These are indeed burger boom times, with a twist: Not since the advent of Bob’s Big Boy in 1937 (and its copycat Big Mac in 1968) has the double burger been so popular. Despite its seeming heft, the double-decker construction is actually a boon for aficionados of thinner, crisper patties. The beauty of the double, some say, is that the top patty effectively bastes the bottom one with its juicy drippings. And with half the bread, doubles are typically less filling (and less conspicuously gluttonous— well, maybe) than two singles. At some local spots, the double burger is the default. Where to find the best.
The single Shackburger, it must be said, is a thing of beauty, but the $7.25 double might be even better. Topping it with a deep-fried, cheese-squirting portobello in a Shack Stack, though, is just asking for trouble. Madison Square Park, 212-889-6600; 366 Columbus Ave., at 77th St., 646-747-8770.
The $11 Basque-inspired “El Doble,” offered at lunch, is cooked a la plancha, garnished with Idiazábal cheese and sliced cornichons, and slicked with a garlic-and-guindilla-pepper-seasoned crème fraîche mayo. A Tom Cat Bakery bun conforms perfectly to the sandwich’s voluptuous curves. 240 Ninth Ave., nr. 25th St.; 212-242-4730.
At this Virginia-based chain, unless you order a “little burger”“and who really wants to do that?”you get a double ($6.99) by default. A foil-wrapped, well-done double, since that’s the only way they come. Still, it manages to retain enough juice and a nice bit of flavor. Various locations.
This pizza-chain spinoff has gained a modicum of fame for introducing Pat LaFrieda’s dry-aged, ground-steak Black Label burger. That’s available off the menu as a double for a whopping $19.99, but we prefer the $10.75 house double cheeseburger, although the patties are on the too-thick side. 1410 Broadway, at 39th St.; 212-997-7770.
Dram Shop Bar
Modeled on a partner’s South Dallas family recipe, the $10 double cheeseburger at this lively bar incorporates two square patties, well browned on the griddle, plus the usual accoutrements: lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, mayo, and”in accordance with Texas law”no ketchup. 339 9th St., nr. Fifth Ave., Park Slope; 718-788-1444.