By: Adam Lapetina
In the quest to find the best burgers in America, we occasionally neglect the most common patties out there: the quick-and-easy ones. Everybody has a go-to fast-food burger -- including famous chefs. That's right, not even the country's finest culinary minds can resist the allure of the drive-thru. That's why we asked a bunch of them to reveal their go-to fast or fast-casual burger of choice. Apparently, these folks really like Shake Shack.
Chef at Do or Dine (address and info)
Favorite fast-food burger: Shake Shack's SmokeShack
"It has all the trappings of a good burger: a Martin's Potato Roll, a griddle-crisped patty, melty cheese, and smoky bacon. What pushes it to the ZOMG level is the juxtaposition of Tellicherry pepper relish and Shack Sauce. The former is spicy and acidic, the latter sweet and rich. These two go at it like a cartoon fight -- a cloud of burger parts tumbling through the cyclone of your mouth, with your tongue as some sort of referee. You are the last component standing, now sated, happy, and contemplating another."
Chef de cuisine at Searsucker (address and info)
San Diego, CA
Favorite fast-food burger: In-N-Out's Animal Style Double-Double
"If I'm in San Diego and I'm going to get a burger, I order an In-N-Out Double-Double Animal Style with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and pickles. The Animal Style comes with extra spread and grilled onions. So good."
Credit: Flickr/Mark H. Anbinder
Pastry chef at David Burke Group (info)
New York, NY
Favorite fast-food burger: Five Guys' Little Bacon Cheeseburger
"My favorite fast-food burger is Five Guys. I get the Little Bacon Cheeseburger. Since all toppings are free, I take advantage and get lettuce, tomato, onion (raw, not grilled), jalapeños, mushrooms, ketchup, relish, and mayo. There are more condiments than meat, and I like it that way."
Credit: Flickr/M. Bitter
"Shack Sauce is great! I love that I can eat one and think, 'Yeah, I could eat three more of these.'"
"Normally, I'd get the classic ShackBurger, but if I'm feeling fatty, it's the Shack Stack all the way. A cheeseburger topped with a cheese-stuffed fried portobello."
Chef at Lazy Bear (address and info)
San Francisco, CA
Favorite fast-food burger: Steak 'n Shake's double Steakburger
"My favorite fast-food burger is the double Steakburger at Steak 'n Shake. When I was in college, it was the one place still open after the bars closed. I have lots of great memories of driving all the way across town to the Steak 'n Shake with friends just to get those late-night burgers."
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