In all modesty, I consider myself the No. 1 hamburger expert in the world. After years of trials and errors, taking pictures of them and tasting them, I believe I have accumulated the knowledge equivalent for Burgers of the Ancient Library of Alexandria. Needless to say, I am more than willing to share my wisdom with the rest of world since, as a cousin of mine recently said to me: "You were a spoiled brat when you were a child and at one point, you decided to become a decent person". I might add that I don't know how long that decent period in my life lasted, probably not more than a few minutes but anyway, the point is that I am willing to share.
Burger joints in the form of restaurants rather than fast-food venues seem to become more and more trendy nowadays. The number five seem to be a burger number since at least 2 chains feature it in their name (5 Napkin Burger and Five guys). So, I naturally decided to include only five of them in my review. In-N-Out Burger would deserve to enter the competition but as they have no restaurants on the east coast, I couldn't sample them on my current trip. I did, however, post an article on my blog not long ago about them.
I am just going to list my selection starting with my least favorite joint to finish with the best, IMHO.
Here comes 5 Napkin Burger:
Their burger was ok but didn't qualify as exceptional. Their ground beef patty is way too thick which makes the burger not juicy enough. Their cheddar is only ok. All in all, a decent burger but not sure I will go back.
The Counter Burger:
Same complaint: when making a 2/3 pounder, why not break it down into two or, even better, three juicy patties in order to make this burger breathe. The cheddar was good, as well as the bacon but I wasn't very impressed.
Now we're talking Burger magic. Five Guys feature great hamburgers. I, particularly, like their jalapenos in a burger. This was a juicy burger with very good cheddar though it could have been melted a bit more. The buns happened to be too cold though. Five Guys is an excellent burger joint and I will definitely be back!
Bill's Bar and Burger:
Lovely burger, very juicy. Perfect size. They also have great cheese fries, loaded nachos and spicy Margaritas. This place is a must go. It is very close to my favorite burger restaurant featured below.
Shake Shack started in 2004 in Madison Square Park in New York and they are growing rapidly. Their burgers reach the Xanadu or, should I say, Xanadu of burgers in my opinion. They are juicy and fresh. The buns are perfect, all the ingredients taste great. I'm having a hard time deciding to go eat at any other place when it comes to burgers as I can't fathom a better burger (besides mine of course, in all modesty again) than theirs. If you haven't tried it yet, just run to their closest location!