The recent fervor regarding the best burger in Manhattan on this Board (as well as a copy of an older New York Magazine) got me to try a few of what people have been talking about. Here are my reviews...
Ordered a burger, medium, with cheddar and bacon last night for take out (I live around the corner). For $14 and change, you get a pretty good size burger, tomato, onion, lettuce, three round pickle slices and a jumbo bag of fries.
I was told it would take 25 minutes. I got there on time and waited another 10 to get it. But, I guess it was better to have it hot, then getting there late and it cooling down.
Go home, and find myself biting into a nearly completely cheese covered burger (I like that) with a huge bag of fries of which the consistency was leaned toward that of Burger Kings, rather than McDonalds. Granted, they were far better than BK fries, but not as good as McDs (amazing that they can be a benchmark for something). The burger was excellent and even leaned on the very slightly salty side (must be in the seasonings), which was fine by me. A truly delicious burger that was just the right size. I was sated by it and just a handful of the fries and pickle. Seemed wasteful to give that many fries. I only ordered one burger afterall.
We ordered delivery from this organic burger company. The burger they delivered was nicely sized, smaller than Blue Smoke, bigger than a single Shack Burger, but a bit on the dry side and definitely not as warm as I like my burgers upon arrival. A nice beefy flavor to the burger. You can tell the meat is of good quality, which, however, kind of works against it. Burgers need the fat to have that "burger" taste.
I loathe delivery service in the city...delivery people tend to be either late or they harumph that I don't tip them more (and I'm a decent tipper). This delivery guy was actually happy to be delivering the burger - a rare sight. (Pinch Pizza delivery guys are always pleasant, although I refuse to eat that "pizza" anymore and I swear I've never had quicker service than what I got from Totonno's recently - 8 minutes flat). Unfortunately, the Better burger was room temperature. I'll try this again, but I'll have to pick it up myself.
I've been to the Shake Shack three times so far this Spring. Each time I ordered a Double Shack burger. The first time was phenomenal and I declared it to be my favorite in the city. The second time was equally as good. The third time was remarkably poorer. But here's why...I went, in the rain, the second night of their extended hours, at 9:00pm. Now granted, they should be prepared if they are going to be open for another 2 hours, but the crappy service and still frozen in the middle burger was disgraceful. I made sure I remembered the chef on duty for future decision-making (he is a VERY large man) of whether or not to order a burger from him again. Lousy burger, lousy slow service.
Last word...I still love making my own. No burger in the city comes close.