gods of New England have mercy on my burger-traitorous soul.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:12 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think this thread needs less rants about which burgers we hate and more invitations to lunch.

It's so early! Don't you all realize that we could all be having these rants by noon! In person! With mouths full of delicious burgers!
posted by sambosambo at 5:18 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's like pizza - anyone who says there is one specific place that is unquestionably better than every other doesn't know what they are talking about.
posted by solmyjuice at 5:21 AM on May 19, 2011


BTW this is the thing I miss the most about being gluten intolerant. Pizza, whatever. Fresh bread right out of the oven? MMmmmeh. Pasta? It's the sauce, who cares. I got a pretty good gluten-free cookie recipe. But a god damn hamburger, grilled to juicy perfection with crisp lettuce and a fat toasted bun, now son-of-a-bitch that's heaven right there. Tastes even better with hands greasy from tuning up the Dodge. Oh, age, what you've done to me. (I've yet to meet a gluten free hamburger bun that doesn't completely ruin the experience with bad texture and flavour.) I'm gonna go weep into my coffee now.

I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french-fried potato. Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer, good god almighty which way do I steer for my
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:21 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also: just want to add my voice to the chorus of people saying the methodology is fucked. It's like cutting the legs off a horse, a dog, and a skink, then putting them on a track to judge which is the fastest animal. I'm surprised that the normally-glorious Serious Eats stooped to such a ridiculously dumb idea.

Also also:
"One Crave case. Half cheese, half jalapeno. And a sack of chicken rings."
One of the most triumphant moments of my life was when I ate an entire crave case. At the end of the night, lying on my couch and groaning in pain and disgust, I swore I would NEVER EAT FOOD AGAIN.

The next morning, I was feeling pretty good, and thought to myself, "Damn, I could kinda go for some White Castle."
posted by Greg Nog at 5:22 AM on May 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


I know it's a chain

These are all chains. Kuma's Corner. DONE.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:27 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I used to eat at the original restaurants all the time and I think that they're amazing, but there seems to be some not-great quality control at different franchises. Are some of the franchises out there just really bad? Because people's experiences with them in this thread don't seem to match my own.

Amen. Peoples' descriptions of limp, lifeless fries in particular don't match my experience at all - usually when I've been there the fries have been pretty perfect. My theory is that the older franchises have much stricter quality control than the more recent expansions and that they're generally going downhill. Of course, I'm a Northern Virginia native and feel like I have to defend Five Guys a bit, even if they have gone somewhat downhill in general.

I've had In-N-Out before and didn't see what the fuss was all about. Of course, that was a really long time ago and I probably need to give it another chance the next time I'm in California.

Whataburger. That is all. 24-hour service, with the dine-in portion open, AND tasty food? Yes.

I'm not so sure about the "tasty food" part. When I lived in Texas, we had Whataburger once, on a road trip, and it was possibly the most disgusting fast food burger I've ever eaten. Like way worse than the big national chains. It had a gross texture that made me think the meat wasn't even cooked -- though it was -- and it was completely devoid of flavor whatsoever.

People, people, people. Forget Five Guys. Forget INO, and forget that whippersnapper upstart snotty Shakeshack.

Elevation Burger is where it's at. Marvelous burger with the perfect level of grease, actual cheddar cheese, glorious toppings, AND their beef is 100% organic, grass-fed cow. Fried are fried in olive oil, and are sofa king good.


I currently live right down the road from the original Elevation Burger, and I eat there more than any other burger place. Their burgers are good. A little on the small side, and I like my burgers cooked to order rather than well done all the time. The fries are also good, but again I like big thick fries better than shoestring. But the shakes... damn, those things are delicious. The only problem with them is that they're basically impossible to drink because they're so thick.
posted by malthas at 5:33 AM on May 19, 2011


And I think, love them or hate them, it was the runaway success of five guys that drove the recent expansion of 'quality burger' chains, so you at least owe them that.
posted by empath at 5:41 AM on May 19, 2011


Thirding empath and malthas's comments about Five Guys. As I've read through this thread, I'm really thinking that the far-flung Five Guys must need some better QA. I'm in Virginia, too, and have eaten at a number of Five Guys (the original, plus Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and one or two others), as well as Elevation Burger, Ray's Hell Burger, BGR, Shake Shack (the UWS one), and a few other "specialty burger" places. Of all of those, Five Guys is my favorite. The thing, though, is that when I'm somewhere with a burger place like Shake Shack, I eat there, rather than Five Guys, since I can get 5G at home. So maybe the NYC Five Guys are a pale shadow of their VA brethren, and you don't know what you're missing.

My absolute favorite burger, though, is in Wiliamsburg (the Virginia one). If you get a chance, go to The Blue Talon and get their burger. I cannot do it justice. It has a fried egg on top, and bacon grease in the beef, and cheese and bacon on top, and it's incredible.

Also, the day-old-burger thing made this whole article stupid.
posted by Alt F4 at 5:42 AM on May 19, 2011


arcticseal, The key at Becks is to get Tenderloin or Rib Eye. But, I guess that makes it a "sandwich" and not a "burger". Plus, their Queso is some of the best around and you can't beat the Jamoca shake.
posted by nimsey lou at 5:45 AM on May 19, 2011


The thing, though, is that when I'm somewhere with a burger place like Shake Shack, I eat there, rather than Five Guys, since I can get 5G at home.

Quoted for truth.

Also, since you mentioned BGR: total deliciousness. Especially the fries. Drooling right now. I actually haven't been to Ray's, which probably means I'm unqualified to continue commenting in this thread.
posted by malthas at 5:45 AM on May 19, 2011


Best burgers by far is Good Burger home of the Good Burger. Don't worry the cleared up the problem with the shark poison.
posted by lilkeith07 at 5:49 AM on May 19, 2011


I've never eaten at Five Guys and now I guess I never will. The other two places just don't exist anywhere I go. My own personal guilty pleasure burger is a Cheese Krystal. Actually, 3 Cheese Krystals, but who's counting. No, it's nowhere near the best burger out there, but sometimes I just want one.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:50 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as some have said, I'm a little surprise about the Five Guys hate. I'm in Dallas, so as we've just gotten In-n-Out, it's all anyone's talking about. The three or four Five Guys we have around here are always tasty, fresh, and friendly. I haven't hit up the In-n-Out yet, but I have had them before, and I greatly prefer Five Guys when given the option.

Seeing as Dallas now has an In-n-Out, Five Guys, and Whataburger within half a mile of each other, it may be time to recreate this challenge, but you know, without overnight storage.
posted by SNWidget at 5:58 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since I take it as a given that "5 Guys" is superior, I'm left to wonder why people praise their fries. Certainly made from good potatoes, but ridiculously soggy. French fries seem to be like "Greek Fire" -- the recipe has been lost and no one born after 1970 has ever tasted real ones.

I blame McDonald's.
posted by RavinDave at 5:58 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog: " Just to provide a different perspective: I'm a Northeasterner, born and raised, and currently live in New York City. For all I'm concerned, the rest of America except for everything to the upper right of Jersey could be overrun by Red Dawn Soviet aggressors and I would merely shrug and get myself a lobster roll and wish the rest of you a good day. I care not a whit for California and its repugnant notions of sunlight and warmth. . . . May the Lovecraftian culinary gods of New England have mercy on my burger-traitorous soul."

I'm feeling very left out -- nothing like this near me in MA. I was just thinking that I'm going to have to compensate with lobster roll soon.

I was once carrying a lobster roll through the annual street fair in Portsmouth, NH, and a guy hawking grilled burgers and hot dogs stopped mid-yell to comment on how good the lobster roll looked. That's all I have to hold onto in this burger thread.
posted by theredpen at 6:07 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, I lied! There are Five Guys here. Although that might be the one I'm least interested in trying. And there's one in Nashua, where I'm going tomorrow morning. FINE I'LL TRY IT
posted by theredpen at 6:11 AM on May 19, 2011


Shake Shack on the UWS is much, much better than waiting in line in the park, although the line can still get a bit long.

