Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Restaurant Review - Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, 7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL

A few weeks ago, Hubby, the boys, and I were at the Dr. Phillips Marketplace and started to get hungry for lunch. Hubby suggested Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries so we went inside to check it out. Due to the accolades posted all over the wall and on the menu, including "Willy Wonkas of Burgercraft" (Washington Magazine), and "Voted Best Burger in Charlotte" (Readers Pick), we figured we couldn't go wrong.

Five Guys is a chain from the DC area and now has locations all over the East Coast including (now) Central Florida. The decor is very basic - red and white tile and, strangely enough, huge sacks of potatoes as a decorating element. Turns out the menu is very basic as well. It's just burgers and fries (with just a couple of other choices of a hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich). Everything on the menu touts how fresh it is - Fresh Ground Beef, Never Frozen - and so I guess the potato sacks all over show that the fries are fresh as well. And, actually, a sign by the order counter stated that "Today's Potatoes" (for the fries I assume) "are from Rigby, Idaho." There's also a sign that states all burgers are prepared well done - so no "moo-ing" burgers for you. With a limited menu, it was pretty easy to choose - we all picked burgers. LB decided he wasn't hungry (I couldn't even get him to agree to a hot dog - $2.59, or grilled cheese - $1.99) so I figured he would just eat off of us. Burger choices are pretty simple - "regular" or "little" (I'll get to that in a minute), add bacon or cheese. All other toppings are free including condiments, standard toppings like onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and then some non-standard ones like sauteed mushrooms, jalapenos, and green peppers. There is no kids menu that I could see so I figured (it turns out I was wrong) that the "Little" burgers mentioned on the menu were for kids. BB ordered the Little Hamburger ($2.79) with onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Hubby ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger ($4.99) with just mustard, lettuce, and pickle; and I ordered the Cheeseburger ($4.49) with mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. We decided to also get a side of the large fries ($3.79) "Five Guys Style" cooked in peanut oil - there are also Cajun Style fries. We also ordered drinks ($1.79 each) - all 24 oz - the only size they have. When I asked if they had smaller cups for the kids, the server handed me 12 oz Styrofoam cups - much better as the other cups were too big. We then sat down to wait for our order number to be called. We decided to pass on the bucket of shelled peanuts available to munch on while you wait for your food because I figured then the boys wouldn't eat lunch.

After our number was called, Hubby came back with our grease-speckled plain brown paper bag containing our food. Sorry for those greasy spoon lovers out there - to me, it's not that attractive. Inside was a very large cup with our fries, and then three aluminum foil wrapped burgers. What was really nice is that each packet had a numbered sticker on it that corresponded to a number on the order ticket stapled to the bag so we had no trouble figuring out who's burgers was whose. Then came the surprise. When BB opened his foil up, I thought, wow, that's really big for a kid's burger. Then Hubby and I unwrapped ours - and found out that "Cheeseburger" and "Bacon Cheeseburger" really mean DOUBLE Cheeseburger and DOUBLE Bacon Cheeseburger. Yep, the "regular" burgers have two patties and the "little" ones have a hefty single patty. So, there really is no kid-sized food at Five Guys - frankly, a big disappointment. Luckily, by now, LB decided he was hungry so we were able to (in a very messy fashion) split the "little" burger between the two boys. In fact, all of the burgers were very messy and would literally fall out of the bun at any given time. However, I have to admit, they tasted really good. Messy, but yummy. Unfortunately, none of us thought the same of the fries. I thought they were very greasy and, really, did not have a good taste. In fact, they tasted like I had chopped up a bunch of potatoes myself and then dumped them into a vat of oil. So, those of you who love "homemade" fries will probably love these - I guess I'm really used to the commercial-made McDonald's fries. By the way, the large order of fries was HUGE. The regular order probably would have been fine (if we had liked the fries). Maybe the Cajun Style fries are better. In all, I did not find the menu at Five Guys very family-friendly. If I was in the area, without the kids, I'd probably pop in and grab a burger, but I'd pass on the fries.

13 comments:

daniel said...

i dont think that you could be any more mistaken. we take our 3 year old to the one in altamonte and she loves it as much as we do. she loves the burger and the fries and the peanuts are an added bonus. then we walk through the park and she plays in the fountain.

Restaurant Mom said...

