Looking at all the reviews I can see why there is a huge divide for Five Guys. I heard the hype, waited for it to die down and decided to try for myself.
Draped in the colours of swirl candy, you knew it looked like a place where the food wasn't good for you at all. I'm not too sure about the open kitchen as it tries to look honest, but the huge metal rack with dozens of pre-packaged buns, the sacks of potatoes by the door and the open boxes complimentary peanuts doesn't seem to work for me too much. There are review clippings proudly mounted on the walls and the staff does its best to keep the place clean but I'm amazed at how lazy the dining patrons are at cleaning themselves up, given the amount of peanut shells on the ground.
My gf and I ordered a single and a double with various toppings including cheese, bacon and mushrooms, a small french fries and a fountain soda. I do agree that the prices are hard to swallow given the type of restaurant but on taste alone, it is definitely one of the tastier burgers for a fast food outfit. If you're expecting a pretentious burger with toppings like aged cheddar, stilton, glazed onions, pancetta, homemade mustard and mayo on a brioche bun, give your head a check before coming in. At Five Guys, you'll get a made to order burger with orange processed cheese, a nice beefy yet juicy patty that has that grease that makes that packaged bun taste that much better and nothing more. The mushrooms were generous and the bacon stayed crisp and I liked the fact that I could pick the fixin's as I like my burgers plain. The skin on french fries are plentiful but rather boring and the pop machine didn't seem to want to mix properly that day but the burger was just right.
The service is that of a fast food joint but the staff are a little more pleasant and a little more helpful at recommendations. For that, it deserves a litte more kudos.
It's not an amazing burger but I don't think it's suppose to be. It is however a great, greasy burger when you want one instead of the usual McDonalds or Burger King.