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5 guys burgers :pro's and cons

Was wondering if people could list 2 pro's and 2 cons about 5 guys famous burgers and fries. Also do you know any of their secrets ot making their tasy food?

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  1. Pros:

    -Free peanuts.
    -The staff seems like they're on the ball. Service is usually pretty snappy and efficient.


    -Dry burgers. Probably using 90-95 percent lean beef. They also press the burgers down. I know they're supposed to only do it once, but that's all you need to press all the juice out. Also, the beef is occasionally "skunky."
    -Greasy fries. Instead of frying them twice (Belgian frite style) they're tossed in once then dumped in the heat rack. If they're not immediately served fresh from the fryers, they're inevitably soggy.

    I could go on, but those are my top 2. Aside from their hotdogs, I wouldn't describe much at 5Gs as "tasty."

    2 Replies
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      I have to disagree...my burgers have never been "dry" or "skunky" at Five Guys. The fries are greasy...but at least it's from peanut oil...I love the flavor and natural look to them...and btw fries are supposed to be greasy! But I guess it's matter of opinion as to how much.

      -great prices
      -tons of fries for cheap
      -don't feel nasty after eating their food compared to the regular chains (Wendy's, McD's...etc.)
      -the use of peanut oil
      -fresh toppings

      -slow to prepare food...i've had to wait quite a while...which seems weird for a "fast-food" restaurant.
      -messy floor from peanut shells...feel like i'm gonna slip and fall.
      -occasional mess-up on toppings

      Sorry i think i went over my limit.

      1. re: AlliantK

        The place is just wildly inconsistently and "skunky" meat is right on the money. It's happened enuf that I just don't bother with 5G's when I get the urge for a burger. I just plunk down the 3-5 extra bucks at a sit down place that can do a halfway decent burger (last couple of times: Matchbox, The Place formerly known as 4Ps)

    2. Pros: Not nearly as bad as McDonald's, Burger King, or other fast food joints. Fries (which I have not found to be too greasy). Cons: Not nearly as good as In-n-Out on the West Coast. Greasy burgers with a slight fast food aftertaste.

      1. Pros:

        -My local 5G DOES twice-fry the fries so they're very tasty and they give you loads.
        -Fresh toppings

        -Whiny people who act like 5G is McD's and biotech about slow service (what part of "made to order" isn't understood?). The longest I've ever had to wait is ten minutes and that was on a Saturday night when the place was packed
        -Can be VERY loud

        1 Reply
        1. re: MandalayVA

          I understand and appreciate the "made to order" feature at 5G's...and I'm glad you've only had to wait ten minutes...unfortunately I've had to wait at least 20 mins. at the G-town location and the place wasn't even that busy. I think it was around the time they first opened so they were probably working out the kinks. But over-all I'd say they have pretty good service.

        2. Pros: Made to order burgers, lots of toppings, fresh toppings.

          Great staff...always friendly and willing to go the extra mile.

          Nice hot burger, fresh buns, lots of napkins, good hot fries and lots of them.

          Cons: no chili for the dogs.

          1. Perhaps the quality varies by location? We just went (with our 2 kids) to the one on Security Blvd. I'd never been to a 5 Guys before, so here are my impressions:

            Burgers and fries were awesome! They were moist but *not* dripping which I can't stand. I also like the choice of toppings.
            Fries were also hot and fresh, and I've never seen such a large amount. Next time we will definitely order a "small"!
            Kid-friendly atmosphere, and they have outdoor seating.
            Cheap! 4 of us ate for around $15 which is less than we often spend for fast food.

            Cons (and I'm really not complaining):
            Menu is limited to burgers, dogs and fries. If a "light eater" is in your group, they will be SOL unless they can handle a grilled cheese.
            No kids meal or kid-sized portions (mine shared a grilled cheese)
            Not close enough to my house (maybe my arteries are grateful!)

            1. does anoyne have pictures of their burgers? pictures of their fries? how do they serve the fries? do you fill your own drink? are there combo meals? what does cajun mean in their fries just a sprinkle of seasoning?

              1. I was just treated to Five Guys by my coworkers for my birthday, at the brand new Canton (Balto) location. (Man, they are building new stores fast.)

                Fries are served in paper cups inside your brown paper sack. And they overfill the cup to the extent that you have at least 50% extra fries sitting on the bottom of the bag. I can't imagine ever eating a whole order, unless dealing with a bad hangover. It's a LOT of fries.

