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Five Guys coming to Norwalk

v
vegas Apr 13, 2010 06:45 AM

420 Westport Avenue (Staples Shopping Center) - permits have been pulled

  1. steve h. Apr 16, 2010 02:02 PM

    There are some decent burger joints in the Stamford area. I don't see a lot of love on this board for Brennan's in Shippan so I thought I'd give them a shout out.

    Really old folk will remember it as Catch 22 but that was a long, long time ago. The bar is very old school (beer and a shot) while the outdoor dining area is where moms take the young'ns. The modest inside dining area is a DMZ of sorts that splits the difference.

    The burger is not too big, the roll not too soft and you can substitute rings for fries. The crust on the burger makes this a worthy destination. The old-school bar speaks to neighborhoods long gone.

    give it a shot if you're in the neighborhood or the least bit interested in what a neighborhood joint should be. lunch is best.

    life's too short for crap food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: steve h.
      jfood Apr 21, 2010 03:44 PM

      on the to-do list but what a b&tch of a week at work, with soup at the desk. hoping next week might be better to give a shot.

      1. re: jfood
        steve h. Apr 21, 2010 03:47 PM

        take your time. it's been around for some time. lunch, at the bar, is best.

        edited to add: good people watching. i say that with respect.

        1. re: steve h.
          s
          shark_attack Apr 22, 2010 08:10 AM

          Hi Guys,

          I see little's changed around here.

          As a regular customer at 5 Guys' Westport location, I can certainly shed some light on this matter.

          What happens in D.C. is of no consequence here, and I've never been to another 5 Guys' location, making this a pure expression of the merits/demerits of the Westport location soley.

          First, let me make absolutely clear.....The best burgers in Westport can be found at other downtown locations such as Tavern on Main and other spots nearby, where pricing is exhorbitant but quality reigns......

          Also, a notch or 2 down in price the Black Duck provides a pretty outstanding burger that has the real "beefy" flavor that is conspicuously absent in the 5G product. At their best they remind me of the Big Top, where the Micky D's is now, the loss of which establishment, 25 years after the fact, still profoundly saddens me. However, dealing with tip-hungry wait staff and an alcoholics worst-nightmare environment is not for everyone. I know and like the waitstaff at Black Duck, I just do not want to see them/tip them everyday, call me a cheapskate.

          So 5 Guys....I don't feel sick after I eat there. It's inexpensive. A large double cheeseburger is 6 dollars no tip, although in my opinion the double patty throws off the balance of the burger, and in fact, the small cheeseburgers are better tasting products all in all. What does that say about the beef? Who knows?

          The pricing of those two items, the small and large cheeseburgers is an issue that bothers me greatly; the single patty burger with bacon is only a dollar less than the double patty product....What does THAT say about the cost of the beef? I dunno. Anywho, the small burger tastes better. It tastes a lot like what a McDonalds burger ought to taste like but hasn't in years. They are not hockey pucks, they are not overly dry....what they are is profoundly tasteless, hence, the myriad free toppings. Do yourself a favor....add the toppings, they are a necessary part of the 5 Guys' experience. At least add ketchup, or you'll be wishing you had. Also, I don't find the toppings to be of particularly high quality ( I don't like the pickles even though I usually think of them as essential) .

          So perversely, what you have is, the large burgers are cheap and the small burgers are expensive, it's weird. This is not a place that sells burgers as a loss leader making it up in drinks and fries. 5 Guys is priced so that they win no matter what you order. So a smll burger and fries no drink is a hair under 9 dollars, tax included.

          The fries...I come not to praise the fries nor to bury them; however, burying the customer with fries is definitely 5 Guys' strategy. They're seemingly expensive, 3 dollars for a "small", but that size is in no way small. The small fries are enormous, and then they make a big show of it by dumping more fries right into the bag at the end so you have enough fries in one small order to feed 3 hungry people who love fries. I also prefer the more interesting cajun fires than the regular ones. Ask for the fries well-done, they do cook those to order. Oh and I agree that the smell of a 5 Guys' is not particularly pleasant. Bags and bags of raw potatoes have an aroma all their own. I also do not get what the free peanuts are about.

          One nice thing about 5 Guys is you get to see the folks cooking your food, and they do wear plastic gloves. The kids in the Westport location are nice and hardworking, and you get your food a lot faster now that the novelty's worn off and people have come to terms with the fact that 5 Guys is no burger panacea. Usually within ten minutes of ordering, which is not too much of a hassle now. Also the 20 workers from the first day are all gone I think, and there are maybe 5 regulars there all the time now, which is much better.

          The quality of the meat is oddly variable, sometimes really really great and often just "ok". I would imagine that a joint like 5 Guys tailors the meat deliveries to different locations based on market conditions, competition and local demographics. The food MAY be different in different locations/regions. Not saying it is, but it's something to consider.

          Finally, I do not go to 5 Guys to find burger satisfaction on a very high level. For that I'd go to either Tavern on Main, the Black duck or one of a small number of other, select spots. I go to 5 Guys to grab a quick bite when I don't have time for anything better and when I don't want to feel pressured to order alcohol and tip a waiter. For the cost of the drink I don't want and a decent tip, the Guys' food is what is is, which is ok- to-pretty good.

