Blue Door vs. NE Bulldog
I have eaten at both in the last two weeks.
Blue Door: Funkier, longer waiting line. Smaller space. Almost like something I'd expect to find in NYC. I like the feel of the Blue Door over Bulldog NE.
Bulldog NE: Slicker space. Cooler down-town crowd at lunch.
Honestly, I liked both of them but wasn't in love with either of them. They're about the same size, both have nice quality buns. The Blue Door specializes in cheese-stuffed and Bulldog seems to have more odd (odd is good, imo) flavor combinations like garlic chunks + stilton or japanese togarishi + slaw.
Both places have good beer selections with lots of decent local brews.
The Bulldog clearly won the Tot war. They have a superior Tot. The Blue Door tots were not moist inside and didn't have great crunch on the exterior. They seemed like basic store-bought tots that had been held in a warming oven or steam table, while the Bulldog's super-tots seemed to have been deep-fried to order in properly hot oil and delivered within a few minutes of coming out of the fryer.
Good synopsis. Bulldog definitely has better tots. That said, for all the complaints here about greasy burgers at Blue Door, my burger at Bulldog NE simply fell apart. The flavors were fine, but the bun did not hold up.
I would also say BDP has a good thing going with the fried green beans and fried pickles.
Waiting in line for food is ridiculous, any way you slice it.
"Honestly, I liked both of them but wasn't in love with either of them."
Pretty much sums it up for me. I've been to BDP a few times, but have no desire to stand in line to get the food there. Bulldog is much bigger and I've never had to wait, but the food doesn't make it a regular destination either. All things considered, the Bulldog would be my choice for a few beers and a basket of tots.
Last time I was at BDP, I had to walk out. I first sat at a corner table on the bar side. But the smell of urine coming from the bathrooms not too far away was far too strong. I then moved to the bar seating by the window in the other "room," as far from the bathrooms as I could get. Could still smell it. Hopefully, they've done some power-washing since then.
I wonder if it turns into a college crowd place at night.