Five Guys Burgers Phoenix
We've heqard alot about Five Guys Burgers in and around Washington DC/Virginia but had never tried them. After all, who wants to waste a DC meal period on a fast food burger during a visit. However, they have now arrived in Phoenix and Tempe so Friday I tried a brand new store on Bell Road.
First, I wouldn't call this fast food. It's more quick service with the burgers assembled to order. You place your order at the counter and wait to be called.
My initial take upon entering was very positive in the same manner as I find at In N Out and Chik Fil A. Clean, uncluttered, no posters Etc. a straight forward menu and employees that appear to be happy to see you and happy to be working there. I just don't ever get that at Taco Bell or Burger King (not that I am a frequent flyer at either of those but I do have kids...) and rarely at McDonalds.
The menu is about as basic as you can get. Burger, burger with cheese, burger with bacon, and burger with bacon and cheese. There are also little burgers presumably for the kids. They also have hot dogs (quite good I understand), soft drinks and fries. That's it. No salads, no "tortados," and not even milk shakes.
The basic burger is $4.99 and all toppings (except cheese and bacon) are complimentary. Grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms and the usual toppings are available. Fries are $2.99 for a regular and $4.99 for a large. My basic burger, small drink and regular fries cost $11.02 which was kind of surprising. The french fry order was huge. Easily enough to serve three and maybe even four guests so each of us ordering one regular order resulted in far more french fries in the trash than were consumed. I found the fries ok, but certainly not worth the price or the calories. The burger on the other hand, was excellent and a good value for $4.99. Big and juicy, I'd go back for just this and a soft drink and be very satisfied.
Not a gourmet burger and certainly not a gourmet burger setting but worth it when time, convenience and dollars are an issue. A huge step up from Burger King.
I live just down the road from the new one on Bell. I tried them a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I love the burgers and usually get one with bacon. The fries have potential, but they have never been cooked crispy enough for my tastes. I agree that the fries come in an absurdly huge portion. My first visit the average sized brown paper bag was full with fries and my burger was trapped way down at the bottom. I've been back quite a few times and usually just get a burger to go and eat at home.
Five Guys is fine.
My only complaint with them is that there is so much variation from store to store. I've been to ones in DC where it was just a pleasure to order and the food was impeccable. Then there are ones I've been to in Columbia where you felt like the workers there were zombies. It's sort of maddening.
I have been to this restaurant in the DC area on many occasions, and was excited to hear that they were opening in the Phoenix area. I found the servers polite, happy, and attentive. I am not sure I can say the same for the staff at the Washington Navy Yard store (but I think it is an East coast thing).
I thought the Bell Road store was identical to the other restaurants I have been to (which I was happy about). This includes the peanuts in the shell you chomp on while you wait for your food (it is such a simple gimmick, but I just love it).
I usually skip the fries - they give you a ton! Like phoenix99 said - a small order is enough for a family. The burger (their regular comes with 2 patties standard) is quite large enough for me to make a meal of.
Bottom line, this is a successful franchise, in that each store is pretty much the same (you know what you are going to get when you chose to go there).
I am excited Five Guys is here - I don't expect to eat there all that often (I just don't do burgers that often), but do think I will go occasionally to get my fix.
I have noticed that some of the workers at the Bell store are more helpful than others. My first visit I ordered a burger and got the two patties. My second visit, a different girl asked which burger I wanted and explained the difference (# of patties, which I didn't know). If they could perfect those fries, I'd probably be there every day for lunch. Until the heart attack, that is.