As you know, I try to stay away from chain restaurants. They don't capture the local flavor as well as independent establishments. However, this doesn't mean that I won't hit a chain occasionally (i.e. yesterday), and when I do break the rule, I like it to be for great food. And Five Guys fits this description.
For several years I used to work near one of the original six Five Guys locations, in Alexandria VA. And I grew to love Five Guys. The bag that becomes translucent with grease, the HUGE amount of fries, and the newly cooked burger with fresh veggies just makes this a delicious meal.
So, when I recently found myself craving a good burger, I headed over to the Five Guys on Gilead. Ya know, next to the restaurant I reviewed yesterday!
I placed my order for a Little Bacon Cheeseburger with Cajun Fries, and waited for my meal. Five Guys may look like fast food, but it's really not overly fast. My burger was done in about 5 minutes. Think of it more as good food, relatively quickly.
When I got the bag home, it has the expected french fry grease that has been absorbed by the bag, making it translucent... in fact, if you click on the image to the right, you can ACTUALLY SEE some french fries INSIDE the bag! (Man! I love this place!)
I opened up the paper bag, threw half of the fries away. I did this for two reasons: 1) after they fill up the styrofoam cup with fries, they throw in a few dozen more. And 2) If I see them, I will eat them.
I then pulled out my meal, and dug in.
My Little Bacon Cheeseburger is quite large and has one beef patty. FYI, the regular sized burger contains TWO patties, not one. The burger has crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, ripe tomato, melted cheese (American cheese, I think), pickles, and fresh white onion. The fries went from the fryer to my bag in less than 15 seconds. The fries are always fresh, hence the huge amount of grease on the bag.
The Five Guys burger is great. I know it's just a burger, but they really take the burger to another level. There is only one restaurant burger that I like more, and that's an In-N-Out burger.
The never-frozen beef that is cooked as I wait, tastes great. In addition the fresh produce just adds to the flavor. Though the fries are greasy, the burger isn't.
The fries while greasy enough to make a paper bag transparent, are not soggy, and actually are crispy. Also the cajun spice/salt they put on the fries is quite good, and gives them just a hit of spicy heat.
Price: $ (food and drink under $10)
Kid Friendly: Not really. No kids menu.
Conclusion: The service and atmosphere are that of a standard fast-food restaurant. However, the burgers are extraordinary. I was very tempted to give the burger a 5 out of a 5.
Five Guys Burger and Fries