Flatiron Lunch: Fresh & Fast is an In N Out Ripoff and I Don’t Care
All the Shake Shack chatter had me craving a good west coast style burger, but without all the waiting in long lines. A few days ago, there was a deal posted for Fresh and Fast, the “In n Out Ripoff” that opened last year . I’m a fan of originality just as much as the next guy, but you’ll have to forgive me if I wasn’t put off. Usually, Five Guys would be my go-to spot for this kind of burger, but there aren’t any branches between 42nd Street and 14th Street, so I’ll take what I can get.
See what I found after the jump.
The most attractive part of the Fresh and Fast experience right off the bat is that you can walk in and order. That’s good, because the place is so small, there really isn’t a lot of room for a hundred people to wait for their burgers. There’s a small counter on the side of the narrow storefront, but being just down the block from Madison Square Park, I’d recommend eating it there, preferably right in front of the Shake Shack line.
Less appealing, are the prices, which all seem a little steep for what are by definition, small burgers, but it’s not significantly more than the alternatives.
Keeping with my usual practice, I went for a double cheeseburger, which is a little pricey at $5.99, especially since neither the double shack, the double double or the double at Five Guys ever leave me entirely satisfied. When out west, I order the off the menu 3×3, which is perfect.
The fries were unexceptional, not particularly crisp and thicker in the middle than I like. Five Guys definitely has them beat here.
I had a vanilla milkshake, which didn’t wash down my meal as much as get scooped on top of it. It was so thick that a spoon would have been much more appropriate than a straw.
The burger itself was exactly what I wanted: a pair of small, thin patties, crisp on the outside, juicy in the middle and coated with a thick melty layer of cheese and wrapped in a chewy potato roll. The meat is definitely rougher around the edges than the others and the lettuce and tomatoes, while fresh, aren’t quite as dramatically bright as Shake Shack’s. That said, I walked away very satisfied with the meal and fully expecting to return.
- A good west coast burger without all the fuss! I’m there.
- Shake Shack is the be all end all of burgers forever and I’ll never, ever eat anything else.
- $5.99 is a lot for a small double cheeseburger.
- I know In N Out Burger. I’ve eaten In N Out Burger. In N Out Burger is my friend. You, sir, are no In N Out Burger.
Fresh & Fast, 111 E 23rd Street (btw. Park+Lex)