I like Goodburger as a close second. 5 guys is gross.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:12 AM on May 19, 2011


Oh, I lied! There are Five Guys here. Although that might be the one I'm least interested in trying. And there's one in Nashua, where I'm going tomorrow morning. FINE I'LL TRY IT

Five Guys is also in Worcester now (Lincoln Plaza) should you find yourself down this way, theredpen...
posted by rollbiz at 6:18 AM on May 19, 2011


Culvers
posted by Severian at 6:21 AM on May 19, 2011


Thanks, rollbiz!
posted by theredpen at 6:21 AM on May 19, 2011


Let's say I want to try "animal-style" at home (grilled in mustard). Is there any way to do this on a barbecue? I've tried in the past and the mustard just runs off through the grill. Is pan-frying the only way to preserve the mustard during the grilling process?

I AM CANADIAN AND NEED TO AD-HOC THESE TYPE OF THINGS IN ORDER TO HAVE THEM!!!
posted by joelhunt at 6:24 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


That said, the best burger in Worcester is found at the lunch counter at Breen's Pub. Get a Breen's Burger or a Friendly Burger. Bonus points for the fact that no matter how early you decide to tie a couple on, someone there will be drunker, earlier than you are.

Best burger in Boston is definitely at Bartley's, but the lines are usually so ridiculous that I just go to Charlie's Kitchen for a decent and cheap one. The great thing is that the two places are less than a five minute walk from each other.
posted by rollbiz at 6:28 AM on May 19, 2011


Yeah in MA theres a Five Guys in Framingham/Natick and Worcester. The only good chain type of places that I go to are Wild Wily's Burgers in Worcester and Fuddruckers at Jordans Furniture. Is it lunch time yet?
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:29 AM on May 19, 2011


The best burger I ever had was a a tiny hole in the wall joint in the area of 53rd St and 3rd Ave in NYC. I was 17 and in my very first summer job. I was a mailroom guy at Arthur Anderson. This place was really tiny, a small u shaped counter with maybe five stools around a grill. It was, even to my callow tastes, sublime. Hand made at order. You could get cheese on it and that was it. Howard Cosell ate there and I saw him a couple of times.

Since then I've had great burgers, but none quite as good. I'm pretty sure the place is gone, but I haven't looked for it in quite some time.

.
posted by Splunge at 6:31 AM on May 19, 2011


Good call, lilkeith, I totally forgot Wild Willy's. They do a good chain burger as well.
posted by rollbiz at 6:35 AM on May 19, 2011


Note to Chicago MeFites: Do not be dismayed that we have no In-N-Out, nor a Shake Shack, for we have Edzo's, which, if it were included in this test, would win handily, I am confident.
posted by AceRock at 6:47 AM on May 19, 2011


One more vote for Five Guys over In-N-Out. I wasn't that impressed by In-N-Out the few times I tried it (they had good t-shirts, though?). I'd rank it with Steak'n'Shake. Never heard of the third option. Apparently after living a year in DC, no one ever suggested I go there (or tell me of its existence). Homemade burgers are always for the win, though.
posted by Atreides at 6:48 AM on May 19, 2011


The only one of the three mentioned in the article we have in Austin to my knowledge is Five Guys. I ate there a while back after people had raved at me about it and wondered what the fuss was about. I grew up on Dairy Queen (DQ Dude!) and Whataburger, but these days I love me some P. Terry and Mighty Fine. If Elevation Burger and Hat Creek Burger would get themselves to south Austin, I'd eat there too (Elevation in particular: caramelized onions yum!). And that's not even getting to actual sit-down places that have great burgers.

Supposedly In N Out is coming to Austin. I have so many burger options that I really can't make myself care, particularly not when P. Terry just opened up a drive-thru about a mile and a half from my house. It's not walking distance like the Whataburger, and it's not open all night, but the prices are comparable for a better burger.

(One of my friends keeps trying to sell me on Five Guys for hot dogs. I'm not a huge hot dog eater but we have a gourmet hot dog trailer on South Congress for that. Duck and bacon hot dog, mmmmm.)
posted by immlass at 6:55 AM on May 19, 2011


I can think of three or four local places off the top of my head that are better than either Five Guys or In-N-Out (never eaten at Shake Shack). And it's not like I live in a culinary hotbed.

I'm guessing it's like that pretty much everywhere.
posted by box at 6:58 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, many, many years ago there was no such thing as a school lunch. Most of the kids at my school (stuck out in the middle of nowhere at a crossroads that had a park on one corner, a house on another, my school on the third and a Western Auto Store on the fourth) either walked home for lunch, or brought bag lunches.

My mom was a single parent, and, believe it or not, back in those days, a single mom was probably a widow, our culture didn't deal well with divorce back then, or unwed mothers. And, being a single mom, she put in long hours working, raising three kids (helping them all through college), and maintaining a house, getting up that half hour earlier to make a bag lunch for me was a task she could avoid if she gave me lunch money and a note saying I could eat lunch at the auto-parts store.

That's a little back-story as to why I was one of about 10 kids in my school that, every day, put on our boots and walked across the street to the Western Auto Store. Sold and purchased a number of times since then, the original "Western Auto" outlets have disappeared, and I'm not sure if many of them sold burgers, but ours did.

There were two sides to the Western Auto (probably about 3,000 square feet total, including the back room). Three quarters of the store was tools, auto parts, and some hardware, the other 1/4 was a tiny diner.

The diner had about 10 stools and a grill, the menu consisted of hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, a couple of sandwiches, soda in glass bottles, and glasses of water in glasses you really didn't want to look at too closely.

Mac, who owned the place, was the only employee I ever saw there, he moved between the diner and the auto parts/hardware section to take care of customers on both sides. During the 1/2 hour of school lunch, most of his time was spent in the diner section.

We would all troop in together, claim a stool, and order. Mac typically had an appropriate number of burgers on the grill by the time we arrived (we all ordered burgers, every.single.day), and the fries were in the deep fryer.

We would order (I ate a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke every day for about 3 years). Mac would stand at the grill, flipping burgers, warming the buns, and watching the fries while he talked to us. He knew each one of us by name, knew our families.

Eventually Mac would bring lunch, burgers were always wrapped in wax paper, warm and a bit greasy, fries were crisp and hot. Other than cheese, there wasn't anything on the burgers, there was ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions on the counters.

The beef was always fresh, Mac formed the patties himself, I suspect that, other than salt and pepper there wasn't any additional seasoning. Biting into one of those burgers was a little bit of heaven, partially, I'm sure, because those of us with busy parents whose schedule meant they weren't around to make us a hot lunch, had an adult to talk to and a lunch made especially for us.

Folks, THOSE were the best burgers. The rest of this stuff is standard fare that you'll forget in a couple of years, but I can still taste one of Mac's burgers after over 50 years.
posted by tomswift at 7:01 AM on May 19, 2011 [260 favorites]


Special trick for Five Guys: order a burger, but do NOT order fries. They will be so confused that they will almost certainly give you fries anyway.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:06 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah? we have (Iron Chef) Michael Symon's B-Spot, and they have milkshakes with bacon in them, and so he wins, forever and ever amen. (The house-made sauces ... oh god, the coffee BBQ sauce... will make you CRY).

But out of the original 3 in the post, In-N-Out. Hands down. Any time I'm out on the west coast, it's my default setting for fast food.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:09 AM on May 19, 2011


Heh - so, hereby there is a plaze with a Five Guys and a Fatburger.

We go to the Five Guys for the burger+fries, then over to Fatburger for the shakes...

