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Five Guys 2011


Fat Guy
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I'm on the road in North Carolina and across the road from my hotel is a Five Guys. Tonight I walked over and ordered a small (single) burger and regular fries.

The place was immaculate and full of people. They were selling burgers and fries hand over fist. They were calling order number 30 for pickup when I arrived. I was number 46. They got to me in about 5 minutes.

Impressions:

The burger, despite being overcooked, is plenty juicy with pretty good beef flavor. The bun is appropriately soft and innocuous. Toppings are plentiful and included in the price. Superb for a chain burger.

The fries, made on premises from fresh potatoes, have great flavor. I prefer more crispy/crunchy texture, but these are the best fast-food fries I've had. The portion is ridiculously generous: they fill the serving cup with fries, then dump almost as many on top once the cup is in the paper bag.

Other thoughts, wit and wisdom regarding Five Guys?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The beef at the Spokane locale is in fact incredibly beefy and juicy, albeit a bit over-cooked which I think is the downfall of fast-food burger chains that are scared by the Health Department to cook a burger medium-rare.

I found the portion of fries generous, and they had a lot of potato flavor. I did give them high marks for using local Russet potatoes harvested within an hour drive of Spokane. But...the large portion and true flavor didn't help overcome the fact the fries were limp and a bit soggy, not crisp with a soft potato pillow inside like I like them. They served the fries with the skin on which added to the flavor.

The bun was out of a bag and could have supported the burger and juices better had it been toasted.

Would I go back? Probably not. I've found a few locally-owned Mom and Pop burger joints far better and cheaper.

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The buns at the Five Guys in Hickory, NC, did time on the griddle before being topped with patties.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I had my first Five Guys burger a couple of weeks ago at a newly opened location just down the road from me. I had a double patty burger with my preferred options of tomato and lettuce with mayo on top and grilled onions with mustard on the bottom, which they prepared as requested. However, I too prefer a toasted bun. I liked the burger but it was a bit pricy so will probably not go back. There is another local independent burger joint that I like better. Didn't have the 5 Guys fries so can not comment on them but service was friendly and efficient.

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There are plenty of Five Guys restaurants in New Jersey. I have one in my hometown (Union) that I go to frequently. The burgers are well done, but juicy. Funny, but no one ever complains about the burgers at White Rose or White Diamond being well done. I love Five Guys and don't understand why so many people don't. The fries are the best I've had. Five Guys also makes a decent hot dog. A Hebrew National that is split and griddled.

Have you ever tried Smashburger? They are expanding like Five Guys. Another excellent fast food burger.

John the hot dog guy

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We tried the 5 Guys in Ithaca NY recently. The place was very crowded, but I have to say they were very fast in serving everyone. My burger was so big I could hardly eat it. Also thought the fries were kinda soggy, not crispy. We think we'll stick to Wendy's for a fast food burger value.

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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I really like 5 guys (not love but it could get there). Their fries are what drives me to 5 guys. I have to work next to their HQ but unfortunately it is just an office. However, there is a 5 guys down the street. The thing that would send it over the top for me is at 3 or 4 places I've gone to, they never heat the bun. I would love the bun heated or toasted. Second, don't over cook the burger (they do it a lot).

As for the fries, the best fast food fries out there. Why can't national chains do what they do?

The fact that they provide malt vinigar for the fries, priceless.

Soup

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I love Five Guys. Yes, I would prefer crispy fries, but crispy fries that are out of a bag of frozen vs limp ones from fresh-cut potatoes: give me the fresh-cut ones please! The buns I have no problem with either. If I were sitting down and getting table service then I may be more inclined to want a toasted bun and less well-done burger, but for what is essentially an assembly line, they do a great job and offer lots of customization of the toppings.

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Tried them once recently, and don't see what all the fuss is about. The burger while juicy, was also tough. The fries were unexciting... not crispy, too much salt on the exteriors, yet not salty enough as a whole. I just don't get the enthusiasm.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Overall I like 5 guys too but find them a bit uneven. One time the burger is juicy and the fries are soggy then the next timethe burger is dry and the fries are crispy.

Fat Guy, I don't know if you are headed east but if you get to Durham look up Only Burger or find out where their truck is that day----usually near Duke. Their fries are closer in size to McDonald's but properly twice cooked. Lamb burgers are available as well as beef.

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A big bag of fries just dripping with peanut oil used to be a guilty treat of mine. I ask them to hold off on the token syrophoam cup in the bag. Its just silly and a waste. The cup is also partially melted or deformed and who knows what type of chemicals are leached into the fries. I know the store by me also shows where the potatoes are brought in from.

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I love that I can get a loaded grilled cheese, and they toast the bun if I ask. The french fries are good, and so much better than anything I can buy (although I could make better) that I like them for a quickie lunch on the go.

Hi, Mrs. Adm...I'm in Ithaca, too.

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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The chain is growing like crazy and has lots of fans. One closest to me is located in a mall in north Dallas. I like the place. Good burger. Good fries. As Steven noted, the fry portion is insane. If you are dining with someone, a single order is enough to feed at least two people.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Anyone could beat In-n-Out fries.

A McDonald's fry that has fallen to the floorboard of my car and rolled under the seat and has been sitting there for a year is still better than In-n-Out french fries. :hmmm:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Anyone could beat In-n-Out fries.

A McDonald's fry that has fallen to the floorboard of my car and rolled under the seat and has been sitting there for a year is still better than In-n-Out french fries. :hmmm:

Why *is* that?! They make wonderful burgers. They make awful fries.

They're *slightly* better if you ask for them well-done, which they will do, happily.

The fries are fresh cut, not from frozen potatoes, and only single fried, which will never give you the crispness of a par-cooked, frozen fry (like Mickey D's) or a double-fried fresh cut fry (first fry at low temp, like 300°, then remove from the oil, drain and refry at a higher temp).

Well-done, and doused in salt and ketchup I can tolerate them, but they're not the star of the show anyway. Not eating all the fries leaves more room for the Animal Style DoubleDouble and the chocolate shake.

Edited by Pierogi (log)

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tried Center City Philadelphia's newer Five Guys on the 1100 block of Walnut. Fries were ok. The burger reminded me of the emperor's new clothes. Patties way overcooked. Buns and garnishes insipid. I just don't get what people see in the burgers.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

just read about them, and hope they'll open up one here. Fries are still best at McDonalds IMO, most other places have them all soggy. I'm an anti fan of In'n Out, first the name is a lie, as it takes way too long to get my order (it's supposed to be FAST food, right?) and the burgers are beyond bland, but others love them to bits, fine with me :-)

I don't eat much fast food, but if I do, I like crispy fries and a nice juicy burger soggy with sauce or other condiments. And bacon, there needs to be some bacon in there. (which InO doesn't even offer!)

Five guys is expanding like crazy, it'll be interesting to see how well they do. Taking on fast food chains is not a business model I'd invest in, but they seem to be on the right path and have it worked out.

Of course, remains to be seen what happens once the newness factor wears off.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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