In a bid for the coveted top spot in the TFB Burger Battle, Five Guys, like their burgers’ accompanying bun, falls flat. Simply put, Five Guys may provide one of the most overrated offerings in the fast-casual casual world.
I’ll start with what they do well, their fries. Unfortunately, that’s about it and fries aren’t up for review. It’s all about the burger, which is a sloppy, underwhelming experience.
I went into Five Guys with the purpose of reviewing their single cheeseburger made “All The Way” sans grilled mushrooms. That’s precisely what I told my teenage order taker. What I received instead was a double patty with grilled mushrooms. No matter, I’ve had Five Guys before and can base this review not only on this experience but of those previous as well.
This burger encounter was not much different than any other visit. The beef is tasty enough and made to order, which is what you’d expect from an often lauded diner. However, it can’t overcome the mess of indiscriminate topping suggestions. Tackling a Five Guys burger is an unnecessarily sloppy engagement.
To have a burger with what I take to be the suggested toppings or the “All The Way” style means it’ll be supplied with mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, and mustard. None are altogether fresh or put on with care. It’s the grilled onions and mushrooms of which I have the biggest beef. These two choices only add to an already greasy protein being tenuously supported by a flimsy bun.
There are no noticeable concerns after the first couple of bites, but architectural failure is imminent halfway through the meal. The bread choice was an obvious afterthought by the burger designers, building a moderately tasteful bungalow on quicksand of a foundation. I needed more napkins than provided.
This just may be a case of me not understanding what some people enjoy. That’s ok. To me, a good burger successfully counters the grease and salt of the protein with fresh, sometimes raw, crisp toppings. Five Guys fails to hit that note. Go for the fries, but get your beef elsewhere.