Today, K and I ventured downtown to check out a burger joint that we have been meaning to review for a while. He had been to the one in Kingston once before, but had also tried out the chain elsewhere in the States. I, on the other hand, was a Five Guys virgin.
Despite it being a cold and snowy night, the place was hopping with people. It was a pleasantly diverse crowd, with locals, families, young couples, and even some military folk dressed in their garb. As you walk in, you head straight for the cash, where they take your order. The menu is very simple, with four regular burgers to choose from (hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, or bacon cheeseburger) and four little burgers (with the same variety). The regular burgers use two patties, while the little burgers use one. You can also get one of two sizes of soft drinks (which you fill up on your own – and refills are free), and one of two sizes of fries. The fries can be seasoned either Five Guys style (just salt) or Cajun style. The kitchen is entirely open for all to see, and it is impeccably clean and efficient. The eating area, on the other hand, though bright, was in need of a cleaning. This probably had to do with the weather outside, and the fact that everyone is welcome to munch on some free peanuts while they wait. I definitely spotted some peanut shell families gathering underneath the tables.
what we ordered
A word of caution: don’t throw out your receipts too quickly! I am a person who does not hang onto receipts, so in my haste, I threw it out before I got my order. Luckily, I remembered the order number, and I got my order just the same. However, if you are not inclined to remember your order number, make sure you keep your receipt!
Before we start talking about the food, note the picture above – a number two sticker is on my burger. This is a testament to the true efficiency of the joint. Every order is accompanied by a receipt number, and within that order, each burger is numbered so you know whose is whose!! This is especially helpful if you are ordering burgers for a whole bunch of people, or if people get the same burger, but with different toppings. Now, on to the good stuff…
This is the Little Cheeseburger, with ketchup, lettuce, grilled onions, and grilled mushrooms (4.79). Oh! I forgot to mention that all the toppings come free of charge – you just tell them what you want! K enjoyed his burger, but he says that if he were to do it again, he would just go for the regular burgers.
This is the Little Bacon Burger, with lettuce, ketchup, mustard, grilled onions, and grilled mushrooms (4.79). I definitely thought I ordered a Little Bacon Cheeseburger instead, but alas, the receipt (and my sandwich) told me otherwise. The burger was okay, but I didn’t find anything spectacular to rave about. The grilled mushrooms are a nice addition, and they do toast the buns, but I found that the bottom bun almost disappeared amidst the rest of the burger. K has much better burger-eating technique than I do, so I found myself wiping my fingers after almost every bite.
We cannot have burgers without fries! So, we ordered a portion of Five Guys style large fries (2.29). By the cash, they have a whiteboard where they write down where the potatoes are from for the day. Today, they were from Place Farms in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The fries were delicious, and they tasted oh so potato-ey. I definitely enjoyed them.
We also ordered a drink, a large drink (2.29), but you could technically order a regular drink, since you get free refills. It’s up to you! The selection of soft drinks is nothing to rave about either, but again, it is part of a complete burger combo.
After eating all this, I was still a little bit hungry, so we decided to order a Regular Hamburger (6.29). If you are someone with a medium to large appetite, I would definitely suggest getting the Regular burgers instead.
This is our Regular Hamburger, with grilled onions, regular onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, and lettuce. Note the two patties. This burger was much better than the other two. It was juicier, had a fuller flavour, and just generally more enjoyable. With the two patties together, you could really taste that the patties were homemade – the ground beef flavour was much more distinct. I would definitely recommend you give this one a try. As we finished up, we felt much more satisfied, and it was a great way to end the meal.
3 (out of 5) for food
1.5 (out of 5) for atmosphere
Disclaimer: The reason we gave Five Guys such a low mark for atmosphere was because of the nature of the place. At its heart, Five Guys is a fast food joint, and not a place you would go for a sit-down dinner (this is not to say that only fancy places will get a good rating for atmosphere).
That being said, Five Guys is a nice alternative to the otherwise unhealthy fast food options that we are given in today’s world. We will probably be back sometime (or at least, K will, in the spring time, once softball season begins).
Check it out for yourself at 185 Princess Street (Bagot and Princess)!