    2. r
      ratbuddy Apr 15, 2010 10:31 AM

      All you bashers are missing the point.

      McDonalds. Five Guys.

      Pick one.

      Thought so.

      19 Replies
      1. re: ratbuddy
        BiscuitBoy Apr 15, 2010 10:42 AM

        Agreed....It is what it is, sheesh!

        1. re: ratbuddy
          menton1 Apr 15, 2010 10:44 AM

          Not a good analogy, there are other choices.

          If someone said: Pick one-- McDonalds, picking through trash can scraps, what's the right answer?

          1. re: ratbuddy
            jfood Apr 15, 2010 11:23 AM

            All of us bashers are not missing the point at all. If BO went to MD instead of 5G they'd get a lift in sales as well (remember when Clinton stuffed his face, oh please do it again so SNL can be funny).

            The process to serve both MD and 5G burgers are the same, grill to they squeal. People will argue as to who has better fries, jfood calls it a push. Toppings are basically the same variety but jfood will give the edge to 5G. Buns? jfood definitely gives to MD. Value to MD. So jfood would flip a coin on 5G or MD and would probably hit a 7-11 for a snickers bar instead.

            If you are saying that 5G and MD are about the same, then jfood agrees, but he ain;t running to either with other options available.

            1. re: jfood
              bagelman01 Apr 15, 2010 06:12 PM

              j---But I go to 5g for really good fries and a kosher (but cooked and served non-kosher) hot dog.......
              I won't eat well done burgers anywhere.

              BTW, the fries in the Newtown 5G are now placed in a cardboard container, not a stryofoam cup which causes them to sog up.

              1. re: bagelman01
                jfood Apr 15, 2010 06:40 PM

                B

                drive down to exit 24 on 95 for super duper weenie. Not kosher (well neither is the served dog at 5g) but a great dog. jfood has never seen the styrofoam at 5g, they would soggy those puppies in a minute

                www.ctbites.com

                1. re: jfood
                  bagelman01 Apr 16, 2010 12:30 PM

                  j-unfortunately super duper has the wurst dog I've ever eaten. Much prefer Swanky Frank if having a pork based dog

                  -----
                  Swanky Frank's
                  1050 Post Rd E, Westport, CT 06880

                  1. re: bagelman01
                    jfood Apr 16, 2010 12:48 PM

                    for some reason jfood thought you would not like th dog at SDW, probably did not like the "twang" taste. SF does have a good dog as well, but still nowhere near the Best Provisions dogs from NJ.

                    www.ctbites.com

                    1. re: jfood
                      bagelman01 Apr 16, 2010 02:20 PM

                      we're getting off topic, but agree with your about Best from NJ. If I have a pork based do here in CT, Hummels from New Haven is best of what's left. Miss the Roesller's Yellow Tag of my youth.
                      Tomorrow, driving to Cheshire, so I'll stop at Blackie's

                      1. re: bagelman01
                        h
                        hotdoglover Apr 18, 2010 03:47 AM

                        I agree with both of you about Best Provisions. I live a few miles from the plant and go every so often to buy their natural casing beef dogs. I've also been in Connecticut to sample hot dogs. Super Duper Weenie used to serve beef/pork franks from Miller Provisions until they closed down. Now they use Hummels as does Swanky Franks.

                        -----
                        Super Duper Weenie
                        306 Black Rock Tpke, Fairfield, CT 06825

                        Swanky Frank's
                        1050 Post Rd E, Westport, CT 06880

            2. re: ratbuddy
              BiscuitBoy Apr 15, 2010 11:58 AM

              Biscuitboy would never want to emulate bo, but finds 5guys a cut above the rest, something different, alla in&out, fatburger, even shakeshack. Toppings the same? Not even close. Process? Not even close...Biscuitboy has never seen sandwiches resting under heat lamps at 5guys. That being said, he would most prefer to grill his own burger, at home

              1. re: BiscuitBoy
                jfood Apr 15, 2010 12:41 PM

                Double-B...your last clause says it all. They are maybe 5 places in FFD that jfood would spend money for a hamburger.

                1. re: jfood
                  menton1 Apr 15, 2010 01:40 PM

                  Been to DB Bistro, jf? The ultimate burger. Can't make it at home, either... Mmm good.

                  1. re: menton1
                    jfood Apr 15, 2010 01:43 PM

                    Jfood has been to a couple of other DB restaurants but not the Bistro. In FFD, you should give Cherry Street East in New Canaan.

                    -----
                    Cherry Street East
                    45 East Ave, New Canaan, CT 06840

                    1. re: jfood
                      menton1 Apr 15, 2010 02:29 PM

                      There's only one DB Bistro, AFAIK? Where are the others?

                      http://www.dbbistromoderne.com/dbbist...

                      1. re: menton1
                        f
                        fatheryod Apr 15, 2010 03:05 PM

                        mother of god...a $32 burger? i must admit, perversely, it piques my interest.

