I first heard about Five Guys on NBC’s Inside the Obama White House a few years ago, in which Obama went there and picked up lunch for his staff. I’m sure that happens all the time (ha). It was apparently one of Obama’s favorite places to eat. Soon after that special, I noticed Five Guys restaurants started springing up around town. One came into our neighborhood recently, so my husband suggested we walk up the street (about a half mile) and try it out a couple of nights ago. Boy, I’m glad we walked there.
The staff was friendly and loud, and yelled a kind of a statement-and-respond thing. When you walked in the door, the counter guy would say, “Two in the door” and the response from the cooks was, “Got it”. There were no descriptions on the menu, but I decided a burger was fairly straightforward. I ordered the cheeseburger and was happy with all of the available veggies to add for free: lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, pickles, onions, and green peppers. Then the counter guy asked if we wanted to split a fry – a regular fry, not a large. I thought – wow, this guy isn’t trying to upsell us and I actually don’t need a lot of fries with this burger anyway. I was wrong. The fries came out in a cup, which was a large amount of fries, but then the whole bottom of the paper bag was covered in fries too. It was enough fries for 4 people. AND the cheeseburger was a double patty and double cheese sandwich. I looked at the menu and saw they had a “little cheeseburger” which apparently means “normal size”. So after we ate most of our burgers and only half of the fries between the two of us, we
walked rolled home and I decided to look up the nutrition facts online.
I was pretty shocked. The cheeseburger has 840 calories (500 of those from fat) and 55 g of fat (26.5 g of those are saturated). I was actually grossed out by reading these numbers. The most surprising part? The fries are listed as “regular” and “large”. The nutritional information actually states, “one serving of fries (approx. half of regular order)”. I could not believe that they do not sell individual servings of french fries. They don’t even offer it. Everything was super-sized there, and it didn’t need to be. I’m not sure how many people could even eat all of the food presumed for one person there. I’m guessing there is a lot of food wasted at that restaurant.
They did have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, which was fun. It is a machine that you can use to mix in flavors with your soda or water. There are apparently 127 different combinations possible between the base flavors and the mix-ins (orange, cherry, lime, raspberry, lemon, strawberry, grape, peach). This is a good marketing strategy for Coca-Cola and making Coke “new” without having to make New Coke (remember that?). I was wondering if the raspberry Coke Zero we shared (which was pretty tasty) was still calorie-free. Five Guys didn’t have nutritional info online for any drinks, but I did find that info elsewhere and was happy to see that all of the mix-ins were zero calories, or 5-10 calories if you drank 20 oz. of the stuff.
That said, I will probably not go back there again. Other fast food restaurants have burgers and fries that are not healthy, but still contain less fat and calories than Five Guys. I don’t want to support restaurants that contribute to the obesity problem in America without giving people a choice to enjoy food that is properly portioned. When my husband wants to go there again (I know he will), I’ll suggest we go to the cafe next door that just opened and was handing out flyers when we walked by. There’s no way their Thai veggie wrap has the majority of my day’s worth of calories and fat, but it’s probably just as tasty.