1-3 Long Acre
Oh dear. I’ve spent the last few weeks defending Five Guys and Shake Shack from the kind of ridiculous parochialism that wants to see them fail because: “We are perfectly capable of putting a ground beef patty between two pieces of bread thank you very much.” I’ve read too many reviews where the writer went in with the express intention of disliking the american fare. I railed against the stupidity. “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, I said. “You aren’t even aware that there are different types of burgers.” I’d tried Shake Shack – Shake Shack burgers are boss, I figured Five Guys would be the same. Bad news. I was wrong to assume that Five Guys would live up to the hype. Five Guys make good chips, and their high-tech coke machine is worth a visit, even if you don’t feel like a burger. If I were a bit younger, I’d try combining every different Coca Cola flavour into one mega-Coke (if I were younger…). KS and I had decided to make a man-date of it. We sat in our 2 person booth, anticipating burger excellence. There was a little skip in KS’ step as he raced over to the counter to pick up our little bundle of joy (it’s actually always there); a cheeseburger for me and a hamburger for KS, “all the way” naturally. We opened up the bag, spying the famed overflowing cup of chips and two silver bullets, offering much promise… Even on opening, the burgers looked the part: fat, messy, and overflowing with salad and extras, Anticipation had reached its peak. And then it all went wrong. Our verdict? They just aren’t that good. I’d describe them as a higher quality Whopper. This caused much consternation (there may have even been a tear is KS’ eye). The beef simply wasn’t juicy. We swapped burgers, thinking that perhaps there was something wrong with us. No luck. To be fair, everything else in the burger was delicious, but the burger patty is the main event, and without that, you’ve got nothing. Five Guys is good fast food, and if I saw a Five Guys while in an unfamiliar city, I’d probably give it another crack, but it’s not destination food, and I won’t be going back in London unless I’m choosing between that and McDonalds or Burger King. It seems like Five Guys has ridden into town on the wave of burger enthusiasm, aided in part by a particularly high profile endorsement. I feel like they’ve been found out. And seriously Guys, what do all those staff do?