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Published May 05, 2010, 12:00 AM

Restaurant review: Five Guys a fast, friendly burger fix

New fast-food joint’s fries are good, burgers so-so
Fargo-Moorhead has been a bit short on options for quality burgers. Some people rave about the bar burgers at the Hi Ho or Mick’s Office. Casual upscale places like John Alexander’s can put together a decent gourmet burger. But the fast-food burger with a boatload of available toppings and bit of a reputation to match disappeared from the region with the closing of Fuddruckers some years ago.

By: Eric Daeuber, Special to The Forum, INFORUM

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

2877 45th St. S.

Fargo

Cuisine:

Fast food

Ratings:

  • Food: two stars
  • Service: two stars
  • Ambiance: one and a half stars

Dining details

  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday
  • Phone: (701) 356-5489
  • Reservations accepted: No
  • Alcohol: No
  • Dress: As you like
  • Credit cards accepted: Visa, Discover, American Express and MasterCard

Fargo-Moorhead has been a bit short on options for quality burgers.

Some people rave about the bar burgers at the Hi Ho or Mick’s Office. Casual upscale places like John Alexander’s can put together a decent gourmet burger. But the fast-food burger with a boatload of available toppings and bit of a reputation to match disappeared from the region with the closing of Fuddruckers some years ago.

That void has been filled, a bit, with the opening of Five Guys Burger and Fries.

For a thousand calories of beef, bacon and cheese with enough toppings for the traditional burger lover who isn’t expecting gorgonzola or shallots, you can’t beat Five Guys’ bacon cheeseburger for $4.39.

People are friendly and the food is fast at Five Guys. The fries are made from fresh potatoes, chunky and the regular size ($2.59) feeds two. They’re greasy, to be sure. But they’re slightly crisp with more real potato than the fast-food crunch you may be used to.

For me, the fries are the high point of the experience and worth a visit for those alone.

But Five Guys is what it is. It’s a franchise

fast-food hamburger joint, and President Barack Obama’s much covered visit to the Washington store last summer doesn’t change that.

It’s noisy, with Five Guys’ own version of diner slang, order calls and overhead music just above comfort levels. The décor, with its bright

red-and-white checkered theme, is an exercise in self congratulations made up of dozens of reviews detailing Five Guys’ place as the best burger in Charlotte City or the No. 1 burger in South Tampa or Southern Living Magazine’s burger of choice.

The theory, here, is that a hundred reviews can’t be wrong.

But the burgers are all cooked to well done, the buns are a little fragile and, for some, the hastily assembled double patty burgers can be a little tough to keep together. These details can be deal-breakers for some people.

The hot dogs, starting at around $3, are a good option, but they are served up the same way. And if it’s not your cup of tea, well, they don’t have tea either.

For die-hard burger fans, Five Guys is a must. And, for some of these fans, not having this restaurant in Fargo made it less of a city. If that’s so, we’ve arrived.


Eric Daeuber is an instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Readers can reach him at food@daeuber.com.


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