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Five Guys - eh

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In my recent attempts to branch out at lunch I decided to try 5 guys - a regional (although I guess more than regional now according to its website) burger place that apparently has won numerous awards and accolades. The place always seems crowded so I figured it was worth a shot. I'm really not that impressed. the meat was a decent quality but the cheese was just run of the mill kraft singles or something and the bun was pretty mediocre too. All in all I found it quite reminicent of Wendy's. I should have known after spending an unfortunate amount of time in DC that any place that comes from there and has won local awards there is probably ok at best. Anyone else agree or disagree?

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  1. I agree. Thought the burger was OK. Fries were better, but overall not worth the long lunch line I waited in.

    1. i think 5 guys is awesome. i lived in CA and everyone was hootin and hollering over in and out--that place is so overrated. in and out is fast food, 5 guys is like eating a home burger

      1 Reply
      1. re: canemh

        I disagree, the bun from 5 guys was horrible. Start out good, but then they made it soggied and worsened it by wrapping it in foil. Cmon, really, foil? A hot steaming burger, wrapped in foil? It took about 30 seconds to bring it from the counter to our table and it was already soggy. Definitely skip the tomato and anything else with moisture if you get a 5 guys burger.

        In & Out remains the king. But hey, at least the peanuts were good.

      2. It's fine for what it is -- a fast food burger. If you think of it more than that, you'll probably be disappointed.

        1. it IS a fast-food burger...that's why it makes you think of wendys. In the fancy burger vs low brow burger, definitely fits in the latter category...except, unlike national chains, they don't use frozen beef. Personally, I am always happy with my 5 guys, tho I admit to never having one in ny--only in Virginia where they started out. is it the best burger ever? no way. does it make me happy? yup.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fudluvr

            Not *fast food* in Edison NJ...Slow food more like it...I was the only person in the place. After ordering at counter,order then passed to the *cook*, who pouinded the daylights out of it, a sorry looking well done burger was placed in front of me. Seven workers, one customer(me)...and it took 12 minutes...No burger taste...None....

            Not for me...,

          2. Five Guys opened in Denver (actually Aurora) a couple of weeks ago and we tried it last Sunday afternoon. I had the cheeseburger and DH had the bacon cheeseburger. We shared a large order of fries. DH wanted his medium rare, but they only cook the burgers well done - silly. The regular cheeseburger was way too big for me. Two patties on the regular burger - one on the kid's burger, so it will be the child's burger for me in the future. The fries were terrific, but a huge portion. We could have easily split a small order.
            Burgers were good and juicy. Cheese wasn't special. Five guys doesn't compare to our local favorites - Steve's Snapping Dogs and Smashburger. Similar burgers but Five Guys comes in third.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pampatz

              I always get the "little" burger. It's the size of a regular burger, IMO.

            2. I've been thinking the same thing.My co-workers just rave about the 5G burgers but i dont see why.They are OK,the beef tastes fresh and good,and the fries are excellent IF you dump them out of the paper sack immediately.But its too expensive for what it is.
              For the money,I'll take Wendy's too.Their burgers are also not frozen and also too well done.Fries not as good but usually passable.And they offer drive-thru (even though its usually horribly screwed up).But you save about 3 bucks over 5g on the double cheese-fries-coke combo.

              1. I've eaten at Five Guys about a dozen times---
                Burgers are OK but I love the fresh cut fries. The small fries at $2.25 is just right for me. I like the regular, not the Cajun fries.

                1. It seems like everyone is pretty much on the same page. My disappointment lies in the fact that their website seems to make them seem a little better than fast food. Shake Shack and Burger joint are not really anything more than this in terms of the way they're set up, but I think their burgers are much better. don't know if its a difference in quality of ingredients or what.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Renguin

                    There are several other Five Guys threads on the board, and many people really like them, so I don't know that I'd say everyone's on the same page.

                    1. re: Suzy Q

                      I am not on your page either...I like them. I do think they are a step up from most fast food.

                    2. re: Renguin

                      A website is a marketing tool, and appears to be doing its job in this case. Also, they are, in my opinion, a little better than fast food from a national chain (ie, they're better than Wendy's - mostly to do with better produce and buns, in my mind; they're better than McDonalds -better beef and produce). Haven't had Shake Shack or Burger Joint to compare.

                    3. I respectfully disagree. I thought the Five Guys burger was excellent, despite their insistence to cook it 'well' (i prefer med. rare). Well above par for fast food. I also loved the fries. I think it makes a difference if you eat the burger there, though. I've had the take out and the eat in burger is infinitely better. I'd eat there every day if I didn't care too much about my health or weight. Which I do. *sigh*

                      1. I stopped in when they first opened in the Philly burbs. The "well-done only" sign was a deal-breaker for me, so I wound up ordering a hot dog; OK, but nothing special. Good fries, but not good enough to go back.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: brandywiner

                          The hot dogs are their secret weapon! They are split and cooked on the grill. You get the same toppings choice as on a burger. A grilled hotdog with grilled onions and mushrooms and hot sauce is incredible!

