Standing outside Five Guys I was asked by a group of girls where the nearest McDonalds was. I directed them to the only one I knew but said “but this place is better”. They replied with “McDonalds is a lot cheaper though”.
I like Five Guys. It’s relatively new here, it’s brash and I like a burger. I’ve only eaten previously in smaller and quieter branches but today it was standing room only, queuing-out-the-door busy. For those who haven’t tried it there are a few gimmicks. Once you’ve bought your burger itself (bunless is available), all the toppings are free. There is a standard Big Mac-like option if you can’t decide but there are also jalapeños and some relishes to take it in a different direction. The fries are very generous portions and they let you know what variety and which farm they have come from. We shared a Large between three and had plenty left over. The shakes are good and have the option of adding bacon bits. Finally, the soda machine has lots of combinations to choose the combination to suit your current mood and the cup is refillable. Finally you can help yourself to roasted monkey nuts with shell on as a side.
You place your order and then stand watching the open kitchen team pull it together until your number is called.
It tastes good. Your foil wrapped burger is juicy and succulent. You are going to need napkins because the buns can’t hold the moist contents – it’s what you would expect with a street food burger. The beef patties are nicely meaty and have texture. The fries are skin on and taste fine – probably a little too greasy for my liking though. All in all it tastes more freshly made and significantly less processed than the version at the Golden Arches.
At the end of the day though it’s just a burger and chips and eyewateringly expensive too. Maybe prices are slightly higher in a City Centre branch or maybe I was just not concentrating due to the show that they put on at the till. The burger is £8, the fries were £5 for a large portion, the shake was an astonishing £4.75! It’s good but it’s not that good and so those girls I spoke to outside know their stuff. Maybe I’m an old curmudgeon but I find it hard to pay over £20 for fast food for a meal for two shared between three. Even though it’s busy, at that price I want a cleaner restaurant with more comfortable seats. Bah humbug.