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Apr 7, 2007 06:29 AM

Five Guys Burgers coming to Montague Street!


Montague Street (between Henry and Clinton -- on the South side) is poised to take a massive culinary leap forward -- apparently a Five Guys is coming!

For those who don't know it, Five Guys was a small amazing burger and fries place in suburban Washington DC. They've grown from 2 storefronts to dozens in the last 5 years but I don't think the quality has suffered much.

From what I recall, the burgers are Shake Shack quality and the fries are unparalleled -- akin to Thrashers Fries for those who know Thrashers from the Maryland shore.

Keep your fingers crossed. Between the new french place on Henry, Hibino just over Atlantic and now Five Guys -- maybe Brooklyn Heights has turned the corner!


PS - Here's they're website:

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  1. I imagine this will be a godsend for the Packer/St. Anns kids on lunch break;)

    1. We had the gross misfortune to waste an evening's dinner at Five Guys in Baltimore. The atmosphere was tacky, the burgers awful, the fries as well. Threw it in the trash and ate their delicious roasted peanuts.

      Barely a notch above McDo and Burger King at much higher prices, with only Burgers on the menu. I don't predict a long life or big success.

      They will probably go the way of the Burger king on Montague Street a few years back...always empty, wound up shutting down for lack of business.

      If you want really terrific Burgers and Fries on the Heights, try HEIGHT'S CAFE and LE PETIT MARCHE. Both excellent.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Fleur

        Time will tell.

        I've had their brugers in DC; easily in the Top 10 burgers I've had in the country.

        I am -happy- they are coming and wish them mthe absolute best. Sorry you had a bad time in Baltimore.

        Y'know Fleur. Sometimes its just hard to order a burger in a place like Heights Cafe or Le Petit Marche. Burgers, when done right, are best in a "burger joint". Hopefully, this will be 5 Guys Montague.

        Time will tell.

        1. re: Fleur

          Sorry you had a bad time in Baltimore. I suspect th massive expansion from 2 places (when I ate there) to many dozen (what they have now) was a little bumpy. I've heard great things about them from people in 3 or 4 different locations so hopefully they've worked the kinks out.

          As far as Petit Marche or Heights Cafe -- indeed those are fine burgers, but a completely different kind of burger and a completely different dining experience. And besides, the fries at Five Guys blow both of them out of the water regardless or experience.

          The Burger King was gone by the time I moved here but I suspect (but do not know) that it was opened by someone who owned many, many franchises and was trying to turn a quick buck. Odds are (not that I know, it's just my instinct) that this Five Guys is going to operated by a much smaller player who will work a lot harder to get it right.

          And as Larry says, only time will tell. :)


          1. re: Peter

            Can you tell me more about these fries? I've never been to Thrashers and with this kind of raving, I need more details.

            1. re: Peter

              The BK on Montague Street opened against the protests of residents. There were petitions and boycotts, but they opened anyway.

              This is not a neighborhood that welcomes chains. I thought 5 Guys was very mediocre, and over-priced. The fries were ordinary as well.

              The fries at HEIGHTS CAFE and the Frites at LE PETIT MARCHE are outstanding.

              I don't think junk food, or a half step up from junk food will be well received here.

              1. re: Fleur

                You discredit yourself by praising Heights Cafe. HC is totally bland and mediocre. Everything has the appearance of being pre-fabricated elsewhere. This impression is confirmed by the sometimes odd temperatures at which food is served. The hamburgers are fine, but overgreased and lacking in consistency. If you like the fries, you just like table salt.

                The place is good for the neighborhood. Welcoming of kids and average food at so-so prices is better than many alternatives. But it's hard to rate HC any higher than "average."

                1. re: halfzware

                  Not sure what the hate against Heights Cafe is. The few times I've been there have been pleasing, which isn't something I can say for most restaurants, especially in the Heights/DUMBO/etc. areas. What I really enjoyed there was the caramelized banana napoleon, although the quality of the dessert fluctuated a bit. But still... nothing about it made me think it an embarrassment to the neighborhood.

                  1. re: bluishgnome

                    I don't understand the HEIGHTS CAFE hatred either. We go there quite often, and have never had a bad meal. Salads, Burgers and Fries, Pasta, or real main dishes, they are all good, very convenient, and at a very reasonable price for the neighborhood. As for desserts, their chocolate torte is absolutely delicious.

                    The food is always fresh and good, nicely prepared and presented, generous portions, nice side dishes. The service is pleasant and efficient, the ambiance cheerful.

                    Another plus is their lovely sidewalk cafe seating, separated from the street.

          2. Yum. I had the fries in DC recently and they were delicious. I think Montague seems pretty accepting of chains (Tasty Delight, Connecticut Muffin, Starbucks, Chipotle, Haagen Dasz, not to mention MAC, Bannana Republic, Ann Taylor, Aerosole, the list goes on). In fact, it seems that chains are beginning to dominate, which is sad--although better than vacant stores. Anyway, I am glad it's coming. At least it's an interesting chain.

