Five Guys is like the anti-chain. Sure, they have outlets in 18 states, but the restaurants are stripped down, almost minimalist in an upstart, small business kind of way: some simple red and white tile, an open food prep area behind the stainless steel order counter, and a herd of utilitarian tables and chairs. There's no crazy junk on the walls. There are no clowns or cartoon characters. And there's definitely no Sierra Ranch Smoked Gouda Border Chicken (for a limited time only!) -- the menu could fit on an index card. Their mission statement is just as simple: "We are in the business of selling burgers."
And they're good at that.
The little cheeseburger at Five Guys is not the best burger you'll ever have. But for fast food, it's pretty great. It actually tastes like real food. The patty has a little crust from the griddle. The lettuce crunches. The tomato oozes. The bun squishes nicely. And the fries taste like they really were potatoes at one point.
A few tips:
- The "hamburger" and "cheeseburger" at Five Guys is actually two patties (the "little burger" is just one). If you're a big eater, go for it. But we did one time and we felt like we were going to explode.
- An order of fries, even the smaller size, are usually enough for two people to share.
- The fries -- fresh cut -- can be a little hit or miss. Some days, they're great -- crispy and potato-y. Other days, they're a little soggy.
- One trick we've found for the fries: when you bring your order back to your table, take out the burgers and cup of fries, then dump the fries back in (they'll have plenty of company from fries that are loose in the bag), sprinkle a salt packet it, close the bag up and shake. This seems to do two things -- 1) salt the fries nicely and 2) keep them from steaming, and thus getting soggy, in the styrofoam cup.
- Yes, we've had the hot dog. It wasn't bad.
- This is not a place for people with peanut allergies. The fries are cooked in peanut oil and there are open boxes of bulk peanuts.
The Bottom Line
Five Guys is just about the best fast food burger experience you'll get around here (and the closest we'll probably ever come to having something like the famed In-N-Out Burger.) Yep, it is a little pricier than the rest, but it's worth it.
241 Route 9W
Glenmont, NY 12077
Open 11a - 10p, 7 days a week
There are two other locations:
- 600 N Greenbush Rd in Rensselaer
- 418 Balltown Rd in Schenectady
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