Sunday, September 14, 2008

Five Guys burgers

It's unfortunate when some local stores close to make way for a chain outlet--usually a cell-phone store or bank or something else interminably boring--but I heard a lot of excitement from people that some less-flashy businesses had closed in Park Slope to make way for a Five Guys Burgers & Fries. Lots of excitement in the best-burger-ever vein...and this for a chain? Anyway, with its recent opening, I had to try it, so I went before a co-op shift...

The restaurant was surprisingly empty--I'd thought it might be packed at 7pm with people eating burgers. I was second in line and placed my order pretty quickly. Then I stood and watched while they cooked my burger to order, assembled it, and passed it on to the bagger and fry-guy. Apparently they were going for an In-and-Out Burger-like "made to order" thing. So good so far.

But my burger continued to sit, waiting for fries. And sit. And sit. They fry-guy would take out a fresh basket of fries and immediately use the whole basket to fill the three-fry order of a big beefy guy getting sacks of food for his construction buddies. Then the next order had Cajun spices on it, so the next basket was spiced and thrown in the Cajun tray. It took ten to fifteen minutes before I got fed up (and started hearing numbers AFTER mine being called) and said something, and the guy apologized and said that he hadn't seen my bag in the back.

Kind of annoying experience, but the burger was still in pretty good shape. I'd gotten a simple cheeseburger (it comes with two patties; you can also get a "little burger" with one) with free toppings of grilled mushrooms and onions. I also got the smallest fries they had (which were huge) and the smallest soft drink. They didn't have any kind of combo meal--all a la carte. Total? $12.50. For burger, fries, and drink, all as simple as possible.

I'm not sure that this qualifies as "fast" food, nor as inexpensive food. But the burger was really delicious--kind of Shake Shacky, with a fast-food style bun and non-crappy beef with really good flavor. Too many fries, and I don't much like the kind with the peels left on, but they were good and clearly quality stuff.

I might be back, but is it really better than Bonnie's, for about the same price factoring in tax and tip? Eh.

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