Five Guys Burgers & Fries – Orland Park, IL
I figured I had a great burger and french fries for lunch, why not try another burger joint for dinner? What could be the harm in that? My colon might disagree, but it’s so hard to pass up a burger joint.
On my way home from Normal, IL to Kalamazoo, I decided to pull off the Interstate in Tinley Park, IL. I knew there was a Five Guys Burgers & Fries down the road a few miles and it’s a place I’ve been wanting to go for a long time, but it’s not something J would really be interested in. Like my earlier stop at Meatheads in Bloomington, IL, they don’t do a whole lot other than delicious burgers.
Five Guys is a national burger chain with eight Chicagoland locations. The Orland Park store is the furthest south. It’s on LaGrange Road near 159th Street in the Lakeview Plaza shopping area. The store fronts LaGrange, but the “front door” is actually on the backside after you enter the parking area.
The Five Guys chain hasn’t really been around that long. While the concept originated in Virginia in 1986, Five Guys has only been franchising since 2001. They now have over 500 stores nationwide including the Washington DC location that was thrust into the spotlight when President Obama and Vice President Biden stopped in for lunch in May of last year.
The store is kind of a cross between a 1960’s diner and a modern day fast food joint. The decor is all red and white. There are checkerboard patterns everywhere. The dining room is separated from the order line by a stack of potato sacks that are filled with potatoes that will eventually be used. Good solution for a storage problem?
The menu is above the cash register and the kitchen is directly behind that. There was a lady waiting to take my order when I walked in. I knew I wanted a burger and fries so I looked up and found a Bacon Cheeseburger so I ordered that and a large fry. The cashier asked if I knew the large fry was enough to feed a family of four. I did not, so I changed my order to a regular fry. I passed on the drink because they had Coke and I wanted a Pepsi and needed to stop for gas somewhere anyway. The damage was a little over eight bucks.
I took a seat to wait for my food which is cooked fresh to order. It took about ten minutes before my number was called. I grabbed the paper bag and headed to my car. I still had a three hour drive and wanted to get home, so I opted not to stay and eat.
I grabbed the fries first which were fresh out of the fryer. They hand cut their fries and even have signs on the wall telling you exactly where they were grown. I don’t remember the exact city, but they are Idaho russet’s that are fried in peanut oil. They are cut kind of thick but to my surprise, they were cooked all the way through and very crispy. When I think fresh cut fries, Five Guys fries are the type of fries I think of. They were served in a cup and pretty heavily salted. It was good, but they could have backed off the salt a little. It didn’t deter the taste, but I was aware it was there.
The burger is a fresh ground beef patty. According to the Five Guys website, there are no freezers in any Five Guys stores. There are coolers to keep things cold, but you’ll never see a frozen patty hit the grill. The buns are made special for the chain. In the early days, buns were bought from a local baker in Arlington, VA. When that bakery went out of business, the owner was hired by Five Guys to continue making the buns. The bun is a soft poppy seed bun that is a perfect contrast to the fresh meat. The bacon was a little disappointing as it wasn’t very crispy, but it still made a delicious burger.
Five Guys is the perfect burger chain. I know it’s weird that, if you’re reading this blog in order, you just read two reviews for two different restaurants in two different cities that sounds pretty much the same. No, I did not cut and paste. Don’t make me choose because I couldn’t. I love places that take time to do things right. Fresh burgers. Fresh cut fries. There is nothing (food-wise) that could possibly make me happier.