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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....

                    2. I've been to Five Guys once or twice and thought it was decent, but never rushed back there. I'd pick the All Seasons over it too, I can always find several things to get there, and my wife's favorite is the Texas Chicken wrap. One of my favorite diners besides University Diner and Mark Twain Diner, both in Union.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bpritchard152

                        That TX chicken is my fave as well. I still cant help but call keep calling it the Four Seasons diner.

                        I've been to both of those diners in Union.... solid diner fare from what I recall

                      2. I am just not a fan of Five Guys. Tried it a couple of times, by choice, and for my tastes/likes/etc., I thought it was just an "OK" burger. I didn't really get the ranting/raving about the fries. Regardless, I've gone back, not by choice, LOL. Don't get me wrong, the burger is "OK" -- meaning I'll take it any time above BK, McD, etc., but I am not going out of my way to go there.

                        I don't know anything about the company, the financial aspect, etc., but I wouldn't be surprised if they started to falter, close locations, etc. They don't seem to be living up to the hype, rantings/ravings, expectations, etc. JMO.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: ebchower

                            He's just ducking out on the kale-burgers Michelle makes him eat at home...

                        1. I never understood the 5 Guys thing. I was working in Virginia when one opened nearby and every in work was raving about the place. I went there and was totally underwhelmed. Fries were pretty good right out of the fryer, but the burgers were below average.

                          Fast forward a few years and I'm working in Parsippany when a 5 Guys opens nearby. Groups of co-workers are eagerly making lunch plans to go there and coming back buzzing about the great burgers. So thinking maybe my previous experience was an off day I go along. Right off the bat I see them putting iron weights on the burgers. Anyone who knows a thing about cooking burgers knows you don't weight or press down on the patty because it squeezes out the juices and you get a dry hamburger, which is what I got.

                          Their burger is no better than McDonalds and BK and a notch below Wendys. With the mediocre product at a relatively high price, I bet most of these locations are out of business in a few years once the hype dies down.

                          1 Reply
                          1. I went once and never have been back.

                            We need a damn steak and shake up here!

                            anyone try that pretzel roll chili cheesedog at sonic? That thing looks tasty but I have only been to sonic once in my life.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              Been to Sonic twice, and after the second time I will not go back again.

                              1. re: ELA

                                yeah I wasn't thrilled but that chili cheese pretzel dog is calling my name LOL

                                1. re: corvette johnny

                                  I might give it a shot...but I was not impressed with anything there so it's unlikely. If I hear it's a great dog or something, then I would go, and if it wasn't, it would certainly be my last time. LOL.

                              2. re: corvette johnny

                                Haha took my father and son to Sonic today, we all said "hey look at the pretzel bun hot dogs" but none of us ordered it.

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  So I took my dog to the pet store and decided to stop at sonic. The chili cheese pretzel dog looks good on the commercial but it was pretty weak. I guess I'm spoiled with windmill dogs. It wasnt bad, just kind of bland and I wouldn't get it again.

                                  1. re: corvette johnny

                                    That's really funny because we were originally going to the Windmill in Red Bank (windmill my personal favorite) but my father's coupon expired in 2013. Apparently Windmill is no longer in the Entertaiment Book for 2014, but Sonic is, that's how we wound up there! It's all about the coupons with Dad!

                                    Side note the whole time we are eating he's saying how it doesn't compare to Costco's hot dog and soda for $2.00 I think? Costco does have a pretty dam good dog, especially for the price.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      The costco 1.50 dog is killer.... loaded up with onions from that annoying machine & relish. Easily the best deal in fast food.

                                      1. re: Lcdsoundsystem

                                        yeah, the costco dogs are great.

                                        I was shocked at how much stuff is at Windmill! easily as much as 5g and no where near as good.

                                        I haven't tried the 'premium' McD offerings.

                              3. ...the peanuts are good...does that count?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                  Not if you saw the guy who threw his uneaten ones back in the bin after his number was called. Those peanuts are an edible Petri dish.

                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                      Yeah.......as soon as I saw that I dropped mine and threw them out, never again.

                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        I've been in Five Guys (Edison) where they stack peanut boxes on top of the trash cans.

                                2. Tried them once. Unlike most microwave re-heat joints, 5 Guys cooked the burger as I waited & it was juicier than the competition but still well done and I don't think the double burger contained more than about 4 ounces of meat. Fries were soggy & I would take an order McDonald's fries any day over them. Not impressed for just under $10.00

                                  Across the street there is a diner that grinds fresh daily and you get an 8oz burger cooked however you like it with Fries, coleslaw & pickle for about $8.00.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Tom34

                                    The Americana? (might as well give who ever it is a proper plug if you like their burger)

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      No, down in S. Jersey, Hathaways Diner. Same family for probably over 40 years now. Got to know them back in the day when I sold fish.

                                      Also have some local bars down here that serve 8 oz Certified Angus Beef brand burgers for about $8.00 with a pile of fries. They come in fresh in vacuum sealed sleeves (Buckhead Beef / Sysco) and can be held for about 2 weeks without freezing. Probably the best pre-made patty I have had.