Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Portage
I have never been so excited for a chain restaurant to open. I think I’ve been pretty clear about my love of Five Guys Burgers and Fries over the past couple years. Every time I’ve been close to one, I’ve stopped and told you just how much I love the East Coast burger chain. You’ve been forced to read my blubbering comments and look at my delicious pictures from Orland Park (IL), East Lansing, Detroit, Gurnee (IL). I spared you a post from Chicago Ridge because I thought you had seen enough.
A week ago, my cholesterol got really scared when we finally got a Five Guys of our own right here in the Kalamazoo Metro.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries opened their doors last Monday on South Westnedge in the Southland Mall right next to Weight Watchers. I, unfortunately, was out of town on Monday so I couldn’t wait in line for the doors to swing open. In fact, it wasn’t until Wednesday that I loaded L up in to her car seat to get me some delicious burgers.
I wasn’t really expecting a line out the door on Day #3, but I was expecting it to be a little busy. The parking area in front of the store was pretty full and there was a steady stream of people going in, but there was also a steady stream coming out.
I was met a the door by an employee with a menu asking everyone if they had been to a Five Guys before. I smiled and said “Oh, yeah.” As I made my way past the bags of potatoes that are stacked on the floor, another employee offered me a tray of peanuts. I declined because I wasn’t eating in. I just wanted to get to the order counter to put in my burger order.
There were only a few people in front of me when I got up to the counter, but it was pretty obvious none of them had been to a Five Guys before. The concept of building your own was a little troubling for some reason. They kept asking for pre-made creations instead of just picking the condiments that wanted. Didn’t quite get that.
When it was my turn, I stepped up to the cashier confidently and put in my order for a Bacon Cheeseburger with jalapenos and BBQ sauce. I also had to get one for J. She wanted a Little Cheeseburger (one patty instead of the standard two) with BBQ sauce, lettuce, and pickles. I then attempted to put in an order for two orders of regular fries, but the cashier only rung up one. I noticed it before I walked away so I asked to put in another order for an order of fries.
The bill without drinks was around $18, so it’s obviously not a cheap meal. That’s going to be my saving grace. I won’t be able to afford to eat at Five Guys three times a week even though my stomach will no doubtedly want to.
While not packed, all of the tables were full in the dining room. The only table open was a six top near the pick up counter. I felt bad taking the whole table, but I needed to put L down. She was starting to get fussy and I wanted to play with her in hopes to keep her quiet while I was waiting. I did offer up my table to a couple people who walked by so I wasn’t a total ass.
The solo fry came up first and I just claimed that one for myself. I sat there with my white paper bag open digging in on the delicious hand cut, seven times fried, Idaho potatoes. They had a crispy, golden brown outside with a soft, flaky potato-y inside. As weird as it sounds, I could have had them cooked a little longer. Either way, I love Five Guys fries and if they don’t beat McDonalds in next years Readers’ Choice awards….well, they probably won’t so I’ll just get mad now.
J was still at work when I got home with our sandwiches and L was getting real fussy, so I threw the bag on the counter and dealt with her instead of eating as soon as I walked in the door.
It was sort of like torture smelling and knowing that burger was in my house but I couldn’t get to it right away.
Eventually, L settled down enough for me to unwrap the foil wrapped burger. Five Guys is one of those places were everything is fresh. They boast about not having freezers in any of their stores which means the meat is never frozen. It’s amazing how much of a difference fresh beef makes. The burger is juicy, but not greasy. The bacon on top of the cheddar cheese is nice and crispy. The sweet BBQ sauce offsets some of the heat from the spicy jalapeno chips. It’s just a perfect burger.
I’m sure you’re not surprised at just how excited I am to have Five Guys in Portage. I hate being such a fan of a chain, but this is such a special chain. My food hole will be eternally grateful.