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Nov 16, 2008 05:16 AM

Shake Shack UWS vs. Five Guys vs. McDonald's

I have been chastised by no less than Jeff Leff himself for refusing to give "fast food" style burgers their due in terms of deliciousness. I recant. It is a genre worth seeking out. At the risk of incurring further wrath of fellow chowhounders, I compared a Shake Shack (no waiting) double cheeseburger to a Five Guys (Bleecker Street location) double cheeseburger to a McDonald's triple (bypass?) cheeseburger. My ranking:

1. Five Guys-sloppy delicious mess
2. McDonald's-two triple cheeseburgers for $3 (actually $4 in Manhattan) was a sentimental journey and I didn't have to eat again for a week
3. Shack-I still don't get it.

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  1. the five guys near me is delicious. i don't think they're cheap and the fries have no small option which would be annoying if you weren't there in a group and i certainly know that some franchises aren't as good as others but i am an unabashed five guys supporter. the burgers are pure comfort.

    1. I don't think I could handle a McDOnald's triple cheeseburger. the smaller ones are okay b/c you just taste ketchup and pickles. once you start to taste the meat it goes way down hill. I also don't get five guys at all. i've only been to the one on 56th in midtown, but it just stated like run of the mill fast food. the meat quality is def better at shake shack. I think that puts it ahead of the others for me (I've never been toh te UWS one but I can't imagine they're THAT different from each other)

      1. Different taste buds, I guess. I haven't been to the UWS location, but the original Shake Shack's burger is by far my favorite in the city. Five Guys doesn't really come close to me. And, how you can compare McDonald's--which is made from scraps of hormone-filled beef dregs--to Shake Shack, is beyond me.

        1. I meant JIM Leff, not Jeff. Boy, now I'm reallly in the doghouse ;).

          1. No disrespect at all, because you know I love your reviews, but you really can't taste the difference in quality between Shack meat and a processed McDonald's patty?

            6 Replies
            1. re: a_and_w

              i agree that there's a huge difference between the two (McDs and SS) at even the UWS location which I have been to 4 times. the meat is good despite my complete disgust with the obvious 'slowness' of the ONE OR TWO order takers which just so happens to create the long lines.

              1. re: nativeNYer

                McDonalds better than Shake Shack??!!...LAUGHABLE....that assertion invalides all of your good work here...just kidding, but seek therapy immediately...

                1. re: Cpalms

                  hey cpalms. W-W-W-Was this message intended for guttergourmet? I-I-I-I I said SS was better. [tremble. tremble].

                  1. re: nativeNYer

                    Hey Native, I was refering to still astonished by the comments on the thread

                2. re: nativeNYer

                  Agree with NNYer. Both SS (only been to MSP location, but many times) and 5G are very tasty quality burgers that are juicy as heck. McD burgers aren't even in the same league--there is no remote possibility that a McD burger will be rare, or juicy. The OP has no credibility in my eyes. Seems to be a personal issue with SS that has nothing to do with burger quality. (I say this for any casual reader who might be put off from trying the Shack!)

                  1. re: drmoze

                    i think i will take a photo of a side by side comparison of a shake shack single and a McD quarter pounder. although this will be a non-shocker for most, i'll bet the visual will be worse than we think. i gotta do this one day when i'm feeling more crazy than usual.