Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Burger War: East vs. West

Since I am going to be an East Coast transplant soon, I had to find a replacement for In N Out Burger. Everyone kept telling me Five Guys is the place, so on my last visit, I finally made a trip to see what the fuss was all about.

I visited the Five Guys in the Inner Harbor. It happened to be opening day for the Orioles and they were playing the Yankees so there lots of Yankee fans around. Like In N Out, Five Guys does not use frozen meat and they hand cut their Idaho potatoes. While In N Out has a very simple menu, Five Guys offers bacon cheeseburgers and hot dogs as well. You can get chili cheese fries or Cajun fries in addition to regular. The thing that distinguishes Five Guys is the 15 free toppings you can choose for your burger. From sauteed mushrooms, grilled or fried onions, several different kinds of sauces, it can be a bit overwhelming. Also a regular burger is a double so in order to get a normal size burger you must order a "Junior." They also give you a ton of fries, perfect for sharing. In other words, this is not a place to eat if you are watching your weight.

I got a regular cheeseburger with sauteed mushrooms and grilled onions. It was very messy. The bun was a bit soggy but maybe it was because the burger was wrapped in foil. It was a good hamburger but I think next time I will keep it simple and nix the sauteed mushrooms. Overall, it's a decent replacement to In N Out. In N Out will always be #1 in my heart (and my first stop after leaving the airport) but Five Guys comes close to hamburger perfection.

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