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.

1 Comment so far

  1. Morning Notes | ARLnow.com (pingback) on August 19th, 2010 @ 4:50 am

    [...] results released Monday. The chain has been expanding rapidly recently, attracting local media attention everywhere it goes. Unanswered questions: How big can Five Guys get, and to what degree did [...]



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