Hawaii Mom Blog Updates

July 12, 2012

Off Island: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

A lot of my friends who visit the mainland post pictures of the good from Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Their pictures are always mouth-watering (have you ever seen a picture of a burger that didn't look tasty?), and I have always asked myself: "what distinguishes these guys from the rest, and are they better than In-N-Out"?


I visited Five Guys on West 55th Street in NYC to find out the answers to my questions. Here's what I discovered.

First of all, at Five Guys, all of their toppings are free. That's a plus, because most places charge for extra for the toppings, which can quickly drive up the cost of your burger.

The list of toppings is impressive and guaranteed to get you licking your chops.

Their menus is pretty straight forward. As you can see, they offer more than just hamburgers. Vegetarians will be happy to hear that they do have grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu. If you take a closer look, you'll see the calorie count next to each menu item. I saw this all over NYC and after doing some research on the web, I learned that a law in NY was passed in 2008, requiring restaurants and coffee chains with more than 15 locations nationwide to post the calorie counts on their menus. I don't know the official justification behind requiring only the large national chains to comply with this law, but that's the law. Whether it has had an effect on consumer behavior has remained to be seen. Did it have an effect on our behavior? You can be the judge of that after seeing what we ate.


The hubby ordered a Cheeseburger ($7.19) "All the Way", meaning with the toppings on the list above from Mayo thru Mustard. The cheeseburger alone has 840 calories. I'd say the additional toppings put this bad boy over the 1000 calorie mark.



Since it was 10pm, I opted for the Little Hamburger ($5.09). It doesn't look so little does it? This little guy has 480 calories, and the grilled onions and mushrooms probably added another 150 calories. For a person of my height and weight, this little guy should have served as my entire meal. But we're not done yet. Gotta try the fries!


Here's kicker - when you order fries, not only do they give you a cup of fries, but they throw it in the bag and add another heaping scoop of fries into the bag. It looks a little something like this. This is a large order of fries ($5.49) and it has 1,474 calories. Oh my.



Here is a snapshot of the fries up close. As you can see, they are skin-on fries - yum.


Here's why the fries taste so good - they are Idaho potatoes. There was a pallet-full of these bags stacked at the entrance, so that you know that their fries are made from a bag of fresh Idaho potatoes, not from a bag of frozen Ore-Ida fries.

Here are some facts about Five Guys (taken from their website):
  • There are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at Five Guys.
  • We use only fresh ground beef.
  • There are no freezers in Five Guys locations, just coolers. Nothing is ever frozen.
  • We use only Peanut oil.
  • Our menu is trans-fat free.
Now, I don't think there are as many ways to order a burger at In-N-Out Burger, but as far as taste and satisfaction goes, I still give top honors to In-N-Out.


Five Guys Burgers and Fries
43 West 55th Street
(212) 459-600
Over 1,000 locations across 47 states (unfortunately Hawaii is not one of the 47 states)


Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

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