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Dec 23, 2009 05:46 AM

Five Guys Westport

Good burgers creeping closer to Stamford.

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  1. I'm not sure I get how 5 Guys and "good burgers" are connected.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Scott_R

      Five Guys is like In 'N Out in California. A pleasant diversion from BK and McD every so often. If you ever fly through Washington - Dulles (IAD) airport, you can sample their food at the dreaded - A - gates. FYI, they also do a decent breakfast. Their 'gimmick'? Everything is fresh. Wouldn't it be nice if the others guys used the same gimmick?

      1. re: dhammer53

        Funny gimmick, using fresh meat and then charring it into a hockey puck.

        1. re: dhammer53

          I beg to differ.....Five Guys does NOT compare in any way to In 'n Out. It is much more expensive, less tasty and greasier. It may be an In 'n Out wannabe but does not hold a candle to the real thing. I would rather go to a locally operated burger place in CT than to Five Guys.

      2. 5 guys is pretty damn good, however i prefer the fries/onion rings from cheeburber... unfortunately cheeburger does not hotdogs...

        1. I still can't get a good explanation of why 5 Guys only does their burgers well done. If the burger is so good, the meat so fresh, why the hell can't they make it medium rare? Bah humbug!

          1 Reply
          1. re: menton1

            I can't stand the policy for well done burgers, but 5 Guys are still pretty good. As to why, it's no secret. Same reason you can't get a medium-rare burger at Wendy's, McDonalds, BK, Outback, Chili's, and on and on and on.

            Risk of e-coli, and the chains are not willing to pay to insure against it (which is probably bad P.R. for them anyway -- like buying off a death or 2) or take their chances with careful meat handling.

          2. Since thisplace is not open yet, why doesn't everyone wait to see if it is any good. Jfood understands that the franchisees for this one are some ex-hedge fund guys who may be in it for the money versus the food.

            Jfood will give it a try when it opens. But from New Canaan and twenty minutes in his pocket he is not going west but driving east for a great burger.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfood

              jfood meant he would drive west for the burger. directionally challenged tonight

            2. Since this is a chain with strict rules, no "waiting for it to open" will be necessary to know what the food will be like. 5 Guys burgers are ONLY served well done. And they have no good explanation for this peculiar rule. Shoe leather, anyone?

              13 Replies
              1. re: menton1

                We tried it once (the one in Newtown or Monroe)...we all are medium rare burger eaters. While I didn't find it to be dried out, hockey puck, shoe leather, I did find it to be extremely tasteless. The kind of food you keep taking bites of looking for the flavor, only to realize it just isn't there.

                The fries on top were good and crispy...ones that were underneath were pretty soggy. This was a while ago and to be fair, we did drive at least 15 minutes home before eating. Perhaps they are better right off the griddle? I'll give it another try once the Westport one opens since it's close by...

                1. re: sibeats

                  That's what I found, by and large--that it had the taste of cardboard if not exactly the texture. Perhaps "hockey puck" was, while glib, not the most precise description--not that it mattered exactly WHAT KIND of bad it was.

                  1. re: Scott_R

                    Because it was so well done, it is hard to tell if it is beef or beef with a soy mixture and some added grease. It has minimal taste other than char.


                    1. re: Fred19

                      I am probably the biggest food skeptic at-large today; I won't eat at 95 percent-plus places due to cleanliness, food issues, etc but what you guys are saying about Cinco Hombres is just not right.

                      What are you guys, the grandkids of Ray Kroc? Cinco Hombres makes FAST FOOD (so no cooking to order, no rare-medium-rare) in the tradition of the "great" hamburger chains but with a critical difference......

                      The food is much better and the prices are much higher. For me, that's heading in the right direction market-wise. And if a place opened up where they sold hamburgers that cost 15 bucks but were like grass-fed or organic or whatever, with no european-style waiters acting like they own the table, I'd go there also.

                      BTW when the HECK was it determined that the major chans would sell double cheeseburgers for one dollar? Talk about hideous hockey pucks...Talk about turd burgers.....You guys need to aim your vitriol at Wendy's and Burger King. Cinco Hombres is not the problem here. Sorry.

