By Esin Huseyin
Oh, she’s at it again…
But wait, this time it’s not about the burger, it’s about the chips. At the start of the year I went to the branch just off of Oxford Street and loved the burger – only finding the chips to be a bit meh.
Since I’ve posted that review, everyone and their mum has decided to update me on what a mistake I’ve made; “you should have tried the cajun fries” etc. Now, with the name cajun fries, I can’t help but think of Nando’s peri peri chips.
Five Guys have just brought their success over to Wimbledon, and no matter what time I walk past it’s always ridiculously busy. I bit the bullet the other day and decided to order those cajun fries. Similarly as before, they’re thrown in to the bag and then about another 10 pounds of chips are thrown in to the bag for good measure.
Aside from their generous portion, they’re a little more greasy than I remember. I even felt as if they were slightly saltier than the regular fries as well – but that spice. It’s a world away from peri peri’s chili flavour, as the cajun punches through with a whopping smokiness.
The chips were wonderfully crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – that my friends is what you want from a chip.
I’m really sorry Five Guys – I owe you the biggest apology. Consider me converted – see you Saturday.
NB – I’ve just seen that through their site you can order your food and then pick it up. Excuse me whilst my healthy eating plan rolls out the door.
By Esin Huseyin
Having a similar bad experience as Koray with those dreaded chips at Five Guys, it took me several months before I could pluck up the courage to go back and give them a try again.
With places opening up on Argyll Street and one coming soon to Wimbledon, it felt as if I was being haunted – and I walked through those famous doors once more.
Now I’m not going to lie, I will not in any way shape or form compare this burger to say one from Honest Burgers – for me, a fast food joint just isn’t really on the same playing field. I’m sure I’ll upset a lot of people as many consider pop-ups on the same level as restaurants, which they are in most cases. I just don’t feel this way with Five Guys, and probably would put them in the same category as Shake Shack.
Another thing – it’s ridiculously expensive. Yes you get 2 patties, and you’re able to get up to 15 free toppings – I just personally thought it was too much. I added a teeny tiny little portion of chips to my burger and it came to over £11. Ridiculous.
The patties were good, I liked the fact that they weren’t uniform, again something that they brag about as their burgers are “hand formed”. I genuinely got a headache looking at the toppings list, who needs 15 toppings?! Seriously guys.
I started with the base of a bacon cheeseburger and then proceeded to add hot sauce, grilled onions, and gherkins – all the staples. The meat was well cooked and tender. The fact that the cheese is American cheese and was absolutely oozing from all around was something I rejoiced in, you’ve got to get your hands dirty sometimes. The hot sauce gave an instant kick, but it wasn’t over bearing in any way.
The onions were reminiscent of the smokey ones you tend to find in burger vans at football matches and festivals, but I would have personally preferred them if they were a tiny bit crispier. The bacon was about 3 crispy slices and pretty much fell out before I could eat it in the burger – would have also been nicer to have a slightly more generous portion.
It seems like I’m moaning a lot, I’m not – not about the taste anyways, just on portion sizes and prices. The burger was incredible. Soft buns, juicy patty in contrast to the crispy bacon. Being totally honest with you all as well, adding that hot sauce added a completely different dimension.
Their burgers are incredible for a quick grab and go. Chips are a bit meh.
By Koray Hussein
Alright, so maybe I didn’t have the best of experiences in my first visit to Five Guys (read below). Their burgers were overpriced and slightly overcooked while their fries tasted like peanuts which was a turn off.
But for some reason or another, every time I walk past the damn place there’s a queue and their tables are packed out. Did I miss something? Is peanuts the new black? Seeing as I’d already tried their normal bacon cheeseburgers I figured I’d give the Guys another chance and try one of their “little” burgers… And a hotdog… And some fries. What? I was hungry.
I won’t go into my experience with the actual place (as that’s all below in my previous entry) and will instead skip straight to the food.
