The newly opened cult-favourite, Five Guys Burger and Fries, is located at 329 Yonge St. and is already getting a taste of hungry clientele who are lined-up out the door at lunch time. Most of the people in line? Famished students and business folk on their lunch breaks who are tired of the food court, and looking to try one of the 250,000 combinations of burgers.
“I really like that you can customize your own burger,” says IT consultant, Darren Gothard, 23. “It tastes the way you want it to. The burgers taste real – unlike McDonald’s.”
The burgers are without question, phenomenal. The made to order and fresh, not frozen hand-smashed patties, taste homemade. Cooked until they are well-done, there is no shortage of juiciness with the perfect amount of free toppings on every burger. Every bite is the perfect gooey texture cheeseburgers should be without all the grease.
“It’s the perfect blend of the fast-food taste that you crave, and the homemade quality you want,” says fourth-year Ryerson student, Trinity Willett.
The Five Guys menu really sticks to the “Keep It Simple Stupid” mentality, only serving up one or two-patty burgers, hot dogs, veggie sandwiches and fries. Though some may complain of the price (a double-patty burger, regular fries and a medium drink can run you about $16) it’s quickly forgotten once they taste their order that comes in a retro brown paper bag.
The fries come in two varieties – regular and cajun, both of which are fried in peanut oil. The cajun-style fries are worth a second visit on their own– Perfectly crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and sprinkled with a little heat, the spices add a great kick to an otherwise boring side. Five Guys also serves free peanuts in bulk containers just in case you don’t leave the place completely stuffed.
The atmosphere is not quite a fast-food joint, but not quite a sit-down place, either. You get your food quickly like a fast-food restaurant, but without the awful smell of cooking oil and with a genuine smile like a dine-in restaurant. The decor, or lack there of, suggests a diner-y feel complete with old school rock n’ roll tunes blasting overhead (like Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”). Large-font posters plaster the walls, showing off headlines and review snippets from acclaimed newspapers and magazines.“‘Five Guys serves heaven on a bun’ Tampa Tribune, June 2007” reads one poster.
Though no one in line cared to discuss the nutritional value of their upcoming lunch, if you’re calorie-conscious, you might want to skip this place. A single-patty cheeseburger and regular-sized fries can cost you a whopping 1,170 calories, assuming you’re washing everything down with water.
But, despite their off-putting nutritional information, Five Guys is definitely worth every last cheesy, guilty calorie.