Burger Project – Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Long delay between the visit and the posting. I’ve been busy preparing for a trip to South Africa and things got away from me for a bit. Five Guys and Fries is a national chain, not our usual type of joint, but the serve hamburgers, the location is new,  and they are real close to our houses so we gave it a shot. I think we learned a lot about chains: average. Jay was in NYC so couldn’t join us; otherwise, it would have been called “Five Guys at Five Guys” As it is we were “Four Guys at Five Guys”.

Ray, John and Norm

Interior; you stand in line to place your order
Menu board

Our guy

Preparing the burgers

Nice looking hamburger
And Fries

Norm preparing to join in

Ray

Post lunch discussion
This guy and his wife love Five Guys. We talked a lot about the best spots in the Metro Area. His wife didn’t want her picture taken

Ratings

 

Discussions

Burger

Howard
I wish we had a 3.5 rating. This was a very good tasting burger with just a couple of drawbacks. Mainly the cheese wasn’t melted on the burger; it was slapped on after it was cooked and was just a yellow slab laying on top. Second, I wish they wouldn’t wrap the burgers in aluminum foil. That may help keep them warm on a ride home, but tends to steam the bun.

Ray
It was probably a 3.5 rating, not quite a 4. I had it “all the way” without mayo. This included lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, & mustard. There was no “special sauce”. The meat was good and plentiful. With all the trimmings, the burger was very thick and the bun was not designed to handle it. The bun got very soggy and required an exceptional number of napkins. Pretty good though.

Norm
It was not a bad burger…but I’m afraid it was average for the category of place we have been researching. The bacon was fine, there were two patties of meat, and more than a dozen free condiments and add ons: Lettuce, pickles, onions,etc. THe cheese was a slice of processed cheese that was slightly warmed but not melted. Every content was adequate but there was nothing that took it beyond average. I would compare this burger to my 1999 White Honda Accord. It was a good car but after a while it was pretty boring.

John
Not the best, just a burger. Bacon was in little pieces, the lettuce was missing, the rest was about the least they could put on it and still say was there. Cheese was not melted.

Side (Shared order of fries)

Howard
We shared an order of fries; a little limp for my taste

Ray
Not all members of the team agree with me, but this is the type of fries I like. Freshly made and thick. Unfortunately, they tended to be a bit limp. Could have been cooked a little longer, maybe with hotter oil.

Norm
The fries were a bit above average, with enough quality to put them into the pretty damn good category. They were crisp, not greasy; substantial but not too large. The blackboard on the wall said they were from Oregon, while the potato bags stacked up along the entry way indicated Five Guys potatoes come from eastern Idaho. Normally I would be suspect of this type of “display”, however I know for a fact this is true since the potato guy named on the bags was the subject of a recent story in the alumni magazine of my alma mater, Idaho State.

John
A little too greasy and not crispy enough. Good taste, a little of the potato skin is good. Thinner fries usually are better.

Drink

Howard
Hard to do coke much better or worse than average. No milk shakes available

Ray
They didn’t have shakes or beer. So I settled for plain water.

Norm
The water was very good, crisp and cold, helped out by the ice cubes. I recognized it as coming from the city of Beaverton Water supply, which is a reservoir in the coast range.

John
Dispenser drink.

Atmosphere

Howard
It’s clean and well lit with nice bright colors and signage. One fun thing is the hollering back and forth between the counter and the cooks. When it was slow and a couple walked in, we heard a big shout “Two at the door!”. Everyone hopped to their stations.

Ray
It is a sterile, yet clean environment. I don’t particularly like the white shiny unorginal decor. No booths. Nothing unusual. Looked like a fast food joint.

Norm
Average for this type of operation. But efficient. Everything seemed to be fresh and clean. We were there at midday on a busy Saturday so there was a lot of activity. The one person cleaning tables did seem to be a bit behind. The customers, most of whom were much younger than our group, seemed to be enjoying themselves. The employees seemed to be busy. The whole operation appeared to be pretty scripted. If I were writing that script I would add a speaker system so the clerk would not have to shout out the order numbers , and could say something clever to the customers from time to time.

John
Red, white and bright. Pleasant enough. A little sterile. The peanuts are a fun time killer while you wait for your stuff.

Service

Howard
Order at the counter and pick up when your number is called. The tables are a little cramped for 4 men. The peanuts to munch on while waiting in line are a nice touch.

Ray
The service was average. They are a mass production operation with little personal attention. No table service. The staff were friendly but seemed to be operating according to a very structured set of procedures. Wait time for the orders was average.

Norm
The service was average… That’s not a negative but it didn’t rise to the level of pretty damn good. I would say it was efficient. At Five Guys you give your order to a clerk at the counter, and you wait until your order number is called. Not a lot of chance for interaction. We did not have to wait long for our order. The menu is pretty limited. The only drinks are water and Coke products. No milkshakes. Interesting that each order is served in a brown paper bag since most customers are eating in. Note to management, you can save a few bucks and a couple of trees by forgetting the bags and using the usual paper container on a tray.

John
The order taker missed the lettuce part of my order.

Overall

Howard
A good solid entry. You can tell it’s a chain, they really seem to be doing things according to a manual; which is fine. But like the coke, you won’t have an epic fail going by the manual; but of course it’s really hard to excel that way. If you have to eat at a chain restaurant in the Portland area go to Burgerville

Ray
Not the best, not the worst. Mass production at its finest.

Norm
If you don’t have a lot of time, and you want something just a bit better than the Name Brand fast food places, you will be happy with Five Guys. And I should mention the price is right. My bacon cheeseburger was the most expensive, at $6.49. But the whole operation is pretty “corporate” Clean, efficient, and pretty bland. On the other hand, you get what you pay for, so for the money the meal was a pretty good value.

John
No shakes, MIA lettuce, so-so fries. Kind of a cool atmosphere except for perhaps, the huge amount of self promoting posters all over the walls.

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
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