Thursday, November 5, 2009

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
2887 Dixie Highway
Crestview Hills, KY
tel: 859-331-1269
www.fiveguys.com

When this award-winning Washington D.C.-based chain opened in Clifton earlier in the year we stopped by to try it but the queues were out the door and we didn't feel like waiting. We've tried to get into the restaurant several times since but it always seems to be hopping. Ditto the Crestview Hills location, and our criteria for Five Guys has been this: "if there are no empty tables visible, we aren't even going in the door."



Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Luckily we finally got around to visiting at the tail end of the lunch rush, and although the place was still busy, it wasn't so crazy that there was no seating to be had. To be on the safe side however, we laid claim to a table before joining the queue at the counter. Immediately noticable are the bulging bags of potatoes stacked neatly nearby. These are not for decoration; the potatoes will wind up as someone's french fries later on.


Bags of potatoes line the way

The concept is similar to fast food. Orders are taken at a counter and picked up several minutes later at a second counter, with a menu limited to several types of burgers, hot dogs, fries and soft drinks. The difference between Five Guys and your average Burger King or McDonalds is in the execution. The open kitchen insures that diners can watch their selection being made, all toppings are free, and the fries are cut fresh and fried in small batches.


Watch your sandwich being made

The fries are where this chain really excels. They may be more time consuming to prepare than those of their fast food counterparts, but are delicious and certainly worth the effort and the wait.


The assembly line is efficient but those fresh fries take time

The restaurant's veggie sandwich is different from what you might expect. Instead of a frozen Gardenburger or Boca patty, the sandwich consists of a bun and as many of the free toppings as you wish, all for $2.69. Vegetarians will be happy to know that the Five Guys policy is to keep the grilling stations for vegetables and meats separate, so those grilled onions and mushrooms are worry-free. If a bun filled with veggies doesn't appeal, the restaurant also offers the tried and true grilled cheese.


Orders are bagged, regardless of dine-in or carry-out

Something to keep in mind with the fries: employees throw in an extra scoop when bagging them up, so a "regular" order (the smallest they offer) is easily enough for two people. Wish we had known that beforehand, as Steve and I both ordered fries and it was way too much.


Unpack your bag of goodies

Vegetarians can't go wrong with the veggie sandwich. It's a flavorsome but very messy affair, and the pile of napkins stuffed into the bag were saturated by the time I was finished eating. Oddly, my hands smelled of the meal for the rest of the day, even after repeated washings.


Tastes better than it looks!


It is refreshing that more fast food restaurants are starting to cater to the vegetarian diner, and kudos to Five Guys for making it affordable. They aren't going to top Subway for vegetarian-friendly, healthy fare, but as an occasional caloric splurge it's pretty darned tasty.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

27 comments:

emily lang said...

i was skeptical before i tried it but it was heaven. vegetarian food in which you don't miss the meat at all. as sloppy as the best burger anyone could ever wish for.

i likened it to a veggie sub at Penn Station. greasy, delicious, messy, goodness.

but the smell? yeah, definitely NOT date food.

Trixi said...

Hot dogs! I had no idea.
One is supposed to open in Rookwood early next year.

Feoshia said...

There's one in West Chester too. Was wondering if they had a veggie burger. Thanks for the blog!

Cincinnati NAMjA said...

This place is popping up all over the place.

Vib said...

The fries were amazing. I actually really liked the grill cheese with veggies. It was hard to pick which toppings to get since they offer so many! I love your blog. I just found it and moved to this area from San Francisco in the summer.

Suz said...

I saw your review Saturday morning and decided this was to be our lunch destination. I saw that there was one in West Chester, which is closer to me than the others. So, the BF and I headed over that way. The West Chester location was hard to find they way we came, I think if you were coming off of 75 you would see it more easily. As for the veggie sandwich, I agree with Emily that is like the Penn Station or Great Steak sandwich, except without the cheese. I didn't get cheese on mine, because the only option was American...not my fave. The fries were definitely the best thing on the menu and I would totally go back for those. My meat-eating BF got a little burger with cheese (and maybe bacon?). He said it was so-so. Their burgers are advertised as being juicy and well-done. He said they were definitely well-done, but not juicy; he would not go back. My only wish is that there had been another kind of cheese and maybe some more veggie options to choose from...I just got the grilled onion and mushroom, lettuce and tomato.

Suz said...

Also, I forgot to mention the smell. I noticed it lingering on me the rest of the day. I kept looking at my clothes to see if i had somehow spilled something on me...I didn't.

