Though I don’t eat out much, I am a fan of burgers. Some of my friends call me weird; because I’m Asian, I’m supposed to like rice and noodles, not burgers and pizza. While there are times when I want dim sum, there are also times when I crave for a burger.
Last year, my friend told me about this place called Five Guys burgers. I thought, “oh great, another burger place.” McDonalds makes burgers and they’re good. Burger King makes burgers and they’re good. Heck, Subway makes delicious sub sandwiches. What’s the big deal with this Five Guys Burgers you’re talking about? Nevertheless, he pestered me about it almost daily, so I said to him and two other friends, “let’s go there one day for lunch.”
We headed down to the nearest Five Guys and to my surprise, it was right next to a movie theater. The place looked very nice; its glass walls gave us a great view of the other shops outside. Upon entering the fast food place, it was quite clean, and looked much nicer than McDonalds or Burger King. In place of the ugly, ubiquitous Tensabarriers were bags of potatoes and peanuts stacked three high; and boxes of ketchup and peanut oil. The kitchen was open and plainly visible; no giant grey steel machinery blocked our view of it. Oh, and did I mention that the peanuts were free?
I ordered my burger, which, to my delight, I could customize. I told the cashier. A few minutes later, a steaming hot cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled mushrooms, and ketchup was handed to me in a bag, with an overfilling side of gourmet fries. The place was crowded, but the four of us found a table. Meticulously, I unwrapped the wrapper to the juciest, most mouthwatering burger that I had never seen.
I closed my eyes, and with my hands, I carefully grabbed the burger, and took a slow, deliberate bite. As my teeth sank in deeper into the sandwich of angelic perfection, the flavor seized my taste buds. Soon, I found myself in a burger heaven, oblivious to the worries of the outside world. In this heaven I wallowed in a lush, verdant field of lettuce and tomatoes, covered in scrumptious tomato ketchup of the finest quality. If that wasn’t enough to induce a food coma, the heavenly grilled mushrooms and tender onions knocked me into one easily.
A few days passed before I finally awoke from my food-induced coma (or that’s what it felt like.) I realized what my friend said “I’d been missing out on.” No McDonalds, no Burger King, no Jack in the Box, or any fast-food chain for that matter, prepared the same caliber of burgers and fries that Five Guys did. The big difference between Five Guys and the “Other” guys: handmade burgers, straight from scratch. While they’re not hardcore enough to raise cattle in their storage closet or press their own peanuts into peanut oil, they take great care in making every burger. All the ingredients put into a great burger are fresh, not frozen. Unlike McDonalds, Five Guys makes their burgers fresh on the spot, cooking the beef patties on an open stovetop, sizzling the grilled onions and mushrooms on an open flame, and even cutting the potatoes, which are supplied by a different farm every day.
Five Guys defeats the fast-food competition, two hands down. You would be hard-pressed to find another nationwide burger chain that offers the same quality of burgers at the same price. As a word of advice from the friend who encouraged me to dig into one of their burgers: if you haven’t tried it yet, “you’re missing out.”