Someone recently told me that Five Guys was like In ‘n Out Burger in California and I quickly went from not being that interested in trying it, to becoming quite intrigued. I loved In ‘n Out, and even though there wasn’t one is San Francisco proper for quite awhile, hubby and I would regularly do a trip to the ‘burbs just to get one.
The first thing I noticed about Five Guys when I walked in was how clean it was inside. Everything was spotless. I should warn any readers with nut allergies though, that they have help yourself boxes of peanuts on the counter to eat at your table. I say “warn” because as a Mom with a child with nut allergies, this made this place a no go with the kids for me. Which is sort of a shame because the kids would probably like it. They have several signs up saying you cannot take the nuts out of the store for allergy concerns.
The menu is very simple and straightforward—they have “regular” burgers which are actually double patties of beef, and “little” burgers which are singles. They also have several hot dog variations and a couple of sandwiches. The only side item is the freshly made fries. I liked the fact that they had a sign next to the counter that told you where your potatoes were from on this particular day.
Well, I think I liked the fries better than the burgers, so I will start there. The fries, as I said, are freshly cut and fried—not the frozen things you get a lot of places. You can certainly taste this in them. Now, they aren’t super crispy fries, but they have a very pleasant, fresh potato (with a bit of skin left on), slightly starchy taste. They did actually remind me a bit of the In ‘n Out Burger fries which are also hand cut and made fresh. And they give you a TON of them. Hubby and I split an order (based on recommendations I had read elsewhere) and still barely put a dent in them. They fill up a little cup, put it in your bag, and then dump two more big scoopfuls in there too. But with the fresh taste, I could see how they could possibly become addicting. And they still held up, even though we got it to go.
The burgers were, as hubby put it, “a quality product” (he had the regular double patty). They aren’t amazing, but they are obviously very fresh and are cooked to order. You can choose from several toppings, including things like jalapenos, grilled mushrooms, and grilled onions. I went with the “little” burger with my usual, cheese, ketchup and extra pickle as toppings, just so I could compare it to my other standbys. They are sort of mid way between the really thin burgers and the really fat ones. But even with only one patty, I would say this is not a “little” burger in my book. It was a ton of food I thought, particularly when you factored in the fries.
So, in some ways the burgers are similar to In ‘n Out, because they are fresh and the buns are quite soft and they are approximately the same size (these are a bit bigger I’d say), but I can’t quite say they can live up to that In ‘n Out craving I used to get in California. A good burger, but not really craveable to me.
Five Guys Burger
5317 East 82nd Street (with several other locations)