Wednesday, June 15, 2011

5 Guys Burgers and Fries: Blech

Excuse the terrible iPhone photo. I won't ever be going back (with or without a real camera), so this will have to suffice.
After a long excursion to Ikea and Target, S. and I grabbed a late lunch at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. I had never been before, but heard it was as good as In-N-Out so we gave it a shot. The only resemblance is the red and white tile decor, although this Five Guys seemed grimier than the usually spotless In-N-Outs that I frequent. I ordered the Little Cheeseburger with almost Everything (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, mushrooms, ketchup and mustard) and fries. At In-N-Out, I usually order a double double or cheeseburger animal style and fries animal style. The Five Guys cheeseburger was terrible; I don't see any semblance to In-N-Out at all. The bun is really soft and mushy, making the whole burger mushy to the point of falling apart. There's no crispness or freshness added by the lettuce and tomatoes, the grilled onions are still crunchy; not at all caramelized like In-N-Out, and mushrooms had that sour canned flaor and texture and had to be picked off the burger. The Five Guys' patty is just a little thicker, but In-N-Out's patty has more flavor. In-N-Out is totally in another league; the toasted bread and crisp lettuce and fresh tomatoes are key, as is the "secret" Thousand Island-like sauce. At In-N-Out, the components are so good that I can order a "grilled cheese," a burger without the patty, and be equally satisfied. Poor S. ordered the vegetarian version at Five Guys and was completely dissatisfied. The one redeeming quality of Five Guys are the fries. They are substantial, nicely salted with a crisp outside with a little skin and a soft inside. I'm not sure why In-N-Out's fries are so soft and starchy; I only like them animal style when they are slathered with cheese, sauce and onions; more of a conveyance for the delicious toppings as opposed to the main event. Unfortunately, the fries can't save Five Guys; I definitely won't be returning.

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