Last night was one of those nights. I had planned to make dinner at home, but we forgot an ingredient at the store. Instead of spending all the time going back and buying it and preparing dinner, we decided to get fast food.
My go-to fast food place is definitely Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I am really trying not to eat out much these days, to save dollars and pounds. If I eat out at a "real restaurant," it needs to be someplace good. So this leaves fast food as the likely option when I don't have the time and money. Right now I don't even think about any other places, especially when it comes to burgers.
There is a Culver's right next to the Five Guys, and they send many coupons in the mail, but I just don't know if they are any good. I posted about the Culvers Burgers in the Culvers vs. Smashburger review piece, but I didn't get any feedback about them.
Here's what I order from Five Guys: The Bacon Cheeseburger All The Way. Five Guys has a simple menu, but they offer many many burger toppings. All the toppings are clearly listed on the menu and the top row of toppings - lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, mayo, mustard, grilled mushrooms, and ketchup - is in black. "All the way" means all the toppings in black. At my local Five Guys, a bacon cheeseburger is 5.99 with whatever toppings you want. Hold the bacon, and get a "regular" cheeseburger for $5.49. One thing to know about Five Guys is a regular burger is a double burger, I believe it is 1/2 pound of beef. A "Little" Hamburger is $3.59 here and is larger than the premium burgers at most fast food places.
A regular order of french fries runs around $2.99, which seems expensive until you consider that you get around 3 orders worth of fries. They fry up a bunch of fresh potatoes and, after filling the cup and putting it in your bag, they throw a whole bunch of fries in the bag. The loose fries could easily fill another cup, and a whole family could split a regular order of fries.
In my area, when it comes to burger and fries options, I have McDonalds, BK, Wendy's, Steak n Shake, White Castle, and Big Boy. There are also casual dining options like TGI Friday's and Ruby Tuesday, but those places don't really do anything special with burgers to justify the prices onse you factor in tipping.
Five Guys is the only place that does anything resembling a quality burger, and really isn't any more expensive than Wendy's when it comes to prices for premium/special burgers in the same weightclass. It's also the only place that does anything resembling "real" fries. Maybe I'm picky because I grew up with Thrashers French Fries, but I think french fries should be potatoes that are sliced and deep fried. They should be crisp on the outside and have hot soft potato in the inside. They should not be limp and skinny, and the insides should not be hollow. I think McDonalds fries are tasty, but they are lacking. They are McFries. Wendy's is at least trying to so something with their new Sea Salt Fries, but they are going to end up flopping.
So for me it's Five Guys All the Way, All The Way.