First Time At Five Guys… Overrated.

7 09 2010

A burger and fries from "Five Guys" - photo courtesy of

I had been hearing a lot about how the East Coast burger chain Five Guys was going to bring about legitimate competition to the West Coast and family-owned burger joint In-N-Out.

Five Guys had recently one-upped In-N-Out in a Zagat Fast Food Survey as having the best fast food burger (although In-N-Out did win the Top Food Among Large Chains award).

So on September 7th, me and two buddies figured that we’d see what all the Five Guys hype was about and head to CityScape in Phoenix for the joint’s grand opening.

As we walked up, we only saw a few people sitting outside as it was another toasty day in the PHX, but then we opened the door and saw a madhouse.

The 40+ person line at the grand opening of Five Guys in Phoenix curls around the whole restaurant. Photo taken by me.

I guess the city of Phoenix was in the mood for some lunchtime Five Guys burgers during today, huh?

Upon walking in and standing at the end of the line, I counted at least 45 heads in front of me, and nearly every seat was taken for those fortunate enough to already have their meal to grub on.

As we drew closer to the crowded two-register counter, we got to take a better look at the menu and what Five Guys had to offer.

Menu at Five Guys Restaurant

The full menu inside the burger chain "Five Guys." Photo taken by me.

I can’t say I was in a hot dog kind of mood, so a burger was definitely what I was going to snack on.

The first thing I couldn’t help but notice: the prices.

From a college kid’s perspective, a burger, order of fries, and a drink could run you up to 11 bucks, not exactly an easy on the wallet college kid’s type of meal. If these two places are going to be considered competition, then I’ve got to compare the two.

In comparison to In-N-Out, the price of a Five Guys bacon cheeseburger itself is slightly more expensive than a double-double, fries, and a drink at In-N-Out. Advantage: In-N-Out.

However, due to In-N-Out’s classic and untouched menu, Five Guys has the upper hand on which toppings you can get on your burger. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to spice up your burger, then the advantage here goes to Five Guys.

But back to my visit to Five Guys, it took about seven minutes to get my plain bacon burger, pretty impressive considering the rush of a lunchtime grand opening for the place, but when I opened up the tin foil to start diving in to my first Five Guys burger, I noticed something wasn’t right…

My Five Guys burger... I specifically asked for no cheese, but instead got a whole lot of it. Photo taken by me.

I am by no means an adventurous eater. As a matter of fact, I’m as plain and boring of a food eater as there could possibly be. I like burgers with just the meat or bacon. I like plain hot dogs. That sort of thing, you see what I’m getting at?

In no way am I a fan of a cheeseburger, so when I specifically asked for no cheese and just bacon, what comes slopped all over my lunch treat? A whole lotta queso. Come on man! Really?

It’s my first time at Five Guys and they get my order wrong.

I don’t recall one time in the past decade that In-N-Out got my order wrong.

Not a good start, Five Guys!

Cheese or no cheese, though, it was still a delicious burger. Good meat, good bacon, a nice pair of soft buns (ha ha ha, soft buns, we’re not in the third grade anymore), it was a very good burger.

The staff members were all very friendly and the food service was extremely quick, but the fact that they got my burger wrong on an easy order and charged me extra for something I didn’t want (not to sound like some penny-pinching cheap-o but the bacon cheeseburger is actually 60 cents more expensive than the bacon burger) makes me feel like Five Guys left something to be desired. Plus, over seven bucks for a freakin’ bacon cheeseburger? Come on, man!

Call me an In-N-Out homer, but for food quality, service, and cost, Five Guys doesn’t even come remotely close to being in In-N-Out’s stratosphere. The bros I went to Five Guys with approve this message.

Five Guys was good, but with all the hype around this place, I found it to be a tad bit… well, I’ll let the UNLV students chant the word I’m looking for.

Over-rated! Clap! Clap! Clap-clap-clap!

Special thanks to YouTube user jeremydragon for the video.



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