Sunday, February 5, 2012

Five Guys (Oakdale)

Five Guys is a burger chain, and a fairly popular one.  There are six in the greater Twin Cities area (more than I knew about!) but the one in Oakdale is the newest.  It's popular enough that getting a seat on the weekend is tough.

We lucked out this Sunday, though, probably because it was the big game weekend.  We didn't have long to wait, and Five Guys lets you have free peanuts to munch on while you wait, in case you were absolutely starving.

They have two kinds of burgers - regular and little.  The regular is a double, the little is a single.  Each comes in one of four options - burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, and bacon cheeseburger.  They also do hot dogs, a few vegetarian options and fries.  Fries come in two sizes - regular and large.  "Regular" in this case feeds 2 to 3 people.  Large...4 to 5 people.  Unless you're a family, or you really love their fries, get the regular.

The fries also come with 'overflow' - not sure if that's what they call it, but when you get your order, they throw in a scoop or two more, just for good measure.  I am not a fan of the fries.  They were undersalted, somewhat soggy, and generally unappealling to me.  I am an advocate of the twice-cooked fry, and that is not something they do at Five Guys.  Also, I do feel that making the orders so large just leads to waste, especially when the fries get cold and stale faster than you can eat them, and nobody really likes cold, stale fries.

They have a pretty decently sized list of free toppings for your burgers.  The toppings I chose for my bacon cheeseburger were pretty straightforward: grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, and A1 Steak sauce.  The wife had a cheeseburger with tomato, pickle and mayo.  Too plain for my taste :)  The onions were not completely grilled to translucency, leaving them a bit crunchy.  The mushrooms were done well, however.  The amount of sauce they put on the burger was also disappointing - you could tell there was sauce on the burger, but the flavor profile was lost, and that's hard to do with A1.  The bun was a standard sesame seed bun, but soft, so the burger as a whole was squishy.  The bacon was cooked fairly well, although not as crispy as I would have liked.  I like bacon to snap when I have it on my burger, and I dislike it immensely when I take a bit, and a whole strip of bacon comes out of the burger because it was too chewy.  The burger, like all their burgers, was cooked well-done, but not hockey-buck well done, at least.

Parking at the Oakdale location is terrible.  It shares a lot with Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Baja Sol, and several retail stores.  Seating was also uncomfortable, at least for me, as the chairs sat pretty low to the ground.  They did have some barstool type seats up against the window, which might have been a better option.  This is not a reading restaurant.  The burgers require two hands, and the design of the place causes the too-loud music to reverb, making it difficult to concentrate.  This is more of a 'get it, eat it, and get out' kind of place, rather than a neighborhood hangout, which I guess works for them - it moves product!

I will probably return.  I'd like to try the cajun fries, which have got to have more flavor than the regular fries, and I'm thinking I might try a littler burger next time, with maybe some less messy toppings (such as maybe relish and tomato).  If we go back, I'll be sure to post the followup!

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