We weren't very organised and arrived at Five Guys bang on 1pm and there was a massive queue outside and a massive queue inside - Pascal & I looked at each other in despair - he hates queuing but I did not want to eat elsewhere! We (or I) decided to just stay and queue and actually it moved pretty quickly - it was a ten minute wait max to join the queue inside.
Five Guys was originally set up by the Murrell family in 1986 and since then it has grown and grown to over 1000 branches with a further 1500 in development. They had a simple concept to serve only hand-formed burgers cooked to perfection on a grill along with fresh-cut fries cooked in pure peanut oil. The menu offers burgers, cheese burgers, bacon cheese burgers and bacon burgers with either a single or double patty. There is a BLT sandwich, a vegetable sandwich or a grilled cheese. The fries are either served salted or cajun style. Apparently hot dogs will be added to the menu soon (I will obviously be back to try these).
The thing which sets Five Guys apart is once you have ordered your burger you can add further toppings free of charge - as much or as little as you like - they claim there are over 250,000 ways you can have your burger at Five Guys (it will take me a while & a lot of weight gain if I try to prove this so will just take their word for it)!! The toppings range from salad to ketchup & american mustard to jalapeños.
After queuing and waiting for about 25 minutes we finally got our burgers and they were PHENOMENAL!!
Pascal had a bacon cheese burger (two patties) with mayonnaise and grilled onions:
He then also had a little bacon cheeseburger (one patty) with lettuce, pickle, grilled onions and mayonnaise (no point holding back)!
I had a little bacon cheeseburger with pickle, grilled onions, ketchup and american mustard.
Er I then also had a grilled cheese sandwich.....
And we shared fries (salty not cajun)!
We both agreed the burgers were the best we had ever had - better than shake shack even though a few days ago I thought they were the best! The bacon was so crispy, the beef juicy, the buns slightly sweet (but this works), the cheese cheesy - it was an incredibly messy affair, I must have used about ten napkins - but it was worth it. It is not the place I would come on a date, the burgers are impossible to eat in an attractive way but they are so good you don't care. Unfortunately the grilled cheese was absolutely rubbish - just a burger bun with a little bit of cheese in the middle - I ended up just picking out the cheese and putting it on the fries a la shake shack! The fries also didn't impress me that much, not enough salt and very potatoey - however Pascal adored them. If I could buy the burgers from here and eat them with the cheesy fries from Shake Shack I would be in Heaven!!
I also have to mention the drinks machine - they offered over 100 fizzy drinks such as dr pepper, orange flavoured coke and even my favourite de caff diet coke - it was free refills - I wish I had something like this at home!
All in all I will definitely be back for a burger and hopefully a hot dog - it is not the most relaxing experience nor the cheapest (our meal set us back nearly £35) but for a burger that good, it is worth it!!!
1-3 Long Acre
London WC2E 9LH
Tel: 0800 0833 005
(You can also order online to avoid the queues).