Vibe Rater: Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, 138 Montague Street

It’s no walk in Madison Square Park but standing in line amid scattered peanut shells, decorative stacks of potato sacks, and Kmart-esque florescent lighting is good for a rainy day.

“Now D.C.’s got nuthin’ on us!” declared one of many proudly posted comment cards displayed inside the delightfully boastful suburban Washington, D.C.-founded burger chain’s first New York City location, which opened in July.

The narrow eatery sprawls with self-praise. “Willy Wonkas of Burgercraft!” “Readers’ Choice #1 Hamburger” “Why go to McDonald’s when there’s 5 Guys?” “Best Burger in South Jersey!”

All this aggrandizing sure makes people hungry for debate.

The obvious comparison? “Shake Shack, right?” remarked one unprovoked critic who, after gobbling his burger, emphatically preferred Danny Meyer’s glorified hot-dog stand. “Shake Shack!”

“It’s the potato buns,” concluded his buddy across the table, referring, of course, to Mr. Meyer’s buns. “Makes all the difference.”

Really, with all these sacks of potatoes just lying around, is it too much to ask for some potato buns?

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