Five Guys Burgers and Fries
It’s All About the Toppings (and the Potatoes)
On November 12th I headed north on 19th Avenue after work to experience the opening day of Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the Gallatin Shopping Center. Being a big fan of the all-American-meal (my fiancé and I once drove all the way to Salt Lake City to visit an In-N-Out Burger), I could not contain my excitement when I heard a Five Guys was opening in Bozeman. Having never visited one before, I asked my coworkers that day if they had ever eaten at one and got some generally great feedback with someone saying that it was “almost better than In-N-Out.” This comment was first and foremost in my mind as I walked into the bustling little burger joint and the first thing I saw was peanuts. Piles of in-shell peanuts greet you at the entrance, and appear to be free for you to gather and munch on as you wait in line or at your table (on a side note, if you have a peanut allergy Five Guys is probably not the best spot for you to enjoy a burger, they also use peanut oil in their fryers.)
Bring mindfully aware that my hungry cats and fiancé were at home anxiously waiting my arrival (not that I was going to feed the cats a burger, but you know,) I decide to skip the peanuts and start perusing the little menu. With the burger and fry assembly line working efficiently behind the counter, the long opening day line moves faster than I expected leaving me to wish I had more time to decide. As I reach the counter it becomes clear to me that these burgers are all about the toppings. With 15 toppings listed I decide to take the plunge with mayo, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, green peppers (why not?) and ketchup, sounds mouth-watering to me! I also add a “little” fry. My order taker asked me if I had ever been there before. No I replied, why? She explained that by just ordering a cheeseburger I would get a double, if I want a single cheeseburger I should order a “little.” Well life is short so I decide to go for the double (again why not?). Another little twist to the burger experience is their Cajun fries which I didn’t notice until after I ordered so that will have to wait until next time.
After I pay I am assigned a number, 55, and walk to an empty table next to the sign that informs me that today’s potatoes are from the Clawson farm in Blackfoot Idaho to wait for my meal. The company seems to really value the quality of their potatoes with bags of spuds also at the entrance to greet you. With only a few tables open I sit down next to a couple with a small baby, burgers in front of them, a bag of fries torn open to share. The baby looks quite content with its bottle while mom and pop are equally content to get their grub on. On the other side of me is a young college age couple, and behind me are a couple of construction workers speaking to the general appeal of this new burger option for Bozemanites.
While I wait, another thing that catches my eye is their milkshakes. With an optional whipped cream topping and over 10 free “mix-ins” listed to add to your shake, like peanut butter, coffee, and salted caramel they look delightful. Despite the frigid temperature outside a surprisingly large number of people are getting milkshakes which leads me to file this as another item I’ll have to remember to try next time.
I hear that I am at least three numbers behind so I settle in to enjoy that special burger grill and French fry smell that permeates these types of places. Before I know it my number is called, I pick up my little brown bag of potential deliciousness and head on out. For me, the toughest part about getting fries to go is not eating them all in the car on the way home. With these fries being more exceptional than most I’ve had, this struggle continues for me today. At last I reach home, pass out the burger goodness and proceed to nosh like I’ve never noshed before. Seriously, the burger was EXCELLENT, the meat tasted fresh, the cheese was at that perfect melty-gooiness that envelops your toppings and escapes the side of the bun, and the bun was a little softer than I prefer, but chewy enough to stand up to the burger without getting soggy. My only disappointment was the green peppers which weren’t grilled which for some reason I expected. I did manage to share a few fries, next time I’ll have to get us two orders (I apologize honey!).
While not quite what I expected, I find Five Guys to be a solid addition to the Bozeman burger scene. If you can handle peanut oil and a little unhealthy decadence in your week I would highly recommend you give them a try. When you do, please let me know how those Cajun fries and milkshakes are.