I’ve revealed that my burger quest began once upon a time at Wendy’s. And though my tastes have evolved since then, revisiting one’s roots can provide perspective. A friend suggesting we meet for lunch provided an opportunity to review Burger Basics 101 – a visit to Five Guys became the plan. Five Guys is “fast food” but not “grab-n-go” food; that is, the burgers are made to order. The burgers come in two size – one patty or two patties. The options are with or without cheese, with bacon or with bacon and cheese. A laundry list of toppings – all free – allows further customization. Perhaps in deference to inclusivity, there are a few vegetarian options, though why a vegetarian would come to a burger joint is unfathomable UNLESS it were for the Five Guys fries. (More about those later.) I realized that my usual grading system would have to be canned – for Basic Burgers, it would be “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down”. I ordered a regular bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and barbeque sauce. And this is how it went down…..
PROS AND CONS
After we unwrapped our burgers and tucked in, there was a long period of silence – a sure sign that we were focused, enjoying our meal. When I had initially unwrapped my burger, I questioned whether the soft seeded roll would stand up to the last bite. It did. Secondly, gazing upon the towering burger, I wondered whether it would just crumble and fall apart. It didn’t. Since Five Guys cook all burgers to well-done, would I miss the tang of my usual rare burger? I did, but this was fresh ground beef, suffering from no “freezer fatigue” and tasty considering the degree of doneness. The bacon was a let-down – I’m spoiled! There’s just too much good bacon out there to settle for a tasteless pork product. The barbeque sauce provided a sweet spicy accent. I wasn’t wild about the cheese but I didn’t dislike it either. And as for aforementioned fries, they were very good – nice deep color outside, fluffy inside. In a twist on the food culture’s near fetish for sourcing, the farm and its location of the poatoes being served that day are listed on a whiteboard by the cashier. To verify the provenance, 50 lb. bags of the spuds are laid out on a pallet nearby. (The day we stopped in, the potatoes were from Rexsberg, Idaho.) Eating this burger had been a pleasure and not a guilty pleasure – a visit to Wendy’s would have been that.
Assessment – THUMBS UP!
Five Guys 65 Station Landing (Wellington Circle) Medford MA