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Five Guys Burgers and Fries opening in Kingston

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So I was reading a Yahoo! article about burgers and they mentioned that the new hot burger in the US is Five Guys Burgers, which Zagats had edging out In-N-Out as top burger. I haven't heard anything about this new place. They have locations scattered across the US, and a Canadian location opening soon in Kingston. Anyone ever been?

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  1. Ah nice, hopefully one in Toronto soon, and this will be my new halfway stop on the drive to Montreal. The burgers here are really good...I much prefer Shake Shack, and I like In-N-Out better as well, although that could be residual goodwill from being in SoCal. But Five Guys is certainly better than any chain we have in Canada.

    The regular burger has two patties and the "Little" burger only has one, I get the regular. Griddled, they cook the burgers through and won't do medium-rare, but they're still pretty juicy. Fresh toppings and great buns, and the fries are terrific too.

    Now we just need someone to open a Smashburger and a Steak n' Shake.

    1. I didn't think Five Guys was anything special for the price. Having said that, it'll still beat pretty much every place in Toronto except maybe the Burger's Priest. They'd be about head to head. Five Guys might be the best of the chains though, except for Shake Shack which I'm not sure qualifies as a chain.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GoodGravy

        On trip south, in Florida tried both Five Guys and Shake Shack when forced to choose during a drive day with time limited. Both excellent burgers for certain, especially compared to the offerings generally available in Ontario. Best Florida chain find though was a Cuban chicken chain Pollo Tropicale, terrific!!

      2. This is great news! I eat at Five Guys whenever I am in the US. The burgers are very good--freshly ground beef is used. They also make fresh cut fries which are fried in peanut oil and then seasoned. Portions are generous--especially the fries. Burger toppings are the run of the mill but I like that they offer fried onions at no additional cost.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ParsleySage

          From what I have read, all their toppings are no additional charge.

          1. re: ultimate4g63

            toppings are no additional charge.

            found the burger perfectly fine but not particularly special. for the canadian market, still above the average. wasn't keen on the fries though. i like a good crunchy exterior and these are thick cut and rather soft.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Do they offer other (non-fried in peanut oil) sides? I've heard good things about this place, but like Chic-Fil-A, I've never eaten there in order to avoid dying.

              1. re: tjr

                only sides i've seen are fries or... cajun fries. peanut oil is something i've never gotten into the habit of asking about, so i'm not sure if they use it for the fries (not sure if that was part of your question as well).

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  They do in the States, so I assume they will here too.

        2. They really seem to be staying away from larger urban centers as they expand into Canada (ie Medicine Hat, AB and Brandon, MB). I find this to be an interesting concept, albeit a little confusing.

          13 Replies
          1. re: damonster

            There is one is the Montreal area and another is opening soon downtown so it seems they are hitting some bigger areas now.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/718620

            1. re: damonster

              Maybe they're serving the under served and learning the Canadian supply chains and market. Also helps to build buzz and get their game right before jumping into the big markets.

              1. re: GoodGravy

                Maybe between this and Burger Priest, Entrepreneurs will spark a Burger War in Toronto and compete for the best Burger/Fries/Shakes and everything. Burgers might become relevant again like way back when Harrys and Johnnys were in their prime, or when Licks was a big deal!

                Let the Burger Wars Begin!

                Also, Lets get Burrito Wars, Pizza Wars, Wing Wars and BBQ Wars, because all these items need to find their own identity!

                1. re: jmarcroyal

                  How, exactly, has Johnny's changed in the last 40 years? Same stuff I had as a kid, as a teenager, as a young adult working in the area. Same stuff when I went back last month.

                  That's what I love about the place; I know many of you hate the joint, but it is what it is, and it's consistent. Frozen burgers? So is McD's, and I don't see so many of you frothing at the mouth over that. Fresh toppings, assembled in front of you, and a better selection than anyone, even Harveys. A toasted bun that puts the mushy ones at BK/McD/Wendy's to shame.

                  Fries? Not very good. Rings? Meh. But a loaded cheeseburger? I'll take one, any time, thanks.

                  1. re: FrankD

                    a lot of people seem to think Johnny's isnt as good as it used to be, and im not saying its bad or anything, as you said, it is what it is, maybe nostalgia makes us remember things as better then they were...

                    Im just saying, theres a void in the city that needs to be filled, we need a good, real burger joint or a couple that compete against eachother. It doesnt even need to be a big place, as long as it does things right. Give me a good burger, standard toppings along with maybe something signature, like a sauce or even the look, like maybe a triangle shaped burgers, who knows. Fresh cut fries done right is key too, along with maybe a signature seasoning dust for the fries and a gravy.

                    How about a new way to make a burger, like maybe form a patty and chicken-fry the thing. In fact, Chicken Fried Burger patent pending!

                    1. re: jmarcroyal

                      Since I only went once I can't comment on any decline in quality since "the good old days", but after reading all sorts of hype here and elsewhere, when I happened to be in the area I stopped at Johnny's to try it and I was totally underwhelmed. Took a bite and had to ask, "whoever hypes this place needs their head examined".

                      Even Licks (a place that gets all sorts of hate here) makes a better burger than Johnny's. And that says a lot.

                      1. re: jmarcroyal

                        There are real burger joints that compete against each other in the city. I never understand how the refrain of "x" is missing in the city becomes gospel just because it's repeated often enough, despite evidence to the contrary.

