five guys

There are exceptions to every rule. We all have them, big ones and small ones. Even exceptions to the “thou shalt not eat at chains” rule which I try to follow as much as possible. But just like every other rule I’ve known since I was kid, I’ve broken this one, too. And frankly, I’d break it a lot more if I was a west sider.

If you’ve had a burger and fries from Five Guys you know exactly why this rule is so enjoyable to break. I had my first encounter to these addicting burgers last year while vacationing in the Outer Banks. We had just finished attempting hang gliding when my brother-in-law suggested grabbing a quick lunch at the local Five Guys. When I questioned what exactly was this place, I was received with a lot of blank and confused looks, as if I was the only person to never have experienced one of their burgers.

After one bite of that burger I was sold on the Five Guys phenomenon – and I’m not even a big meat eater. That stop was worth the borderline hell of my first attempt at hang gliding (the 20 seconds in the air was great, it was everything else – equipment, extreme heat, no water and high dunes that were not meant to be hiked by me – that were miserable).

A few days ago I was coming back from a client meeting in Sandusky. On the way back, I stopped in Avon to pick up a few burgers and fries for dinner. When I called Jamie to tell him where I just was, all he said was you better not be joking. He opened up the door as soon as he heard the garage door open!

You can get any number of options at Five Guys, but I prefer the little cheeseburger (the regular one is way too big to even attempt to eat) with lettuce, onions, pickles, tomatoes, ketchup and mustard plus a regular fry – which if you’ve been there, you know usually ends up being a large plus fry.

Like I said before, I am not a huge fan of meat (with a few exceptions). I rarely eat chicken (never liked the taste) or steak and only on occasion will order a burger. However, if I lived close to a Five Guys, I could easily overdose on these burgers.

I don’t know what makes them so good or so special, but they just are. They are cooked and seasoned perfectly every time and always leave me wanting more. I will probably get a lot of flack for this, but I can honestly say in my opinion, this place makes the best burger – chain or not.


  1. TraciJ in CA
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    This post made me jealous!!! Half of my team works in the South and they rave about “FIVE GUYS” – best burger ever. I’m glad you think the same even if it is a “chain”. I was just in Georgia recently and I can’t believe that I forgot about FIVE GUYS and my co-worker didn’t even suggest it, ugh! I will definitely visit the one in Strongsville the next time I’m “home”.

    Also, congrats on the Sun article – very cool!

  2. rockandroller
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I just don't get the hype about them and I've eaten there twice. I think the fries are covered with some kind of seasoning salt which eats away the roof of my mouth, and the burgers are really, really excessively greasy to me, and very sloppy -both times the sandwich fell apart before I could finish it and my hands ended up covered in burger grease. If I'm going to blow my day with over 50g of fat in one meal, I'd rather it be In & Out.

  3. Horton
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I spoke to the owner of it once who said the guy who started it broke away from In-and-Out and basically the only difference is that they us a higher quality meat. Sorry rock-n-roller!

  4. lifeinrecipes
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Luckily for us east siders Five Guys will soon be in Mayfield Hts. at the new shopping plaza on SOM just north of Golden Gate. Another is slated sometime in’09 at Chagrin Highlands at Richmond and Harvard. Can’t wait.

  5. rockandroller
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    horton, that’s very interesting. I don’t think the two restaurants’ food resembles each other at all. Five Guys fries for example are thicker cut, cooked in some kind of oil that makes them very dark colored (and many hard bits) and heavily seasoned with a seasoned salt (probably MSG).

    Maybe conceptually there is not much of a difference, but from a product and taste perspective, I think they’re worlds apart.

    To each his own.

  6. michelle v
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Five Guys is coming to the east side – that's fantastic news! Thanks for sharing.

    I've never tried In & Out and don't know too much about them. I will agree the burgers do fall apart, but I don't think they are greasy, at least what I have experienced. I hope you were exaggerating with the 50g of fat… That makes me glad there isn't one closer – for now!

  7. Amy G
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I happen to LOVE cheeseburgers, but have yet to try that place, and I’m in Avon all the time too. But the reason is because I heard that they only have american cheese (a travesty to cheese in my opinion). Do you know if that was true? If not, I will go there this weekend! Otherwise, a burger without cheese is just meatloaf.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I love Five Guys + am so glad they are in Northeast Ohio! Those bitsy french fry bits are to die for!

  9. michelle v
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Amy – a burger without cheese is just meatloaf – that’s great! Honestly, I didn’t even notice about the cheese but I’m guessing that’s true because I’ve never been asked what type of cheese. Do yourself a favor and just try it – I bet you’ll love it!

  10. rockandroller
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    wasn’t kidding about the 50g – they do have their nutritional information online. that was for burger, meat and cheese ONLY.

  11. michelle v
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Ok, it looks like the burger I get is under 50, but still higher than I would like. Oh well, it’s still a damn good burger – unhealthy, but good!

  12. UnaccountableFoodProcessing
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink


  13. Anonymous
    Posted August 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Five Guys is good but most definitely not comparable to In n Out!

  14. Joanna M
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I had Five Guys the first time I took my daughter to look at University of South Carolina – and then it bacame a must-have on every visit! Now she is transferring to OSU and I have no reason for 10 hour drives to Columbia, SC so I am totally pumped that they are coming to the east side! High five Five Guys!

  15. Anonymous
    Posted August 14, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    american cheese or not, five guys is amazing.

    rockandroller, are you sure you didn’t receive the cajun fries instead of the regular fries? i have never had an experience like that with the restaurant’s unflavored fries. there is very little salt on them.

  16. rockandroller
    Posted August 15, 2008 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I’ve been there twice and simply ordered “fries.” VERY salty both times, overcooked (IMO) both times (several hard, dark brown pieces that were inedible) and after maybe half a portion, the inside of my mouth started to get eaten away from whatever spice was on the fries. This only happens when I have a seasoning salt of some kind.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Permalink