Five Guys – so the East Coast can feel better about not inventing In-n-Out
Okay – here’s a post guaranteed to highlight my native SoCalness. I may as well get my biases out in the open at the start: I think In-n-Out is the burger to beat. I think people from NorCal are slow to embrace In-n-Out because it comes from SoCal and therefore must be suspect. Anyway….
So President Obama likes Five Guys and there’s now a Five Guys open in Natomas – gotta give that a try, right? The place gets excellent reviews and has been creeping west after starting in DC. How’s the burger? It’s a solid B.
What kind of place is Five Guys? It’s In-n-Out without the Palm Trees out front, right down to the super basic (but we have our own lingo!) menu. And the red and white color scheme.
A note to first-timers: where In-n-Out defaults to burger meaning burger and something with “double” in the title indicating there are two meat patties in the double-double, at Five Guys, the burger has two patties and the “little” burger, I imagine, has one patty. I’ve never eaten a double-double so I’d have never ordered a two-patty burger from Five Guys but whoops, there it was, two patties. You make your own burger by specifying the toppings – all of ‘em – that you want. Don’t assume you’ll get anything unless specified. My husband described it as “Subway sandwich style” burger making.
We placed a to-go order over the phone, so know that this review is based on eating a ten minute old burger that endured a car ride. Our burgers kind of made it home in one piece. The biggest failure? The bun. Oh, the horrible, squished, waste-of-calories bun. It was so flat I wished it were one of those half-bun diet-friendly things on sale at the market now because why waste calories on compressed bread? Five Guys should take some lessons from In-n-Out on this one: either pack your product better or invest in better bread. Also, it was just plain, untoasted bread. There’s no heaven like that of the perfectly toasted edges of an In-n-Out burger bun – amirite?
The burger itself was fine. Tasty. I don’t know that it was superlative or that I’d place it above all others in its class. Also – it’s more expensive than In-n-Out. Just sayin’.
The fries are legit. Thicker cut than most fast food and definitely made from fresh potatoes – you can taste that. So A+ there. How you rank them, if you’re a fryfan, is probably going to depend on why kind of fry you’re in the mood for.
Like I said, I give them a strong B grade overall. A tasty burger and one I would gladly eat again, but posing no threat to the current title holder in Cali.