(However, I wish Five Guys would use better cheese)
posted by jkaczor at 7:11 AM on May 19, 2011


I think it is interesting that all of these burger comparisons are only concerned with taste. Taste is only one dimension of what makes a good burger a good burger. The other things that matter are convenience and cost. That's what kills it for me. In and Out is the only legit fast food place on this list that it even gets included in the rankings is a credit to it. Both steak shake and five guys have damn good burgers. So do lots of sitdown places. But both places are fast food in name only. They take a good amount of time to get your food and they cost a fair amount of money.
posted by I Foody at 7:14 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since I take it as a given that "5 Guys" is superior, I'm left to wonder why people praise their fries

Because the fries-serving strategy is as follows: fill up a cup with fries, put cup in the big brown paper bag, and then just keep dumping fries with wild oblivion into the bag until there's no room left! Yeah, I've had better fries, but seriously, how can you not love something like that?!
posted by estlin at 7:25 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Chicago also has MBurger. Which I probably go to for lunch. Mmmmmmburger.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:26 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


* wild abandon, sigh.
posted by estlin at 7:27 AM on May 19, 2011


Personally, I find In-N-Out to be the most overrated burger I've ever had.

It's fine, but it's nothing special. I find it to be on the same level as Good Times, only In-N-Out adds scripture cites inside of their drink cups.
posted by scrutiny at 7:30 AM on May 19, 2011


So maybe the NYC Five Guys are a pale shadow of their VA brethren, and you don't know what you're missing.

Having had both VA and NYC Five Guys, they're honestly pretty equivalent and equally delicious.
posted by scrutiny at 7:33 AM on May 19, 2011


This comparison was complete bullshit.

I have not had shake shack (nor do I plan on changing that in spite of their new DC location), but you cannot compare a Wolfgang Puck pretentious 15 dollar burger with two fast food joints.

I grew up in Alrington VA and I am obviously incredibly biased in favor of Five Guys (its quality can vary based on location, the Arlington and Alexandria stores are usually fantastic, the Chinatown one is inexplicably good, as is the Columbia Heights location, while the Georgetown and Dupont locations are not as great). I get out to California regularly and I make a point to go to In-and-Out whenever possible, and while I respect and enjoy it, I dont really get the cult like following.

Also who orders a Five Guys burger with every single sauce on it???

Idiots.

I am way more worked up about this than I ought to be.

Also, cajun fries for the win.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:34 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


meh, chains... if you're in Chicago, go to Kuma's... When you're in Austin, go to Your Mom's, Huts, Casino El Camino, etc...
posted by jbelshaw at 7:35 AM on May 19, 2011


Furthermore, if you want to do a real comparison, go somewhere that has both In-and-Out and Five Guys and do it fresh, I dont see why shake shack has to be in the conversation at all, other than Serious Eats compulsive need to fellate all things New York.
posted by BobbyDigital at 7:38 AM on May 19, 2011


Well geez tomswift, if we're going to do that, then the best burger is actually from Frith's Dixie Pig BBQ on race weekend from back before they made the cook stop smoking in the kitchen.

The best hot dogs are from Rumley's—the super-red ones, ya know? Here's their chili recipe.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:42 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]



The best burger's yer next burger i always say.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:47 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


but you cannot compare a Wolfgang Puck pretentious 15 dollar burger with two fast food joints

Are you referring to Shake Shack? A single-patty Shackburger is $4.75 and Wolfgang Puck has nothing to do with it. It is true though that Shake Shack is not a fast-food joint, nor does it claim to be.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:49 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem with Shake Shack is that I really don't ever feel like waiting 20 minutes in a line, in a park, just to order, and then another 20 minutes trying to snag a table and wait for my food.

Check the line before you go. Or, better yet, go to a different location. I used to work on the UWS, and the lines at that location varied wildly, but were usually short. The one on 44th and 8th has a decent line depending on the time and if the weather is nice. Last time I was there, I only waited a few minutes, but it was pouring out and 9pm.

naoko - Of course they have shakes! They're listed as "Hand Spun Shakes" on the menu.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:52 AM on May 19, 2011


So this was a contest to see who made the beat day old burger? Who cares? Who eats day old burgers?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:56 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


MA actually has a lot of Five Guys locations now. There are also locations in Saugus and Swampscott and they're opening one in Medford at Station Landing near Wellington (which is pretty much the only transit-accessible one, to my knowledge). It may even be open already, as I haven't been there in a while.
posted by Kosh at 8:00 AM on May 19, 2011


I got to the part where the In N Out special sauce was confiscated at the airport and stopped reading. Really, a lot of money and work done for nothing.

I'm an In n Out fan myself, and just had five guys for the first time yesterday. Not bad. My question to folks is this - when you go to In N Out or Five Guys what do you order?

For me In N Out is a no brainer - Double Double Animal Style - for those not acquainted with the secret menu - this is tomatoes, lettuce, extra sauce, extra cheese, grilled onions, and pickles (which aren't on the regular burger).

Five guys has a lot more options - including bacon - and comparing a bacon burger with a non-bacon burger is really sort of cheating. My Five guys burger was "All the way" which seemed to be bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, grilled onions - although I'm not sure. Jalapeños would be a good addition -- any other combos people like?
posted by spaceviking at 8:00 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


crush-onastick beat me to mentioning Chicago's MBurger, which I've become a big fan of. The one just around the corner from the Michigan Ave Apple store has a window that looks into the kitchen of four-star restaurant Tru, which is really fun. And I prefer their fries to Five Guys - like others said above, I find Five Guys fries too limp; I prefer the golden brown crunch of MBurger's.
posted by dnash at 8:04 AM on May 19, 2011


any other combos people like?

Grilled onions, mustard, bacon, jalapeno.
posted by empath at 8:06 AM on May 19, 2011


I've had all three. They are all fast food hamburgers. Seriously, this is like comparing three different brands of toilet paper. They are all better toilet paper than McDonald's, but that's really all you can say in their favor.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 8:12 AM on May 19, 2011


Tempe, AZ has both In N Out and 5 Guys, so I've had them both fresh off the grill, not stored overnight. I've also had them both exactly once. In N Out was good, but disappointed me for not not living up to the hype. 5 Guys lives up to the hype. Also, 5 Guys fries are fantastic, even though I normally prefer crunchy fries.
posted by yeolcoatl at 8:15 AM on May 19, 2011


Ritchie Valens Burger at Hut's in Austin, TX. Wednesdays are 2 for 1.
posted by ColdChef at 8:16 AM on May 19, 2011


Great...now I'm craving Tommy's at 8:15 in the morning, and I'm not even hungover!
posted by malocchio at 8:17 AM on May 19, 2011


Also: is there no love for the Umami Burger? I was really looking forward to having one in a few weeks.
posted by ColdChef at 8:17 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've had all three. They are all fast food hamburgers. Seriously, this is like comparing three different brands of toilet paper. They are all better toilet paper than McDonald's, but that's really all you can say in their favor.

1. Fast food has its virtues. Among other things, it is fast.
2. They are also all hamburgers, which limits their appeal to some.
3. It is like comparing three different brands of toilet paper, but in terms of toilet paper, that exercise makes sense, and it's no use disparaging the inquiry because it doesn't include satin dainties.
4. The toilet paper at McDonald's is really shitty.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 8:19 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


When I was in Silicon Valley, it was Clarke's Charcoal Broiler. Yes, In-N-Out opened a store nearby and it's OK, for what it is. Doesn't hold a candle to Clarke's.

Now in my area, there's Local Burger and Fries. Oh Sweet Jebus, it's good, and right now I'm wishing it was OK for my diet.
posted by plinth at 8:20 AM on May 19, 2011


Umami Burger is tremendous. Eating their truffle burger is like having a big, greasy burger flavored marshmallow -- in all the best ways you can imagine.
posted by Hello, Revelers! I am Captain Lavender! at 8:21 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Umami Burger: GQ Burger of the Year by the smug prick Alan Richman.
posted by ColdChef at 8:21 AM on May 19, 2011


Best burger I've ever had in my life is at the Public House in Brookline/Boston. (Brookline's a suburb, right? Or is it a neighborhood of Boston? Sorry, tourist, wouldn't know...)

