Five Guys Burgers and Fries

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.

Inside Five Guys
Inside Five Guys

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.

FriendFeeders feeding
FriendFeeders feeding

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.

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12 thoughts on “Five Guys Burgers and Fries”

  1. Our bragging rights remain not only due to your excellent comparison, but the fact that there actually exists a Five Guys in So-Cal.

  2. You know lenoroc, you make an excellent point. We get the best of both worlds. I can go to Five Guys and get some fries and INO for my burger. w00t!

  3. I’ve been eating at the Five Guys in Carson for a few months now, and I can’t say enough good things about the place. And those fries are nuts. I love being able to load up a burger with toppings, so Five Guys is way up my alley.

    The one downside is that all of their meat is cooked well done, while In-N-Out will cook medium on request. For a guy who’s ideal burger is basically raw meat, barely seared on both sides, not being able to even go medium takes points away from what is otherwise an amazing burger.

  4. But for a really good burger and fries in SoCal, Pie ‘n Burger in Pasadena is way better than both places.

    HELL YES. O holy Pie n Burger, if you ain’t in heaven, I don’t wanna go.

  5. LOL @lucinda. Yes. The first time I had Pie ‘n Burger, I thought I had gone to burger heaven. I had 2 more. The only place in LA I will allow to put pickles on my burger. YUM.

  6. From what I’ve heard, the Five Guys here aren’t as good as the ones in DC.

    I’m not really a fan of InO either (blasphemy, I know). It’s okay, but I don’t think their patties have much flavor.

  7. Based on the description, Five Guys doesn’t hold much interest for me. I’ll stick with In-N-Out for my regular burger fix. Can you believe that I lived in Pasadena for 10 years, and have never been to Pie ‘n Burger? I kept meaning to go, but…I don’t know. Now I’ve moved to Silver Lake, but I’ve got to know. Think I’m going to have to head over to Pasadena in the next couple of days for a burger.

  8. Nice review, but what’s with the hate on the relish. Relish rules!

    Also should mention the peanut oil which is literally spread all over the floor, and the free all you can eat peanuts (in shell) available in the store.

    Folks with peanut allergies shouldn’t walk within 500 feet of a Five Guys.

  9. Is there enough room at Pie ‘n Burger for a large group. I think there’s only like 3 tables in the back and then the counter seating.

    @benh57, you are right about the peanuts. They are everywhere, but it’s mentioned on the website, so I didn’t think to put it in this post. And yes, relish is bad enough, but it most certainly does not belong on a burger. My husband is a weirdo.

  10. There’s plenty of room at pie ‘n burger…some tables in the front can be pushed together.

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