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Sep 17, 2008 03:13 PM

Finally made it to 5 Guys Burgers last night--review

After hearing the talk that this was the closest thing to In n' Out, I headed out to Dedham last night to check it out. By coincidence, I was at In n' Out in Marin County last week, and I can tell you, it's not close.

That's not to say it's not good. The burgers were much thicker than InO, but had a nice, beefy flavor, and definitely tasted fresh. I thought they were a bit much at $3.39 for a single, and 4.49 for a double (no cheese), but the toppings were fresh and free.

The fries are nothing like InO. They're fresh cut, and good, but fairly expensive at $2.69 for a small, which I didn't find to be that big a portion, despite what I'd heard. They're medium thick, and the ones we had were fairly dark.

I did like that they have free peanuts while you're waiting.

All in all, it's OK, but it's certainly not a destination.

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  1. Forgot to add, for that In n Out fix, Flat Patties in Harvard Square is by far the closest thing on this coast I've found.

    12 Replies
    1. re: winedude

      Perhaps when I likened it to my memory of In n Out I was creating a fantasy in my head, clearly not being as fortunate as you to have visited an actual In n Out shortly before my 5 Guys visit. You didn't think the regular fries were big? I had a cup full in my take-out bag with half of the bottom of the bag full as well.

      1. re: Kat

        I think the fries at 5 Guys are much better than In n Out. The burgers, however, while decent are not even close.

        1. re: Gordough

          I think the burger are much better than In-N-Out but the fries are nowhere as good because they're soggy half the time and rarely crispy. I won't be going back because your clothes, hair, skin smell really bad (greasy) afterward.

          1. re: joebloe

            I was there for the first time about 1 week ago, took mine to go and did not notice my hair and clothes smelling of grease. It was pretty good, would not go out of my way for cheeseburger and small fries for about $8.50. As an aside, stopped into pick up menu at the new Wild Willy's in Needham; they had a "soft opening" about 2 weeks ago, weren't too busy, cheesburger and fries about $8.50; I opted for an excellent 1/2 lb cheeseburger and hand-cut fries to go from Not Your Average Joes for the same price.

            1. re: bakerboyz

              I popped into the Wild Willy's in Needham yesterday, got sticker shock at the $6.25 base price for the basic burger and promptly left. Based on the price at Five Guys ($3.39), sounds like my New England Yankee-brand miser-o-meter is properly calibrated.

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                I have had several people comment to me that they feel "gouged" after eating at Wild Willy's when they have ordered burgers, fries and drinks for 2 and they end up spending around $25. Their food is decent but not at those prices!!

            2. re: joebloe

              I loved! the fries at 5 Guys. Burger was ok. My boyfriend said it wasn't "made with love" like they are at Wild Willy's, which I thought was funny.

              1. re: taves7

                "Made with love", he must have had a transcendental burger experience!

                1. re: taves7

                  Ah, now I get why they charge three bucks more!

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    let's compare apples to apples folks. The burgers at Wild Willy's are definitely larger than the burgers at Five Guys (I don't like a double patty so I order the small at 5 Guys). Is it worth $3 more? Probably not, but the burger is bigger and, in my opinion, of better quality at Wild Willy's.

                2. re: joebloe

                  I was born and raised in Boston but now live in DC, home of the original 5 Guys.

                  Those in the know, have a way of keeping the fries crisp (getting to greasy is a common complaint). The minute you get your fries you should dump them out of the plastic cup and pour them straight into the paper bag (I even give them a little shake). The bag will soak up the extra grease and hopefully keep them crisp.

                  I wasn't aware that 5 Guys had opened in Boston (I know they just opened in NYC as well). Enjoy!

            3. re: winedude

              FLAT PATTIES is awesome! They grind their meat fresh daily and their fries are fresh cut. It's my favorite burger place. I tried 5 Guys at an airport one time and it was nothing to write home about.

