Perhaps you’ve caught the buzz about Five Guys burgers (and especially their fries) being really awesome from some East Coast friends. Perhaps you’ve even ventured to one of their NorCal locations in far-off Hayward or Pleasant Hill. Well, now one has opened even closer to the city, kids, in sunny Burlingame, and we’re sort of excited. The Chron devotes a Bargain Bite column to the opening today, noting that part of the Five Guys ethos is that nothing is ever frozen — which is the same as the In-N-Out ethos, so that alone isn’t what’s selling us.
Five Guys lays claim to making President Obama’s favorite burger, so there’s that. They also offer all burger toppings, from grilled onions to jalapenos to hot sauce, for free, and they boast “There are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at Five Guys.”
Last year, A Hamburger Today did what we believe is the first side-by-side, bi-coastal taste test pitting In-N-Out and New York’s Shake Shack against Five Guys. Granted, they had to handicap them all with holding them overnight and reheating them, owing to the plane trip the In-N-Out burger had to take. But they conclude that Five Guys doesn’t hold a candle to either of the other two — and, ahem, they thought Shake Shack was better than In-N-Out, so, whatever with that. Take this as you will.
The fries are allegedly what set Five Guys apart. The Chron calls them more “creamy” than crunchy, but you can order them extra-crisp. A Hamburger Today has admitted as much, saying the fries make them “weep with happiness.” Also, at least at this new location, “the provenance of each day’s potato is listed on a chalkboard.”
The Five Guys chain was founded in 1986 in the D.C. area by the Murrell family, Jerry and Janie and their four sons (hence, five guys). In 2003 they started franchising beyond D.C. and now have over 900 locations nationwide, with 1500 more in development. Perhaps, one day soon, we will see one cityside. It only took In-N-Out like four decades to get here.
It should also be noted between Super Duper’s quest for Bay Area domination, Umami Burger’s slow but steady expansion here, The Counter’s similar move north, Denver’s Smashburger coming to Sactown and beyond, and Habit Burger also spreading in the East Bay, we are never going to be short on burger options. Ever.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries - 203 Primrose Drive, Burlingame - 650-343-3016 - Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Burlingame [Chron]
Earlier: In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: The First Bi-Coastal Side-By-Side Taste Test [A Hamburger Today]