Me and My Nine Iron

August 23, 2010

Five Guys Burgers review

Filed under: Food reviews — BJ @ 5:21 pm

Last week, Zagat released its 2010 food survey, and top news was Five Guys‘ dethronement of In-N-Out for best fast-food burger in the nation. While In-N-Out is every Californian’s favorite burger, Five Guys was founded and is centralized on the East Coast but is slowly gaining a foothold in the West. Yesterday, I made my way to Cerritos for the Five Guys nearest me.

I entered the place to a long line and peanut shells all across the ground; they provide complimentary peanuts while you wait in the ridiculous line. That’s probably the biggest problem I had with this place. They didn’t open a second register when the line curved all the way past the door, and people were relegated to 20+ minute waits just to order. That’s unacceptable for a fast food joint, especially when it’s avoidable. Three employees in the back were pounding the patties, and there were at least ten total, more than enough for them to make the line move faster than it was moving. It’s like they glorify themselves by showing everyone outside how busy they are.

Their menu consists of burgers, hot dogs and fries, and I got a cheeseburger (two patties) with everything (free toppings!) and the regular and Cajun fries. The fries were okay. One said the Cajun fries were salty while another said the regular fries were better than In-N-Out’s – but not the burger.

The burgers came wrapped in aluminum foil, even though we ordered “for


here.” The cheese melted onto the foil naturally, and it’s really a disservice to its burgers to “smash and wrap.” With hard-t0-beat ingredients in a delicious burger, why would you ruin it with an ugly presentation? The bun gets smushed, and it’s really the opposite of what you would find at In-N-Out, who knows how to flaunt its food.

There was a review inside that said it’s just like grilling up the burger yourself, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. The melted cheese and grilled onions and mushrooms are exactly how I like my burgers, putting it over In-N-Out’s. It got messy and they could probably do with a healthier bun, but that’s the taste I go for.

Now, for the picky In-N-Out lovers who bashed Five Guys on Yelp, including its name. Yes, you read that right – its name.

  • It’s expensive.

$4.99 for a burger is not expensive. It might be more than In-N-Out, but it’s bigger and heavier. It does not come out to $10/person. The three of us spent under $19, and we threw some fries away. A regular order of fries serves several people. You’ll spend that much at any fast food place, cheap asses.

  • The burger and fries are good, but they’re not as good as In-N-Out.

I could’ve guessed you would’ve said that before you walked into the place. High expectations and something that you’ve grown up with and are used to your whole life are hard to beat. Fortunately, you have an unbiased Californian who knows burgers other than at In-N-Out.

  • There’s never ice in the ice machine.

This is a joke, right? But, is it just coincidence that when I went, there was no ice in either soda machine? This is a recurring problem that should not be happening and is a bigger problem to customers than it thinks. Get some new machines, please.

One more thing. When we first got our food, we were missing our order of Cajun fries. When I went up to the front, the guy seemed like he knew right away that he forgot. Or, he did it on purpose. My friend told me just the other day how deliberately “forgetting” an item every five orders can save the company millions of dollars. Hey, it just happened to me at Jack in the Box.

It might be easier to see all their flaws and things they can fix because they do a lot of right. But the main issue with me is unless they cut down on the wait time, I don’t see myself going back here again.

Rating: 3 stars out of 4



1 Comment »

  1. Just heard about this place – and the hype. Also found out there’s one here in San Jose. I will try it soon.

    Comment by Chris Le — August 24, 2010 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

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