“Best Burgers in the City”
“Zagat Survey Rated”
“Fries alone are not to be missed”
These are just a sampling of the signs and plaques you will see when you walk into any Five Guys Burger chain. The praise is displayed in such a manner that it borders on obnoxious. With so many accolades I figured I was stepping into Thomas Keller’s French Laundry not a rapidly expanding national burger chain who just added their 400th location.
However, I have been there three times and I must admit I am kind of hooked. People rave about their french fries,which are made fresh at each store, but on my first visit I was very disappointed. The fries were limp and mealy inside. Thankfully on the second visit they were much better, and on the third they were spectacular. They are even better with the cajun seasoning and some malt vinegar, a condiment that few other restaurants provide. I think the differences in fries comes from using different potatoes on different days, in fact each store has a board where they identify where today’s potatoes come from. It also could come from the person cooking them too. Every store cooks them in peanut oil, which is the best way to obtain a crispy golden french fry. They also give you an obscene amount of them. A small order comes in a paper cup. After they place the cup in your bag, they dump another large scoop of fries on top of that. One small order could easily feed two adults.
What about the burgers? Well they are cooked only after you order them and you get to pick your toppings from an impressive list of 15 free toppings. A sign on the wall sadly informs you that they only cook their “burgers juicy and well done,” which seems like an oxymoron but somehowthe burgers do manage to stay juicy and flavorful. My favorite topping combo includes fried onions, jalapenos, mayo, tomato, and bacon. Be forewarned, the regular burger is two decent sized patties, its a massive burger. Add a regular order of fries and you are sure to be very stuffed. I kind of prefer the “little” cheeseburgers, which along with an order of fries is plenty of food. The burgers are probably the best burger I have eaten at a fast food chain, unless you count Kopp’s as a chain. Juicy, tasty, and made to order, its everything you could want in a burger from a chain restaurant (except I’d like medium rare). Steak and Shake may have its legions of fans, but their burgers pale in comparison to Five Guys.
What I admire most about Five Guys is that they don’t try to impress the “Eat This, Not That” followers who are seeking healthy alternatives. The notion of eating healthy at fast food restaurants is lost on me. Eat healthy at home, splurge on occasion when you go out. What is the point of eating a salad at a place like Culvers when the specialty is Butter Burgers? There are no salads, wraps, or “healthy choice menus” at Five Guys. No grilled chicken breasts or low carb versions of their burgers (you want low carb, throw out the bun). You choice is hot dog, hamburger, or grilled cheese. The only sides are fries and free in-the-shell-peanuts, which are a nice diversion while you wait for your burger to be cooked to order.
Five Guys will never compete with Kopps, Sobleman’s, Solly’s, The Wicked Hop, or other popular places for burgers in Wisconsin but they make a very good burger and some excellent fries (most of the time). Five Guys has three Wisconsin locations; Pewaukee, Delafield, and Glendale (at Bayshore).
That burger picture is amazing! And how is one supposed to eat something like that?
Anyway, great review. I believe there is a Madison outpost of 5 Guys as well. And now we will have to check it out.
Yeah, I cannot take credit for the photo. I think its one of their glossy promo pictures that I “borrowd” from the web.
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I used to work here, and I just thought I’d tell you the truth that you’re missing. If you look at any five guys restaurant, you’ll find a bunch of hype and not nearly what should be delivered! Nine out of ten burgers that came down that line were lopsided, undercooked, and falling apart or soaking wet. Unfortunately, these people don’t use cook timers or thermometors on their food. I was yelled at for putting the vegetable slicer in the dishwasher, because I was told it “changes the taste of the food.” I was also screamed at, for using sanitizer on the meat scale after we made patties for the day! Apparently, its their custom to leave bacteria growing underneath the preperation tables in the kitchen. I previously was a Deli manager, and I had never seen such practices ever, in my life. (Ultimately this was the reason that I quit, because I knew what was going on in the kitchen) As an employee, you get a free meal every day, and every day I came home with the cramps. Still to this day I have my food run out the other side after I go to five guys, and not in the good way. I was yelled at for asking to use a cook timer on the fries, and they go through whats known as a pre cooking procedure. I’ve watched grill guys throw pink half done burgers on buns all day long.. Check out some of these pictures you’ll find when you search for five guy burgers..http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0WTb_qY8V9LDTIAwhGJzbkF?p=five+guys+burger&fr=yfp-t-701&ei=utf-8&x=wrt
These burgers don’t look right to me at all!!! What ever happened to food presentation, and in agreement with other reviews I read, why are we putting food into improper containers? Also, the hype.. AH the Hype.. We were told that if we weren’t participating in the five guys hype, we would be terminated.. They make the place sound like its the best place you can go… Yet, I just came from George Webbs and I received a burger there for five dollars less, that tasted 100% better and was made in a burger-like fashion… I don’t see any lopsiding here.
Please take this into consideration the next time you go here.
Steve, I’ll be honest, I don’t care how the burger looks when I get it, I just care if it tastes good and Five Guys delivers. Improper containers? Again I don’t give a crap. This is a fast food place, not Sanford. Your comment about pre-cooking the fries is off base as everyone knows that you need to pre-cook fries in order to make them awesome…and Fiev Guys has awesome fries. Any good cook doesn’t need a stupid cook timer or a thermometer to cook burgers and fries.
Some of ths sanitary issues give me pause but it sounds more like you are a disgruntled ex worker.
Sounds like sour grapes to me too. I have been a Five Guys fan and will continue te be.