REVIEW: Five Guys, Leeds
I've been meaning to check out Five Guys ever since they opened up a venue at Cardigan Fields on Kirkstall Road before Christmas, and last weekend we finally got round to it. For those of you who don't know, Five Guys is a US based fast food joint - but with locations popping up all over the place here in the UK it looks like they're set for domination this side of the pond too.
I'd never been to a Five Guys restaurant when I've been in the States, so unlike it's rival, Shake Shack, I had no American equal to compare it too, and I think this made me a bit more open to the experience. The venue in Leeds is typical to most that I've seen in the UK - stripped back diner style decor, complete with red booths and bright strip lighting. The walls are adorned with rave reviews of their burgers and chips, which had our mouths watering as we waited in the queue to order. It's a real "no frills" kind of place - your order at the counter, help yourself to free monkey nuts (which were salty and delicious and perfect) and wait for them to call your order number and hand over your brown paper bag.
Onto the food: the menu is slim, covering burgers, hot dogs and a couple of veggie options. You choose your burger and then add on as many as the free toppings as you like - I opted for a little bacon cheeseburger (little indicates one patty, regular serves up two) and added lettuce, BBQ sauce and jalapenos. I though the burger was delicious - the meat was juicy and you could tell it was really fresh, and the bun held everything together nicely. The toppings were good too!
Then there's the fries. Oh sweet Lord, the fries. There are two choices: Five Guys fries or cajun fries. We opted for the Five Guys fries, and after reading that the portion sizes were humongous, decided to share a regular portion. We're both greedy little creatures, but even between us we couldn't finish them all - it truly is an epic serving! Their fries are cooked in peanut oil (which is apparently healthier) and they had a really nice flavour to them - and the crunchy outside to soft inside ratio was spot on. Yum.
Finally, onto drinks. They do serve up a selection of beers, but I would definitely recommend opting for a soft drink - they have a Coke machine that has hundreds of soft drink options! I thoroughly enjoyed the cherry vanilla Diet Coke and the raspberry Sprite, but I hear the still grape Fanta is a winner too. The soft drinks are refillable too so you get to try a couple if you like.
Overall, I loved my Five Guys experience. I have to admit that it wasn't the best value for money for what could be pitted as a McDonalds/KFC rival, but the food was a lot fresher and the novelty was worth it too. I hear they're opening another Leeds restaurant in the city centre which I will definitely be checking out too. I've also noticed venues popping up in Manchester and London too, so if you don't live in Leeds hopefully you can try one near you some time!
Have you been to a Five Guys? What were your thoughts?