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Aug 14, 2005 10:22 PM

Five Guys in Durham

  • l

We just got back from DC where we ate more than our share of the great burgers from Five Guys- only to find there is a branch at Southpoint. Has anyone eaten there? Does it compare to DC? I can't be bothered to suffer the heartburn if it doesn't measure up.

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  1. Let me go on record as not knowing what all the fuss is about. I have yet to eat at the one in Durham, but have to imagine it "measures up" to the DC version with it's limp fries and mediocre burgers that fall apart as you eat them.

    Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I was innundated with press clippings about how great the place was while I was eating the unremarkable burger, but I was entirely unimpressed.

    8 Replies
    1. re: detlefchef

      Same situation with me. So hyped, and even if something is good, when it's hyped/marketed that much I think I (and all us hounds) tend to get suspicious. I try to be objective, but. I guess the other end of this thought is that I had already heard the hype of In & Out, yet I still thought it was a fantastic burg. Way better than Five Guys.

      1. re: Nab

        I agree entirely. What's the big deal? The same goes for In and Out Burger in California. When I was last on the Coast I went out of my way to try one of these burgers beloved by the stars. It was good enough - better than Five Guys -- but not as good as a burger you might have at a decent bar and grill. My favorite local burger and fries, by the way, is served at Tyler's in Carrboro.

        David A.

        1. re: David A.

          I have heard that because there are so many branches of Five Guys in DC that burger quality can vary wildly. I was fortunate enough to go to a good branch and have really good experiences. And they do fall apart if you order them with all the stuff on them- luckily, tastes good even though you leave looking like your clothes lost a battle with a condiment tray. But I'm comfortable with that.

          We lived in Cali for years and I think I am almost the only person in the world that doesn't love In-N-Out. They have the worst fries in the world- totally unforgivable. Better, but harder to find in CA- Fatburger or Bollweevil.

          Thanks for all the great suggestions, people. I need to motivate down to try Chargrill. It really makes me wonder what I've been doing with my time.

          1. re: lulu

            My wife loves Char Grill and I cannot figure out why. To me Cookout is the best chain in the triangle.

            1. re: lulu

              I am with you. Just don't get the Char-Grill draw. The burgers are little hard tastless hockey-pucks in a cheap roll. I have watched them fill the "shake" machine" with that cheap, premade carton of "stuff" and don't understand how people think that is better than the real thing and repeatedly vote their shakes "best in the triangle. Have we become so used to bad food that we expect it? I also prefer Cook-Out, as the burgers have taste. My old favoritein Raleigh, was the Rathskellar on Hillsborough street (now Porters). That was a great big greasy burger. For small cheap greasy burgers, what I would consider a good version of the Chargrill burger, is at 19th Hole in Lake Boone Sh. Cntr. And you also get those GREAT homemade chips and cold beer. Mmmm. Need to go tomorrow......................

            2. re: David A.


              I forgot to mention, after the last burger discussion I took your advice and tried Tyler's. Thumbs up, it's my new default burger when I'm not cooking them myself.

              1. re: David A.

                I have to say the best burger in this area is across the street from Southpoint Mall at Ted's Montana Grill. They have so many topping options, and the burgers are greasy, sure, but delicious. The bison burgers are fantastic as well.

            3. re: detlefchef

              Since they are cooking the fries fresh constantly and then putting really hot fries in styrofoam cups and then a paper bag that they close up - of course they would go limp. The key is to immediately dump the fries out of the cup and leave the bag cracked open enough so that air will come in and keep the fries crisp.

              As for the burgers - I'm with you. I am not a big fan. I like burgers grilled not fried. Whenever I am in Raleigh - I want a Char Grill burger. They're the best in my book and always will be!

              But I do love the fries from 5 Guys - if handled correctly!

            4. I had a burger from them at Southpoint. It was good but I didn't think it was any better than Cook Out-- and Cook Out is way cheaper.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Sant
                Webley Webster

                Char-Grill still reigns supreme in the Triangle burger universe, IMHO.

                1. re: Webley Webster

                  No doubt, but I'm in Durham. It's just too far to shelp for a burger.

                  1. re: Sant
                    Webley Webster

                    I too am in Durham, which is why I don't eat burgers that often any more! ;)

                    We seriously need a Char-Grill in Durham.

                    1. re: Webley Webster

                      I have found three places in Durham quite satisfying for my burger cravings.

                      1. Charlie's on Ninth St. makes a fine burger with lotsof topping choices and their shoestring fries or homemade chips are a wonderful accompaniment.

                      2. Jo and Joe's downtown makes a whopper of a double cheese. Service is iffy though.

                      3. For quality of quantity, Federal makes a tasty patty and I like th parsley/garlic/salt seasoning they sprinkle on their fries.

              2. I ate there this past weekend and I agree: the burgers are not worth the wait or the price. (Or the hype: they were just voted Best Burger in the Triangle.) Thumbs down.

                1. Many folks, like me, think Wimpy's outshines Cook Out. The burgers are freshly hand made, and the "atmosphere" is what one really would hope for. Info: (just next to the Duke campus)
                  Wimpy's Grill
                  617 Hicks St
                  Durham (Durham)

                  1. I admit to really liking Five Guys burgers. At the Southpoint location, they've always been rightly juicy, and the grilled flavor really comes through. Much better than the dry hockey pucks of tastelessness covered up by excessive mayo or mustard or ketchup that you get at Cook Out.

                    As for those recommending Tyler's and Federal, yeah okay - but very often the burger mood is accompanied by the desire for rapidity, not a sitdown location at which you have to pay $8-10 for one, plus tip.

                    So for burgers that fit the "take out" lineage, should I try Wimpy's or Char-Grill, or both?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mikeh

                      Wimpy's is take-out only. It is only open on weekdays for breakfast and lunch. Yucan get a burger anytime they are open. Highly recommended.

                      If you are wanting a sit down place also try Charlie's on Ninth Street in Durham.

                      1. re: steveindurham

                        Wimpy's is a great choice for a fast and easy burger. I suggest you call ahead because waiting in the small pick-up area can be a pain.