Saturday, November 1, 2008
Restaurant Name: Five Guys Famous Burger & Fries
Location: Brooklyn, NY (and nationwide)
Here is the not-so-skinny on Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries:
For a bit of context, this is a chain burger joint in the spirit of (and competing with) places like In-N-Out Burger and Checkers. Since even the most gourmet among us occasionally craves some fast-food drippy, greasy burger-y goodness (as opposed to more elevated burger offerings from places like Spring Hill -- see Steve's reviews on this blog), I thought I'd share my musings on Five Guys.
The burgers are the kind with a very thin patty (which I personally like) - so thin, in fact, that it kind of falls apart as you are eating it (and is yummily invaded by gobs of mayo, fried onions, jalapenos...you name it!).
You can order the "small" burger (which has a single patty) or a regular size (which has a double patty). With the exception of cheese and bacon, all other toppings are free (which really means already included in the somewhat high price - about $7 for the regular cheeseburger or $5.50 for the smaller one - bacon burgers are even more). The burgers have the "McDonald's taste" (i.e. fried as opposed to truly grilled) but the beef is (and tastes) real, the bun does not taste like cardboard (though sadly was not toasted), and the toppings are seriously yum.
This is the type of burger experience where the toppings are at least as important, if not outweigh, the taste of the patty itself (I recommend the grilled onions). So, if you like a thin patty, sloppy-topping burger (which I do), this is a pretty damn good burger. However, since this is *not* a gourmet, Kobe beef, fancy-pants burger but just a tricked-out version of McDonald's, I consider it pretty over-priced.
The fries are gigantic. They are fried in peanut oil and taste like it (which I think is lovely). They are, in my opinion, under-salted. They come in two sizes - regular and large. No sense in ordering the large as the regular tends come with a lot more fries tossed in the bag with it. My husband and I split the regular and could not finish it.
There are free refills on the soda, so, again, no need to get the bigger size (or even to get one per person - just share and keep refilling).
Overall, I think this is a once-a-year indulgence type place. The calories (for good or ill) are listed on the menu. A small burger with half of a regular fries and half of a soda is nearly 1,000 calories. It does make you think twice! Maybe such a massive calorie intake should be reserved for something else....
Also, two burgers (one small, one regular), a regular fry, and 1 small soda was nearly $20. Frankly, I think half that would be appropriate - especially given how strapped for cash people are these days.