Wow, Daniel, that's great that your 3 year old likes it. My boys just don't eat enough to warrant the whole "little" burger. That's why I try not to do "stars" or "ratings" and just tell it like it is in my reviews. That way others can decide for themselves, based on my experience, whether the restaurant would be something they would like or not. Thanks for your comment!

the Robotic Gourmand said...

When I was in Tampa my friends were saying I needed to check out Five Guys. If we can ever get you up to Seattle maybe we'll swing by Red Mill, I think you might like them a bit better.

Great site by the way!

John said...

I just went to Five Guys and the burger was well done, dry and tasteless. I discovered the reason for this when I noticed the guy making the burgers was smashing the beef on the grill and removing all of the juices. When is Five Guys going to tell their franchise operators to make the burgers the way they used to make them. I think they changed the beef from what the origional Five Guys used to use.

John said...

(another John) I thought the burgers were done right and fairly juicy. You need some condiments on these burgers, otherwise I can see how they might be considered too dry for some tastes.
Our son loved the little bacon cheeseburger. We really enjoyed the cajun fries. They were not greasy (maybe you had a bad batch). I also ate a hot dog with relish, which was very satisfying. You definitely can taste that the ingredients in these burgers and the condiments are fresh. Service was excellent, only about 5 minute wait, and cooks and cashier were all very friendly. Overall, I would go back and I choose this anyday over other fast hamburger places. The place was clean, too, so we were felt comfortable with our son there.

Anonymous said...

I went to the one in Old Winter Garden Rd. Let me tell you I've been to a whole bunch of different burger joints and but I was dissappointed as well as my boyfriend. It was our first time there and we both ordered our "little" cheesburger, my boyfriend asked for a special order to have his burger "BURNT" as he puts it!! Yes strange but hey that's how he like it. Anyway after letting the guy doing the burgers know that we didn't want any salt in our fries we waited bout 15 minutes. After they handed our greasy bags we left to sit outside and eat. I opened mine and to my surprise I had the regular burger (double cheeseburger) and he had a smaller version but it wasn't cooked to his specifications. Obviously they did a bad job at getting our orders right. After my first bite I was not that impressed with the burger...there was a hint of greasyness to the burger as well as the fries not tasting all that great. I give it a "THUMBS DOWN" they charge too much for a burger that isn't all there. My boyfriend and I weren't impressed. Sorry but not my cup of tea. I guess I'll be passing up on any future FIVE GUYS burger.

Janet said...

They just opened a Five Guys in my area. I had never heard of them before. My husband and I both got the "Little Hamburger" $3.09, we thought they were good. I liked all the condiments you could pick from. He also got a hot dog $2.69. He liked it though thought it could of stayed on the grill a little longer. We got a regular order of the cajun fries $2.39. We didn't think they were very spicy. I'm just not into the "homemade fries", they always seem to be a bit bland and greasy. The service was good and fast. We both agreed we would go back, I just wish they had more on their menu. A good onion ring would be great!

East Coast Five Guys Employee said...

I work at a Five Guys on the east coast. I do agree with Restaurant Mom that their should be a sign posted telling customers that REGULAR burgers are double 3.3 oz patties and LITTLE burgers are single 3.3 oz patties. I explain countless times a day to new customers the differences between regular and little burgers and 85% of them don't listen to me and order more then they can handle, then come back complaining to me they only wanted a single when they clearly stated regular to me when ordering.

The regular fry serves 1 to 2 people and the large fry serves 3 to 4 people, I love seeing people tell me they can take a large fry by themselves then look at me while im out sweeping or cleaning tables and tell me I was right, that they should of gone w/ the regular size fry.

Five Guys gets "Secret Shoppers" twice weekly, it can be anybody! That is how employees like myself make a living working at Five Guys, we get our regular pay + bonus checks for achieving 100 % 2 times a week from a secret shopper.

As far as the toppings go at Five Guys I believe thier can be more. One of our biggest requests is Saurkraut for our Hot Dogs, when I was at Five Guys corporate offices in Lorton, VA a few months ago I asked the big wigs why Five Guys doesn't offer that to customers for thier hot dogs and I was told it's called FIVE GUYS FAMOUS BURGERS AND FRIES for that reason, Five Guys could careless if we sell one hot dog, they strictly want to be known for their burgers and fries and thats it.

As far as cheese for your fries or onion rings thats not happening anytime soon. Five Guys doesn't believe opening a can of Cheese Wiz to put on fries is considered FRESH. No Salt, Salt, or Cajun is all your getting period. Plus i've experimented with Five Guys fries & Cheese Wiz, they weren't too good, the fries got really soggy. The Heinz Malt Vinegar is pretty good though on the fries, I like my fries creamaited personally then drenched in cajun seasoning to the point where I can't anything but cajun seasoning for the rest of the day/night.

