Getting back to the general theme of this blog, I finally have my first burger joint review for this blog. In the coming months, I’ll have more reviews of places I’ve already been to (Kuma’s Corner, for example), but have yet to write about.
Non-virtual burger chain FIVE GUYS has finally found it’s way to Chicago. After recently hearing the praises from satellite radio personality and Bubba The Love Sponge (he’s in Tampa, Florida), I was thrilled to find out that they opened a Five Guys restaurant at 2140 N Clybourn Ave in Chicago about 2 and a half weeks ago.
Now that I could find out for myself what all the fuss was, was the hype was justified?
Short answer… YES.
Atmosphere: Nothing special, but FREE PEANUTS!
When you walk in the door, employees yell “ONE IN THE DOOR!” (or 2 or 3 in the door, or however many people happen to walk in the door) to let the rest of the crew know there’s customers coming in and that they should get their keesters ready to take and prepare your order. It’s a pretty basic layout inside. Navigate to to the order station , which is in front of an open-air burger and fry kitchen. Huge griddles cook burgers next to multiple deep fryers with stacks of fry baskets waiting to be cooked. Tables and chairs surround piles of giant bagged potatoes (the most noticable decoration) with big open boxes of shelled peanuts for customers to enjoy while waiting for their orders.
Ordering: Pretty Easy (once you figure out that one really means two).
The menu is straight forward, but for first-timers can be confusing.
The one thing that makes it simple is this:
A burger is TWO beef patties, a “little” burger is ONE patty.
I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with everything on it, which prompts the order-taker to yell “TWO PATTIES!”. One burger… TWO patties. Got it? Good! The rest of the deal is straight forward. You have a large list of toppings that you can choose from, and you’ll need to specify what you want on your burger. 2 sizes of fries, regular and large (the large will serve a small village).
The Food: Good Burgers. GREAT FRIES!
The french fries…. FANTASTIC! Five Guys figured it out. Fresh whole potatoes, cut daily, skins on; fried PERFECTLY. Cajun seasoning is an option, but I chose to go traditional.. good fries rarely need more than salt. They post on a board on the wall where their current potato supply came from (today was Idaho Russet, but I’m told it varies). Burgers were quality greasy-spoon fast-food burgers. That’s not a bad thing. They were tasty and better than any of the big chains. I will say, however, that when I return, it will be for the outstanding french fries, which outclassed the burgers.
Overall, a very good place to get a burger and fries. This location has only been open a short time, so although the service seemed a little haphazard and wasn’t the fastest I’ve seen, it will most surely improve over time.
One thing missing from Five Guys… MILKSHAKES.
I can see that they’re keeping it simple, but It would be the only thing I’d add to the menu.