Re-Review: Five Guys

Burgers, burgers, chains, chains.

I’m talking about two chains in one week?  If I am, they’ve got to be good– and small.  I think you know by now you won’t be seeing any Burger King or McDonald’s reviews here (unless, of course, it’s April Fool’s) but a smaller chain like In-n-Out, Penn Station, or Five Guys fits the bill.

I’d been to Five Guys once before, at Dulles on the way home from our Christmas trip in 2008.  I’ve had a lot of airport food since then, and it’s still the best I’ve had.  That’s not really saying a whole lot, so when I heard that Five Guys was opening, I was pretty excited– I could try it again and remove it from the context of the airport (where the bar is pretty darn low).  So last Sunday, Terry and I were discussing lunch options, and how we so rarely go to Clifton (mostly because of parking issues), so I suggested Five Guys.

Five Guys is incredibly proud of its appearances on “Best Of” lists across the country– and you can tell, since those same lists are prominently displayed around the restaurant, whose decor otherwise reminds me of a diner.  There are 50 pound bags of potatoes and 25 pound boxes of peanuts around the restaurant as well (the origin of the potatoes is also prominently advertised).  Be advised– they fry in peanut oil, and whole peanuts are available as a snack while you wait– so if you are allergic to peanuts, you might want to avoid the place entirely.

They (much like In-n-Out), have a small menu– they focus on a few things and do them well.  Hamburgers are double-patty burgers, Little Hamburgers are one-patty hamburgers; hot dogs, veggie sandwiches or grilled cheese.  Veggie sandwiches are buns with vegetables/condiments, no meat; grilled cheese is the bun with cheese and any vegetables/condiments you’d like. All of the toppings are included in the price of the sandwich.

Terry and I both got hamburgers, and split an order of fries.  I chose the Little Cheeseburger, with bacon, grilled onions, pickles and barbecue sauce.  Terry picked the Cheeseburger, with onions, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise and mustard.  The burgers end up steaming a bit in their simple aluminum foil wrappers.  They tout that all of their burgers are cooked “juicy and well done”, and though they are certainly not dry, “juicy” would be an overstatement.  It’s a good, standard burger– no Terry’s Turf Club, but pretty darn good for a “fast food” burger.

Other locations include Rookwood, Crestview Hills, and West Chester, and a location in Mason will be opening soon (replacing the much-missed Metro Bagel).

(P.S.– photos later tonight.  I haven’t had a chance to get them off the camera, darnit.)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

  • http://www.cincinnatireadventure.com Erica Minton

    I think Five Guys in an airport is one of the best ideas I’ve ever, ever, ever heard.
    .-= Erica Minton´s last blog ..Zip’s Cafe =-.

  • http://www.foodstuffsnati.blogspot.com/ Sara

    I agreed with Erica up until last week when they opened a Chipotle about 3 minutes down the concourse from the Five Guys in the Delta terminal at IAD. Five Guys or Chipotle? Who ever thought picking food at an airport would prove so difficult??
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Nicola’s, Over the Rhine =-.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Ooh. That’s doable. I also like that Logan has Legal Seafoods. I usually walk out a lobster roll for lunch.

  • Beth

    I just ate there for the first time yesterday! As a vegetarian, I have to say that the veggie sandwich was really good. I was hesitant but it turned out to be really good. They put a lot of veggies on there and I love that they don’t charge extra for any of their toppings! I loved the cajun fries. Kyle got the regular fries and they were a bit salty for me, but I really liked the cajun fries. They are pretty generous on their fries. There was a complete second container full of fries at the bottom of the bag!

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      that’s good to hear! I may try the veggie sandwich/grilled cheese the next time I go.

  • Travis

    Five Guys is right by where I work, but I rarely eat there. The food is amazingly delicious… but I feel gross the rest of the day, as if I’m covered in grease and cajun seasoning!

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Yup, that evening I think I had a salad for dinner. Just too darn full from lunch.

  • http://www.urbanup.net/ Sherman Cahal

    Cajun fries!

  • Michael Kylere Reed

    Thanks for this review, it lets me know I can add them to the list of places I will never enter. As a person with a peanut allergy I hate the trend to frying things in it.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      My best friend has a peanut allergy, so if I notice things like open peanuts, I figure she’s not the only one who can benefit. Peanut oil does produce a superior fry, but you’re right, if everyone’s doing it, then there aren’t many good options for those who are allergic.

      You should just switch to frying in duck fat. The best. :)

  • http://guerillawordfare.blogspot.com JRR

    Have you been to Culver’s? There are a few around the Greater Cincy area (Mason is one, I think). I didn’t know we had any close until I went to middle-of-nowhere Indiana for a weekend trip and there was one near our hotel. I fell in love with the butter burger! I think they would fit your criteria for review because there aren’t many…it’s a smaller franchise operation.
    .-= JRR´s last blog ..Portsmouth House =-.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      I know where it is in Mason– but the idea of a butter burger sort of makes my arteries clog. ;) I may try it at some point, though. I’m trying to avoid fast food to some extent (at least going forward).

  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com/ Suz

    Good to know there will be one opening across the street from work, however “fast” is not really what I felt the food service was on my one visit to their West Chester location. I’m not sure how long they’d been open at the time, so maybe they just didn’t have their act together yet. They fries were great, but very greasy…good thing they come in a brown paper bag to soak up excess grease. The veggie sandwich was good, but I actually think you can get a better one at Great Steak…although the veggie is cheaper at Five Guys. I might try the grilled cheese, but it doesn’t really sound too appealing, maybe it’s the fact it’s on a bun?
    .-= Suz´s last blog ..Test Post =-.

  • Casey

    Went to the Rookwood 5 Guys this weekend. It was busy, about 12 people deep in line,but service at cash register was amazingly quick. Only took about 12 minutes to get the food, good time to get your drinks and ketchup! About as close as we can get to In and Out around here, in my opinion.Culvers might be worth a review, if only to compare. There is one open in Florence now, owned by someone different than the one in Mason. The franchise is based in Wisconsin. The butter is on the bun and I think they baste the burger with it. Honestly, I think it was only slightly better than Steak and Shake, which isn’t to say it was horrible, but not sure if the burgers are worth the extra drive for me. They have chicken and ham and cheese melts and other stuff on the menu too. I think the best thing about Culvers is the custard. It is soft serve, but quite tasty and they add a new flavor every day. It is quite yummy. And they have cheese curds for the cheese heads around here!

  • Robert Muncy

    Cajun Fries. If you did not try them I would highly recommend them next time. Much better then regualer fries.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      I will indeed!

  • CincyCapell

    Went to the Clifton location on Saturday-my 1st 5 guys experience. There were only about 6 customers in the place and it took almost 35 minutes to get our order. The Wife’s burger was cold and had the wrong toppings. Although the fries looked great, they were nearly overcooked on the outside but had a raw potato taste in the inside, a sure sign of frying in oil that’s too hot. My burger was good, but not great, and certainly not worth the drive & wait. I think that I’ll pass on another visit.