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Five Guys Can't Make One Good Burger

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 24, 2009 9:30PM

Since entering the market last autumn, the DC-based hamburger chain Five Guys has garnered the kind of media (over)exposure that fast food franchises crave. After hearing good things about Five Guys from Kevin and Marcus while they were in the District for the inauguration, and one fair-but-not-supportive review from Mike Nagrant, we knew that we had to find out for ourselves if Five Guys was worth the hype. in such markets as . The walls of its tiny space at 2140 N. Clybourn are loaded with testimonials lavished upon it from other cities such as Roanoke, Tampa and its home base in DC, apparently waiting for a glowing review from one of our own.

They aren't gonna get one from Chicagoist. Our main complaint about a Five Guys burger is that the supposedly "made to order" pure beef patties are seared beyond recognition, forcing the natural juices of the beef out of the patty and left to evaporate on the grill. What you get is a patty that's had the life pounded out of it. Shameful, especially since the list of add-ons for a Five Guys burger is impressive.

One thing they do do well is their home cut French fries, made fresh from Idaho potatoes (a dry erase sign at the counter announces where the potatoes came from that day) and cooked in peanut oil. Free peanuts are also on hand while you wait for your order. And you will be waiting a while. On our visits to Five Guys the foot traffic was unbelievable. Imagine if an In N' Out ever came to Chicago.

Five Guys is open 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., 7 days a week.