One of the things I've missed most about CA since moving to Seattle has been In-N-Out. It's usually the first place I go for lunch whenever I visit home. And having been to the Five Guys in Seattle, I've gotta say they don't even compare. Five Guys just charges you a lot more money for what is ultimately pretty ordinary.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:23 AM on May 19, 2011


Metafilter: having just seen Kissed, I decided that was what fellating a corpse would be like: limp, cold, and waxy, with the dim thought of "Why am I doing this? Oh, yeah, I paid to do this." while grimly finishing the deed.
posted by felix at 8:24 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


shake shack the winner?!?!?!?! i live STEPS from the one on Madison Park and i can tell you there is no fucking way i would go there often because of that mess of a line. i go to goodburger, which is owned by the same company.

am an avowed meatatarian and have eaten all 3 hamburgers. the real winner should have been In-&-Out. hands down they are the best and have the best value.
posted by liza at 8:28 AM on May 19, 2011


ColdChef, if you're going to be near Umami Burger, by all means have one. But later in your trip, take a short stroll to the corner of Selma and Vine to a little hamburger shack called Molly's. Order a any sort of cheeseburger with any sort of fries from one of the nice Korean ladies with the matching aprons. Then ask yourself just how much a magazine endorsement means to you.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:36 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I might be re-thinking this. I am going to have to swing by shake shack when I have a couple hours free to stand in line. The more I think about it, the more I realize that all great burgers I have had in non-chain restaurants contain brisket, and 5 guys is lacking in the brisket department.

I think brisket might be a New York innovation, can we chalk up another win for The Center of The Known Universe? Seriously, if In-And_out wants to be relevant they need to open here.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:53 AM on May 19, 2011


So finally will people stop bringing up Five Guys in every In-N-Out thread? YOU LOST
posted by shakespeherian at 1:19 AM on May 19 [9 favorites +] [!]


Yeah! And all it took was handicapping all the competition because you have to ship a burger from CA! I wonder what the best meal left in a parking lot overnight would be... Wolfgang Puck had some serious points at the beginning, but the mid-day showers give the edge to Wendy's, as their bag provided much needed cover.

I give up.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:57 AM on May 19, 2011


What bongo_x said. I lived in LA for a decade and always found the love for In-n-Out to be way out of proportion to its quality. I was like six blocks from one for half the time I lived in LA. When I visit there, it's not In-n-Out that I think about swinging by, it's Fatburger. Oh so good.

Nowadays I live in Seattle, and a place called Dick's is legendary. I suspect that, like In-n-Out, it is legendary because they have a vaguely competent burger that is the best goddamn thing ever when it's late at night, you're tired and ravenous, and they're the only thing open. Being somewhat stoned may factor into the equation, too.

My only life-changing late-night hamburger experience was the one that put me off of McDonald's forever. It was Christmas (which I really don't celebrate), I'd neglected to stock up on food and ran out. All the stores were closed. And McDonald's was what me and my roommate ended up at after like an hour of searching. I bit into that damn burger and within thirty seconds of swallowing the first bite I was hit by this wave of suicidal depression, I kid you not. I felt fine beforehand but that burger was full of the taste of death.
posted by egypturnash at 9:06 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


But later in your trip, take a short stroll to the corner of Selma and Vine to a little hamburger shack called Molly's.

Noted! And added to my list of "Must Trys" in Los Angeles. Three weeks! I can't wait.
posted by ColdChef at 9:16 AM on May 19, 2011


I like In-n-Out burgers. I like Five Guys burgers. I have yet to experience a Shake Shack burger, but if/when I do I will probably like it too. I have a hard time imagining a scenario where I will ever have the luxury of having to choose between the three.
posted by usonian at 9:19 AM on May 19, 2011


This thread needs more Burgerville.
posted by sweetmarie at 9:19 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Opinioooooon thread! Commenters unite!

I've had In-n-Out twice. I don't get it. It's not bad but it has never blown me away in the way the legend made me expect. I'd choose it over fast food any day of the week. Their fries don't do it for me.

Shake Shack - I'm a virgin but I've walked past the line a few times.

Five guys - I like it b/c I can get my jalepeno and hot sauce and grilled onions and mustard fix. And peanuts while you wait! And their fries are fanstatic.
posted by dig_duggler at 9:25 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


All "which fast food burger is best" discussions are meaningless:

(a) Taste is subjective, obv.

(b) Taste is subjective, since there are so many components of the fast food burger meal, that mean more or less to different people -- meat, bun, condiments, fries -- and such a range of specific preferences (flat patty, crisp or greasy fries, etc.), that any kind of competition declaring a "winner" is meaningless.

(c) Taste is subjective, since people generally prefer either the hometown burger they grew up with, or there was some non-food-related aspect of their experience with the burger (the atmosphere, the circumstances) that affects how much they enjoyed the burger.

(d) Taste is subjective, so any given claim of "this burger is the best evar" will inevitably fall flat with many other people who sample that same burger, which means any discussion of burger quality will inevitably devolve into little more than alternating statements of "X Burger is teh awsum" and "what's the big deal about X Burger?"
posted by Pants McCracky at 9:28 AM on May 19, 2011


My wife and I just moved back to Ohio from Bloomington-Normal, IL and one of the very few things I'll miss from B-N is a burger and cajun fries from Meatheads. The format is a lot like 5 guys, but the burgers are so much better. We tried 5 guys in Columbus, OH with a good friend and were thoroughly disappointed.

But really, the best burger, is a homemade Smash Burger a la Paupered Chef. Use some Hawaiian buns and Ropp Dairy Cheddar Cheese (be sure to pet the cows when you pick up the cheese). Fucking incredible.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 9:32 AM on May 19, 2011


I've had two of the three. Never been near an In-n-Out. But I'm the sort that doesn't go for toppings beyond ketchup, mustard, and, if I remember when I'm ordering, pickle slices. I don't really like lettuce and tomato and all that other stuff. From descriptions, I'd probably like In-n-Out.

I used to go the the Five Guys on Fayette in Alexandria, VA all the time. It was always superb. Of the contenders, that specific joint served the best burgers, and the fries were always excellent, like fries you get at the beach. By that I mean somewhere like Thrashers at Ocean City, MD, or is it Rehoboth, DE or Virginia Beach? Probably all three. They probably have one in Harborplace, but like any spot recently franchised out into the hinterlands, quality slides away from the center. I get the feeling In-n-Out's been in the game longer, they're more franchise-ready, the place is an established fast-food joint, not a corner burger joint that recently became so popular that they opened a few branches locally and then within two years were nationwide.

I ate at a Five Guys in Brooklyn; it wasn't the same. Also, it's definitely true that their burgers suffer greatly with time. They're much better there in Five Guys' dining area than they are in your dining room at home.

I've eaten at the original Shake Shack and the one at 96th and Lex. They were about the same. I guess the point must be the toppings. While it was very good it wasn't what I look for in a burger. The meat was too lean, not particularly greasy, and the bun would have been nice by itself in a basket with butter on it, but really wasn't great on the burger. I had fries, they were good but not memorable beyond that assessment.

I do look forward to trying In-n-Out, all signs point to its excellence. But the same people who love In-n-Out tend to hate Five Guys, so maybe we just look for different things in a burger. I'd say my assessment of good burger joints is usually a "which do I like best" rather than "which do I like at all" situation. My friends are all idiots who are only capable of liking one place, and hate everywhere else. I blame frequent flier miles. Brand loyalty is for suckers.

I like the burgers they serve at St. Dymphna's on St. Mark's near Avenue A. They have chopped onions in the patty. It's not everyone's favorite, but it reminds me of the homemade burgers I grew up with. Hell, some people think you should be able to specify how cooked you want a burger, they get theirs medium rare. Might as well eat kitfo. That's delicious too.

De gustibus non est disputandum.

P.S. The Mos Burger (fresh burger topped with chili and a thick tomato slice) at Japan's Mos Burger is divine.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:33 AM on May 19, 2011


Glad someone mentioned Dick's... I'm one of those burger traitors, because even though I grew up in Seattle, I still hold that In-N-Out is the best cheap fast food burger. The only thing Dick's has over In-N-Out is that they'll provide tartar sauce for your fries. C'mon, everywhere-but-Seattle! Start eating your fries with tartar sauce! It's delicious!

