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Five Guys Burgers and Fries to open in Pleasant Hill! (Any other in Bay Area?)

alina555 Feb 19, 2010 01:09 PM

Just passed by the old Fatburger location in downtown Pleasant Hill, and noticed a sign declaring that Five Guys Burgers and Fries will be opening up soon! I think this is the first opening for them I've heard in the Bay Area (they opened their first CA location in So Cal a couple years ago, and have been expanding). Is anyone aware of any more of the chain's openings in the Bay? I wonder how the PH location will do since In-N-Out will be coming in town as well....

For those unfamiliar, Five Guys is a very popular East Coast hamburger chain that resembles In-N-Out on many aspects, but with a little more variety.


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  1. wolfe RE: alina555 Feb 19, 2010 07:16 PM

    I hit the one in Clifton Height's PA. Decent fast food burger with good fries. Don't get a large for one. They filled the cup and then put the overflow in the bag.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe
      alina555 RE: wolfe Feb 19, 2010 08:11 PM

      I agree - I like their fries much better than INO (but that's not saying much). For one, they aren't a soggy mess (and when you order INO's well done, you often just get greasy crispy fries) and they are cooked in peanut oil vs vegetable, which I prefer.

    2. v
      vulber RE: alina555 Feb 19, 2010 07:28 PM

      I love Five Guys and i love in n' out, but i wouldn't really compare them

      1. k
        kc72 RE: alina555 Feb 19, 2010 08:14 PM

        Please post again when it's open or if you see a date on the window -- no mention on their website.

        1. rworange RE: alina555 Feb 20, 2010 11:51 AM

          The first will be in Sunnyvale around June 2010. If this link is reliable 22 will open in Santa Clara over the next few years and "Five Guys owners could open as many as 20 new restaurants in San Mateo and Alameda counties, and another 15 across Santa Cruz and Monterey counties"

          Quite frankly, I find their FAQ page a bit off-putting. If a company this big can't be bothered to announce on their website what is coming, I really don't care.

          Q: How can I find out when a store near me will be open?

          A: Five Guys is constantly opening new locations across the nation and we do our best to list stores that are opening within the next few months on our website. Unfortunately, we can rarely predict the exact date that a store will open until just a few days prior, so we are not able to provide actual opening dates.

          Well no. Their website has target cities maybe ... Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Napa, Richmond, Freemont, Vallejo, San Jose ... or for all i know they are randomly listing cities.

          I hate big companies with websites that don't work or give out info ... except how to buy a franchise ... that part they made sure works

          5 Replies
          1. re: rworange
            bbulkow RE: rworange Feb 20, 2010 12:57 PM

            Looking at the web site, I'm not sure I'd compare 5 guys in In and Out (as mentioned above).

            In n Out specifies beef with no additives, fillers, antibiotics, and how they make their patties.

            5 Guys says they purchase "raw materials" from "major suppliers", which means you could get ammonia treated beef
            Their site does say "fresh never frozen" and "no freezers".

            Never had a 5 Guys burger, don't know anything other than the web site.

            1. re: bbulkow
              alina555 RE: bbulkow Feb 20, 2010 09:18 PM

              Sorry, I guess I should have clarified what I meant by "resembles In N Out." The two burgers look and taste completely different (and growing up in CA, my tastebuds and affections strongly side with In-N-Out between the two). The two chains have a similar approach of marketing a high quality fast food burger, have a similar store design, focus on a limited menu....and by the high number of news articles, food blogs, and forum topics that compare the two against each other it is safe to say that Five Guys is as popular to East Coasters as In-N-Out is to West Coasters.

              However I also agree that the two chains are different in many ways, so one does not replace the other. I'm happy to have 5Gs come and provide another fast food burger choice in the Bay.

              1. re: bbulkow
                xanadude RE: bbulkow Feb 21, 2010 01:34 PM

                I'm not sure I agree...If In-n-Out has higher standards, they're not publishing them.

                In-n-out is using "100% pure beef", which is the same as McDonalds or any other hamburger joint--no one uses fillers or additives. Their webite doesn't say 'no antibiotics', so I assume it's just commodity beef. The only key differences I can see is that I-n-O grinds it themselves vs getting it ground from a supplier.