                Yes, you fill your own drink. One size only, for $2.00 or something.

                No combo meals that I saw. The menu is quite simple.

                Cajun fries looked and tasted like regular fries with peppery seasoning sprinkled on top. Quite spicy though.

                1. Pro:
                  -- I love the *idea* of the place.
                  -- They're ubiquitous.

                  -- The burgers just aren't all that great.
                  -- The fries just aren't all that great.

                  1. In my experience, the quality depends on the individual location. Before they franchised, an old boyfriend raved about them and drove me to Virginia to try it -- I wasn't as enthused as he was. Meat was dry, bun close to disinegrating, but the fries were quite good. Service was quick and friendly.

                    In the past year, I came across one of the franchises in Germantown and gave it another try. The burger wasn't overcooked and was juicy and quite tasty, the toppings fresher and the restaurant itself seemed much cleaner, but the fries were not good at all. Service was fine (apparently they hadn't been open long).

                    Earlier this year, I stopped at the one in Kentlands and thought it was a huge waste of my money. If this had been my first visit to a 5 Guys, I would never go to one again. Absolutely nothing was good -- the burger, the fries, the service and the noisy, cold, cavernous space -- all were just lousy.

                    Sorry for the rant. Back to the OP's question:

                    ~ If it's a good location, you can get a good-for-fast-food burger and/or fries.
                    ~ The peanuts.

                    ~ Inconsistency between locations.
                    ~ The fact that you can't get a small serving of fries. A lone diner is forced to order and pay for enough fries for 3 people and then throw them away (or do without, which is tough for a fry addict!). BTW, IF they were great fries, this wouldn't be a "con." oink

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Terrie H.

                      The 5 Guys in Kentlands totally blows. The one on Rt. 1 in Woodbridge is pretty good. Strange that the franchises can be so inconsistent.

                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                        Not surprising at all. 5G tried to limit franchising to only those who could afford at least 5 stores in a given franchise region. All that got them was that you can be sure, if one store stinks, the other 4 in the area will stink as well.

                        I predict that if and when Counter Burger comes to DC, they'll do to 5G what Chipotle did to Burrito Brothers.


                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          With only one location (Santa Monica) I'm not holding my breath for a Counter Burger here very soon. Will you be the first franchise?

                          What did Chiotle do to Burrito Brothers? Neither one has a shop convnient enough to me so it's rare that I eat at either one. Both are OK but neither is worth going out of the way for.

                          1. re: MikeR

                            Burrito Brothers could have been a contender. They were way ahead of the curve in providing a decent big burrito in DC, but then The Burro came along with a better burrito and fresher toppings. Then Chipotle came in with a better more consistent product and ate their lunch. Sure, none of them are as good as an authetic taqueria, but I'm more likely to go to a Chipotle where I know what I"m going to get than to a hit-or-miss place like 5G, where it's either really good or really sucks.

                    2. Pros:

                      1) Tasty burger with most fixins included (except bacon).
                      2) Generous portion of fries.


                      1) Many people working, but long wait for your burger.
                      2) Slick floors due to excess oil wafing in the air and coating the tile floors.

                      More Cons:

                      3) Bare bones decor/delivery mean burgers should be even cheaper.
                      4) Only 1 size drinks.
                      5) Tasteless and cheap buns. Fudd's store baked buns much better.
                      6) No self serve fixins bar to let you pile on the freebies.
                      7) I'm a messy eater, and they only give you a few napkins.
                      8) Anyone with a peanut allergy is SOL.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chownut

                        Speaking of Fuddruckers (great buns, and really really great back when they allowed rare and medium-rare), Springfield has a branch of the Burger Joe's chain, which produces a similar burger -- nice bun, thick patty. Much better than Five Guys or Elevation Burger, at least on my one visit.

                      2. Pros:
                        Burgers are tasty, particularly if you get reasonable toppings. I like them with green peppers, mushrooms, and grilled onions

                        Too many fries even in a small order. I usually take home the leftovers, fry them in about an inch of oil in a wok, and it's enough for a dinner vegetable - like getting free food.

                        Too many fries. I'd like to get a smaller order for a little less money. I even e-mailed them asking if they would consider offering a smaller order and the reply was that they liked giving a generous portion for the money.

                        When you don't include fries with your order, when they call your number for pickup, they say "Number 47 No Fries" as if to embarass you in public.

