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Five Guys VS. Mooyah

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First, I have no financial interest in either of these two restaurants. A few reviews for both restaurants made me wonder if they had an interest.

I prefer single patty hamburgers compared to multiple patties so that is what I ordered at both restaurants along with fries and a drink. Mooyah sells milk shakes and Five Guys doesn't (I did not purchase one at Mooyah so can't say anything about the quality)

Five Guys: I have been here a total of three times. I purchased fries every time and burgers two of the three. I went there during the first several weeks that they were open and I think that most of us can agree that it would not be fair to judge them during that initial period. That first visit was for fries only.

I did not see any seasoning added to the burger at Five Guys. The meat was certainly OK, but the lack of seasoning was noticeable. The patties were more greyed than browned Both times my burger toppings were correct. I thought it was decent, but nothing to get excited about. For a single patty burger (not cooked to order), the price seemed a bit high at more than $4.

Fries: I ordered both cajun and regular for all three visits. One of the orders of cajun fries was simply awesome--crisp fries with the proper amount of seasoning. The non-cajun fries were either underseasoned or undercooked or both.

With only one order of fries, single burger, and drink, the total was over $9.

Mooyah Burgers: 2 visits. They offer a few more toppings than Five Guys for what that is worth. Both visits the burgers and toppings seemed "to meld together". I could not see if the patties were seasoned, but they were more charred than Five Guys (which is my preference).

Mooyah Fries: First visit, the fries were nicely crisped, but I watched the guy take them out of the fryer and put them with my order without any seasoning (which is so wrong). They have a container of their fry seasoning available at the counter which helped (fries immediately out of the fryer, should have seasoning applied as soon as possible. Second visit the fries were great crisp and seasoned to my satisfaction. I could be wrong, but I think with a drink, single burger, and fries; the order costs somewhat less at Mooyah.

While certainly not a scientific study, for me Mooyah stands a little higher on my preference scale

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  1. Haven't tried 5 guys yet, but was very disappointed with Mooyah. Really wanted to love it, but probably won't go back. Strawberry milkshake was made with artificial syrup and was very fake tasting. Burgers were bland and lacked seasoning. Bun was fresh but soggy. Fries were tasteless, they didn't even have salt on them. Total for 2 single burgers, milkshake , 1 order of fries and a coke was $15. Would have been much better off going to Wendy's!

    4 Replies
    1. re: amykragan

      I have been to Mooyah twice and agree that it's over-priced. I guess it would be considered fast casual rather than fast food since the burgers are not frozen, bread freshly baked, etc. which is probably why they think they can charge so much more than a fast food joint.

      We went right after they opened and I was really impressed. All of the food tasted very fresh, beef was hot and actually I think there was seasoning on both beef and the crispy fries... or maybe I added it as soon as I got it. I was happy.

      A few weeks after that, I gathered some carnivores and we went. Just the opposite experience, limp unseasoned fries and the burgers were served in a bun so cold that the meal was no longer warm after the first bite. Everyone thought I was insane to recommend this place.

      I do remember the first visit fondly and will give it another try just in case they were having a bad day on trip number 2.

      1. re: Rene

        Rene,
        That's exactly what happened to me. I had been pushing this place hard based on chowhound reviews and had to keep apologizing for dragging the boyfriend there after our lackluster meal. He's a big fan of Burger Tex

        1. re: Rene

          I thought it was just me. I had the exact same thing happen to me.

          1. re: exlnghrn

            OMG, ditto! I was so embarassed for recommending the mooyah fries so highly on CH. The first time I got them they were perfect and served w/ the cajun seasoning. The 3 times I've been back - it's been hit or miss, mostly miss, and the seasoning is no longer added by default. Note to self, try new place several times before recommending. French fries are such a quest for me, I let the excitement overwhelm me.

            I thought 5 guys fries were better. But I've only been there once. I did not like my burger so much at 5 guys - too much mustard and ketchup. Maybe all places should server those things on the side...

      2. My understanding is that the owners of Mooyah, which is based out of the DFW metroplex, originally applied for a Five Guys franchise and were turned down, so they simply opened up their own version. True or not, they are both remarkably similar restaurants.

        I have eaten at both a few times and I lean toward Five Guys.

        Parking at Five Guys can be a hassle. Here's a tip - you can exit around the back of the building onto 33rd, which is often easier than trying to pull out onto Guadalupe. Parking at Mooyah isn't a picnic either. The lot is huge but always full, especially when those Benihana valets are at work. It's like the wild west out there!

        Five Guys gets crowded and noisy, especially when a table of 10 greeks spills out of West Campus (and they always travel to Five Guys in a huge pack, it's weird). Mooyah is bigger and better organized - the booths keep everyone from rearranging the tables and the stool seating is at a counter, not a work area where orders are handed out.

        Mooyah has "Mooyah Sauce," which is just thousand island, but might be some sort of decider for the In-n-Out fans. Never been to In-n-Out, so I can't comment further.

        For food, I found Five Guys a winner. The fries have been crisper, and the cajun style taste amazing. If you want them cooked a little longer, you can ask. The Mooyah fries are underseasoned and the seasoned salt on the counter is a little too sweet. I like the Five Guys bun better than Mooyah, too. I have not had the Mooyah hot dog yet, but the one at Five Guys is really good. They split a Hebrew National and grill it.

        I do think both are much better than a comparable fast food joint, and I'm willing to spend the extra money. I can't say the same about Mighty Fine, which is pricy and bad.

        1. I'd read online that the Cajun fries weren't very good but I'll definitely try them next time. I've also read the hot dog is pretty good but the 2 times I've been there I had a single-patty first time and double patty the second. With a drink & regular fries the bill is a little over $11 and I think that's really pushing things.
          Anyone ever tried the 1/2 pound cheeseburger for $1.99 (w/fries!) at McCormick & Schmidt's during happy hour? I think you have to spend $4 on drinks but that shouldn't be hard these days.

          1. I went back to Five Guys yesterday for my second visit, and I got a burger and fries to go. When I got home, I discovered that the fries were bizarrely over-salted. I was a fan on my first visit, and I am a person who usually adds extra salt to fries, but I couldn't eat these fries even after beating them against the plate in an attempt to dislodge the extra salt. It was ridiculous. My friend had the same reaction. Very disappointing.

            1. I like Mooyah's much more, but Mooyah's quality is very inconsistent. On a good day, they are great. But other days it's a bit meh.