                1. re: xanadude
                  vulber RE: xanadude Feb 21, 2010 05:43 PM

                  in and out's comes from harris ranch.

              2. re: rworange
                westcoaststyle RE: rworange Feb 24, 2010 08:57 AM

                Their twitter page says the Pleasant Hill location should open during mid-summer.


              3. m
                mikeh RE: alina555 Feb 20, 2010 09:12 PM

                Apparently they're going to be opening all across the Bay Area (especially in Silicon Valley) starting this year:


                1. m
                  ML8000 RE: alina555 Feb 20, 2010 10:49 PM

                  How are the prices at Five Guys? I think it could be a factor compared to and competing with InO. In reality, the burger universe is already saturated, McD, BK, Carl's Jr., etc., but there seems to be more room. The thing is, Ino and FGs, do look similar and are pitching similar sort of red and white, minimalistic vibe.

                  Regarding price, at In and Out, a double double is $3.00 (or close). To me it's not the best burger or even the tastiest but it's a great, great value, especially considering the quality. The mild beef, thousand islands dressing, American cheese, lettuce and tomato are a classic combo if it's done right..and it's still $3 bucks.

                  So lets assume that InO and FGs taste are in a similar range, what's the added benefit of buying a FGs over a InO, price, quality, taste, just a different experience?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ML8000
                    mikeh RE: ML8000 Feb 21, 2010 08:58 AM

                    It's a different taste experience from any of the other "quick" BBQ joints. Unlike McD, Carls Jr., etc., the ingredients are "premium" - hand-cut fries from fresh potatoes with the skins left on (unlike In-N-Out) and high-quality super fresh meat patties (hand-formed) and toppings. The taste is as close to a "backyard grilled" burger than any other fast food place I know. As for "fast," it takes a good 5-7 minutes to get your burger once you order it, just like In-N-Out.

                    It's more pricey than In-N-Out by a couple of bucks, I believe. For me, I prefer In-N-Out's burger even though Five Guys is more the classic taste you'd expect at a cookout, but Five Guys fries are significantly better.

                    1. re: ML8000
                      xanadude RE: ML8000 Feb 21, 2010 01:35 PM

                      Five Guys is significantly more expensive but more substantial. Additional toppings come free, and portions are bigger.

                      1. re: xanadude
                        wolfe RE: xanadude Feb 21, 2010 01:48 PM

                        Yes I forgot to mention above, free toppings and peanuts.
                        ALL TOPPINGS FREE:
                        Mayo, Relish*, Onions*, Lettuce, Pickles,Tomatoes, Ketchup, Mustard, (so far no big deal) Grilled Onions*, Grilled Mushroom*s, Jalapeno Peppers*, Green Peppers, A-1 Sauce*, Bar-B-Q Sauce*, Hot Sauce*
                        * by request.

                        1. re: wolfe
                          3ringcircus RE: wolfe Jul 12, 2010 09:12 PM

                          Thanks for the heads up on the peanuts. My vote remains with In-N-Out and Nations then.

                    2. t
                      tonylazzeri RE: alina555 Feb 21, 2010 02:01 PM

                      Five Guys is not that great. I've recently moved to CT and hit up 5 Guys because I heard it was like InO. Similar in some ways, but all in all I much prefer InO in every way, other than the fries, which were delicious yet somewhat overkill. The burger is greasy, not juicy, if that makes any sense. They do not cook to order, everything is cooked medium-well (hmmm...). You get two patties on a regular-size burger. They have Mr. Pibb at the soda fountain, which is a nice touch. But overall, it's the burger that will keep me coming back or keep me away. In this case, I just wasn't sold.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tonylazzeri
                        Mission RE: tonylazzeri Feb 21, 2010 06:43 PM

                        Any Burger Joint that offers "Cajun or Honey Mustard" must be avoided at all cost!


                      2. a
                        alina555 RE: alina555 Feb 22, 2010 10:08 PM

                        Just learned that the Pleasant Hill location will be opening mid-summer. So I'll have to wait a few more months to give it a run!

