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Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Portage

July 1, 2012

  • 6286 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 324-3483
  • Website
  • Menu

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.

Regular Fries

Bacon Cheeseburger w/BBQ Sauce and Jalapenos

Five Guys Burgers & Fries (Portage) on Urbanspoon

One Comment leave one →
  1. Chuck permalink
    July 14, 2012 6:12 pm

    You are so right about 5 guys. I used to travel to South Bend/Mishawaka and ate at the one at University Park Mall several times. I actually always order the “Little” burger because its plenty big enough, but their all beef Kosher Dogs are also delicious. They split ’em, and then grill them on the flat top. Unbelievably delicious. Part of the 5 guys great taste I think has to do with the buns, which are always very soft and even though they don’t look like any type of special bread, they are simply a very tasty stage for the deliciousness of the burgers and dogs. I personally always order the Little Cheeseburger with Relish, Raw onion, Ketchup, Mustard, and Mayo….perfection every time. I’m not a big dill pickle, lettuce, tomato guy, and the ability to order relish on the burger is kind of unique… reminds me of the famous Fatburger chain out West. I usually like the fresh cut fries, but I will say the oil left a noticeable after taste in my one visit to the new store. I hope that does not continue. I have yet to try the Cajun seasoning option that 5 guys has for their fries. I also go to Penn Station regularly, and the fries are similar there (also fresh cut), but based on my recent visit, my preference would actually be with Penn Station’s fries. I should note that a “regular” order of fries is enough for 3-4 people in reality! I guess that may be part of the reason the prices are higher than many places. I don’t find it necessary to always order fries on my visits to 5 guys. One last thing to note about 5 guys is their INCREDIBLE choice of drinks (Coke products, nearly everything they make). 5 guys has installed this Space Aged computer based drink delivery/mixing station….2 of them in fact. You could stand there all day figuring out how it works the first time, and making your choice out of the incredible array presented before you, but it is user friendly and easy to get a hang of. You can even have flavors like lemon, vanilla, lime, cherry, etc. mixed into your sodas….even your diet sodas, and there are several diet options. Lets face it, IF you are spending your calories on burgers and fries, sometimes its just smart NOT to drink an extra 200-300! I never understand these people that deride folks for eating burgers and fries, or whatever, and yet ordering DIET drinks. Every calorie that you consume IN counts, and if you can cut off several HUNDRED calories by drinking diet drinks (if you like them) with your meal instead of regular coke, then why make fun of somebody for doing that? Doesn’t make sense to me. But I digress. 5 guys drink selection COULD be the largest selection of sodas, juice, and available combinations at any restaurant in town, and if its not, then its right up near the top of the list. I like that 5 guys doesn’t do anything fancy….just the basics. No salads (though they do have a “Veggie sandwich” on the menu). No chicken. No premade options (unless you count the peanuts “in the shell” that you can munch on for free while waiting for your meal to be prepared). Just freshly made burgers, dogs, and fries, made to your order, with high quality fresh ingredients. It is what it is, and if its your kind of food, I can say you probably won’t be disappointed with the addition of 5 guys to the Kalamazoo market!! You may even become another of the multitudes of 5 Guys Fanatics out there.

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