                          Silly me, I also think their burgers are quite awesome! Better than any of the other options near Washington DC. Must be nice for all you haters to have steakhouses provide incredible burgers at low prices. Wish I lived in your world.

                          1. re: malveaux

                            My experience has been that it depends entirely on location. I've had excellent burgers/service in one 5G but sloppy, skunky meat at another.

                            1. re: malveaux

                              Steakhouses? No, just decent pubs (and the like) that don't destroy perfectly good beef by overcooking it. If the best that can be said about 5G is that it's better than Wendy's (or whatever) that says it all.

                          2. I'll have to agree and disagree. I think the Five Guys burgers are some of the best burgers I have ever had. I am a disgruntled NYer unfortunately spending (losing) two years of my life living in this boring city with horrible food and dream about the day when I pack up my stuff and move back to NYC 6 months from now, so if anyone hates the food (and almost everything else) in DC, it's me. Washingtonian's list of 100 Best Restaurants is laughable and I have had some of my worst meals ever from their suggestions (*cough*Vidalia). But I do have to say that I think the Five Guys burgers are pretty good. Good Stuff Eatery (Spike from Top Chef's new joint), however, is beyond mediocre. Not worth the hype.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dimiccot

                              I have had five-guys twice. I rate it OK. Not sure why I need a well-done burger and I am not sure why they have to constantly flatten the burger with a spatula while it is cooking allowing all the juices to flow out.

                              1. re: dimiccot

                                I can comiserate, i lost 2 years of my life to "the district" as well (and 10 pounds in the first 3 months I lived there for lack of food). I think if you go there back in NY you'll regain your bearings and it won't seem quite so good.

                              2. in 5 guys defense....

                                they are not what they used to be....I first went to 5 guys abotu 10 years ago....when they only had about 5 or 6 locations in the area. (Northern Virginia). Simply unbelievable. Now that they have expanded, their quality has gone done. Sad, but a fact for pretty much any restaurant that really globalizes.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: yanks26dmb

                                  Seconded. Once you've found a 5G where they know what they're doing, stick to that one. Other locations can vary from indifferent to downright lousy (skunky meat, stale fry oil, etc.)

                                2. I just tried 5 Guys a week ago in Pewaukee Wisconsin, I had never heard of them before and i thought it was a very good cheeseburger I had no idea they were a chain until today.

                                  1. Tried Five Guys in Colorado Springs, CO -- I thought it was great ... Better than Fatburger.

                                    1. I love the fries - I think the burger is good, but too big for me. So I usually order a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, and I have plenty of room for those yummy fries.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                                        jeanmarie, that's why I usually get the "little" burger - it's more than big enough for me. I always try to split fries with my dining companions, too, since the orders are so darn big.

                                        1. re: Suzy Q

                                          I think it's impossible for a normal stomach to fit even a little burger and a regular fry. A friend and I both had littles and split a regular fry and still didn't finish the fries. I do find that sometimes a good portion of the fries are overdone past edibility.

                                      2. Went to the 5 Guys in Winter Garden Village FL today (again) and had a great meal. I took my Mother-in-Law, who loves and appreciates a good burger. We got there at maybe 1:45 and the line snaked around. There was probably 4 people at the grill, 1 on fries and 3 prepping buns, plus a few more bagging and calling out numbers. I was trying to smile and nod at what Mom was saying but trying to watch them too- they were really flying to get orders cooked and out.

                                        I ordered: little bacon burger, mayo, ketchup, grilled mushrooms and onions- we split the regular cajun fries (well done) and she had a little cheeseburger. Struck up a conversation with the guy in front of us and it took about 10 minutes to get to the register. The food was hot, burger juicy, fries superb... I'm glad it's a 20 mile drive or I may be tempted to "forget to thaw something for dinner" more often!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                          I eat at 5 guys a few timea a month. The fries are great, but the burgers lack flavor.
                                          I have viewed the 5 guys burger training video and it explains the process. Somehow flattening out a small patty with a press and insisting tit be cooked well done doesn't add to the taste.
                                          Also annoying is the fact that the grill cook cuts into the patty to make sure its done. I don't think a grill cook should be making cuts into my food, it isn't done that way anywhere else.
                                          The condiments are nice, but the fried onions never have any taste.
                                          Lastly, 5 Guys is EXPENSIVE. A regular burger, small fry and small soda come to $10.04 where I live. This is ridiculous. I know the manager of one local branch, and he tells me volume is off as his customers are trading down. Mom and dad and two kids are not going to keep spending $40 to eat burgers in a chain with limited selection and usually not clean floors.

                                        2. If the burger wasn't cooked to death it would be great. The fries are good and I also have to agree about the hot dog; the last couple of times I've been to 5G I've gotten it and it's been awesome.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MandalayVA

                                            You have to ask the individual 5G if they freeze their hot dogs...........
                                            Hamburgs are never frozen
                                            The 5G in Newtown, CT doesn't freeze the dogs and they are wonderful.
                                            The 5G in Orange, CT does freeze the dogs and they are much too salty.
                                            They don't sell them fast enough not to freeze their reserve.
                                            Freezing an all beef dog intensify the saltiness after defrosting and cooking.