Just back from 2 weeks in Rockland county, NY over the holiday period. Living in the UK as I do, without much access to great burgers, and having discovered AHT about a year ago I was looking forward to the trip.
Burger destinations hit: 5 guys, Shake Shack, White Castle, The Smith.
I've had White Castle a few times before, had a few with and a few without cheese. There's something about these little things that is so much more than the sum of their parts. There's nothing special to them really, onions, ketchup and soggy bread are predominant. Will still want a case in about 2 weeks time.
Had a double in 5 guys, with griddled onions, cheese, bacon, lettuce, pickles, mayo and mustard, along with a massive amount of fries (for a 'regular'). Nicely cooked and seasoned beef, fresh crispy veg, thought this was going to be the burger highlight of the trip, and still think it might have been. Was messy, but sooo tasty. It's 7.49am here and I want one of these for breakfast. Good value for the amount of food too.
Not so good value (in terms of amount of food for the money) was Shake Shack. But *that* burger, and *that* black + white malted shake. I will be back. As often as I can be. The beef had a great, salty crust, the cheese was perfectly melted, and I can say now that I get what all the raving is about on this site. Hopefully their London location is going to be as good!
Finally, the Smith. Went here in a rush to get out of the hail on the 26th after seeing Warhorse in the Lincoln centre (v good btw). Brother in law had the burger, I got to steal some. Great beef, very nicely cooked, kinda ruined by an oversweet yellow bun. I won't call it 'brioche' as it's not the wonderful buttery stuff you get in France, but, yeah, I see why this style of bread is much maligned as a burger conveyer in the US. I had the chicken and potato waffles and it was excellent.
Right, that's my 2c on some landmarks, running out of characters!