Finally made it to a Five Guys. I’d been hearing a lot of hype and praise for the D.C.-area burger chain. The formula is simple: fresh beef, hot dogs, tons of topping options and solid fries. The menu is straight-forward, and they focus on what they’re good at.
I went with a straight-up cheeseburger, which I didn’t realize at the time had two beef patties. A diesel surprise. The “Little” option is a single patty. Didn’t see this explanation anywhere but it’s not a huge deal. The burger was impressive by fast food standards, but didn’t blow me away. I think the expectations might have been too high for the burger. The fries on the other hand were excellent. Nicely fried, thick cut potatoes with the skin on. Portions are massive. I wondered allowed if I could take one of the fifty-pound bags stacked next to the counter home with me.
The atmosphere is super casual and the food comes out quick. The prices are totally reasonable for the quality, especially in comparison to other places. (Have you been to a fucking McDonald’s lately? Eight bucks for a value meal?) I think that the Five Guys franchise has exploded simply because it’s different. It’s the new kid on the block, and a welcome change from the big three. People love a novelty. Every time I’ve walked by Five Guys the line is out the door. And for good reason. The food is good and cheap. But honestly, Five Guys feels like an attempt to mimic what In-and-Out has created on the West Coast. Superior beef, fresh toppings, bare bones menu and great service at a competitive price point. In-and-Out is still superior in my book, but with the closest location being Las Vegas, Five Guys is a pretty good alternative.