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Nov 21, 2008 03:33 AM

How is Five Guys?

I've heard great things about the Five Guys Burger joint in Whitestone (14th Ave?). Any confirmation?

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  1. I can't vouch for that particular location, but i am a huge fan of Five Guys in general. Their burgers are nice and juicy and the fries are hand cut and fried in peanut oil. YUM!
    It's inexpensive too. Give it a try!

    1. Personally, I love, love, love them. It's not the best burger in the entire city, but it's a GREAT value.

      Words of warning: get the "small hamburger" (one patty) instead of the "hamburger" (2 patties) and get a small fries -- it'll be more than 1 person can eat (or maybe I should say "should" eat).


      1 Reply
      1. re: Peter

        I will third this recommendation. I love the burgers at 5 Guys in Hoboken. Given that they are a franchise, I would expect the burgers and fries to be very consistent across locations. And, yes, don't get the regular burger unless you are REALLY hungry.

      2. I love their fries (you can share a small order with another hungry person - they literally dump the cup of fries and then some into a bag) and I don't even eat fries anymore (unless I swing by Five Guys).

        And a grilled cheese sandwich with all the fixin's for $2? SCORE.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PlomeekSoup

          It's lame that they will not serve a burger that is not well done. I'll sign the release.

          1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty

            If they refuse to cook a burger medium or rare, there's a reason they do so. Sounds like a legal liability thing. They most likely don't grind their own meat which means that a burger needs to be cooked thoroughly in case of contamination that can happen during processing.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              "If they refuse to cook a burger medium or rare, there's a reason they do so. Sounds like a legal liability thing. They most likely don't grind their own meat which means that a burger needs to be cooked thoroughly in case of contamination that can happen during processing."

              I have an alternative explanation - Corporate Weenieism.

              How can they be the ONLY place that doesn't grind their own meat? Most low end to mid range places don't. Some use pre-made burgers (think diners and luncheonettes) and others buy bulk ground beef and make their own patties.

              At virtually all of these places you can get a medium rare burger.

              Corporate Weeniesm.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Liability is one reason, but it could also be that their burgers are so thin that it would awfully tricky to cook it to anything other than well done.

                And really, I suspect that it's really about efficiency. If all they sell is well done, then every burger is easy to cook and never sent back. If they have to track which burgers should be done to what level... then deal with the customers who don't like their burger (even if cooked right, a lot of people have different definitions of "medium rare", etc.)... well, all of a sudden productivity goes down which means prices have to go up.


                1. re: Peter

                  If you guys read their FAQ website you'll find out that it's for both health code and consistency reasons:

                  Q: Why does Five Guys only serve burgers cooked well done?

                  A: By cooking all of our burgers juicy and well done we are able to achieve two goals.

                  * Insure a consistent product
                  * Meet or exceed health code standards for ground beef

                  We understand that there are varying opinions on what level a burger should be cooked for optimal flavor and our opinion is that our burgers taste best cooked juicy and well done.


                  So, Peter, seems that your answer is right on the money.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    At the end of the day, who cares. I like my burgers med-rare, but theirs still end up being juicy and delicious.

              2. re: PlomeekSoup


                When I go with my friend we get 2 little hamburgers and split a small fries. And we leave STUFFED.

                Peter Steinberg

              3. I got the regular cheeseburger at the shop in Park Slope, Id agree, get the smaller one instead. It was fairly good, but too well done for my taste.
                A good basic burger at a higher price than I would have liked.

                Not as good as I remembered from the Alexandria VA store, however.

                1. ive only eaten at 5 guys in virginia and it tastes great down there

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Virchis

                    Ate at the Whitestone location twice. Great burger for the price. Not much options around Whitestone so when I crave somthing non-Asian, non-Italian, I go there. The Cajun fries are very good.

                    1. re: PaMa

                      ate there about 3 or 4 times. finally decided that the food just isn't that good. the portions are huge- much more than you can or should eat. and that's evidently part of their appeal: they give you so much food that you think it's a good deal. but when you finish the meal and consider what you just ate, you realize that it didn't really taste very good, it was way more than you needed/wanted, and it really wasn't that cheap. it's true that for the amount you're getting, the price is reasonable. but each meal ends ups costing more than is really reasonable for a fast food meal, regardless of the fact that they gave you a huge amount. and the bottom line is that the food isn't really that tasty. and to top it off, the service is kind of bad. even over a year after they opened, they still had service problems (eventhough many of the same staff were on the job). each time i went there, they slightly screwed up our order. nothing huge, but things like forgetting to put something on the side instead of on the burger, forgetting to put lettuce on the burger etc. in the beginning it seemed like those were just kinks that would work out with time. but over a year later, they were still happening and i think that problem is that the staff just isn't really paying attention. they're all very, very friendly, but i never got the sense that they were really that well trained, attentive to detail or even really thinking about what they were doing.

                      over all, i'd say it's a mediocre meal, at a slightly high price, where you get a huge amount of food with very friendly but slightly inept service.

                      1. re: joekarten

                        I agree -- I'm not a Five Guys fan. I've gotten the small cheeseburger and have been disappointed by the bun to meat ratio -- too much bun. I also am not impressed by the fries -- I like my fries crispy and Five Guys fries are always mushy and sometimes greasy, especially in a to-go order when the fries just steam in their cup and bag. And do they still use styrofoam cups?

                        1. re: JennS

                          Yes, still styrofoam cups.

                          Agreed that the fries can sometimes be soggy. I think they need to cook them a tiny bit longer. Maybe when busy they rush it a bit to get the orders out?

                          And agreed they steam in the bag -- I think it's because they're not used to doing to-go orders. They're based in suburban D.C. where it's a car culture. No one would buy from them and drive it through 20 minutes of traffic to home -- it would just be a soggy mess when compared to an in-store experience.

                          Finally, one thing that helps with the bun is to get a decent amount of "wet" toppings to mush it down with liquids -- sauteed onions, ketchup, relish, etc.

                          Bottom line for me is that they're not perfect, but I'm hard-pressed to come up with a better overall burger experience/value. (Peter Luger -- can't ever get a reservation. Shake Shack -- Massive lines. Corner Bistro -- long lines and off the beaten path. Fanelli -- gone a bit down hill. Paul Palace -- again, off the beaten path...)