Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Kingston) – Last… but certainly not the least

Over the last 6 months, we’ve seen the rise of several burger/poutine restaurants. It started with Smoke’s. Then Harper’s. Then Poutine Place. The last out of the gate was Five Guys. I am not entirely sure what took them so long but I was certain that they were doomed when they failed to open for the start of the Queen’s fall semester.

I couldn’t be more wrong. Five Guys opened about 1 week ago in a quiet way on a Sunday night. I’ve been two times now (I couldn’t wait… I wanted to see what it was all about) and it has always been packed.

The interior is pretty sterile and they offer free peanuts as a supplement to your meal. I didn’t actually get a chance to eat any peanuts as the burger and fries really stuffed me. There are probably 5 people in the kitchen who don’t need to be there. I anticipate as their operation becomes smoother, we won’t see as many people standing around. The speed of service is pretty good. With  5 orders in front of me, I waited about 7 minutes for my food. It isn’t McDonald’s fast… but it really isn’t slow either. I like the idea that they are grilling up my burger as I order it (versus having the burger sit in its own fat in little trays like at McD’s).

And here it is. This is the Cheeseburger for $7.29. It is a double patty as you can see. If you want a single patty, it costs a mere $4.79. The meat is pretty plain, and I would say it is a bit on the drier side lacking some of that nice beef fattiness that I like in burgers. The bun is the weakest link in this burger. It is flimsy, quite crushed, and really doesn’t hold together. The only benefit of such a flimsy bun is that you can crush it really thin so you can fit more of the burger in your mouth.

If you ask for your burger “All The Way”, you automatically get mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, and mustard. You can also add relish, onions, jalapenos, green peppers, A1 sauce, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce. All toppings are free. The toppings are insane. They obviously don’t care to fit all of your toppings into the burger to make it a clean eating experience but I actually enjoy that. While I will have mayo and tomato juice dripping from my chin and my hands will be moist from beef grease, I can honestly say that I am very happy while I am eating this burger. The mushrooms seem canned and don’t really contribute much to the flavour so I would not get these next time. The cheese is creamy and processed which I think goes perfectly with this type of burger.

This is the Bacon Cheeseburger for $7.79. Again, the bun is pretty awful but for the purposes of a meat delivery system, it serves its purpose. You don’t have to dislocate your jaw to get your mouth around this burger.

Here is the profile shot of the same burger. The bacon is pretty simple, nicely crispy, and has some nice smokey flavour. I really enjoy the fresh jalapenos in their burgers. They are so much hotter and add such a nice punch to each bite compared to the pickled versions you get on Harvey’s burgers or Subway’s subs.

These are the regular fries for $3.19. These are much better than Harper’s fries in my opinion (and much cheaper). They are hot, have their skin on for some nice texture, are crunchy, delicate on the inside, and just slightly sweet. They are also nicely salted without parching your mouth.

This is the inside of the paper bag that they give you with your order. I really like how they number each burger on the outside to correspond to your receipt so if you go with a group of people, you instantly know which one is yours without having to open everyone’s burgers. I also really like how they give you so many fries that it overflows its container. These fries at the bottom of the paper bag remind me of the days when I used to get McD’s with my dad after piano class and we’d finish the fries only to find we had a few more at the bottom of the bag!

I really like Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I think they have a unique niche. They are more elevated than Wendy’s, McD’s, Harvey’s, DQ’s and as such, the cost is slightly more. They aren’t quite as elevated as Harper’s so I don’t think they will truly be in direct competition. For a quick burger and fries, I’d come here without hesitation. If I want to grab a drink, chat with my friends, and eat a burger, I’d go to Harper’s.

Five Guys Burger and Fries, 185 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B1, 613-544-3333, www.fiveguys.com

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~ by Russ on November 22, 2010.

8 Responses to “Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Kingston) – Last… but certainly not the least”

  1. Agree with almost everything you said except that i quite liked the buns. They were fresh and soft and reminded me what an old-school fast food burger bun should be.

  2. Same with the other commenter, I agree with pretty much everything except for the bun part. Mine were pretty decent probably due to fewer people when I went this past sunday afternoon. I think its a decent burger and enjoy that all the toppings were free. I only had a little hamburger but plan to go back another time to check out the other stuff on the menu. Always love reading one of your reviews :)

  3. What luck. I honestly thought I was going to beat you to reviewing Five Guys, but I’m glad to see that our experiences were similar. Conversely, I didn’t have a dry patty, and I was in such a burger coma I did not notice if the mushrooms came from a can. Question for you, did your hands smell like burger for hours afterwards. I have heard some folks say this, but didn’t experience myself. Seems a bit gross.

    • Haha Harvey, somehow I knew you were going to check it out sooner rather than later and I wanted dibs on the first post hehehe!

      My fingers didn’t smell like burgers… but my food coma lasted 4-6 hours later. I got off of work today at 9am and I had a craving. Thank god they weren’t open. That would’ve been a disaster. 3 x in 1 week.

  4. Decided to try out Five Guys today and was very disappointed, even apart from all the hype. The burger was basically a loose ball of bread, meat and toppings, and the fries were probably among the worst I’ve had at any restaurant or burger joint. Maybe it was just the time I went, but they definitely weren’t crunchy, they had that starchy, cottony “cooked exactly the wrong amount” texture to them.

    On top of that, all of the food was pretty greasy. Overall, the burgers were decent, but really not all they’re hyped up to be.

    • Sorry to hear that you didn’t like your experience at Five Guys. We had completely different experiences here based upon your description. Maybe give it another chance? I’ve been burned recently on giving something a very positive review when it actually was pretty bad. I’ve been to Five Guys maybe… 4x and I really liked it each time.

  5. Having lived in Kingston for 10 years and NEVER having a good burger except when I visit Toronto I h ave to say, these are the best ones we have in K-Town ESPECIALLY the yummy squishy buns ! Price is high but you get what you pay for.

    • I’ve gone a few more times over the last 6 months and I have to say… though Five Guys really hits the spot… the actual flavours and ingredients at Harper’s is better.

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