In my last year of high school, a Wendy’s opened not far from the school. The Antipodeans and Yanks amongst you will realise that I mean the Burger chain, and this, my friends, was the subject of intense excitement. The rebel crowd that I ran with (Parents, avert your eyes) once skipped PE (I think it was Ballroom Dancing term), piled into cars and roared over to Wendy’s, stuffing hamburgers in at intense speed and making it back for the next class. Oh the thrill. And now you’ve clearly realised our rebellion was a bit lame since we very conscientiously returned for our next class.
So when I walked into Five Guys, it’s like rewinding 13 years. Groups of teenagers huddling around one meal, stretching out those fries to last as long as possible. Admittedly, this is a bit off putting, but if it’s good enough for Barack, it’s good enough for me.
Five guys prides itself as not using frozen food, and this is clear by the use of their shop floor as storage space – crates of peanut oil, posters advising that today’s potatoes are from Holland and the propaganda police out in full force with numerous quotes marvelling at the burgers dotted everywhere.
The menu is really straightforward – you pick the burger you want and you can mix and match any of the toppings you want, without charge and subject to endless customisation.
I’ve been advised that the portions are pretty large and so a small is the way to go – and since this is my first visit, I go classic. Little Hamburger and Little Cajun fries. I love that Relish is a feature on the toppings menu so I’ve gone for ketchup, mustard, onions, gherkins, relish and Jalapenos (In case you wanted to emulate my mastery)
There are a ridiculous volume of staff here – this one Five Guys store is probably alone contributing to bringing down unemployment and I can’t figure out what even half of them are doing, but it does mean that my burger and fries arrive quick smart, hot and freshly cooked.
The burger is fantastic. While it may seem like I’m in your standard fast food outlet, the food is not at all the same. My meal has cost about the same as a similar meal at McDonalds/ Burger King and in the quality of the food at least, is infinitely superior. The bread is a little moist but that’s about the only comment I could make.
The fries though were just genius! Thank you Five Guys for not skimping on the cajun and not making them namby pamby but properly coated in cajun spice. Utterly fantastic.
I suspect though that the kids actually come for the below. This Coke freestyle machine that has (rumour has it) over 125 flavours of soft drink, most of which aren’t readily available over here so you can make as many bad drink combos as you like! Alas, I went boring and had diet coke. But then I never really was down with the youth anyway.