A $40 Burger: Shake Shack, BurgerFi, Soyka, and DB Bistro

We at Short Order know that sometimes you want candlelight and cloth napkins -- and other times you want to tuck a paper napkin into your collar and chow down like you were raised in Polk County. So where should you go when you've got 40 bucks burning a hole in your pocket and want a burger? Is it worth spending $40 for ground meat? Should you hold your wad tightly or blow your load? To help you decide, we present High Chow vs. Low Chow.

Today's Contenders: Shake Shack, BurgerFi, Soyka, and DB Bistro Moderne.

Shake Shack
We admit we like to get our Shake Shack on, primarily with the Shackburger ($4.85). For some reason, the commonplace ingredients -- cheese, lettuce, and tomato -- culminate in a definitive taste explosion. The bun is soft, the Angus beef patty is well seasoned, and the whole thing comes together like a great ground (meat) attack. Maybe it's the ShakeSauce?

The BurgerFi cheeseburger (under $10) serves one purpose and one purpose only: to feed your hunger. It's not great -- heck, it's not even good -- but it will pump calories into your bloodstream so you don't pass out from low blood sugar. The two Angus beef patties are covered with lettuce, tomato, and two slices of cheese. Perhaps BurgerFi should ask Danny Meyer for his ShakeSauce recipe.

Once in a while you come upon a burger that reminds you why meat and bread form a holy union. Enter Soyka's black Angus beef burger with Brie and bacon ($12). The burger is huge. It is beefy. From top to bottom, this burger is meaty, cheesy, juicy goodness.

DB Bistro Moderne
Then there's the original DB Burger ($34), a sandwich that belongs in its own category. Picture this: ground sirloin wrapped around shredded beef short ribs, black truffle, and foie gras, squeezed between two slices of Parmesan bun made in-house. We know. Scandalous. A burger so good it is worth every single one of the 3,400 pennies it costs, and then some.

What would we do with $40? The Shakeburger is a good deal, but the DB Burger is worth the extra dough because of its sheer, over-the-top Lady Gaga-ness. Blow your load! Though with tax and tip, this meal might require you to drink water.

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