Friday, November 12, 2010

Food Rearview: Five Guys

First off, I am an In-N-Out guy. I have probably eaten In-N-Out more often than any other fast food, but I've been hearing about Five Guys for a while and since Zagat said that they had the best burger (this year), I had to taste for myself.

I think the whole "our city/state/region makes a better burger/pizza/etc. than yours" thing is dumb, and I went into the whole thing with an open mouth and an open mind. Also, I don't know if this makes a difference but my first experience was at a random food court in D.C., and not a standalone shop.
I feel like there are two tiers of Burgers: gourmet burgers and fast-food burgers and I am reviewing Five Guys like a fast food burger.

The Packaging: I liked the paper bag and aluminum foil thing. It gave the spot a more down home feel.

The Burg: I got the Double Bacon Cheeseburger with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, tomato, lettuce, mayo and ketchup. When I unwrapped it, it looked pretty messy and the bun looked kind of cheap. The messiness was a good thing, but sadly, the bun looked and tasted like those Van De Camp grocery store buns.

The insides of the burger were a lot better. The mushrooms tasted like they were canned, but they weren't terrible. The bacon was good and cooked perfectly, the grilled onions were good, the produce tasted fresh and the burger patties were really flavorful. Overall, it was a great fast food burger.

The Fries: Legit. I love fresh cut fries and these were cooked and salted perfectly. I went for the regular fries this time, but I will definitely try the Cajun next time.

Price/Value: Pricey for fast food. I paid almost $17 for a bacon cheeseburger, veggie sandwich, large fries and large drink. The fries were definitely big enough to share, but a fast food meal for two should be a little closer to $14.

Overall: I'm not going to say that Five Guys is overrated, but it was definitely a notch below In-N-Out. Where I would give In-N-Out a 9.5 on the fast-food scale, I would give Five Guys an 8.5. That's still a point ahead of any other fast food burger I can think of, but the ho-hum burger buns and the price were the difference makers. I would definitely eat a lot of Five Guys if I lived on the east coast. Five Guys makes some damn good food, but California just makes better fast-food burgers than the east coast.

Also, my fiance said the Veggie Sandwich sucked.