Los Angeles-based Umami Burger is about to start a bi-coastal burger smackdown with New York City’s Shake Shack, which is perfect for those of us who like our burgers nice and bloody. Just kidding. Probably.
If you’re from New York, you’ve probably never even heard of the $10 burger phenomenon that is Umami Burger. Shake Shack has dominated the NYC burger scene since it showed up in 2004 and destroyed the competition with their line of burgers and the signature frozen custard that causes lines to form around the block as soon as they open their doors. But Umami Burger CEO Adam Fleischman thinks that his burgers are good enough to change all that. He’s built Umami Burger from a basement operation into a multimillion-dollar success based on the idea that each burger should be unique and packed with umami — the controversial “fifth taste” that he claims is the best part of a gourmet burger (though his critics claim it’s just plain old MSG).
Fleischman has also taken a few cracks at Shake Shack, saying, “Burger chains like Shake Shack are all designed the same. The food is designed to taste the same. We don’t do that.” And in another interview, “Shake Shack is down-on-the-farm.” We’re not exactly sure where he was going with that, but we’re willing to bet Shake Shack would disagree. Let the burger battle begin — and pass the ketchup.