The other Seattle option is Kidd Valley, which I remember being really great when I was a kid, but which I haven't been impressed by as an adult...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:34 AM on May 19, 2011


I don't normally do this sort of thing, but:

Metafilter: This is a bullshit sandwich with jackoff sauce and I'm sorry I gave them a pageview.

If you're ever in Rochester, have a few beers at the bug jar and then walk to Mr. V's street meat. He usually parks the cart on the corner or Monroe and Goodman. Get a burger with ketchup, onion, mustard, and Rochester sauce.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:36 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Taste is subjective, obv.

What isn't subjective? May as well shut metafilter down if the basis of whether a discussion is worth having comes down to chacon à son goût.

Having said that, In-n-Out isn't where I am anymore. I like In-n-Out fine, but I don't think it's to die for or anything, and their portions are too small (yeah, I know, portion size is a crass thing to bring up, but if you're going to pig out on fast food, you might as well go whole hog).

We have Five Guys here, which I've never tried but am now tempted to do. Sonic's a great option, I think. Lumping it in with McDonalds/Wendy's/etc. is doing it an injustice.
posted by blucevalo at 9:42 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]



These are all chains. Kuma's Corner. DONE.
adamdschneider


Clearly you've never been to the Bad Apple. Burgers are as good if not better than Kumas' and for an added bonus you get to keep your ear-drums that evening!
posted by Carillon at 9:47 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


A double double, fries, and shake at In-N-Out comes in around 1800 calories... roughly what should be your caloric intake for an entire day if you are a desk jockey... and you're complaining about portion size?

I mean, sure, if you decide to just wear sweat pants everywhere.
posted by Justinian at 9:48 AM on May 19, 2011


AceRock beat me to it, but I'll second Edzo's for Chicago-area burgers. (Kuma's is too loud and inconsistent; MBurger is... just okay...). Having had both, I actually prefer Edzo's to Shake Shack.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 9:50 AM on May 19, 2011


Clearly you've never been to the Bad Apple.

Au contraire, I have been to Bad Apple not once, but twice. Very good burgers and great fries, but Kuma's is still better as far as I'm concerned. I've heard good things about DMK, but their seating is pure, unadulterated bullshit, and I will never eat there unless it happens to be empty.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:51 AM on May 19, 2011


Edzo's is great, too. It's not Kuma's or Bad Apple, but it's probably more in line with these other fast food joints. Of course, it loses points for being in fucking Evanston, but since I work there I go every now and then.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:52 AM on May 19, 2011


spaceviking: Animal Style doesn't have extra cheese and you left out the most important part - the mustard grilled patty. Mmmm.


So a question for those of you who were underwhelmed by In-n-Out - what did you order?
posted by elsietheeel at 10:00 AM on May 19, 2011


If you're anywhere near Austin: hopdoddy.
posted by no mind at 10:09 AM on May 19, 2011


Big Kahuna Burger. Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.
posted by dust of the stars at 10:10 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dammit, thread. I just walked to my local Five Guys and got a cheeseburger with onions, mushrooms and mustard. Eating it at the moment -- had to clean off my hands to write this.
posted by GriffX at 10:10 AM on May 19, 2011


If you order a single @ 5 Guys, the bun won't fall apart during consumption.
posted by mikelieman at 10:13 AM on May 19, 2011


It's like pizza - anyone who says there is one specific place that is unquestionably better than every other doesn't know what they are talking about.

Pepe's in New Haven. No, Sally's... Eh, you're right.
posted by stargell at 10:15 AM on May 19, 2011


I would like to see if Shake Shack can keep up their quality after opening another 100 or so locations.

It's been mentioned before, but anywhere in Southern California, so long as you aren't smack dab in the middle of the basin of the City of Los Angeles, there's an In-n-Out 5 minutes from where you are, consistently serving up fantastic fast-food hamburgers. Of the 200+ locations, by my count, 134 are in SoCal.
posted by hwyengr at 10:17 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crown Burgers. That is all.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:20 AM on May 19, 2011


Metafilter: possibly the best thing to come out of my home state since we invented Hollywood and sodomy on the same day.
posted by KathrynT at 10:35 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Had Shake Shack in Manhattan two weeks ago. Burgers almost as good as In'N'Out for twice the price. Honestly, the fries at either place are nothing special. Shake Shack serves beer though, which is a plus. I have not had Five Guys.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:36 AM on May 19, 2011


adamdschneider and Carillon - incidentally, Bad Apple sources their beef from the same supplier as Shake Shack: Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Apparently the Bad Apple owner is an old frat buddy.
posted by AceRock at 10:38 AM on May 19, 2011


Now I'm thinking about getting a few NYC folk together for a burger tasting picnic.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:42 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


The problem with Shake Shack is that I really don't ever feel like waiting 20 minutes in a line

The problem with Shake Shack is that their owners have more or less admitted that they keep a line on purpose to enhance the exclusivity angle of their business. This alone is enough to make me despise them.

Here in DC, I'm partial to Good Stuff, no matter what disparaging comments its owner makes about our city... Tasty, tasty burgers. Ignore the godawful pizza place next door.

Five Guys certainly ain't bad either, and the (private) owners apparently have a pretty significant hands-on presence in the business, which I think is cool, and probably helped to keep the quality consistently good as the chain grew. The trick with the fries is to open the bag as soon as you get it, and dump the fries out if possible -- this prevents them from getting too soggy.
posted by schmod at 10:44 AM on May 19, 2011


And, yeah. The "Regular" burgers at Five Guys are *huge.*

The "little" ones are a totally reasonable portion for a meal, even when I'm *really* hungry (and this is about the only circumstance under which I'll go to Five Guys).

Someday, I'm going to start a chicken franchise strategically positioned adjacent to Five Guys restaurants, and call it 'Six Chicks.'
posted by schmod at 10:46 AM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you go to Salt Lake City (actually just north, Layton, I think) you can find a Five Guys and an In-N-Out burger close enough together so that you can compare the two while they're both still hot.

I did this a while back with some coworkers, a few of whom were California expats and kept raving about In-N-Out.

Five Guys won, hands down. Even the ex-Californians admitted it. Apparently they all seemed to remember In-N-Out being much better than it actually was in reality, when placed next to a Five Guys burger.

However, there wasn't any consensus on the fries. Some people liked Five Guys' fries, other people preferred In-N-Out's. Eventually we all had to just agree to disagree on this one; it depends on whether you like the "potatoey" flavor of Five Guys or the more traditional "fast food" style of In-N-Out's shoestrings.

Also most of us felt ill for the next two days. But such are the sacrifices we make for Science.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:48 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, Mr adamdschneider, Kuma's is awesome with a side of deliciously awesome. But Kuma's is 1.5 hour wait for a table if you arrive at opening. It's a go over, have some booze while you're waiting for a table, have a drink when you order, have another while you wait for the burger to be crafted, have another drink while you digest the first half so you can eat the second half of your ungodly delicious burger. Mburger is $5 and 10 minutes so I can snarf down a delicious cheeseburger. FiveGuys is $5 and next door and open till 3:00 am so I can snarf down a bacon cheeseburger and get back to my videogames. It's not really a fair comparison.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:48 AM on May 19, 2011


Now I'm thinking about getting a few NYC folk together for a burger tasting picnic.

I really like Blue 9 and to a lesser extent Island Buger.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:10 AM on May 19, 2011


Not having a Shake Shack or In and Out, of those three I have to settle for 5 Guys. However, if you are ever in Tallahassee Monk's has a most amazing burger!
posted by dbooker at 11:17 AM on May 19, 2011


Greg Nog, that sounds like a really excellent idea
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:23 AM on May 19, 2011


Same here in CT -- no Shake Shack (yet) or In-N-Out, but 5 Guys is great, and we've got Louis' Lunch. We also have the Steamed Cheeseburger thing going on here too.
posted by pretzel at 11:29 AM on May 19, 2011


Steamed Hams?
posted by mikelieman at 11:33 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


(However, I wish Five Guys would use better cheese)

And what's up with their pickles? Why not use real dill pickles instead of that bread-n-butter.

