Go all the way with Five Guys | Five Guys, 1-3 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9BD
The thing that made me most want to try Five Guys was the Evening Standard piece on owner Charles Dunstone. Despite the un-restauranty Carphone Warehouse bit, he oozed passion and determination, traits we are always drawn to whoever they come from.
We waited for the craziness of the two new ‘rival’ US burger chain openings to die down slightly before we ventured to Covent Garden to check them out. There is such pressure to be the first to try anything new, but we stepped back a bit and held off. We even turning down an invite to a Shake Shack preview due to an earlier committal to a grown-up dinner – we didn’t regret it.
Anyway, Five Guys was still heaving a week on, queues down the road and a buzz of (organised) mania inside. An impressive scene in the kitchen of military precision burger building. A slightly clinical shiny, red, white and black interior with random boxes of monkey nuts everywhere we turned. They are free to snack on while you wait, or if you’re still hungry after.
Five Guys involves three queues, one outside, one to order and another to collect your order. Whoever decided that collection point would be on the corner where people are constantly trying to get past should be reprimanded. I left Ade to it and snuck off to the slightly less busy downstairs area. Some cute little booths at the back looked tempting but seeing as it was just the two of us I stayed away. The most exciting thing about FG is the Coca Cola Freestyle drink machines - touch screen refillable drinks £2.50 at the ready, you chose your drink then can add an extra flavour, worth returning just for that alone. They missed a trick not having red cups though.
I made a massive error when ordering, there’s the choice to go ‘all the way’ with a classic selection of toppings or you can pick random items. I decided it was a good idea to pick random items – green pepper, jalapeño and onions – huge mistake. Plus you can choose as many free toppings as you want, so why did I only go for three? Madness.
My Hamburger £6.75 was good, two sizeable patties, not as rare or dirty as I like but flavoursome and good absorbent buns, but my stupid choice in toppings let it down. Ade was sensible (for a change) and went all the way with his Bacon Cheeseburger £8.85. He moaned all the way through eating it – in a good way. It was one of the messiest burgers he’d ever had and most of it’s toppings ended up on the foil wrapping. He loved the crispy bacon which added crunch to all the ‘wet’ toppings. P.S. If you really want to you can view the nutritional information here.
We tried Cajun and regular fries £2.75 for a little portion, for once Cajun actually meant spicy, I liked these a lot, just as well as they give you loads of them, don’t be deceived by the little cups, there’s another eight million at the bottom of the bag.
To summarise, decent enough burgers, just a bit too stressful getting them. This is a pit stop place, a much more appealing alternative to the guilty late-night visit to the golden arches on the way to Charing Cross station.
1-3 Long Acre, London, London WC2E 9BD
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 11am -11pm
Friday to Saturday 11am – 12am
Sunday 12 – 11.30pm
Order online (coming soon)
Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square