I’ve never turned down a burger. Even when I’ve just consumed one I’m daydreaming about what toppings to have on the next patty. So even though the hubby and I were swearily stomping around Convent Garden in a strop because of the sub-standard meal we’d just had a Shake Shack when we stumbled upon Five Guys I was already up for another. We’d read bad things about ridiculous queues and crap burgers in the opening week and so had almost written them off, but there was however, a strangely warm and inviting air around London’s almost newest burger bar that has nothing to do with its location near Stringfellows.
After a five minute wait, we were ordering. We opted for the little bacon cheese burger served ‘all the way’ (with toppings of mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomato, grilled onions, mushrooms, ketchup and mayo). I wanted to order this suggestively in a seductive tone ‘let’s go all the way…’, but I panicked and ended up sounding more Northern than usual and the lady on the till looked a little scared (flirting isn’t my strong point).
As you can see, the little burger ain’t that little at all. I struggled to get my chops around it, but once I did, said chops were met with juicy meat and bold flavours.
This was much better than Shake Shack’s bland offerings. Toppings were dropping everywhere, I had mayonnaise inexplicably on my forehead and we were fighting for it like hyenas over an antelope carcass.
Messy, but good.
Five Guys get the branding spot on. Once inside, it feels authentically American and isn’t that what a burger joint should feel like?
The experience isn’t drawn out like at Shake Shack, it’s slam, bam, burger. There’s also a drinks vending machine that I think has been pinched from Back to the Future 2.
Which is better, Shake Shack or Five guys? For me it’s Five Guys, which surprised me. Whether they had a bad first week, Shake Shack a bad second, or maybe I’m just an idiot who doesn’t know what I’m talking about (this is usually the case) but Five Guys was more enjoyable on every level. The price is the same but at Five Guys you’re paying for an experience, not just to sit in a greenhouse in Covent Garden.
Free peanuts to throw at queuers.
Would I queue for 2 hours for it? No, but I wouldn’t stand in line for 2 hours for a smooch off Gerard Butler either. As for all the way….