Anonymous said...

One thing I have noticed in reading these reviews is that the term "veggie burger" keeps being said. There is no such thing as a "veggie burger" in the world of Five Guys. It is a veggie sandwich! The reason for this is that there is no form of fake or alternative meat resembling a burger. The part that most amazes me about this place is that I have never seen a single person either working of eating there in a foul mood. Oh yeah one other thing who can resist the 80's music. Nothing like Bon Jovi and a huge burger or veggie or heck even a hot dog.

Veggie Option said...

If you go back and re-read the review you will see that it does say that there is no patty on the sandwich - it's a "bun filled with vegetables."

Colon said...

Which fast food chain has the nastiest burger of all time? A special consumer report. Worst Fast Food Burger Ever

Anonymous said...

The burgers were good. The music was too loud. The floors were very slippery on the wet day.

Store #VA-0175
Lorton, VA 22079

Anonymous said...

Christin--Delafield Wisc. Five Guys Double cheese burger w/bacon is OH SO Heavenly!! Definitely gives our Wisconsin Beer-Brats a run for their money!! Thankx for opening up a location here, I tell everyone how great it is!(Not to mention I hand them a menu)teehee

Anonymous said...

Veggie Option: Love the blog, been following for awhile. Tonight a group was going to 5 guys in Clifton and, remembering your post, I was totally up for it. The cheese and veggie sandwich was...substantial and delicious. It felt just as unhealthy and messy as everyone's burgers :-) And yes, the fries are great-similar to Penn Station's. Thanks!

mistercharlie said...

Are the French Fries fried in oil that doesn't fry meat? I'd like to take my Vegetarian fiancee there but she won't eat fries that have been fried in the same oil as meat.

Veggie Option said...

@Mistercharlie - the oil used for frying the potatoes is used exclusively for the potatoes, nothing else. No meat juices.

Em said...

Sorry to say I have had their veggie sandwich, and it is sorely lacking. Eat just lettuce and tomato on a bun make for one hungry and disappointed person.

Either they need to make it a real sandwich, a veggie burger, or take it off the menu. Lettuce and tomato on a bun is not any kind of sandwich.

Dave said...

I agree- the veggie sandwich is not much of a real sandwich at all, unless you enjoy having just burger toppings on a plain bun. Hugely disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Five guys just opened across the street. I'm happy to have read the comments in this blog before I went. I now know I need to eat a veggie burger at home before I go tonight cuz American cheese & the veggie sandwich don't sound so great. I'll get fries so I have something to eat with everyone else. Thanks for the info, all!

Order Lexapro said...
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Anonymous said...

This just goes to show how different people's tastes are-don't know how anyone could diss the food at this place. As for just lettuce and tomato on a bun that was your choice-there are so many more options to choose from or add to the lettuce and tomato sandwich

Anonymous said...

Dave and Em... So you ordered yourself a veggie sandwhich with just lettuce and tomato, and you were disappointed with your own choice? There were plenty of other options to choose from. Mushrooms are substantial - Haven't you ever heard of a portabello burger? You can one be a vegetarian and only think of vegetables as a topping?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post! Just had a veggie sandwich (no cheese) at the Mesquite, TX location. I chose not to get the cheese because I couldn't find out whether the cheese was vegetarian or if it contained animal rennet. Their website doesn't say. If I find out, I'll post it here for your other readers. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

those of you who notice the smell that is the smell of real food something you will not get with the fake food of McD and the King. love so far 5 guy

Lisa said...

I had the veggie sandwich and if you don't eat cheese, it is very disappointing -- just condiments on bread. I got the grilled onions and mushrooms with lettuces, tomato and pickles but they were pretty flavorless and not enough to really make it a meal. The predominant taste was the bun. They're not really offering anything special for vegetarians, as it's just the burger without the meat. You can order that at any fast-food place.

Liquid Rennet said...

I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.

Holly said...

"but as an occasional caloric splurge it's pretty darn tasty"

Oh how I agree! You can pretty much make cheesy fries with the excess cheese. Definitely couldn't eat it everyday (or week).

Anonymous said...

Tried the veggie burger at the Manchester NH Five Guys. The gal at the register got the order wrong so I ended up with a roll with raw onions, cooked onions and mushrooms, pickles, that's it. It was tasty but might have been more substantial if it had included all the veggies I wanted. I would not order it again, it did not satisfy as a meal, still hungry, plus the odor from this lingered forever even after numerous handwashings. FG needs to make this bigger & better or take it off the menu. The Fries were delicious, though!!

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