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Five Guys, Broad St/35 Shrewsbury, NJ

I have only eaten 5 Guys one other time when my wife brought it home unbeknownst to be where the burgers were from, I ate mine it was “fine”. Nothing good nothing bad about it average at best. There was nothing to ever motivate me to try them again. Well last night a change of plans, my wife wasn’t home so I asked my son what he wanted me to bring home for dinner, his request 5 guys. This was my first time ever venturing into one.

First I’ve got to say I can’t believe how limited the menu is. Literally just 4 types of burgers in regular or small size, other than that there are a couple of hot dogs (this actually appealed to me more than the burgers) and a single lonely veggie burger. I cannot imagine how ANY vegetarian would go to 5 Guys for a veggie burger. I cannot see how any non vegetarian would ask for a veggie burger, this place is the last place in the world anyone would ever order a veggie burger. I imagine they have it on the menu and every new store gets one morning star veggie patty that sits in the freezer alone. Like the fat kid in gym class when it’s time to pick dodge-ball teams, every time the door opens the veggie burger raises his hand {{pick me….pick me….}} only to be over looked for it’s full meat classmates and the door closes leaving it in the cold darkness for eternity. Sorry I digress…………

So I get a bacon cheese burger for my son, a bacon cheeseburger for me and a bacon hot dog with two orders of fries. Total; $28.95 !?!?! 2 Burgers 2 Fries 1 Hot Dog, $30+-? I take them to go, get home and wait to really see what 5 guys is all about. Well I’ve got to tell you this, the burgers are prepared on a flat grill, not my favorite preparation, but nothing wrong with it either…..but because they pack/wrap the burgers in foil immediately off the grill, by the time I got home everything was a steamy mushy mess. The roll, which didn’t seem that impressive, to begin with kind of melted into the meat, the cheese has oozed all over everything and the toppings, lettuce, tomato and jalapeño’s were all steamed/soggy. The burger was honestly just a hot mess of goop. The hot dog was truly sub par, I would take a brown wrinkly one of the 7-11 roller thing before this hot dog. The quality (or lack there of) the dog was poor, and the bacon was obviously pre-cooked and heated up for the order. It was terrible. The fries, although fresh cut etc. were rather soggy and flavorless (unsalted I guess). For $30. I have no idea what the attraction is to this place.

If you were to go to Mc Donalds and get one of their premium burgers it would be half the price and of far better quality, in my opinion. Perhaps because Mc Donald’s uses paper wrappers instead of foil, I’ve never had a melted goop burger from Mc Donalds. The buns on their higher end burgers are far superior as well. I won’t get into the nutritional debate on Mc D vs. 5 Guys, I’m just nothing from a price point I don’t see the attraction of 5 Guys at all.

To give an idea how I look at it, this past Sat. I took my father to the All Seasons Diner in Eatontown for dinner. He was in the mood for a burger; I was not, so the diner is always a good compromise. He had a cheeseburger deluxe and I had Chicken Cordon Blu. (Say what you want about me I’m fascinated at how dinners can bastardize this dish, I love it!!)

Mine came with soup AND salad AND desert $15.95, his was $9.00 with fries, cole slaw and pickle. $24.95…sit down dinner. Gourmet, no of course not, but how in the hell do you justify paying $30. for goop when you can actually have decent meal served to you for an equal price? Don’t ask me the allure of 5 Guys.

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  1. I truly don't get the hype behind 5 guys. ANY diner serves up a better burger and cooked to the temperature you want. Their fries are ALWAYS soggy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: joonjoon

      I don't know about any diner, but I agree, there has seemed to be a lot of hype.

    2. Yeah, they are a bit pricey. I enjoy them though.

      I think your problem was the transportation time and the steaming inside the foil. I always eat mine in store.

      I agree on the hot dog though. Don't get one there.

      On a side note, last week, I was in Atlanta, and I got a burger and fries from Checkers in the Airport. It was amazing. I know many of the checkers around here have closed up, but they never tasted as good as the one I had last week.

      1. 5 Guys is more about hype than anything else. It's a pretty lame fast-food type hamburger, at an inflated price

        9 Replies
        1. re: The Professor

          I think the so-called "hype" with Five Guys has been over for a while. Just like everyone is saying, after a going there once or twice there is really no point of going back there... unless you really really like free shelled peanuts.

          1. re: yCf

            The peanuts aren't even shelled, you have to shell them yourself...

          2. re: The Professor

            The large location off Hwy 35 is closed, not sure how long but even the signs are down now.

            I never understood the appeal of their food.

                1. re: HillJ

                  No Shi Tzu!!! That location closed? Well I'm not actually surprised anytime I would pass there at night the place was all lit up, and empty, every single time.

                  Can someone explain to me how a chain like explodes on the scene the way they did, expanded the way they did and now seem to be fizzling out. Where did they get the money for the expansion?

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    Just my observation...
                    I think a couple years ago, their "gimmicks" of "fresh cut on premise Idaho potato fries", "fresh beef delivered to store daily", "free toppings" etc made it a unique fast food place for a little while .
                    But shortly after, McD put out their "premium" burgers and there are places like Bobby Burger Palace and Smashburgers pop up.
                    So now if you want a decent cheap burger, you can get one at McDonalds and if you want better ones, you go the BBP and Smashburger type place which put 5guys in no man's land...

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      I'm not familiar enough with this burger outfit but this happens to so many businesses. Too much expansion, too quickly and then poof. I know Baja Fresh had a good run in that same spot for a time, also as a result of expansion and then poof one day no more. As did Red's at the end of that strip mall....what can I tell ya, good people make risky decisions....on the fickle heels of a hungry public.

              1. re: The Professor

                It's cooked to order, but yes, I consider it (slightly better than) fast food (type).

              2. I'm a burger junkie and never thought 5 Guys was anything more than adequate. The zealotry many have for it perplexes me. I'll take them over McDonalds or Burger King, but much prefer just about any other "better burger" chain (which 5G obviously considers itself.)

                2 Replies
                1. re: ebchower

                  In fairness, as stated, I never had their burger right off the grill, but for to-go I would take Mc Donalds premium burgers anytime.

                  1. re: ebchower

                    I agree completely...adequate is a very good term, very applicable in my opinion. Yes, I too would take it over McD's and BK...but the other specialty burger places are much better in my opinion -- Bobby's, Shake Shack, and BuCu (the one near me recently closed) are some of my favorites, and there's a few local restaurants near me in Northern NJ (not "chains") that have excellent burgers.

                  2. yep, they ain't cheap but I happen to like 5 guys burgers a lot the once every month or so I go. It's honestly the only 'fast' food place I go to (it really isn't that fast since everything is cooked to order).

                    And the 'cajun' fries are very good, definitely better than the regular.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mr. Bingley

                      5 guys has been a decent, yet unspectacular burger. Imo, their fries were always the star of the meal.

                      I've said from the get go that I thought this chain wouldn't last, as they expanded nationwide at a breakneck pace. The one in Middletown by talercios shuttered recently, and I don't see shrewsbury packed....