                      1. re: shark_attack

                        Just because McD's and BK have food that is basically inedible doesn't mean that one can't criticize 5 Guys. Firstly, 5 guys has about 100 stores (and expanding apparently) compared to upwards of 10K stores each for the other 2. And if anyone has glanced at the book FAST FOOD NATION and frequents CH as a foodie they realize that these Giant chains are not only providing inedible food but have all sorts of issues including cleanliness and environmental.

                        My main "beef" (pun intended) with 5G is their insistence on cooking Well done. They don't explain, and if their highly self-touted meat quality and handling is so superior why the heck do they have to do this? When I can get a MR burger at 5Guys, I will sing their praise.

                        1. re: menton1

                          They have a bit in their FAQ about cooking well done, though I think it rather sidesteps the issue:


                          1. re: Scott_R

                            Yes, they side step and don't explain, but they don't have to. This is an insurance issue, plain and simple. Their insurance underwriters have undoubtedly told them - "we don't care how clean and safe your meat-handling, if you want coverage, you need to cook well done." It's no different than an underwriter insisting the warehouse have a fire alarm and sprinkler system installed.

                            1. re: sbp

                              Nah. Restaurant insurance means overcooking? No way. Do you have any first-hand knowledge of your scenario?

                              Why, then, can you get a RARE burger at a chain like Applebee's or Houlihan's? Do they have a better insurance company? No, it's definitely nothing to do with insurance.

                              1. re: menton1

                                I can't get a rare burger at Applebee's in NY. And no, I don't have first hand knowledge of this precise issue, but I do have firsthand knowledge of the underwriting practices of some rather large insurance companies. This is the kind of thing that is an issue. And where a mom and pop restaurant may get insured for a few million dollars, a chain most likely has hundreds of millions in liability insurance, and has to get directly involved in excess insurance, umbrella coverage, even reinsurance in order to get a package that fully protects them. And because of the large numbers involved, you see more conditions with respect to practices. It may not mean the difference between coverage or no coverages, but it could have a huge impact on premiums.

                              2. re: sbp

                                Well, sure. I emailed asking them about precisely this and received a nasty reply in return.

                                menton1: I'm not sure about what you mean about first-hand knowledge. There have been lawsuits from people who've been sickened by ground meat, the biggest one being:
                                A company might prefer to take the lowest-risk route over customer choice.

                                1. re: Scott_R

                                  I went back to 5 Guys today at 11:30 am. I was fairly shocked to find their operation in full swing, with 50 customers either eating, ordering, or mostly, waiting for food.

                                  They had a new guy there today, a guy for him this was NOT his 2nd day in the burger business. For he was an expert expediter, ordering around everyone in the "kitchen" and acting with an efficiency and certainty bespeaking years, not days, in the burger business.

                                  Today it only took 15 minutes to get my food, 2 "little" cheeseburgers to go.

                                  The burgers are what I would call very ok, or pretty darned reasonably decent, with a positive bias:)

                                  And their operation is a model of capitalist burger efficiency. As I stood watching, I felt a Henry-Fordish pride in the benefits of assembly-line style burger production and task specialization welling up within me.

                                  And I live 30 seconds away......That's what I'd call a winning burger formula:)

                                  1. re: shark_attack

                                    Have you still not tried the fries? A small can easily serve 2-3.

                                    1. re: shark_attack

                                      This place is polarizing, just like all other 5G locations. For example, the burgers I've eaten in their DC locations were cooked through but in no way were they "dry, flavorless hockey pucks". They were juicy and nicely flavored and extremely edible. On the other hand, the burger I had in their NYC g village location was dry and flavorless and inedible. Location, location location as they say...

                                      But, it would also be complete hogwash to say that all burgers cooked well done means they are dry and devoid of any "juicy" element. All down to the meat composition and the skill of the burger man.

                                      I look forward to trying the westport location but I'm not champing at the bit to get there. It is what it is. Now, what we need is for shake shack to open up out here. Then I will be happy...