                        For those who complain about dry burgers or greasy fries - undertsand that they do hundreds ever hour and there are bound to be some duds. I've never had an unsatisfactory burger, but I occasoinally get fries that have been out of the frier too long. I ask for a replacement and it's always hot and fresh. Just because it looks like a fast food place doesn't mean you can't send back an order if it's not well prepared.

                        Feee bonus tip:
                        If you leave the fries in the styrofoam cup too long, they steam and get limp. I immediately dump them into the brown paper bag (I usually ask for an extra bag when I pick up my order). Not only does it keep them crisper because the steam has room to escape, but the paper absorbs some of the oil.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MikeR

                          With leftover 5G fries, I've found that putting them on a cookie sheet and baking them at 425 for about 10 minutes leaches almost all the oil out, leaving nice crispy fries with about 3 tablespoons of oil left in the pan.

                          I've also noticed the "steaming" effect, which is why I have to eat them in the store. By the time I get back to home/work, I've got a 2 lb sack of flaccid greasetraps.

                        2. I actually like limp fries (and crispy fries too), but Boardwalk fries has much better fries than 5 Guys.

                          1. Pros for me are generous portions ,inexpensive for what you get....Cons are meat is flavorless ,no juice running down your arms, fries are greasy, and no onion rings!!!!!When I make my hamburgers I use 50%sirloin 50%chuck so flavorful and juicy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: aaronswoman

                              1. 5 minutes from my house, my phoned in order is pretty much ready by the time I get there and pay, and I don't mind a little time to crack peanut shells.
                              2. There's free malt vinegar for the taking! Not too good on the Cajun spiced fries, though.

                              1. As aaronswoman pointed out, no onion rings. I'd get them over fries any day.
                              2. Why does the burger look all scrunched up when you unwrap it? Like the old Jack in the Box burgers.

                            2. how big are their patties? what temp (rare, MR) do they cook them to?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Kbear919

                                Are you a food inspector or something? Geez, just go there and see if you like it. Don't order a drink (ask for a cup for water - it's free) and you can get away with a burger and fries for five bucks.

                                I think they start out at around 1/4 pound, but there's a fair amount of shrinkage. I would consider them to be a medium-well. They don't want anyone getting uncooked e-coli bacteria.

                                And after you've completed your 5 Guys evaluation, go to Elevation Burger and let us know your pros and cons of each.

                                1. re: Kbear919

                                  It's a fast-food-style patty -- rare and medium-rare are out of the question. For some, this is one of the big complaints. (A "regular" burger is two of the patties.)

                                2. Why so many questions? Starting a "burger joint"? Two small patties, cooked through to medium, on a regular burger. One patty on a small. The temperature is why they're sometimes dry, but the cheese and bacon usually make up for it.

                                  1. My GF and i ate at the five guys burger and fries for the first time tonight. had a late night out shopping. So, when we finally reached around for a place to eat. Five guys was the closest place. ( never heard of them until tonight. recently opened near baltimore, Glen Burnie.) i have to say personally speaking and also on behalf of GF ( 1st time also) I only have
                                    Burger not greasy
                                    some might say slightly dry but just perect for me.
                                    made to order
                                    speedy well orginized work place
                                    Ideo Potatoes Twice fried frys
                                    I guess 1 con:
                                    1 size drinking cup could be larger.
                                    Next visit will be plain cheese burger NO toppings.
                                    Thats how GGOODD the burger tastes.

                                    1. Pros: good burgers, burgers are customizable, efficient staff, many locations (including meytro aceesible ones), good topping selection, free peanuts

                                      Cons: the fries have been soggy 3 out of the 4 times I have tried them.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Foodgeek

                                        Pros: they WILL cook to temperature if you ask. Burgers are med-well most of the time.
                                        reasonably organized assembly line.
                                        Cons: mushrooms are from a can.
                                        I need a larger drink cup.
                                        The VA locations I've been to, they fill your cup for you.

                                      2. I'm curious if the location(s) that cook to order are breakingthe 5 Guys rules as all the ones I've been to have signs stating burgers are cooked well done.

                                        The 5 Guys in Old Town and near Copeland's in Virginia both have self serve soda.



                                        1. unless they've changed things recently, the one in old town (near Fayette and Duke) don't have a soda fountain as it's a rather small space. The ine near copelands (Rte 7 [leesburg pike] and Beauregard) has self serve. Both locations have cooked to temp. when asked, regardless of signage displayed.

                                          1. The only con I can think of is that the burgers don't take-away very well. Either you eat it there, or you're SOL.