Price: Single cheeseburger – $4.75. Double – $7.79. Bacon – add $1.25,
Three locations, including Center City, University City and King of Prussia.
This iconic NYC chain joined the local burger scene in 2012 and the long lines (we hit the shop and 32th and Chestnut) speak to its stature, at least among the drunken Drexel coeds who packed the place on St. Patty’s night. The namesake shakes are wonderful – smooth and milky, without the ice crystals you get at other fast-food joints.
The burger starts as a ground beef tower (antibiotic and hormone free) that’s smashed and flattened against a searing griddle. It’s fun to watch it sizzle but, more importantly, the cooking process means that it comes to you seared on the outside and pink on the inside. Medium means medium, not –like at many fast-food joints – overcooked to the consistency of a sneaker insole.
Give them points for a fresh, challah-like roll. Add a few more for the crispiness of the bacon and for using plum tomatoes that actually had some taste. I haven’t been to In-N-Out Burger for more than a decade, but I’ll put our East Coast Shake Shack against their West Coast franchise. Just try not to look at the calorie counts, which are posted on the wall and use numbers way higher than the cost of your burger.
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