Restaurant Review: Five Guys Burgers

>> Thursday, April 30, 2009

Serious Eats had 4 postings about Hamburgers in the past 3 days including the popular Twilight with Burgers clip. Plus, one of the other food porn blog Foodaphilia I'm following did an entry about a burger joint that everybody seems to have good things to say about, a chain fast food restaurant called Five Guys Burgers. My young impressionable mind dictates that it calls for a food adventure.

Located on Chestnut between 15th and 16th, the Five Guys store in Philly looks a bit humble. The interior is clear with classic red and white colored tiles that makes the place look like an old-timey diner joint. The walls are lined with awards and magazine reviews of the chain. The staff is friendly, it's a rarity considering this is Philadelphia. I guess there's a sense of pride about the store in general, the strange undecorative sacks of potatoes at the window front might have been a clue. Is the food really that good?

Five Guys sells burgers, hot dogs, fries, soda and water. The menu is not too big but then there are all kinds of free toppings you can put in your burgers, so the combination is endless. Their regular burgers are made with two patties and their little burgers only have one. There are also price difference between a burger, a cheeseburger, a bacon burger and a bacon cheeseburger. The free toppings consist of mayo, relish, onions, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, jalapeno peppers, green peppers, A-1 sauce, Bar-B-Q sauce, and hot sauce. Regular fries are big enough to share by 2 people and the large ones are probably enough for 4, they are fried with peanut oil, hand cut with some of the skin still on. They also have complimentary roasted peanuts for customers to snack on.

It's not a bad looking burger, eh? You get everything you see here for a little more than $10.

I ordered a cheeseburger with grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo. The toasted sesame buns were toasted and not soggy, the beef was pretty juicy and not tough. Its size reminded me of what I thought of a Big Mac when I was young. It was big and satisfying and it tasted just like a Big Mac, accept nowadays Big Macs had shrunk and it doesn't taste as good as it did anymore. Of course, the burger could taste entirely different with different toppings and when you can tailor a sandwich to your taste, you couldn't really go wrong.

The experience was also heightened by two girls who kept checking me out when I was ordering, smiled and decided to sit right by me throughout my stay, when I say girls they were literally in their teens or early 20s. I was, of course, flattered. lol.

I'm glad I've tried Five Guys Burgers, the food is at least memorable and it is indeed a good burger, so I think I will return again. Maybe I'll try one with BBQ sauce and bacon next time, although it might not a good idea to go often, especially after I checked out the nutritional contents. Hell, life's too short anyway.

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