Mon 19 Nov 2007
Five Guys Burgers Midtown NY – The Myth – The Hype – The Burger
43 W 55TH Street @ 6th Ave
Midtown New York
tel. 212-459-9600 (it’s always busy)
fax 212-459-9601 (it doesn’t work right now so don’t try to order by fax)
The Five Guys Burger Myth & Hype
What I love about NY is just how rapidly hype spreads in this city. Think Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Before the Midtown NY franchise of Five Guys Burger opened, there were already multiple of posts/articles from NYtimes, Eater.com, Gothamist, Chowhound, and other local food bloggers jockeying to be the first food blogger on the scene. LOL, don’t they know there’s another Five Guys Burger in Brooklyn Heights? Guys, you need to get off the island! I work 3 blocks away from Five Guys Burger Midtown and purposely avoided it till last week. Pssshawww. Dude, I’m from the West Coast and we have In-N-Out Burger which is the original concept and they’ve been around since 1948! (Five Guys Burger started in 1986) That being said, there ain’t no In-N-Out in NY so on the East Coast you have Five Guys Burger (for now).
The Five Guys Burger
For those who haven’t tried either Five Guys Burger or In-N-Out burger, let me break it down for you. Both burger restaurants feature made to order burgers that use ultra fresh non-frozen ground beef. The burgers are served on fresh buns with real lettuce, tomatoes and thick slices of cheese. Due to the fresh top notch ingredients, these burgers are amazing and destroy any franchise fast food burger. The fries are also different: They are thick potato wedges that are cut on the premises, dipped in a little batter and fried fresh. Personally, I’m not really into this type of French Fries but with the thick potato wedges, you can actually taste the potato flavor in these types of fries and according to Zagat 2008 DC the fries from Five Guys Burgers are “mind blowing fries”. (You’ve got to love these colorful annoying quotes from Zagat) The subtle difference between Five Guys Burger and In-N-Out is that Five Guys Burger has a few more toppings that I wish In-N-Out had: Mushrooms, Bacon, Pickles, Fried Onions, Jalapenos, and Red Peppers. But I guess this is where you have the tradeoff. At Five Guys Burger you can choose among 15 different toppings for your burger which equates to 1,307,674,368,000 permutations on how to ‘have it your way’. Obviously with half of Midtown NY lining up and being the picky New Yorkers we are, it’s going to take some time for the Five Guys Burgers staff to put those custom combinations together. This is the reason why it took me 30 mins to get from the door to the counter to place my order last week at Five Guys Burger. Contrast this with In-N-Out burger where there are just 3 choices (or a few more if you know the secret menu) and you CAN just get In and Out with your burger in a snap. I have to say though, I was really impressed by the amount of burgers that Five Guys Burger was cranking out from that tiny kitchen.
Five Guys Burger Review
I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with mushrooms, pickles, lettuce, mayo, mustard and ketchup ($7.75). It was amazing to say the least. Personally, I don’t think you can get a better burger for this price in NY and until In-N-Out is available on the East Coast Five Guys Burger wins my vote. Everything you’ve read in Eater, Gothamist, etc is entirely true but just wait a month or so when the NY’s Five Guys Burger hype wears down and you’ll be able to get in and out with your tasty burgers without any problems.
Damien Hirst Exhibit at Lever House
By the way, if you really want to appreciate your burger (in a sick way) you should check out the Damien Hirst exhibit at the lobby of the Lever House Building 390 Park Ave (runs till Feb 9th 2008). Hirst, the famous Turner Prize winning British artist that is famous for his animal art exhibits, may be best remembered in NY for his Sensation exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art back in ’99 that caused uproar and subsequent protests due to (what some consider) the shockingly graphic gory content of his art. There is a pretty good mini version of that exhibit at the Lever House featuring a few dozen glass enclosed veal carcasses suspended in formaldehyde along with one of Hirst’s signature masterpieces that features the 2 bisected pieces of a full cow carcass suspended in glass. Enjoy!
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