Having won the InStyle office World Cup sweepstake through a lot of enthusiasm, and even more luck, I decided a celebration was in order. So off to Five Guys with four
lucky competition winners friends it was. For those of us who aren’t quite finished with the burger hype, Five Guys is the place to go. A no frills, honest-to-god burger bar; a US import I'm more than happy to receive.
Greeted by Simon, aka the most informative and polite staff member to ever grace a burger joint, we were swiftly taken to a booth all red leather, Diner stripes and the piece de resistance, AIR CON.
A trip to the Coca Cola dream machine resulted in a pint of what can only be described as a kid’s party in a cup, and I mean that in a good way. An unadulterated ode to consumerism it may be but Vanilla Coke on tap (not to mention Peach Fanta) is enough to sway my weak morals, health food drones be damned!
Sufficiently sugar induced, the mains were served. Advised by Simon to order a cheeseburger ‘all the way’, I was not disappointed. A soft sesame seed bun with a hand-made meat patty that actually tasted of beef topped with ketchup, mayo, pickles, mushrooms, grilled onions, mustard and a polite nod to salad to top it off. Be warned though, a regular burger at Five Guys is two patties. TWO. If you’re anything like me and you want to fit your burger actually in your mouth, opt for a Little Burger, the coyly named one patty choice. It might not sound super impressive, but ladies if you want to finish this fast food frenzy with an ounce of dignity left, vote small.
As for the fries, well I wouldn’t know. All fries are cooked in pure peanut oil which is a tasty but somewhat surprising choice considering how hot it is to have allergies these days. With that in mind, my own nut allergy meant I opted out (the free monkey-nuts were also lost on me) but my kind companions let me know just what I was missing. Perfectly salted, freshly cooked skin-on fries that were never introduced to the freezer, or so Simon says. With no time to hit the freezers, our patties appeared within seven minutes; literally fast food.
Five Guys may not be gourmet but it’s better. Moreish, delicious and served in a paper bag, this is how burgers should be. Simon say’s it’s the best and I’m inclined to believe him.
The Verdict: Tastier than Shake Shack, less hipster than MEATliquor (beers come in bottles here, not carafes) and roomier than patty and bun. We have a winner.
The Details: Five Guys, Covent Garden, www.fiveguys.co.uk
By George Driver/@iamgdriver