Saturday, August 01, 2009

Five Guys

The Fourth of July found me (along with The Lurker and Perfect Tommy) wandering the wilds of Cape May County in search of rare birds. We didn't find any, but had a nice day out all the same, and didn't even hit an unreasonable amount of traffic (kind of astonishing, considering it was a holiday weekend).

We had lunch at the Five Guys in Rio Grande, NJ. As we were looking for a likely lunch pick, I at first didn't understand why my companions seemed so eager to stop at what sounded like an auto supply store. Once inside, Five Guys' true identity as a burger joint was revealed.

I had a regular burger, not realizing that meant I was getting two beef patties instead of one. My chosen toppings were just lettuce and tomato, and of course I got fries. It ended up costing a bit more than I had expected for "fast food," but at this point I was in "investigate new dining option mode," so it didn't matter. The potatoes that made our fries came from Driggs, Idaho, county seat for Teton County (thank Yog-Sothoth for the internet!).

It seemed odd that everything was served in a paper bag, even though we were eating in, but I just ripped open the bag and tucked in. Fries in a styrofoam cup: also odd. But after the first fry, I didn't care. The burger patties were clearly hand-shaped (rustically irregular) but very juicy. When I discovered Five Guys cooks all of its burgers well-done, I was shocked because I don't think I've ever met a juicy well-done burger before. The lettuce and  tomatoes were pretty standard-issue, but very crisp and fresh. And the fries, the was a good burger but the fries were phenomenal. Crisp, fresh, unskinned, salty but not too salty, piping hot...they were the best french fries I've had in a long time.

After the fact, I came home and searched for posts about Five Guys on the Chowhound boards. I didn't read them all, but there were a ton of them, divided between Five Guys lovers and haters. I should have guessed as much, I suppose; for every good review of a given restaurant, there's a bad one (or vice versa). At least, it seems that way when one trolls for restaurant reviews on the internet.


Faith Bahadurian said...

I visited Five Guys for the first time a couple months ago myself and also liked them, esp. as you say, the fries.

Winslow said...

Hi Faith,

I would go back just for the fries; they were wonderful! It was interesting to see the variation in opinions of Five Guys on Chowhound; I didn't expect that there would be such marked pro and con camps. Glad to hear you liked them too.