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Five Guys going downhill?

I felt less than wonderful after the last two times and a on separate visit, my gf went and also had a lousy experience. A trend?

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  1. A quick check of their website indicates somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 individually-run Five Guys franchises in Virginia. They probably haven't coordinated a system-wide downhill slide -- it might be worth trying another one. I haven't had any problems at the few I pop into on occasion.

    1 Reply
    1. re: big o

      I tried the one in Reston, my gf tried one of the DC locations. that's 2 out of 2 people sick from 2 locations. not a good margin of error there.

    2. The franchises are in groups of 5 minimum. Probably a good chance that if one slides, that group is in the same trend. However, the one in Reston is as good as ever, if not somehow better - they've been getting an increasing amount of my traffic recently.

      1. Increased sales volume + more franchises = decline in quality of product.

        I no longer go to the FGs on Route 1 in NoVA. The one near the Navy Yard is good, so long as you get there early.

        1. The quality of the meat seems very inconsistent from store to store. Sometimes their burgers have that "stinky" ground beef quality after being cooked. Perfectly edible,but the smell is just overwhelming to the flavor of the buger. Is it a quality control issue? The fries are still good though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jay

            I've noticed a WIDE variance in the quality of their fries from store to store. They're usually pretty fresh during the tail end of the lunch rush, but they can be stale and soggy at other times.

          2. Won't comment on the food, but the Georgetown employees seem to have a bad attitude.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mister Big

              Working in that insanely laid-out place would make me nasty too. Whose bright idea was it to have people handing out orders on a 90 degree angle???

            2. I ususally go to the one in chinatown. Service is efficient. I think the fries and the dog are standouts. Love them. I really think 5 guys has some of the best fries around. I also love boardwalk fries.

              The burgers though...I personally don't see what the buzz is about. Everytime, I've had a burger, the bun has been cold (like it was taken just out of the fridge). As for the patty, I find it small and thin and lacking much character.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Soup

                I agree w/ soup. My first impression of 5 guys was good, but I can make a better burger at home using my George Forman (actually I can beat 95% of the restaurants using my George Forman).

                1. re: Soup

                  the burgers are overcooked.
                  i think anyone who appreciates a good burger knows that med or med/rare is the way to go.

                  i now only eat hotdogs /fries at 5 guys.

                  1. re: enoisone

                    I don't recall any fast-food burger joints asking how I want the burger cooked, and I don't expect it. I draw a distinction between fast food and sit-down places in this regard. They're fundamentally different burger styles, and shouldn't be judged against each other.

                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                      I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying that Five Guys is a "fastfood" burger and should be judged against Wendys, Burger King, etc? If so, I think 5G loses against Wendy's Triple or Hardees Monster Thickburger. At 5G you're paying more for a dryer burger and greasier fries. You're getting more, but it isn't as good as it used to be. I'd rather have less of something that tasted better.

                      I think part of the problem is fat content. If they insist on pressing their burgers and doing all of them well done, they need ground beef with at least 20% fat content. Anything less, and you're in hockey puck land.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        I guess 5G might be medium-fast! What I was trying to say was that in my experience, when I go to a bar or restaurant I'm expecting a different burger experience, and I'd think then about ordering a degree of doneness. When I go to a place where I stand around and eat peanuts out of a big bag while I'm waiting, I'm going to get a fundamentally different type of hamburger, and that's appropriate.

                      2. re: Jim Dorsch

                        you may get your food fast,but i think of 5G's as comfort food not fast food.
                        saying that,i should have it my way.
                        that's what makes it comfort.
                        i guess i'll go elsewhere in the future.

                        1. re: enoisone

                          Of course, anyone who's cooled their heels eating peanuts at 5g's will admit it's not fast! I guess I'm comfortabe with a well done burger.

                  2. I totally agree with daeglo and Soup. I moved to the area recently and heard that I HAD to try 5 guys. So I went a couple of times and my fries were a greasy mess seeping through the paper bag and the toppings on the burger were definitely better than the burger. The two patties of beef didn't even equal a normal size one at most places. I also got a hotdog there in an effort to be fair and thought it was average. Now, I feel as if I'm sort of pariah whenever I say I don't want to go to 5 guys since people look at me as if I'm crazy. Seriously, what's all the fuss about it anyway and how has it become such an institution?

                    1. Indeed. The last 2 burgers I had (Gordon Biersch and Elevation) were far superior in every way.

                      1. I went to the Manassas location yesterday and loved it like usual. The only other one I've been to was in Reisterstown and that one was pretty bad. daeglo you must be a magician with your Foreman because I've never had a burger on the Foreman that I've liked. I typically hate burgers made indoors on frying pans or Foremans. Any tips?

                        1. I just had probably the best burger I've had in months at Sign of the Whale (the Ahab cooked medium rare), and fries that were properly double-fried, and that place is closing down to make way for an Irish pub.

                          1. I still love the place, but I am not sure if they have gone downhill.

                            When I lived in Alexandria and went to one of the original locations all the time, not every visit was perfect.

                            They are like any other food spot. Good days and bad.

                            I still like what they offer more than a place like In n Out Burger, but I have been told I am crazy for saying that.

                            1. The one in Old Town seems to be just as good as a few years ago. I would try to stick to the ones that were orginally owned by the founders. But the best hamburger I've had so far in DC is at the Haines Point Golf Course!