Five Guys Burgers on Bleecker - Pass
Five Guys opened their Village location on Bleecker at the corner of 7th and Barrow earlier in the week. I stopped by on Sunday to check it out, since there seemed some hype around the other location in Manhattan.
I called my order in, since I read that they take a long time and tend to be really crowded. After placing my order, I was told to come by in 7-8 minutes. Not bad, I thought.
I showed up after 10 minutes and paid for my order - a bacon cheeseburger with small fries, which came to just under $12.
The place was actually pretty empty. 3 tables had diners and a couple other people waiting for takeout orders. There were probably about 8-9 staff members there. Why so many, I have no idea - esp as most of them were moving at a glacial pace and the others were just standing around, talking to each other, on their cellphones, generally ignoring customers. I waited another 15 minutes for my food and finally got it after close to half an hour from placing the order.
Since I live pretty close by, I got it home and quickly out of the paper bag so it wouldn't get soggy.
Fries - they are of the hand cut, skin on, slightly thicker variety. they were slightly soggy and mealy. Not really enough salt. Mediocre at best. They have a "cajun" or spicy option, which I witnessed asjust a boatload of seasoned salt dumped on them.
Burger - as advertised, they only cook it well done from fresh (not frozen) patties. There were 2 patties on my burger and they were really dry - sorta like bad Johnny Rockets burgers. Crumbly, with really no juiciness. Burger had no real beef flavor at all. The lettuce, onions and tomato I got on it was pretty lackluster. They forgot the cheese. The bacon strips were measly, thin and amazingly, pretty flavorless (it's bacon - how can you screw that up?!)
I got through maybe 2/3 of the burger and maybe 1/3 of the fries. The rest went to the trash.
Not sure what the hype is about, but this doesn't come anywhere near being a contender for even a decent burger in the West Village. What a disappointment - they have such a great location and I had such high hopes.
I'll take a pass next time and try the many other great burger stand-bys in the nabe. (stoned crow, extra virgin, westville, even corner bistro - and i hear market table has a great burger during the day.)
I live next door and have been contemplating trying it. Maybe I won't now. Why do the restaurants - AOC, the former Vittorio, Burittoville -- on my little block suck?! (maybe its because there are great places just around the corner...Westville, Little Owl, etc.)
market table's burger is one of the best I've had in the city. Not better than Shake Shack or Burger Joint in my opinion, but up there and better than Corner Bistro.
re: michele cindy
I have to own up and take responsibilty for one of those enthusiastic reviews, with respect to the College Point, Queens outpost. Looking back, I think my reaction was due, in part, to a certain nostalgia for the type of burger they serve up, and not the quality itself. On a return visit, I felt none of that nostalgia or enthusiasm, just heavier, like a ball of grease with ear hair. It's hard to completely dislike a place that serves up fries in a brown paper bag, though. You rip it open on all sides, and there's your placemat. Not that I'm a stickler for decor, but 5 Guys could stand to be a little less drab as well. Perhaps they can rent out a clown from a nearby carwash.
Just tried this place Saturday. After all the hype, maybe my expectations were too high, but I had the same reaction as captkenjeroo. Fries were flaccid, mealy and cold. Even with toppings, the burger was completely dry and tasteless, yet the bun was soggy. It was less flavorful than McDonald's at 3x the price and I didn't even finish it. And the room is so glaringly white and bright that you'll feel ready to confess. Don't need to go back.
Oh that's such a shame, I've been hyping Five Guys for sure. I've only been to the Park Slope location and I love it. The burgers have always been really high quality, the staff pretty much friendly, the toppings abundant. However, I've NEVER liked their fries, so I steer clear from them.
I'm still on my quest for the best burger (and wings) and have found Five Guys to be high up on the ladder. Corner Bistro is always solid. Spotted Owl of course amazing. I've heard Irving Mill's burger is up there too.
(and for what it's worth - the Black Label Burger at City Burger is NOT worth the hype)