Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Feb 15, 2014 09:57 AM

One hamburger patty or two?

I tried The Shake Shack yesterday
It was very good but no better or worse than the other “gourmet” burger places that have popped up in my area in the last couple of years like Five Guys, Plan B, Jake’s Way Back. What I don’t like about them is most use small patties rather than a single large one (maybe not Plan B). One patty (4-5oz) for a regular burger and two patties for a large. I understand they cook faster this way on a griddle but they invariably come out well done even if you ask for pink, which I prefer. I much rather have one large patty than two. And I like them better char broiled vs griddled like in a pub.Does it bother anyone else? And what about In and Out Burger? I’ve never been. Why are they so beloved? Are they more fast food style like McDonalds or upscale?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Up here in Canada we have more than a few purveyors of "American style burgers"(griddled,smaller patties) and I think they do a damn fine job of them. We also have plenty of old school char grilled burger(open flame/charcoal large patty) joints, I like em both. It's nice to have that choice..

    1. I consider them different beasts. I like both grilled and griddled. I love In n Out. Always fresh, and a perfect balance of sponge dough bun, meat and fresh perfect veggies. Never soggy, never wrapped in foil like Five Guys. To me it's not an either or.

      A lot of places won't do pink in the middle after the big ecoli mess. It's not that thin patties can't be done pink, I have no problems doing it at home. It's just that at lot of restaurants won't due to liability.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rasputina

        Same here. The Shake Shack experience (ingredients, prep, service) is superior in every way to Five Guys, so to me there's no comparison. Your ratio analogy also holds for sliders like Krystal and White Castle. And on the odd occasion I just want a thick, juicy, medium rare burger, I'll grill one outside. I've lost track of the thick bar/restaurant burgers that didn't taste like anything.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          I generally judge a restaurant (not fine dining) by how well they make cheeseburgers. We have a cabin and hunting land in northern Minnesota. For several years I compared all restaurant burgers to that served at the nearby truckstop. It closed for a year about ten years ago. The restaurant reopened about three years after the fuel/convenience store operations resumed. The new restaurant, obviously a leased operation, did not serve the burgers I liked so much.

      2. In and Out is more along the lines of Five Guys. I am a big fan of Fudrucker's and Bob's Burgers.

        1. There is no In and Out burger where I live but I visited my daughter in Phoenix during Christmas so because of the reviews I kept reading about, I had to try it. I had the double, animal style (with grilled onions); it was....okay. The burger was cooked fine and tasted okay but it did not blow me out of the water. It was not memorable and to me, it was no better than a big mac.

          I also had the fries; they were crispy on the outside but dry on the inside. I was disappointed in the entire experience. I asked myself what was so great here? Next up, Shake Shack...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Cherylptw

            I completely agree about In and Out. I tried it in Long Beach, California for the first time a few years ago and it was exactly that: just okay. I knew it was different from McDonald's, BK and the others but it didn't wow me so much.

            Shake Shack on the other hand though...I live in NYC and only finally tried Shake Shack this past July after it being open here for so many years. Oh man, that ish is delicious! It's to the point where I'm somewhat addicted to it. I had to stop myself from getting it once a month because it was becoming "not so special". The patties are juicy and amazing. I have no idea how they cook them but they're doing a damn fine job.

            EDIT: I also don't really care for 5 Guys either. I thought those were okay and again better than mass chains but eh. Another local burger joint here in NYC that's amazing is 5 Napkin Burger. That's amazing delicious too, but still not as good as Shake Shack.

            1. re: cornedhash

              Have you tried the shroom burger at shake shack yet? No, seriously. Its rediculous. Thank god my office moved further away!

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Oh god, not yet. I keep getting that delicious smoky burger thing with bacon and two patties. My pants, they need a break!

            2. re: Cherylptw

              Cheryl, I grew up in CA where there was an In n Out, and even as a kid, didn't get the hype. Still don't. Prefer Carl's Jr.

            3. For a fast food restaurant (like Shake Shack etc.) it's not really practical to make 2 sizes of patty. The logistics on a "production line" would become too cumbersome. So for people who want a bigger burger, the simple solution is to offer a double, hence the smaller patty size. Agreed that 1 big is better than 2 small, but I understand why it doesn't happen. I've never had a problem getting the patty rare as ordered, it may be a matter of being insistent and making sure they understood, when taking your order, exactly what you wanted. Don't assume they heard you first time.