To the best of my knowledge, there are three great burger chains in this country:
- Five guys;
- Steak and Shake; and
- In-N-Out Burger.
My friends would contend that Whataburger belongs there, but I disagree as I don’t believe they make their burgers out of fresh ground beef – the prime non-taste related criteria for moving from good to great.
I think that we first ate at a Five Guys five or six years ago in Jacksonville, FL and have been back many times since. Realizing that I’d never shared an opinion on them, when we went for dinner the other night I snapped a few photos.
Five Guys is extremely consistent – in both menu items and appearance. From the red and white tiled entrance to the burgers themselves, the stores are interchangeable.
One of the things that I enjoy most about five guys is the way they number your meal. When you pull the burgers out of the bag, there’s no question as to whose is whose. All you have to do is remember in what order you ordered.
Or look at the receipt stapled to the bag, which has the burger (or dog) with a number next to it, along with the way it was supposed to be prepared – I was the third in our party of three this evening. Another thing that I enjoy about them, is the multitude of french fries. It used to be even more amazing. They added a third size of french fries (“family”, added to “regular” and “large”), and the first two sizes got smaller. What is now their family size used to be their large size.
But they basically fill the appropriate size of container (styrofoam cup) that you order, then pour an extra scoop into the bag. Take a look at this
that’s the bottom of the bag, after the burgers have been pulled out and a large order of fries remains. It fed the three of us. And the fries are cut fresh on site, every day. And they cite the source city (often farm) where the potatoes came from on a chalkboard near the order counter.
The burgers come in two sizes, little (which is one patty) and regular (which is two). Here’s my little cheeseburger:
With the multitude of fries, it is plenty of food. It’s the best “fast food” burger around these parts. And while I didn’t have one on this visit, they make a mean hot dog, too. Although the fact that they don’t have chili though seems like a design flaw to me.
The downside? It’s expensive for fast food, particularly if you have kids. They didn’t arrive on the scene until our kids were older, but one of my co-workers with two elementary school kids laments their lack of a kids menu, with the cheapest burger (little burger) being over $4.50. This puts dinner for two adults and two kids close to $30.00.
When you’re on the road and looking for a consistently good burger, fast, you can call on any of the five guys and count on getting one.
Best burger place in the world. Oh, and why is Steak n’ Shake on that list?
I think Steak n Shake is great chain, the only one deserving to share space with In n Out and Five Guys.
[…] a earlier post about Five Guys, I commented that there were three great chains in this country, all that used fresh ground beef […]
Whataburger is a great chain, if for no other reason than the fact that they are from Texas! I agree that Five Guys is really good. I always like the Cajun seasoning for the fries but felt they use too much. If you ask they’ll give you a little container to put on the fries yourself.
Shawn – I appreciate your jingoistic passion. Oddly, everyone I know that is passionate about Whataburger is a native Texan . The burger there is fine, reminding me of a whopper. If they used fresh (not frozen) beef for the patties, I’d reconsider. They don’t advertise fresh, never frozen, so I’m guessing not.
And I agree about the over seasoning on the Cajun fries – I generally choose regular.