                        1. scottysauce RE: alina555 Jun 29, 2010 01:50 AM

                          fremont was the first northern cali location and AWESOME!

                          it was awesome and is truly so much better than any in n out burger i have ever had. it's no no val's burgers but it's damn good for a well done burger! i took my dad and he's very picky but he loved it and even compared it to a val's. I LOVE IT!!

                          i got a cheeseburger with mayo, relish, grilled onions, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, bacon, grilled mushrooms and bbq sauce. i made it a messy one but oh so worth it. i love that they give you free toppings so i can load it up the way i want. the meat was so tender and juicy and the ingredients so fresh. the basic burger comes with 2 beef patties. the sesame seeded bun was awesome as well. and the fries- they are great and might be some of the best i have had! unless you have a group of friends to help you out with the fries stick with a small order. it's still a huge amount! if you get a soda get the large over the regular as it's only 10 cents more. yeah,10 cents!

                          i love this place and i will be back asap but it's really gonna hurt my summer swim suit plans! :)

                          1. f
                            Foodie.wannabe RE: alina555 Jun 29, 2010 11:44 AM

                            I saw the sign in Pleasant Hill also but didn't know they were planning to open a bunch of outlets in Silcon Valley. As a recent East Coast transplant I LOVE 5 Guys. It's a newer chain and really just started expanding out of the DC area about 5 years ago.

                            I think the burgers taste better than INO and I like the buns better. It's more of a diner model than fast food since everything is cooked when ordered. They have these awesome grilled hot dogs too and yummy grilled cheeses.

                            Can you tell I am looking forward to having a 5 Guys option out here? :)

                            1. s
                              scmom RE: alina555 Jul 24, 2010 04:58 PM

                              That place is a nightmare for people with peanut allergies. Like my kids and my husband. :-(

                              I really wish they'd stop having open barrels of peanuts at their restaurants. Maybe it's part of the cache' of the place, but I'm not happy about it at all. I believe they also fry their french fries in peanut oil.

                              1. j
                                jjw RE: alina555 Jul 24, 2010 06:54 PM

                                We recently noticed a "coming soon" sign on a storefront in the newish shopping center in San Jose known as The Plant (on Curtner east of 87)

                                1. otis RE: alina555 Jul 25, 2010 04:48 AM

                                  I live in upstate NY these days where Five Guys are plentiful and folks here often brag they are "our" In-N-Out. I don't agree. They do have a lot of toppings available but most of them are obvious things like fried mushrooms, grilled onions, sauteed peppers. The burger itself is smaller than an in-N-Out, not bigger, and they wrap it in foil so it is a squishy lump by the time you eat it, especially for takeout.

                                  The fries are ok and served in a small cup that overflows, which makes for nice marketing. And yes there are barrels of peanuts everywhere but they taste like they have been sitting for awhile.

                                  In sum, a thoroughly average burger experience, though with a few quirks thrown in, and definitely not up to the taste and quality of In-N-Out.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: otis
                                    8gr8 RE: otis Aug 1, 2010 09:03 AM

                                    I do not know what is going on in upstate New York, but clearly someone is operating a substandard place under the Five Guys name. For a while now, I have described Five Guys Burgers to my In N Out friends in California as In N Out with meat. Five guys beef patties are substantially larger than In N Out. Whether they are better is a matter of personal taste. Since I tend to eat my burgers with fewer condiments, I tend to favor larger patties of beef. My biggest beef with In N Out is their rather thin patties.
                                    Of course, now that I have tried a butter burger at Culvers, the comparison between In N Out Burger and Five Guys is really over second place.

                                  2. b
                                    budnball RE: alina555 Aug 2, 2010 05:44 PM

                                    The Five Guys in So San Jose opened and I tried it twice. Total agreement on the fries! they are awesome but even the small size is a bit too much. The Burger however is not special. It is better than In-Out but not at twice the price. A small cheeseburger and small fries were $7.20 It was as good as a freshly made Quarterpounder but no better.

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