Burger Brawl

Petey's takes In-N-Out up a notch

For years we've dealt swift Shake Shack-based retorts to any West Coast braggarts with an In-N-Out superiority complex. But with news of the Shack's expansion plans, we were nervous about the future of our burger exclusivity debates–until we found Petey's. In an ironic twist, the answer to our patty prayers comes from two California transplants who took a page from the In-N-Out playbook to create their ideal burger stand in Queens.

Rooted in an old-school approach and a penchant for ingredient-driven freshness, Petey's keeps it simple with a burger-focused menu that skips any chicken nugget or Caesar salad outliers. Patties are cooked on the well side of medium, but remain remarkably juicy (though feel free to ask for yours in a pinker hue).

The burgers ($3.50) are dressed up with lettuce, tomato, onion and a douse of Thousand Island-based special sauce, then tucked into freshly baked buns. Met with a shake and crispy hand-cut french fries (which In-N-Out has never seemed to master), Petey's makes fast food that rivals anything the Pacific can offer.

Your move, California.

Petey's Burger, 30-17 30th Ave., Astoria; 718-267-6300 or peteysburger.com