Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Little Cheeseburger

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I’m a fan of Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I’ve eaten there several times, and have long said their burgers are the best in town. As I try to do with every review, I did my best to clear any preconceived notions from my mind before walking in the door. I feel confident this review is an honest one, hopefully you agree with me.

The Burger

Five Guys Burgers and Fries has an exceedingly simple menu, with only about a half-dozen different things to eat (focusing on only a few items and serving them well is actually a core principle of the company). The star of the show are their burgers, of course, which use all beef patties. The burgers are cooked to order, and the patties are never frozen. In fact, Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants don’t have freezers in them.

Normally when I get a burger from Five Guys Burgers and Fries, I order one of the “regular” burgers, which have 2 patties in them. In order to keep this review as fair as possible, I ordered a Little Cheeseburger, which has a single patty.

All of the toppings are free, and there are over a dozen to choose from. I usually order all sorts of toppings, but in order to keep this burger similar to others I’ve eaten for this project, I ordered my Little Cheeseburger with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, yellow mustard, and grilled onions.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries cares about the quality of the food, but one thing they don’t really seem to care about is the presentation of the food. When my number was called, I was handed a plain brown paper bag with visible grease stains on it from the fries. My burger was wrapped in aluminum foil, and unwrapping it revealed a burger that wasn’t about to win any beauty contests. (Comparing this one to others I’ve had at Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the past, this one actually looked much better.)

Beneath the soft, toasted sesame seed bun are fresh ingredients cradling a flavorful, perfectly cooked burger patty. It’s not all sunshine and roses, however. The toppings, while good in their own right, overshadowed the burger patty—especially the mayo. It’s a problem I haven’t encountered with Five Guys Burgers and Fries before, probably because my burger normally has a second patty on it.

The cheese was also fairly disappointing, but maybe I’ve just reached a point in life where I prefer bold, stinky cheeses to ones with more subtle flavors.

Eating the Little Cheeseburger, like every other burger I’ve had here, made a big mess. It dripped juices, sauces, and pieces of toppings. It got all over my hands and the foil I had spread out in anticipation (pro-tip, by the way). I’m not complaining, really, just pointing out that this burger was messier than ones I’ve eaten at other restaurants.

The Fries

If you know only one thing about Five Guys Burgers and Fries, it’s probably that every order of fries is huge. The Regular Fries are enough for 2 or 3 people, and the Large Fries could feed an entire family. Even the Little Fry, which is what I ordered, was almost too much for a single person to eat. To top it off (literally), when your order is bagged, an extra tub of fries is dumped on top of everything.

The thick cut fries are (relatively) locally sourced, and are fresh cut. I’m not sure how often they cook up a new batch, but my fries were nice and hot. The brown fries are greasy and salty, but delicious and don’t taste especially greasy.

They’re a pretty good balance of crispy and soft, although many are “chewier” than I’d like. Still, the insides are fluffy, and when you do get one that’s perfect, it’s wonderful. I’m generally not a fan of brown fries, but these ones are cooked and seasoned incredibly well.

The Price

Many people complain about the price of the food at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which is understandable. The prices are definitely higher than fast food restaurants, but they’re comparable to sit-down joints (cheaper, in many cases), with far tastier fare.

My Little Cheeseburger and Little Fry cost just shy of $8 before tax. Add a regular drink, and you’re looking at a $10 meal. When you factor in the quality of the food and the massive quantity of french fries you get for that price, I’d say the value is top-notch.

The Restaurant

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Five Guys Burgers and Fries was the incredible smell. I was drawn in by the delicious scent of burgers wafting about from the open kitchen. I may have even begun to salivate.

Ordering was relatively straightforward, largely thanks to the simple and well-organized menu. The staff were friendly and happy to help with suggestions or modifications.

The dining room was extremely well lit with natural light, due to the floor-to-ceiling windows that made up two of the walls. The tables were mostly clean, but many of the seats had crumbs on them, and the floors were also kind of dirty. Despite the slightly dirty appearance, there was a guy cleaning the dining room the entire time I was there.

The décor was neat, with their trademark red and white checkered pattern all over the place. The walls were covered with glowing reviews of Five Guys Burgers and Fries from publications large and small.

They were playing a variety of musical genres, clearly design to appeal to people with a wide range of musical tastes. It was a bit louder than other restaurants I’ve reviewed, but it wasn’t so loud you couldn’t have a conversation.

Before you get to your seat, be sure to grab a tub of free peanuts, if you think you have room for even more food.

The décor continued into the bathroom, with red and white checkered tile and red fixtures on the walls. The bathroom was clean enough, although the outside of the door was sticky, which was unsettling.

The plain look of the burgers at Five Guys Burgers and Fries belie their true nature: Delicious, perfectly-cooked burgers with fresh toppings. Pair them with more tasty fries than you can shake a stick at, and you have one hell of a meal. A messy meal, sure, but an enjoyable one.

Also, in case you’ve never seen it before, check out the Daym Drops review of Five Guys Burgers and Fries. He hits the nail on the head.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
10 N Sullivan Rd, Spokane, WA 99223
(509) 927-2840

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Disagree with my review? That's cool, people have different tastes. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me why you think I got this one wrong. But keep your comments civil or they'll get deleted.

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