If Five-Guys would add Mancini-style sweet roasted peppers to their topping list, they'd have to call the cops nightly to get me outta there.
posted by RavinDave at 11:33 AM on May 19, 2011


the young rope-rider: "Greg Nog, that sounds like a really excellent idea"

Yep. Let me know when to start fasting.
posted by Splunge at 11:33 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I object on the basis that this comparison of greasy gutbusters did not include Billy Goat Tavern. Double-cheese!, amirite, Chicago MeFites?
posted by me3dia at 11:37 AM on May 19, 2011


Five Guys has good fries provided you eat them IMMEDIATELY. They become super-nasty after about ten minutes. They have this quality in common with state fair mini-donuts.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:43 AM on May 19, 2011


People who eat day old burgers and claim to be foodies are not to be trusted.

Not had Shake Shack, but between In-n-Out and 5 Guys it's not much of a contest. 5 Guys is fine. In-N-Out is the platonic ideal of a fast food experience.

Amusing story: I was just in LA on a book tour and my handler for the stop asked me where I wanted to go to lunch. I said In-N-Out. To which she responded, somewhat irritably, "In-N-Out! In-N-Out! What is the goddamned thing about authors and In-N-Out?!?"

At which point we went to In-N-Out.
posted by jscalzi at 11:48 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Steamed Link, lets try again: Ted's
posted by pretzel at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2011


AceRock- one of my big disappointments at the Bad Apple was finding that noone else was ordering the delicious Pat LaFrieda Burger. Man it was a bummer.

adamschneider - Kuma's is good. But it's like what they found with airline food. Part of the reason it tastes so bland is the whine of the jet engine. Kuma's could be the be all and end all but when I leave feeling like someone has taken a jack-hammer to my head AND when the Bad Apple has the Ole Imperial, a burger served on a fantastic English Muffin, the contest is over.
posted by Carillon at 11:52 AM on May 19, 2011


It was a bummer because then they stopped carrying it. Sigh.
posted by Carillon at 11:56 AM on May 19, 2011


None of these franchises are anywhere near where I live- We don't even have our own regional burger chains.

It's rather weird for me to read threads like these, with MeFites from places that aren't at the end of the earth like East Yeehaw, Maine talking about the awesome things available within easy reach of public transport.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:06 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm in Virginia, too, and have eaten at a number of Five Guys (the original, plus Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and one or two others)...My absolute favorite burger, though, is in Wiliamsburg (the Virginia one). If you get a chance, go to The Blue Talon and get their burger. I cannot do it justice....

Three things here: 1) Blue Talon is indeed the shit. I freaking love that place, and it kicks the Trellis's overrated pompous ass. 2) Where is there a Five Guys in Williamsburg??? I do not remember that from when I lived there at all! Is it new (last 5 years)? I am so confused. 3) While we're on the subject of Williamsburg, the best shake in town is at the Queen Anne Dairy Snack - the butterscotch one is particular is amaaaazing.

naoko - Of course they have shakes! They're listed as "Hand Spun Shakes" on the menu.

I think you maybe misread my comment somehow? To the best of my knowledge, Five Guys does not have shakes.
posted by naoko at 12:08 PM on May 19, 2011


Also, I like Steak 'n Shake. Also also, I know Sonic took a bit of a drubbing upthread, and I would like to stand up for them on the basis of their limeades and slushes.
posted by naoko at 12:14 PM on May 19, 2011


Here in DC, I'm partial to Good Stuff

Oh, hell yes. Made a point of going there on a recent business trip. Was delicious. Treasure it.

crush-onastick, I completely hate the wait at Kuma's. Worst part of the experience by far, and has made me not go there many, many times. Still, it doesn't make their burgers taste any worse! I have never had Mburger, but in the ads they look so...puny.

Part of the reason it tastes so bland is the whine of the jet engine. Kuma's could be the be all and end all but when I leave feeling like someone has taken a jack-hammer to my head

Whine...of a jet engine? Did you just compare the nectar of the gods of metal to a jackhammer?

-_-

ಠ_ಠ

You are cast out of Valhalla.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:14 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, cajun fries for the win.

Oh my yes. When 5G first came to Indianapolis, the first few times I went there I loved their hamburgers, but was unimpressed with their fries.

That was because I was ordering the regular fries. The next time I got their cajun fries, which are like crack. Salty, salty crack. Seriously, I'm pretty sure 96% of the spice mix on their cajun fries is just salt, which my human brain realizes is just way too much salt, but it doesn't get a vote because the salt goes straight to the animal part of my brain.

Also I like that 5G has fresh jalapenos, not pickled, because a) the jalapenos aren't just hot, they also have a flavor; and b) I find pickled jalapenos to be way too vinegary for most non-nacho applications, including burgers.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:46 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're in NC (or SC or Richmond, VA), Cook-Out is the ticket. Great, relatively inexpensive burgers and hot dogs. They brag on their chicken, but I don't see it. Super-thick, good milkshakes. Just FYI.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:51 PM on May 19, 2011


They are similar! It the level of noise! Plus holy damn its loud.

Even AHT agrees!

I mean, the whole bourbon on tap thing that Kuma's has is great. But every time I've been I've left feeling like I'd permanently damaged my hearing for a good three days after. Jackhammer indeed!
posted by Carillon at 1:00 PM on May 19, 2011


Sorry, emelenjr.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:03 PM on May 19, 2011


Like a good Manhattan, a good buger is not made by a 20-year old at a chain. It requires someon that has been perfecting the process for 15 years. pefecting a simple activity is never simple.

In SE Wisconsin, see Solly's Grill or Kewpee's. They've each been making their same burger for over 50 years.
posted by rtimmel at 1:14 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why I dislike Five Guys and view them as a Microsoft-like overdog juggernaut: They displaced my Fatburger in Jersey City.

(That doesn't mean I don't patronize them, damn me.)
posted by whuppy at 1:14 PM on May 19, 2011


jonmc's recommendation of Paul's on 2nd Ave near St. Marks was pretty damn good.
posted by whuppy at 1:50 PM on May 19, 2011




That's almost 3000 calories. But one assumes he is working out every day. Despite being a baseball player.
posted by Justinian at 2:14 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Schnippers quality kitchen is the greatest burger in nyc.
posted by jeremy b at 2:55 PM on May 19, 2011


I've had two of the three burgers, and am only KINDA impressed by one.

In-and-Out. Eh.
Five Guy. If have to.
Shake Shack. On my to do list if I ever make it to the east coast.

Living in ATX, I will always hit Mighty Fine Burgers. A nice thick juicy burger that has the right crust from their seasoned grill. The fries I pass on. They're this cross between shoe string & crinkled fries.

But as a lover of meat, cheese and bread I have to go with Red Mill Burgers in Seattle, WA. The Blue Cheese Bacon Burger calls me. I've had it three times in 2 years. That's kinda of an expensive burger when you account airfare & hotel, but so worth it. Their onion rings are some of the best I ever had.

tomswift: That is the best story of growing up that I've ever heard. Hat on heart.
posted by freakinloon at 3:04 PM on May 19, 2011


I've only patronized In-N-Out once, but I came away mystified by all the hype. I can see not caring for the Five Guys burgers (I rather like them, although they desperately need to start using kaiser rolls instead of those glorified bread slices), but you at least have to admit they deliver on the ridiculous toppings selection and boatloads of fries that they're known for. In-N-Out was just a thicker-cut fast food burger with mayo on it.

Now, Whataburger, that's a chain I could get behind relocating to the East Coast.

Also, if you want a burger with a milkshake and will be in the Oklahoma/Texas/Alabama area anytime soon, go to Braum's. The sandwiches are pasable-to-okay, but the shakes are the platonic ideal of drinkable ice cream.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:09 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I object on the basis that this comparison of greasy gutbusters did not include Billy Goat Tavern. Double-cheese!, amirite, Chicago MeFites?