I started off with the hotdog which was actually pretty nice. The bun was, like the burger buns, your standard bun and didn’t reach the lofty heights of places like Honest Burgers or Patty & Bun but it did it’s job and held up well. I got cheese in the hotdog too (I had ordered it with cheese and bacon but annoyingly they forgot to put bacon in my order) and it kind of got lost in all the sauce and fried onions. It really was nothing special and just tasted like your average ice cream truck hotdog… with a toasted bun.
The little burger is the exact same as your normal Five Guys burger but with a single patty instead of two, so I haven’t really got much to add… apart from the fact that I totally couldn’t taste the patty. With the amount of fillings they give you (and they’re pretty generous at Five Guys. If you order lettuce, onions and tomatoes, they’re going to bloody give you lettuce, onions and tomatoes!) it’s pretty much impossible to actually taste the burger which is a massive shame when eating a god damn burger.
The fries were the biggest surprise however. The last time I ate Five Guys fries I complained that they were a peanut tasting mess and easily the worst part of my visit and I’m very happy to say that this was not the case this time. Although they still proudly proclaim that their fries are cooked in peanut oil, I couldn’t taste the peanuts at all and really enjoyed them. Yes, they could do with being a tad more crispy but honestly, I went in expecting a peanut flavoured nightmare so I’m not going to complain.
I really want to like Five Guys. A lot of reviewers give them stick for not using fancy buns but that’s really the least of their worries. The hotdogs are overpriced for what they are, their little burgers are far too little and their fries (from my experience anyway) are too inconsistent. Now that I’ve tried everything on their menu, I highly doubt I’ll be heading back.
Originally Posted 07/07/14
By Koray Hussein
Let me start off by saying that I’m not a burger snob. I don’t look at a burger and turn my nose up as soon as I see a sesame seed bun instead of brioche. Do I prefer a good strong slice of mature cheddar in my burger instead of the tribute act of cheeses, American burger cheese? Absolutely… But it’s not a requirement.
With that said let’s move on to the review.
I’ll begin at what should be the end: I liked it. I went for a bacon cheeseburger topped with pickles (they’re called gherkins damnit!), lettuce, raw onion and both ketchup and mustard and I enjoyed every bite. I’ve read on numerous sites how the meat in Five Guys’ burgers are bland and tasteless but I disagree… But I completely understand why they say that, and I’ll get to that in a minute.
First I want to talk about their fries. You see Five Guys fry their fries in peanut oil (A fact they let you know by decorating the interior with boxes and bags full of… well, peanuts) and this annoys me on two levels:
1. You’re basically telling people with peanut allergies to piss off.
2. It gives the fries such a terrible aftertaste! My God. Who the hell wants to taste peanuts while eating fries? Fry the damn things in an oil which will result in your fries tasting like fries.
I can’t complain about the portions though… As the sheer amount of fries they literally shovel into the bag is staggering and could easily be the entire meal itself without the burger (If that person likes peanut flavoured potato.)
But enough about the fries, let’s get back to the burger and on to the the part which really confused me… That burger that I enjoyed, along with those funky tasting fries and a bottle of water cost me almost £15.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against paying £15 for a burger and fries but when you’re charging that much, you’re getting mighty close to doubling the price of a meal at Honest Burgers… And that’s where we come back to the claims that Five Guys have bland and tasteless burgers. They’re not bland, nor tasteless… but that’s when comparing them to burgers that fit into the same category. Places like kebab shops, Burger King, Mcdonald’s and the like.
Five Guys is not a gourmet burger restaurant, but it’s priced like it is. It’s price forces Five Guys’ offering to be compared to burgers on offer from the guys at Honest Burgers, BRGR CO and Patty & Bun. When you push yourself into that category you’re going to be judged on a whole new level, and that’s when Five Guys falls apart. It’s grossly overpriced.
If Five Guys were charging £6-£8 I think you’d be seeing a lot kinder reviews surfacing online. But at the price they are charging, and with those fries (seriously sort that shit out) it’s extremely hard to recommend going there when Honest Burgers is only a few minutes away with their supremely well made burgers and rosemary fries that are so damn tasty that I thought I saw Jesus when I first bit into one.
What about you? Have you been to Five ‘We ruin our fries with peanut oil’ Guys? What did you think? Please let us know by commenting in the… umm, comments below.