Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Five Guys Burgers and Fries - Fremont, CA
Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Fremont, CA has finally arrived on the west coast. I had heard good things, so I thought - despite its chainness - I would check it out. Located in one of those generic, California shopping strips, it was a 10-minute, three left turn exit from the freeway. Five Guys is stuck between a pizza place and some other chain store in a non-descript place. I entered and found the entry stacked with bags of potatoes. Everything was white or red. At least they didn’t add yellow like McDonalds or In-N-Out. It was only 11:45 AM, but there was a line. I waited 13 minutes to order. I took a seat at one of the cheapest tables and chairs I have ever seen. Five minutes later, my number was called.
Rather than a serve the food on a tray, it arrived in a brown bag. Inside was my burger, wrapped in foil and a mound of fries spilling over its cup. And about 10 napkins. A lot of trash generated for one burger.
Ok. Ok. What about the burger? I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger ($6.49). It comes with two 3.5-ounce patties of fresh ground beef. (Not ground at the store I was told, but shipped in already ground.) The burger is quite a stack. I ordered the everything, which includes, American cheese, bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, tomato slice, pickle slices, ketchup, mustard and mayo. The whole tower was nestled between a soft, white sesame bun which was toasted. Everything worked together quite well, with a pleasant blend of flavors. The beef was a little overcooked for my taste but had good flavor. The hand-shaped patty reminded me of a home-made burger. The thin bacon pieces were crisp. The onions sweet. The cheese was not completely melted. This was an ok burger, but I figured with all the signs in the restaurant proclaiming things like “Best Burger in Florida” and other such nonsense, that it would be exceptional. In-N-Out is better. Hands down. I would also prefer Nations, a local chain over this. Of course, they don't have those on the east coast.
The fries were medium cut with skins on. Like a lot of fresh–cut fires, they fry up brown, even though they aren’t overcooked. I am fine with that. But these were greasy, limp and not that great. They were hot though.
I suppose if I had walked into Five Guys without any expectations, I would have been impressed with the burger a little more. But the lousy location, long wait and mediocre presentation dragged down the whole experience.
Burger 3 spatulas out of 5
Fries 2 spatulas
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
43518 Christy St.
Fremont, CA 94538