After hearing all the hubbub of Carl’s Jr. and Sonic only to have them be just another fast food joint with decent fries, I didn’t get my hopes up too much for the latest conquest of burgerdom – Five Guys Burgers and Fries. There was a small line when we arrived at the new location they just built in Monroe, but it wasn’t bad for a rainy, opening weekend night at all. Of course, even if the line had been huge, it wouldn’t have mattered as they made my day by having shelled peanuts available while you waited for your food. Glancing up at the menu, I saw the model that more burger joints should follow, buy the burger for a higher price and we will put whatever you want on it for no charge. Simple, clean and easy. I like menus like this. I ordered up a double patty, bacon cheeseburger with my smattering of toppings. A little hot sauce, jalapenos, some barbeque sauce and a bit of mayo to cool the whole thing off. Now we wait.
The wait wasn’t all that bad as the line apparently decided to show up about 5 minutes after we ordered. Even still, food was coming out of there quick. We sat down and ate some peanuts and waited. The restaurant itself was very bright and friendly. The cleaning crew was doing a great job bussing tables and keeping the floor clean. Pretty much everything at Five Guys was red and white, which if you like bright read and white buildings, you have found your new hangout. To me, it seemed like an attempt at bringing Johnny Rocket’s back to life without the singing waiters and smiley faced ketchup plates. The place was loud, but not quite Red Robin loud as you could still carry on a conversation over the top of the other patrons and the music that was playing.
Finally, the food arrived, and I don’t say finally because it took so long, but rather I am sitting in the corner of the place just drooling over the smells. The aroma of burgers on the grill and the tons of different sauces drifting through the air made the 5 minutes seem like 5 days, especially to the hungry ones in the room. When the food was called, a big brown paper bag was given to us and we opened it up to find two “small” burgers, a hot dog and their “large” fries. Beginning with the fries first, this large fry was more like 2 or 3 large fries elsewhere. There were three of us working on it, but we still didn’t make it through it all. Then the split grilled hotdog as perfectly done. Split grilling always tastes so good, but this one was just delicious even plain. Even the kiddo ate 3/4’s of the full size hot dog.
Then we get to the burger that I ordered. Opening up the foil revealed a gorgeous two patty burger, medium well done, with two pieces of American cheese, a layer of bacon and some of the most delicious sauces I have ever tried. There was the BBQ sauce that strangely resembled Sweet Baby Ray’s, but with a bit more kick. There was also the hot sauce which vaguely reminded me of Franks, without as much kick. Then the fresh cut, non-cooked jalapenos and a light coating of mayo came in on the bottom bun to tie it all together. The burger was fantastic and well worth the $5.69 that it cost.
As a family, we spent around $30 for dinner at Five Guys. This makes it about on par with a trip to Denny’s and a bit cheaper than a burger place like Red Robin or Blazing Onion. Of course, you have some additional options at those places, so I’m not sure what to compare Five Guys to other than Burger Madness here in Monroe. Given the quality of the burger, the amazing fries and the customization options for your burgers, I don’t see how Madness can even attempt to keep up. In fact, the burgers at Five Guys were so much better than the char-grilled ones from Madness, I feel pretty comfy in saying that we probably won’t be back there anytime soon.
Overall, Five Guys Burgers and Fries definitely did the job well and crafted us a few good burgers for our first experience. We will see how it goes next time we visit, which given our first trip in, should be rather soon.