Blue 9 Burger
92 Third Ave
Distance from Shake Shack: 0.61 miles
Travel Time: 18 minutes
# of People in Line: 0
Of all the burgers around the area, this one probably comes the closest to replicating the style of the Shake Shack. They are both in the same vein as the West Coast burger staple, In-N-Out Burgers, which are hyper-fresh and vegetable laden. Everything is made to order, a fact they make perfectly clear on all of the available wall space of the restaurant.
"At Blue 9 Burger we only use the highest quality, freshest ingredients to make the world's most delicious burgers and fries."
Which all sounds very promising. Both Blue 9 and Shake Shack claim to have a "fetish for freshness" and both use California style burgers as their blueprint.
So why are the lines at the Shake Shack hours long and Blue 9's like this:
It's hard to really pin down at first. I wanted to like this place. I tried appreciate the freshly made burgers, freshly cut french fries, and short lines. And the burger did look like a glorious mess:
But the burgers were indistinguishable from most of the burgers you can get around the city. Just like the slickly designed restaurant itself (which needs a nice clean), the burgers feel like a hollow copy of the genuine article. Nothing is offensive, but nothing jumps out. And because it tried for Shake Shack glory, it only ended up just making me miss the real shack more.