                2. re: damonster

                  It's basic test marketing. Unless you have billions of dollars of backing to absorb any short term losses (i.e. Chipotle) it would be stupid to go right into downtown and risk getting eaten alive by the incumbents. Instead, open in the suburbs or smaller centres with fewer or no competitors and at least see if the concept will sell in this province/country (i.e. Krispy Kreme, Chili's, Tony Roma's, and now these guys).

                  Similarly, fast food chains will sneak in new menu items into test markets and see how well it sells before expanding chain-wide -- McDonald's did this with their "McCafe" concept (I live near one of the places they tried it in), it was such a dismal failure they didn't go further with it in Canada, but have expanded it nationwide in the U.S. where it did sell.

                  1. re: TexSquared

                    @TexSquared-Your explanation makes a lot of sense. I remember when TGI Fridays opened their first Canadian location right downtown on Adelaide St in the mid 90's it didn't last more than a few months and they haven't attempted to open another location here since. In TGI's case they probably would have been successful if they had taken the approach to 'test the waters' and open in smaller markets--even just the burbs' first.

                    1. re: ParsleySage

                      I really want them to bring back Olive Garden:(

                      1. re: jmarcroyal

                        I'd rather see Romano's Macaroni Grill and/or Carrabba's Italian Grill show up. Still boggles my mind how god-awful East Side Mario was able to kick Olive Garden out of the country....

                        Getting too off-topic here :-(

                        1. re: TexSquared

                          Just a heads up and still OT - There's a Romano's Macaroni Grill in the Hilton in Niagara Falls now. It's a reduced menu and way higer price point than the US versions, yet the food is worse. Don't really understand the biz philosophy other than "hotel resto". So no high hopes for them here.

                          1. re: abigllama

                            Unfortunately that's the rule and not the exception when U.S. chains come to Canada: they cut the menu and hike the prices. (or worse, in the case of KFC, they take out the best parts of the menu and replace them with crappy fries).

                            It is interesting to note that there's a Romano's Macaroni Grill on the Canadian side of the river but not on the U.S. side (the next closest RMG is in Rochester, NY). Thanks for the heads-up on this, but obviously if I'm going to drive that far I might as well cross the border for some good food at a fair price rather than get fleeced on our side of the river.

                3. I had the burger in Brandon , 2 patties and cheese , with fried onions and mushrooms , I liked it was very juicy, was messy but good . It did cost me $7 but no complaints. a big mac prob cost u $6.

                  1. We always make a 5 Guys stop when we're down yonder. The one we go to seems to be fantastic. Not all are from what I've read.

                    Another possibility as to why they aren't here in TO is to build hype. Sometimes the best way to get someone's attention is to ignore them. Plus what Tex said.

                    I really look forward to 5G's coming here but I'm not sure it's on the radar yet.
                    DT

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Davwud

                      We went to a Five Guys location in Detroit this week, hadn't planned on it but happened to be in the neighborhood so had to stop and try it.

                      Yes, they lived up to the hype. We were impressed! Wife had the cheeseburger and I had the bacon burger (no cheese). And free toppings, any other place would be charging for most of the options. Perfectly seasoned, I did not feel any need to go for pepper or salt like I often do. Full disclosure - I have never been to Burger's Priest nor In-N-Out so I can't comment on that comparison. We also didn't order any fries or other sides.

                      Can't wait to see them in the GTA, assuming they succeed in Kingston.

                      However, this blogger doesn't know what the hell he/she is talking about:
                      http://warpsixbbs.wordpress.com/2010/...
                      That "review" (I use the term in quotes because I won't read any more of their drivel) claims that Five Guys is on par with WENDY'S and that LICK'S beats them hands down. What the hell are they smoking?

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        that review is funny, it sounds like it was written by a tiny chinese women that used to live in Toronto like 20 years ago, lol. I find it hilarious that she(im assuming its a she, because no MAN is gonna say a double burger is too big, lol). I doubt the fries are enough for 4 people, unless those 4 are tiny chinese women. I bet I could slam back 2 burgers and 2 orders of fries, just saying...

                        and I do like Wendys by the way, I think its the best chain burger in the city over McDonalds and Burger King, although I do love Harveys...

                        Anyway, these burgers sound pretty damn good, not like the hockey puck Licks burgers these days...

                        1. re: jmarcroyal

                          Wow, just wow.

                    2. Last night on Fox News they reported that Consumer Reports rated five Guys number one. MacDonalds were last on their list.
                      Full story http://www.newyorkpost.com/p/news/loc...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: mexivilla

                        It was in Consumers Reports Magazine this month In-n-Out was #1, 5 guys #2 best best friend went to in and out in cali and worships them

                        1. re: TheDewster

                          I went to Burger Priest, and Ive heard on this site that they have a similar style burger to In-n-out, and although I cant say either way if thats true cuz i havent tried the latter, I gotta say Burger Priest is the best burger Ive had in I dont even know how long, and Im a burger guy.

                          God that double-double was incredible, so damn fresh, and the Priest is just mouth wateringly good. If I wasnt low on cash right now Id mission over there right now!

                          1. re: jmarcroyal

                            I tried 5 guys for the first time a few weeks ago in NYC (bleecker st). I was extremely disappointed. It was not bad....but because i was expecting something GOOD, it was very unsatisfying and not enjoyable. If I got that burger at a pub or something, it would be pretty good, but expecting a good burger...no way, it was not good at all IMO.

                            Shake shack was much better and Burger Priest in Toronto was way better also.

                            1. re: szw

                              It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good at all?