This will be my first in a series on my favorite burgers. Burgers are all the hype. From Hubert Keller to former Top Cheftestants, really good burgers or sliders are gaining a place in fast food and haute cuisine.
I like burgers. I mean, they don’t even have to actually be good for me to like them. But I’m going to tell you about a few places that are worth it (but also not TOO expensive).
Five Guys makes a fast food burger– no question about it. But it’s better than your major chains. For one thing, you’ve got a lot of topping control. Really, most fast food restaurants have about 10 sandwiches– some beef, some chicken, maybe a veggie burger? But you have no idea what’s the difference between the 4 chicken sandwiches, and neither does the person taking your order half of the time either. Not so with Five Guys- 15 toppings, from grilled onions to jalapeno peppers, and you pick what you want on your burger (or hot dog, or, I guess, grilled cheese). Now, a hot dog with lettuce, tomato, and mushrooms is unusual at first thought, I admit. But I also have to admit that it’s both yummy and filling.
The fries? Well, there’s some controversy. They’ve won awards. They give you a whole lot of fries. And a lot of the time, they’re very good. But they’re not always good. There are huge bags of potatoes stored all over the store, and there’s a sign that tells you where that days potatoes are from. Which means that there isn’t perfect consistency in their fries. Or at least that’s my best guess as to why some days the fries are BRILLIANT and why some days they’re only so-so. On any day, I still like them better than any of the big chains.
The overall experience is still fast food like, even though they take a bit longer to get you your food since it’s cooked to order. There is no ambiance, each location has the same white with red accent decor, the chairs aren’t very comfortable. There are peanut scraps everywhere since there are whole peanuts available in big boxes for you to eat as you wait. If you are allergic to peanuts, avoid at all costs– in addition to the big boxes and scraps, the fries are cooked in peanut oil. But as fast food goes, it’s fun, cheap, easy to figure out what you’re ordering, and tasty.
There’s a location finder on their website– while you’re tripping over them in the DC Metro area, they’re expanding slowly lots of other places, including into New England.
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