The sodas are all Coca-Cola products. No hot beverages are served, and we often get customers telling us that Five Guys in blah blah location serves Coffee & Milk Shakes.....Nope, wrong, none do.

Well I think I covered some things, i'll wait for some more comments and post back soon!

Zac said...

to the first john that commented i work at a five guys and we do not smash the burgers we even them out.Also it is done at the beginning of the process when the meat is still raw, and trust me there are enough juices at the end. i have to wipe the excess off of the grill when the patties are done

Anonymous said...

One just opened in our city Lexington KY. They will be out of business within a year. People will not go for the ugly burger and grease.

Anonymous said...

I have to say - 5 Guys has some of the best burgers I've ever had. My current favorite is: cheeseburger with green peppers, sauted onions, and hot sauce (which actually doesn't taste hot at all for some reason). My complaints are: "regular" shouldn't be 2 huge burgers, and the fries suck (and are also too big). But the burgers are so good I keep going back.

Anonymous said...

five guys did not start in DC it took near three years befor they built one there it was in Verginia not DC get ur history right if they made it wrong well no one is perfict not even u stop crying about a screw up it not like they did nothing to fix it did they try other stores if that one keeps screwing up on food look at the crew report it top the owners they will fix it asap instead of crying about it its not like Mc Donalds nor BK Nor Wendys where they realy dont cook there food they rush it and half of the food been sitting 4hrs before u order five guys make all food ready to eat ask any manager for any tour i asked i got the brake down off the whole restrant in 30min watch how fries are made not frozen like other burger places its not bad of a burger shake even a small ideal from IN-N-OUT from the westcost california area they out rank five guys hands down but the good thing about five guys is the tast yah lots of money for a burger try to buy one in a real sit down restrant dont tast anywhere good just passable try a denys burger even though they are frozen its ok they will pass but not good thats why food chains are going down people cry over the small things and want to stop going BC of stupid confution get real love to see u make it 8 hrs a day 7 days a week over 1000 orders a day only on mondays threw thursdays they prep all food at 8am to 11 am for all day new lettuce not packaged not caned id love to see some people try to work there for a week wont happen there A to lazy or B dont know how to work in food love to see the day they dont keep lazy employees nore to young employees all employees can soon do every job in the store to the grill even to the penuts on the floor yah everyone is allowed to putt penuts on the floor but think of the employee that has to sweep it up everyday in and out iv seen and A hol threw shells on the floor after a young girl just sweaped that area man i wish he knew how it feels to sweep it everyday and get treated like poo a the employees are glade to give u a bag for ur shells not the penuts to go home with the reason for that not allowed to take penuts out of the store they can help if u choke sweal or need to go to the hospital there not going to run and chace u down the street all bc of penuts but when u leave u cant point fingers at five guys about the fingers if u get rushed to the hospital bc of penuts they pay ur bills not u u leave with penuts u pay the ER not five guys u cant even press charges on the case i talk to a young manager knew what he was talking about in altamonte springs i ask the other man who was there a day later he was slow at answering any questions the man i talked to with the answers was a man that was white he said no he is not a general manager but he might be quitting because of the general manager and owners i told him but ur good at what u do he said i dont think they think that i think they want me to go even when when he told me he lives closer to baldwin and they forced him to goto altamonte he said its not a bad thing its just pay is realy low then he told me he worked in in-n-out with his uncle long time ago and i clicked with him i know in-n-out i asked how much do they pay he smilled he said employees 7.25 pluss tips then he said shift managers get payed around 9flat no tips and medical that pulls 50 every paycheck i got his email i told him all help u if i can he said nah its ok all be leaving asap as soon as i find a job he replyed i then asked do u like the job he said yah but not the pay nor other managers its just hard i finished my talk shook his hand and left and wrote this page to tell everyone to enjoy that store they got one good shioft manager and good food ok crew but hay they work hard on what they do

Anonymous said...

We have 2 new 5 Guys close to my house and I say they seem more hype than substance. The burgers have a funny smell when they're fresh and hot which I never smell with other burgers. I think the meat is a little tough compared to other burger places. I DO love their hot fries with regular salt or malt vinegar. My wife loves their grilled dogs. I'd give them a 3.5 out of 5.

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