At FriendFeed many of us West Coasters smug with our proximity to In-N-Out were getting intrigued by comments from East Coasters who kept touting Five Guys Burger and Fries. There’s not many burger chains out there that can compete with the freshness of INO burgers, so we took their banter with a grain of salt. When one FriendFeed user mentioned there was a Five Guys in Torrance, I went straight to Google to make sure. Lo and behold, after entering my zip code on the site two locations in Southern California popped up. A FriendFeed meetup was quickly hatched.
Last Saturday a group of us descended on Cerritos to see if Five Guys could hold a candle to In-N-Out. Now keep in mind, this is purely subjective and unscientific. To make sure, I’ll have to eat at the places back-to-back. But one thing stood out. Five Guys decor looks a lot like In-N-Out. A. Lot. But I wasn’t going to let that bother me. Why? Because Five Guys smells better than In-N-Out.
Once we got settled and more people showed up, we ordered. Now everyone had warned us that the small fries are enough for two people, so I ordered two small; on regular and one Cajun. There was no difference in taste between the two, except for the Cajun fries sometimes tasted dustier. My husband got a small cheeseburger; that’s a burger with one patty, with onions, lettuce, tomato, relish (YUCK!), mustard and ketchup. When he opened it, it looked utterly disgusting. There was like half a jar of relish on that thing. I can’t believe he ate it. I got a large cheeseburger (two patties) with grilled onions and mushrooms, lettuce, mayo and ketchup. In other words, I got the burger exactly like I usually make my burgers at home.
The burger was good. Not In-N-Out good though. The bun at INO is 100% better, with that slightly toasted taste. The patties at INO are way less grainy than Five Guys patties too. Just like with In-N-Out burgers, I had to take the lettuce out halfway through because it got slimy. But all that didn’t matter at the time because INO fries don’t hold a candle to twice fried in peanut oil fries (photo) at Five Guys. Bonus, you don’t have to scarf down your fries at Five Guys before they get cold. They are good cold too. Take that INO!
I can’t foresee driving 17 miles one way just to eat a burger, but I’d definitely go back if I’m hungry and in the area. It helped to have great company too. But for a really good burger and fries in SoCal, Pie ‘n Burger in Pasadena is way better than both places.
More photos of the meetup can be found on flickr.