The Goat holds a very special place in my heart, as you know. But their buns are too big even for a double cheese and the burgers are mostly meh.

UNLESS, as I discovered recently, you ask them to make you a double cheese patty melt. They'll do it (or they did for me anyway) even though it's not on the menu. Super buttery rye bread with a double cheese inside? They even offered to throw onions on it too, but I declined. So good. So greasy.
posted by misskaz at 3:25 PM on May 19, 2011


As fun as In-N-Out is, it's no Birdsview Burgers.
posted by xedrik at 3:28 PM on May 19, 2011


Also, if you want a burger with a milkshake and will be in the Oklahoma/Texas/Alabama area anytime soon, go to Braum's. The sandwiches are pasable-to-okay, but the shakes are the platonic ideal of drinkable ice cream.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:09 PM on May 19 [+] [!]


Where is Braums in AL? I'm in Bham and the best we got (which is really good but not great) is Hamburger Heaven.
posted by dig_duggler at 3:29 PM on May 19, 2011


Dangit, I meant to write Arkansas. Sorry, you're not that lucky.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:38 PM on May 19, 2011


If you're in the Portland area and somehow tired of eating delicious, delicious Burgerville, I recommend the Hollywood Burger Bar on NE Sandy for seriously good diner-style burgers.
posted by nonmerci at 3:46 PM on May 19, 2011


"Afterward, it felt like someone had taken a paint pot of warm grease, mixed in some candle wax with a low melting temperature, then carefully painted every crevice of my mouth with the mixture.

And the fries, ugh. Having just seen Kissed, I decided that was what fellating a corpse would be like: limp, cold, and waxy, with the dim thought of "Why am I doing this? Oh, yeah, I paid to do this." while grimly finishing the deed."

posted by adipocere at 6:43 AM on May 19
Really? Twelve hours later and not a single one of you drooling carnivores has managed to call an EPONYSTERICAL on this?
posted by pineapple at 4:17 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Schnippers quality kitchen is the greatest burger in nyc.

Best burger I've had here is in Brooklyn, at the Roebling Tea Room. Haven't had Schnippers.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:26 PM on May 19, 2011


I've had Five Guys and Smashburger. Five Guys was pretty good but Smashburger was better. But like all chains, there's always a mom n' pop place that does it better.

I live in a town of about 600 people, in the heart of beef country. Every place to eat around here all gets their ground beef from the same meat market. And this guy has been cutting beef and pork for about 35 years. Thus each and every burger is 50 times better than any chain burger I have ever had. Plus I can get blue cheese on my burgers.
posted by Ber at 4:56 PM on May 19, 2011


Burgerville with Tillamook cheddar. That's if we can't go upscale.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:56 PM on May 19, 2011


Five Guys all the way, In-N-Out is all hype.
posted by Bag Man at 5:06 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I could understand if this discussion was about Montreal smoked meat, but hamburgers?
posted by SpannerX at 5:24 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love American burgers. Five Guys is in Calgary now - and its good - but for some reason its not as good as the Five Guys I had in Boston. I suspect its because Alberta beef isn't as sweet. Hard to tell with the seasoning. I love the fries though and will always choose sliced potatoes over parboiled reconstituted stuff.

It seems every Canadian burger place wants to use cheddar or mozza but they're just too mild. Strong american and monterey jack really finish it up well.

My recent favourite though is Culvers. We drove from Chicago to Madisson, Wi and stopped at 4 different locations in 5 days. Best road trip ever.
posted by jeffmik at 6:31 PM on May 19, 2011


I can't believe no one has mentioned Goodtimes Burgers. Sooooo good. And their frozen custard? Game over.
posted by hootenatty at 8:05 PM on May 19, 2011


the in and outs in my area all went out of business - pity, as i liked them, although the fries weren't anything great

two non burger notes - i had a cheesesteak at penn station a couple of weeks ago and really liked it, although i'm sure someone from philidelphia will tell me how much they suck - but i don't LIVE there, ok?

we have a fried chicken chain called chicken coop in the midwest that is just plain great
posted by pyramid termite at 9:27 PM on May 19, 2011


and damn, i wish the nearest white castle wasn't 70 miles away
posted by pyramid termite at 9:28 PM on May 19, 2011


Eating their truffle burger is like having a big, greasy burger flavored marshmallow -- in all the best ways you can imagine.

Hmm. My only problem with this is that I can't imagine any way that that could be good.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you live in the Philly area don't miss Charlies Hamburgers. Simple, unassuming, no toppings to speak of, but they are one of those places blessed with a magic griddle that makes their burgers taste better. They have no fries whatsoever, but do have milkshakes. Their black & white is very, very tasty.

Also, crazy cheap, like we're talking practically cheaper than a fast food chain.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:14 PM on May 19, 2011


Having eaten burgers at In-N-Out, Dick's, Kidd Valley, Five Guys, Braum's, Whataburger, Hardee's (when they weren't just Carls Jr East), Sonic, and Burgerviille... it's Burgerville. The rest aren't all that close.

That said, I have a certain love for Shaw's, the little burger stand a couple blocks from where I grew up, where their drive-in window was you talking directly to Mr. or Mrs. Shaw or one of their kids while they took your order, then you pulled around where one of them would hand you the food, unless they weren't busy, then they'd just hand it to you through the first window. A window powered by one of them pulling the lead pipe down to raise the window. They would grill or fry just about anything; their burgers were damn good, but I was partial to the fried steak sandwich.

They retired in 1989. That's what memory does for you -- makes you wish you could have a food product from 20 years ago.

It's sad these old local stands and chains are going by the wayside. People can complain about Dick's and Kidd Valley up here, but the idea that Seattle has not one but two local chains still holding their own against Jack and Ronald is really novel. In places like Tulsa, the local burger stands and chains died with the closing of Shaw's.
posted by dw at 11:55 PM on May 19, 2011


I've never even seen a Shake Shack. I've only had an In-n-Out burger once, and it was mediocre at best.

Five Guys burgers I've had several times and they've been excellent; juicy and meaty with fresh toppings. I just wish they wouldn't use peanut oil for the fries, cuz I'm allergic and I just have to watch everyone else enjoy them. A burger--even a great burger--without fries is just wrong.

There's a mini burger chain in Seattle called Dick's that many people swear by. They have the most godawful fries, mediocre burgers, only take cash, and require waiting in line outside. If anyone here is from Seattle and can explain what specifically it is that they find appealing about Dick's, I am dying to hear it.
posted by parrot_person at 1:54 AM on May 20, 2011


So it's just that they are open late at night? Hmmm...
posted by parrot_person at 1:57 AM on May 20, 2011


Once again, Rhode Island proves its gustatory superiority, this time with Stanley's Famous Hamburgers.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:24 AM on May 20, 2011


The grass fed burgers from Burgermaster in and around Seattle are among the many reasons I hate not living there anymore.
posted by Shutter at 5:12 AM on May 20, 2011


Tim Lincecum (ace pitcher for the San Francisco Giants) says his typical order at In-N-Out Burger is three double-doubles, two orders of fries and a chocolate-strawberry milkshake.

I'm a pig. I have eaten this. Except it was two fries animal style. Which is in-n-out poutine, kind of. Cheese, grilled onions, burger sauce over fries, served with a fork, and it's more or less the only reason In-n-Out even has forks at all even though "fries, animal style" isn't on the menu at most locations. And an extra large Neopolitan shake. As in a shake in an XL soda cup, not the large shake cup. And I've done it with 4 double doubles. I used to order 4x4s.. Not four of them at once but... yeeeeah.

I only place an order like that when I'm really hungry, burning enough calories, and it was literally the only thing I ate that day.

But dear God I'm still a pig. That's up to 4-5k kcals in a sitting.

