I only heard about Five Guys Burgers and Fries because U.S. President Barack Obama made a surprise stop at one of their Washington, D.C. locations last year.
A couple started the first Five Guys — named after their sons — in Arlington, Va. in 1986. There are now more than 700 locations in North America.
The menu is short and sweet: four kinds of burgers, 15 free toppings, two types of fries. “Regular” burgers come with TWO patties. “Little” burgers come with one. Oh America.
You can munch on free roasted peanuts while you wait, and unapologetically toss the shells onto the floor.
My cheeseburger ($7.49) was fantastic. I’d say it was the next best thing to grilling our own burger on the barbecue, especially because it was –30C out. The juicy patties — advertised as free of preservatives or filler — were crazy fresh.
I made a rookie mistake by ordering my cheeseburger “all the way,” which meant it was loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mayo and mustard. I liked the soft bun (I know some people don’t like it) but it just couldn’t hold up to so many toppings. Still, it was messy deliciousness.
Fresh-cut Cajun fries ($3.49/$4.59) were covered in a spicy seasoning that was almost too much. Next time, I’d get the plain ones. And not a large size unless you’re feeding an army. See the fries photo? What you can’t see is there were just as many fries inside the bag.
Jason wasn’t impressed that they crammed so many hot fries in because he burned his hand trying to get the container out. He also didn’t like that his burger was smushed and wrapped terribly. (Mine wasn’t.)
I was impressed by how efficient everything was. The long noon lineup was dispatched quickly, thanks in large part to two smart people on cash and 10 people working in the open kitchen.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 33 Heritage Meadows Way S.E., (403) 252-3373. Open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m.