            4. It appears the younger generations have been so inundated with fast food they don't know that basic, griddle-cooked burgers were a given, found at any number of places all over America, even chains. The 5 Guys burger is a perfectly good rendition, and draws on a history that goes back through ye olde Big Boy, which used to stack thin, griddle-cooked patties. So what; it's good they've opened here and sad that people have so little exposure to this essential American classic. While many prefer a burger cooked over a flame - as in your backyard - the griddle- cooked, well-done burger that that retains a juiciness bordering on greasiness was what you got almost everywhere until McD's and BK took over. 5 Guys is a throwback.

              BTW, if you have peanut allergies or if you are going to be holding a child with peanut allergies, do not go in 5 Guys because they give out peanuts and the odds are that you will contact some peanut substance even if you don't indulge.

              6 Replies
              1. re: lergnom

                I was excited to try it last week and went with a vegetarian and ended up leaving before we ordered. Only option was a vegetarian hotdog.... For gods stake they are a burger place..They need to add a good vegetarian burger....

                1. re: gardgen

                  Well, yes, just as you say: for godsakes they are a burger place. So they need to add a vegetarian option why exactly? I don't go into T.J. Scallywaggles and say, "Hey, you should put some meat on the menu! You're ignoring my demographic!"

                  1. re: gardgen

                    Well, it DOES seem kinda silly to have a veggie dog and not a veggie burger at a burger place. Sort of like Scallywaggles putting a veal burger with a slice of foie gras on the menu to satisfy that demographic. LOL

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Actually, I think it's kinda clever: in my experience, veggie dogs tend to be tastier than veggie burgers. The veggie burgers that try too hard to approximate ground beef always fall way short, whereas a good tofu dog is usually not only edible but enjoyable.

                      Now, if they offered the "portobello cap in lieu of patty" option, that would be fine. I like those a lot. it just seems silly to be grievously offended that a burger place is vegetarian-unfriendly. In my own vegetarian days, I would have expected that.

                    2. re: gardgen

                      I went to this 5 Guys and noticed that they didn't have the veggie option I saw on the Florida menu - just the toppings. They were happy to make it for me but still charged me the normal price - unlike the Florida outlet that was about $1.50 less. My favorite "veggie" hamburger is grilled mushrooms and onions with tomatoes and lettuce - very good.

                      1. re: alwayscooking

                        We never thought of that as an option. Thanks for the idea! We will try that next week.
                        And not all veggy burgers try to imitate the texture or flavor of a hamburger...

                  2. Went to Five Guys in Dedham for lunch yesterday. Got there a few minutes after 12 and there was no line. Order was taken very quickly and efficiently. Had to wait for the order a little longer than you would expect to in a usual fast food place, but I guess that is a small price to pay for fresh-cooked food.

                    I got the regular cheeseburger (which is two) with just lettuce, tomato and pickles (did not want to drown out burger flavor). The burger was really very tasty. I'm guessing it must have a very high fat content. I did not notice anything particulary good or bad about the bun.

                    The price for the the cheeseburger and Coke was over $7, which is on the high side for a fast food lunch, but the burger is much, much better than anything at McDonald's or Burger King. Also, being able to add any toppings for free is great.

                    Maybe I'm getting old, but my main complaint is that the music was very loud and bouncing off all of the hard surfaces. Also, the place is pretty small and I was not crazy about the "family style" picnic table seating. I'm not looking for fine dining, but even McD and BK try to make their dining rooms more inviting than that, especially in newer stores. While opening new stores, I really think that 5 Guys should update their "ambience". Or, maybe their strategy is to turn over the tables as fast as possible. Still, the noise and lousy seating is a reason I would hesitate about going back.

                    When I left about 15 minutes later a line was forming.

                    I did not get fries, but they looked really good.

                    1. Made it back Saturday evening for my 2nd visit: we split a large fry and they were excellent, nicely crisp and not greasy at all. I got a cheesebuger (double patty) with just about everything on it, I enjoyed it but really, when you get it loaded you can barely taste the burger. I judge it as a very decent fast food burger but not to be compared with a hand shaped, 8 oz, flame grilled burger.