Okay, so I've never been to Shake Shack. Which--as a food writer--is weird... but not weird. I'm not one apt to following en masse whatever it is the reigning 'foodophiles' are declaring as hot/trendy/the next-big-thing-in-food on any given day. I'll consider my own opinion; thank you very much. Yet, what I do know about Shake Shack, I can opine that Rico Chimi (whose locations have lately been popping up throughout the city) could be the next best thing...
I've been going to the Inwood Rico Chimi, in Upper Manhattan and after my first time tasting a Rico Chimi burger... I ate four in little less than a week (before that, that number would span about a year)! Having about that many more Rico Chimi burgers since then, I've (practically) enough to edify on just what makes these burgers so damn good!
1. Consistency of Product
No matter if I go at 2 o'clock in the afternoon or at 2 a. m. on a Friday night, the guys at (my) Rico Chimi always deliver a well-stacked burger with all the appropriate 'fixins' and neatly wrapped in its signature paper-and-foil packaging.
2. Two-Handed Goodness
No one that takes the time to go out and get ones self a burger ever wants a wimpy one. Rico Chimi's burgers are so nicely-sized, you can hold one in both hands. For a mainly take-away place, it's a good thing.
3. Respectable Quality Ingredients
In keeping with consistency of product, Rico Chimi's burgers come served on a lightly toasted sesame seed bun--toasted just enough for that split-second crunch, before reaching the cushy interior. And peeking out below that: vibrant, ruffly lettuce and if you're lucky, an extra-long bacon strip or two. (Oh yeah, only order it with bacon and cheese!)
To top it all off: slices of fresh tomato, red onion and "Rico Chimi sauce" (upon which describing it to a friend, was told that it sounds like the sauce at Shake Shack).
All above combined (I nearly forgot the patty--that's good too, but they won't ask you for a temperature), it's the best burger $6.48 can buy. And it's most satisfying.
But don't listen to me just because I'm a food writer!