If you recognize this place, it may be from a trip south to the USA [or you could be one of the surprisingly large amount of my American fan base] or maybe it just sounds familiar. Regardless of your knowledge of the joint, it is of American origin and decided to move past [not over, a lot of Canadian\American stuff is all over Niagara Falls] the border to Toronto. How will it fair in a new land?
Despite the fact the company’s Headquarters are in Lorton, Virginia, they did a really decent job pin-pointing the perfect downtown area a restaurant could be: right across the street from the Eaton Centre. The only problem with this is that it puts a lot of pressure completion-wise, considering the Big Smokes outlet at the very mall. I usually factor in how well a place does compared to other restaurants in the city, but this is a rare occasion where there’s an outright contest [I compared Dangerous Dan’s and The Burger Priest [cough] in the same way].
Let’s start with a rating system the Clint Eastwood would use: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Good: there is no loss of seating or room, the joint’s huge.
I also liked how it felt like an eighties fast food place, and I won’t take away points for the temporary annoying men drilling the open door [the noise and cold air was punishment for someone who did something evil, I swear]. This is both convenient and smart, because we went at an awkward time during the week and business was thriving.
Another plus is the Cheapskate value is over nine thousand, there are free peanuts, free refills, and ‘small’ orders of fries that look like a supersize order.
It crossed my mind this place could double as the cheapest bulk store ever [Mr. Krabs must be going arr-arr-arr-arr]. Aside from that, the Cajun fries are delicious, I liked how they weren’t too spicy for people with a mild taste, but they had lots of flavour for people like me, while most fast food places just add two chili flakes and claim it’s a Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Pepper dish.
The Bad: the French fries are just as good at Big Smokes, and that keeps Five Guys from climbing up the score board. A bigger omen of doom, I haven’t mentioned the burgers yet. They definitely belong here, but like Angel Eyes from the aforementioned movie, it’s too complex with too many goods and bads’ to be considered atrocious.
The patties are juicy, and come from a very simplistic menu [simplistic in topping choices, but burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches are all up there], but they are average, which is a real kick to the head even if it weren’t next to Big Smokes and A&W. The cheese is processed, which my mum liked as if she were teenaged, but my Nana and I were a lot less pleased about it. It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t good either.
Oh, and when I said the patties were juicy, I meant excluding Nana’s, her single patty burger didn’t get the deluxe treatment the two-patties got.
The Ugly: yes, there are some things about Five Guys that fit in here. As I’ve said before, there is a Big Smokes and, despite the fact it’s just nicer to eat inside the mall than outside it, A&W beats this place, as do other places in the City.
Some people may consider it unfair to constantly compare this restaurant to another, but if there is a better place nearby, it will inevitably affect an honest review, I’m sorry, but quite frankly you’ll thank me for it.
Final verdict: Five Guys is amazingly average in general, but when compared to its kin, some of which is looming right outside across the street, Five Guys Burger and Fries is beaten into submission by its mediocrity. If they were smart, they’ll run with their tail between their legs to wherever in The States they were accepted in the first place.