                        fy

                        1. re: fatheryod
                          menton1 Apr 15, 2010 03:15 PM

                          Believe me, it's worth every penny...

                        2. re: menton1
                          jfood Apr 15, 2010 04:26 PM

                          DB = Daniel Boulud. Jfood has been to his other venues, but not Bistro. Sorry for the confusion.

                          www.ctbites.com

                2. re: ratbuddy
                  The Professor Apr 15, 2010 06:15 PM

                  Between the two choices (McD & 5Guys) it 's a tossup. Both are convenient if you're un a rush, comparatively cheap... but neither has a particularly special burger.
                  jfood has it right.

                  1. re: The Professor
                    MacshashRIP Apr 16, 2010 06:40 AM

                    if you said "In and Out Burger", then we'd be talkin!

                    5 guys - awesome fries, burger nothing special

                3. jnk Apr 14, 2010 11:09 AM

                  Enjoy the peanuts!

                  1. b
                    bonfirebjs1 Apr 13, 2010 07:13 PM

                    i would highly recommend Cappricio in Stamford, just slightly south of Norwalk. Excellent light Italian. I miss their pizza very much.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sibeats
                      l
                      lsnhc Apr 14, 2010 07:44 AM

                      I'm another one who fails to comprehend the lust for 5 Guys. The fries are great - no doubting that, but the burgers are overcooked, greasy, and in my opinion, not worth the inevitable wait in line. Yet, they seem to be growing like crazy, so obviously there is some kind of appreciation that simply eludes many of us for this type of food.

                      1. re: bonfirebjs1
                        s
                        sibeats Apr 14, 2010 01:26 PM

                        Do they have a good burger at Capriccio?

                        1. re: bonfirebjs1
                          jfood Apr 14, 2010 02:56 PM

                          jfood does not think this place even sells a burger

                        2. The Professor Apr 13, 2010 07:10 PM

                          Nothing to get excited about here.
                          It's a _hamburger_, and a rather average fast-food one at that. Really hard for me to understand how this chain manages to generate so much buzz with so little to back it up.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: The Professor
                            louuuuu Apr 15, 2010 06:07 AM

                            5G got a lot of national exposure when Obama dropped in for lunch in DC during NBC news' Day in the Life of the President. I have heard that the DC iteration is the best probably cuz they started there and have a cult following in DC and Virginia. The local media has extolled them and USA Today (DC based) has published couple of puff pieces. A case of The Emporer's New Burger, IMO

                            1. re: louuuuu
                              nomadchowwoman Apr 15, 2010 01:17 PM

                              We ate at the original location years ago, before they were all over the planet--and we thought it was pretty good (not hurry back, but pretty good) for fast food burger and fries. Fast forward several years: went into the one at Dulles for a quick bite before boarding. Awful, by comparison to previous experience. On par w/MD, BK, all the other mediocre chains, imo.

                          2. c
                            coldduck Apr 13, 2010 07:04 PM

                            If you're in Norwalk and crave a burger, go to Burger Bar & Bistro. It's the best burger in the state. Five Guys is where you go if your other choice is McDonald's.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: coldduck
                              s
                              sibeats Apr 13, 2010 08:51 PM

                              I would have to disagree that Burger Bar is the best burger in the state. We've eaten there a couple of times...mediocre burgers at best.
                              I do agree with your assessment of Five Guys.

                              1. re: coldduck
                                jfood Apr 14, 2010 03:56 AM

                                jfood would agree that Burger Bar has a top 10 in FFD CTY, but best in state is a ranking jfood would push back on significantly.

                                www.ctbites.com

                                1. re: jfood
                                  s
                                  sfoss17 Apr 21, 2010 10:49 AM

                                  My husband & I recently found a GREAT burger in Norwalk, surprising as it, BJ Ryans. It's right in the center of Norwalk in the location that used to the Brass Rail (around the corner from fat cat). The Burgers are simple, very reasonable & excellent. Jfood I'm interested in hearing your opnion.

                                  1. re: sfoss17
                                    s
                                    sibeats Apr 21, 2010 11:10 AM

                                    We thought it was a pretty weak burger overall. And thought it was a little weird how it was brought all by itself on a little bread plate with a huge slab of raw white onion. I know others here like BJ Ryans...we were pretty unimpressed....

                              2. menton1 Apr 13, 2010 01:14 PM

                                Shoe-leather city. And these people REFUSE to cook the food less than well-well done! And they will not explain why!

                                1. steve h. Apr 13, 2010 10:23 AM

                                  This is not good news. I recently came back to the states after a few weeks in Europe. My incoming flight took me to Dulles International. On the way to my connecting flight, I walked passed a Five Guys in Terminal A and had to stifle a gag reflex: the overpowering smell of fat and grease was quite a shock to my system.

                                  I'll pass on this fast-food outlet.

                                  1. jfood Apr 13, 2010 09:53 AM

                                    Yawn.

                                    Less than 5 miles from the westport location. overcooked hamburger goalposts. Thanks for the update though.

                                    Good news is maybe this now goes on the Chains Board.

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