Fat Dan’s vs Shapiro’s

Two burgers from two delis

THEME: Deli Duel

Known for their wide variety of meats and cheeses, delis are often known for sandwiches and prepared foods. With most delis being anywhere between a grocery store and a restaurant, we searched for ones that served up burgers on their menu on top of their usual offerings. Which one of these two delis offered the best burger bites?

Name: Double-Brother Fat Burger
Hometown: Fat Dan’s Deli – 410 E. Michigan Street
Weight: 766 grams
Cost: $17.00

Double-Brother Fat Burger: A monstrous tower of meat
Ingredients: Bacon, Fried Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Onions, Coleslaw, French Fries
We tried to cut the beast in half. We failed.

The Bun

A well buttered and well toasted brioche bun. The top bun was nice and fluffy with that toasty crunch, but we honestly couldn’t tell you about the bottom one. We’ll let you know if we ever find it under the mountain of toppings this burger had.

The Meat

A pound of well seasoned beef, cooked medium well. Very juicy and tasty.

The Ingredients

Hoo boy. This is what you get this burger for, and this is what comprises 80% of the burger’s mass. To reiterate, this burger comes with bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, onion, fries, and coleslaw, with thick slices of American cheese melted on each of its patties. I hope you didn’t eat breakfast, because this burger comes with one included. Because of the size of the burger, we had to eat this with a knife and fork, at which point it did seem like eating breakfast. Despite the flurry of fried deliciousness, there was some thought put into this madness. The top half of the burger contains all the fried salty goodness of the bacon, eggs, and burger. To counteract that, we have the refreshing mound of tomato and coleslaw in the bottom half to neutralize the salt and prevent your arteries from closing up entirely (or so we think. We’re not doctors).

The Ratio

The ratio in this burger definitely tipped towards the toppings, as they were barely able to be contained between the buns before they spilled all over our plates as we started eating it. With the way the toppings were topped, it was almost like three separate meals placed in between two buns: The bacon and eggs made the breakfast layer at the top, the meat and cheese were filler in the middle, and the coleslaw and fries were the sides on the bottom. Regardless, this beautiful mess of ingredients made for delicious additions to the two juicy patties.

In a sentence:

A monstrous burger that’ll overwhelm your taste buds and leave you in a blissful food coma for the rest of the day.

Name: Chopped Steak
Hometown: Shapiro’s Delicatessen – 808 South Meridian
Weight: 435 grams
Cost: $10.00

Okay. Before we start, we need to preface what happened with this… “burger”. We went on their online menu and was looking to see if they had a burger when we came upon the “Chopped Steak”. The description of the burger is below:

Gourmet Burger Shapiro’s style!  Our chopped steak is a one or two-patty Russian hamburger. We start with ½  pound grade A beef, combine with eggs, bread crumbs, real onion (none of that powered stuff here) add some savory seasonings, and YUM!  A gourmet burger has never been better! 

Got all that? The first two words of their description is “Gourmet Burger”. Their second sentence says hamburger. They then close with “A gourmet burger has never been better”. At this point, it’s true that there is room for artistic interpretation of all of the above. EXCEPT –  on top of everything, THIS is the photo that is attached to the description:

A tasty-looking burger!

Got all that? Good. This is what we got:

Chopped Steak: Shapiro’s “Gourmet Burger”
Ingredients: Onions

Spot the issue yet?

Bring it in Buddy. We’re hurtin’ too

The Bun

Wheat toast. Actually you know what, no. Wheat bread. We had to toast it ourselves.

The Meat

SO – The meat was good! – it’s a half pound of ground beef mixed in with eggs and bread crumbs. It tasted like meatloaf and served as it was, would have made a good meal on its own.

The Ingredients

They stress that they use “real onions  (none of that powered stuff here)” but what we got were just diced up mushy onions on top of the meat.

The Ratio

Pretty much meatloaf with a side of wheat toast bread.

In a sentence:

An alternative burger.

Disclaimer: In all honesty, for what they meant for the chopped steak to be, it was fine. We’ve been to Shapiro’s before and the food is good – we’re just annoyed at what happened. If they removed ‘burger’ from their description, that would be more honest. Actually,  you could probably remove “steak” too unless you preface it with “Salisbury”.


Double-Brother Fat Burger

Despite everything that was wrong about Shapiro’s “burger”, we would be hard pressed to find one that beat the Double-Brother regardless. It was a mountain of a burger with delicious toppings that balanced each other out in a vortex of artery clogging goodness on a plate. Shapiro’s definitely has some tasty offerings but to describe the Chopped Steak as a “burger” would push a lot of buttons for burger enthusiasts (especially with the photo they used!)

Meaty Math

Despite their differences, they’re both a lot of food for the amount you pay.

Restaurant Burger Weight (g) Price ($) Gram / Dollar
Shapiro’s  Chopped Steak 435 $10.00 43.50
Fat Dan’s  Double-Brother Fat Burger 766 $17.00 45.06

For sides, the Double-Brother Fat Burger came with a little bag of chips but honestly, did not need any sides. With fries inside the burger, do you really need more? The Chopped Steak comes with an option of two sides from a list you can find here but for our dinner, we got a side of mac n cheese and German potato salad. Both were tasty!

Check out both of these restaurants below!
Fat Dan’s Deli
Shapiro’s Deli

2 thoughts on “Fat Dan’s vs Shapiro’s

    1. You know what? We didn’t even notice that! We just searched through the links on their menu page but never checked the image of their physical menu – maybe we’ll give them another shot in the future 🙂


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