            2 Replies
            1. re: gnosh

              I imagine Fleur's point is that Montague isn't very accepting of chain food. And to his point not only did BK pack up and leave, but the Tastee-Delite closed up a week or two ago (thank goodness).

              On the other hand, Chipotle probably does well enough with the lunch crowd and Haagen-Daaz seems to have paid the bills for the last decade or so -- they must have a great rent.

              Personally, I think Five Guys is going to to do fine. They have an upstairs space so the rent will be a bit less but if they can somehow get the smell of those fries out onto the street they'll draw people right on up those stairs. ;)

              1. re: Peter

                This is a dream come true. I've been thinking about Five Guys for two years and didnt even realize they were expanding far enough to make it up here. I hope they do well.

                I expect that the Five Guys method will translate well to Montague street. The burgers and fries at the downtown DC locations (one near Howard Univ. and one on H street near Chinatown) were suberb, but those were considered more hardcore, older locations. As for expansion properties, they opened a spot in Georgetown that maintained the architecture of the building, blended in nicely to the neighborhood and still turned out great burgers and fries.

                Some of the DC locations had late hours a few nights of the week. That would be a great addition here.

            2. The recent post on AHamburgerToday really put me in the mood for a sloppy,gooey cheeseburger, so I hit the new outpost in College Point (Queens) today and was completely satisfied.

              The decor had all the charm of a Costco warehouse, but no matter. This is a bare-bones business with a limited menu and no frills, the type of place where a torn paper bag doubling as a placemat is the way to go. And they serve up a party-packed burger, wrapped in tin foil and filled with goodness. The melted cheese met the goo factor, the bun had the right softness and the well-done though hardly dried-out patties had that slight crunch that I love, along with tons of flavor. Ditto the fries.
              You eat this type of burger and a childish grin starts to form on your face, the complete attainment of guilty pleasure. Fast food should always be like this.

              Here's the AHT link (w/ excellent photo):

              6 Replies
              1. re: Polecat

                Their burgers are just a step above Burger King or McDo at 3-4x the price. Their fries are frozen.

                The only way you can get your burger is "well done".

                For a really delicious burger the way you like it, with hand cut, fresh French Fries, head over to Heights Cafe or Le Petit Marche. Only double the price, but you get a real 8oz burger, grilled as you like it, on a home baked roll with real French fries, not frozen.

                5 Guys is Fast Food, It is a Chain, and it is Junk Food.

                1. re: Fleur

                  I'm with you on the Le Petit Marche burger, which is great, but Five Guys looks like a decent option to grab a quick bite on Montague. These are completely different dining experiences. And the AHT picture sure makes the burger at Five Guys look more that 3-4x better than the typical fast food burger. As someone said above: time will tell.

                  Personally, I'm just glad we aren't getting another mattress store or real estate office in that space.

                  1. re: Fleur

                    Accoring the the AHT article, the fries are fresh cut, and the patties are hand made every morning. It also says that their regular burgers (around $5) are by default double patties. So I won't know until I try it, but I'm confused as to what the truth is here.

                    Despite this, I don't think your friends at Heights or LPM need worry. And hamburger joint isn't going to put any nice bistros out of business... especially in an area starved for good food to begin with.

                    1. re: bhill

                      Better than another phone store, I agree.

                      But $5 for a burger?

                      The Burger with Fries and salad is $10.95 at Le Petit Marche and $9.95 at Heights Cafe.

                      I have eaten at 5 Guys in Baltimore, and the burger was inedible. Overcooked on a soft supermarket bun. The fries were not good at all, and not crispy .

                      1. re: bhill

                        The truth is, the only thing that matters is whether you like it or not. Frankly, I don't get the hype at all. The burger is only okay, no more than that, and at least at the location I get dragged to periodically, the fries are generally limp. I suspect, but have no proof, that they use a small amount of sugar on the fries to get the deep brown color. I don't believe I've ever had white potatoes with that degree of sweetness elsewhere.
                        If you like it, great. Me? I'd much rather eat somewhere else. Almost anywhere else.

                      2. re: Fleur

                        Can you verify that their fries are frozen? When I used to live in DC, my local Five Guys made fresh fries.

                        At any rate, it seems that Polecat did indeed get a "really delicious burger the way you like it" at Five Guys. I'll be interested to see how the Brooklyn incarnation turns out.

                    2. I too also had a horrible Five Guys experience when eating in Baltimore. Maybe it's just that location that is causing people to think negatively of the company. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and give the College Point location a try when I'm in the area and hopefully they'll impress me.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jza1218

                        It's not just Baltimore. The location I referenced above is in Raleigh, NC. It's a big overpriced nothing. Fresh does not necessarily equal good. Squishy buns, underseasoned meat, and limp fries? What for?

                        1. re: jza1218

                          Are there perhaps corporate-owned locations and franchises? If that's the case, the food quality would definitely vary between the two (even if that shouldn't be the case).