In a feeble attempt at defending myself my usual order is one or two grilled cheeses with double veggies, fries and a shake. I just like their veggie wishburgers a lot. I like their burger-burgers, too, but for some reason I'm fascinated by the fact I can get all that great burger flavor without a hunk of dead cow in it. Sometimes I just don't feel like going into a beef coma.
posted by loquacious at 5:56 AM on May 20, 2011


Thread summary:

A hamburger is composed of one to two large patties of nostalgia on a fresh bun of proximity.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:06 AM on May 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Bubba's Burgers on Kauai are amazing.
posted by tarvuz at 6:08 AM on May 20, 2011


There's a mini burger chain in Seattle called Dick's that many people swear by.

I haven't been to Dick's, but Red Mill has good burgers.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:27 AM on May 20, 2011


Also, if you want a burger with a milkshake and will be in the Oklahoma/Texas/Alabama area anytime soon, go to Braum's.

Also in Missouri (or at least southwest Missouri)!
posted by naoko at 8:02 AM on May 20, 2011


If you're in the Portland area and somehow tired of eating delicious, delicious Burgerville, I recommend the Hollywood Burger Bar on NE Sandy for seriously good diner-style burgers.

Hollywood Burger Bar is awesome, but to my mind Stanich's is just a bit better for the same style / price point. On the west side (well, in the west hills) Skyline Restaurant has a pretty darn good burger in the same mode, with the added advantage of feeling like you're at a genuine 50's drive-in-- because you ARE.

Killer Burger, which is new, is pretty great, but is a little closer in both cost and style toward froufy foodie burgers than a classic diner-type burger. If you stick to the "normal" burgers (i.e. avoid the one with peanut butter on it) you can have a fantastic burger experience for a pretty reasonable price. I give them bonus points for free refills on fries, but then I take those points right back for their "order at the counter then hope a table opens up before your burger is ready" roulette-style seating policy.

I've heard great things about Little Big Burger (which is clearly trying to be Portland's answer to Shake Shack), but, inexplicably haven't made it there yet.

We've also got a wide array of truly excellent expensive froufy burgers (Le Pigeon, Cafe Castagna, Gruner, Laurelhurst Market, and Grain & Gristle all have pretty great fantastic burgers), but despite involving ground beef sandwiched between bread products I'm not sure they really count as the same food as the likes of Hollywood, Stanich's, Skyline, etc.
posted by dersins at 11:28 AM on May 20, 2011


I gotta throw in a +1 for Umami Burger, which I hated the first time I tried. But the next time I had the truffle burger...and the next time...and I just bought my first place around the corner from it. It's so simple it's brilliant, and the truffle is just....grr...I think I have to get one tomorrow. It's about to get ugly up in here.
posted by buzzkillington at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Coldchef: Reading a food related article written by someone without a discerning enough palate / presence of mind to instantly acknowledge the presence of umami feels wrong. How is this man writing about anything that goes in your mouth?

It's the food equivalent of insisting on referring to the theory of evolution as "just another theory among many". Not prudent and rational, just... wrong dressed up as such, for whatever reason.
posted by flippant at 6:45 PM on May 20, 2011



Edzo's is great, too. It's not Kuma's or Bad Apple, but it's probably more in line with these other fast food joints. Of course, it loses points for being in fucking Evanston, but since I work there I go every now and then.

CHAR. COAL. DE. LIGHTS. Foster & Kedzie.

Chicago burgers for the win!!!
posted by jeanmari at 9:15 AM on May 21, 2011


Five Guys, nothing else to match 'em. (I had my first 5 Guys burger on opening day at the very first store, and was an immediate convert.....)

(Oh, and somebody above asked, 'who eats day-old burgers anyway?!' I spent a year and a half at Thule AB in Greenland --- go to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, then fly eight hours straight north --- lemme tell ya, you could sell day-old McD's for $5 each.....)
posted by easily confused at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2011


The most memorable burgers I've ever had were from the Shake Shack and from the White Diamond in Clark, NJ.

The Shake Shack was delicious, with a fantastic texture. The White Diamond cheeseburger was greasy and mucky and put the guilty in pleasure.

Too bad there's no such thing as a good fast-food burger here in the UK. Look at this list of the best burgers in London. They're mostly £10-15. That's like $16-$25. More to the point, none of them are remotely fast-food. Bleurgh. You Americans have the upper hand in disposable greasy delights.
posted by Magnakai at 2:00 PM on May 21, 2011


Kopps Frozen Custard. The burgers are cooked with butter. Yes, butter. oh, and there's custard.
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:32 PM on May 21, 2011


I'm a little ashamed to admit (in my first posting on the blue nonetheless!) that we made a 10 PM In-N-Out run. I don't eat hamburgers, and don't really like INO (a grilled cheese and meat-free "burger" are your ONLY non-beef options?!! REALLY??! In CALIFORNIA??!), but reading the word "shake" over and over made me want a milkshake.

My husband, though, does not rate their burgers as anything special. Sorry In-N-Out. I'm certainly never eating there again by choice.

However, Burgerville USA rocks. Like, seriously. Best fast food place EVER. If only we could get them down here in California...
posted by guster4lovers at 10:45 PM on May 21, 2011


Somebody email TomSwift and tell him that his burger story has me bawling into my roast beef and potatoes. (his mefi-mail is disabled.)
posted by bilabial at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


and don't really like INO (a grilled cheese and meat-free "burger" are your ONLY non-beef options?!! REALLY??!

It's, uh, a burger joint? That's what they do, make hamburgers?
posted by Justinian at 3:33 PM on May 23, 2011


I just had my first Five Guys burger yesterday. I was not impressed at all by the meat or the toppings (meat was neither smoky nor juicy, onions weren't grilled long enough). The bun was alright, if I cared about buns much at all. They have really great fries though; I think they could sell just their fries with a bunch of toppings and dips, and maybe some beer.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:12 AM on May 25, 2011


I missed it yesterday because I brought lunch, but my co-workers raved about their first trip to Juicy Burger yesterday. 6340 Hollywood Blvd. Park somewhere not on Hollywood Blvd. Lucky Devil's is there too, with wagyu burgers and draft root beer.

If you're going to be in the area, try those places too.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:38 AM on May 25, 2011


I'm going to have in'n'out again soon just to make up for guster's incredible wrongness. Being bothered than a place known for its incredible simplicity of menu and focus of mission and then being bothered by it... now I'm offended in some sort of transitive way.

You're free not to like it, though I think most people that call In'n'out overrated are trying to rate it on the wrong scale. Your scale wasn't even the right shape. It wildly pre-dates fancy gourmet burgers and that's not at all what it's trying to be.
posted by flaterik at 1:41 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er, I was so annoyed I forgot how to edit. "Going to a place... and then being bothered by it".
posted by flaterik at 1:44 PM on May 25, 2011


FatBurger.
That is all.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:11 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


FatBurger.
That is all.


Meaning, like, it kills you?
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:10 AM on May 29, 2011


I thought it was spelled Fattburger.

Wait, this is the Jazz Funk thread, right?
posted by box at 11:01 AM on May 29, 2011


You'll find bible passages referenced on various pieces of their packaging.
Do they put Romans 14:21 on anything?
posted by Flunkie at 1:04 PM on May 29, 2011


For better methodology (and bear with me here, west coasters) they should have substituted Blue 9 for In-N-Out, as Blue 9 is intentionally the exact same burger. Literally, it is a reverent, one might say sycophantic and intentional copy down to the molecular level of what INO does, and is equally good, being bald-facedly the exact same thing. Get all three burgers fresh in New York and do a real taste test.

Where Shake Shack is still going to come out on top because holy shit. Five Guys always just makes me feel like I'm going to die. I get dragged out there a few times a year and it's never worth it to me.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:36 AM on June 2, 2011


Bearing in mind that I'm feeling peckish right about now, here are my current favorite things:

#1: Jenny
#2: The "Slav" burger at Korzo Haus on 7 Street in NYC
#3: World peace
#4: Sonny Rollins live
#5: Puppies

...

#3751: burger at Shake Shack
#3752: burger at Five Guys
#3753: hacky sack
#3754: burger at In 'n'(yawn) Out
posted by jcrcarter at 4:27 PM on June 13, 2011


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