I’ve read a lot of things about Five Guys; some good, some bad. Many view it as a poor man’s Byron, Honest Burger or Patti & Bun, but I think they’re wrong – Five Guys should be seen as a rich man’s McDonald’s (meant in the nicest possible way).
Five Guys is fast food at its best, so don’t let the queue put you off. Once you’ve ordered, you’ll have eaten within 30 minutes, munching complimentary monkey nuts along the way.
The restaurant is brightly lit, just like fast food joints should be, and your order is made and collected from the counter. There is ample seating and the walls confidently praise the chain’s success across the pond, with quotes from major US newspapers.
The menu is simple – normal and ‘little’ hamburgers, cheeseburgers and bacon burgers, lots of lovely toppings (you can choose as many as you want – there are 250,000 combinations) and two types of fries. In the not so distant future there will be hotdogs too.
I went for a regular cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and mushrooms (£8), and shared ‘little’ Five Guys Style Fries and Cajun Fries (£2.75 each). I also got a ‘regular’ drink (£2.50), which meant free refills of Diet Coke and a huge number of Fanta flavours. There is also bottled water (£1.95), Budweiser (£3.50) and ‘premium beer’ (£4.50).
When I opened my foil wrapped burger I realised why it looked so big. Sandwiched between fresh, grilled buns were not one, but two patties, two sliced of melting American cheese and my toppings. Supersize me Five Guys.
It was a sight for hungry eyes and certainly lived up to my stomach’s expectations. I was a little disappointed by the slimy mushrooms, but I shouldn’t have expected Byron’s portobello.
The fries were equally tasty. Both cooked in peanut oil (good news if you have high cholesterol, bad news if you have a nut allergy), the cajun fries had a powerful heat, whereas the regular fries made the most of the locally sourced potatoes’ nutty flavour.
Five Guys is far more expensive than McDonald’s or Burger King, but let’s not forget, you’re paying for quality ingredients, MASSIVE burgers, free monkey nuts, free refills and service with a smile. So high five Five Guys, you are now my fast food restaurant of choice and get a LLE Rating of 7.5 / 10.
Five Guys, 1-3 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LH