I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Richland, Washington.
Greetings from Richland, Washington
GPS 46.258787, -119.310578 Elev. 518 feet
A recent YouGov survey found Burger King and Five Guys Burgers and Fries tied for “Best Burger.” Am I missing something? Methinks the BK crowd has never been to a Five Guys.
My daughter once described Five Guys as “The Subway of … wait, that’s a bad comparison. They’re the Quiznos … no, wait. You get to choose whatever you want on your burger. So they’re kind of like Chipotle but it’s burgers instead of burritos. They’re my favorite.”
With that in mind I went and met Five Guys and their burgers. And they are awesome. A little pricey but awesome. I loved it so much I had to go back again — I was actually jonesin’ for a FGs burger and I’m not a burger guy — with the kids (daughter, son-in-law and grandson) in tow for another fix.
She nailed the quintessence of the place with the selection aspect. There are 15 different options to put on your burger. It could conceivably take you some time to decide exactly what you want. That may be why FGs provides free salted in-the-shell peanuts to fiddle with while you figure it out. I thought that was a great touch because, well, I really like places classy enough to have peanut shells on the floor.
Once you opt your options your burger is made to order. When your burger is finished they put it on a square piece of aluminum foil (a wee bit of aluminium wrap if you’re from the Commonwealth), fold it diagonally corner-to-corner, then corner-to-corner again, give it a spin and, voilà, your burger is encased in what now roughly resembles a metal cylinder worthy of the prop shop for Plan 9 From Outer Space.
I ordered a regular Cheeseburger ($6.49), with mustard, ketchup, mayo, tomato, onion and grilled mushrooms. The older kids ordered Little Bacon Cheeseburgers ($5.79) with various fixins, and regular drinks ($2.19) they got from a high-tech sugar-water dispenser. We also got a regular order of fries ($3.49).
When ordering at Five Guys one needs to know basic things. For example, a regular burger is a double burger; the “little” is a single patty. And a regular size fry will feed three adults.
The fries are great. Skin-on, fried in peanut oil. That they’re served in a paper bag is a nice touch as it soaks up any excess oil. Five Guys may take great pride in their fries. They are great! They even have a sign on the wall informing you where that day’s spuds came from. (The aforementioned survey had McDouches, er, McDonalds fries at number one. Baffling.) And the kids did something I’d never seen before. They added malt vinegar to the little cup of ketchup to cut the sweetness. Brilliant, I thought. And incredibly tasty! Ah, the wonders of ketchup.
The burgers are, I think, nonpareil. All the toppings are free, the burgers are cooked to perfection, the veggies are fresh, ripe, and they have grilled mushrooms — Grilled Mushrooms! It’s impossible to go wrong. But I did, of course. I forgot to ask them to grill the bun. I suspect they would do that for me. Next time.
My son-in-law eats FGs burgers with a knife and fork. He says they’re messy. There could be a reason he thinks this but I dunno. My Punkin’ on the other hand holds her burger with two hands, just like dear old dad. Of course, to be fair, her beard is removable.
I’ve had many burgers in my life, including Back Yard Burgers, which are very similar to Five Guys’, and In•N•Out Burgers. I like FGs burgers better; I’d like them more if they were about a dollar cheaper. I’m still baffled that Five Guys tied with Burger King in the survey; third place for burgers, after Wendy’s(?), was In•N•Out Burgers).
While I may think Five Guys has a better burger than Burger King, the thick, creamy, malty goodness of an In•N•Out milkshake (not rated) was noticeably missing. Oh well.
And so we roll.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 2671 Queensgate, Richland, Washington
and 1,000+ locations throughout the United States and Commonwealth member states, like Canada, eh, and the United Kingdom.
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.