For a few years in the mid 90’s I lived in D.C. doing non-profit fundraiser work for liberal causes (I was building up a smug allowance that my several years in for-profit marketing have completely eroded). While there, I fell in love with a little burger joint called Five Guys Burger & Fries. At the time, there were three locations, although when I moved back to L.A., the chain had grown to six.
On a whim, I looked ’em up on the web, and to my surprise found that they’ve spread like a vine, including moving as far as West as Southern California. Hello lunch this Sunday. Time to see if the little quirks about the place survived the Westward expansion. Things that summed up the ambiance:
- No seats, counter only
- A sign informing you where today’s potatoes came from (they had amazingly good peanut oil fries)
- Giant barrels of roasted-in-the-shell peanuts for you to snack on as you waited for your food to be cooked (everything cooked to order, of course)
- Minimal decor, including a signboard, paper & pens for guests to scribble up nonsense, like how far they had traveled to eat at Five Guys that day, etc.
I suspect not everything will have survived the transition, but hopefully the burgers & fries still taste great. In Arlington, there wasn’t really any competition other than fast food franchises, which is no competition at all. Out here, we have the world’s best hamburger joints, in no short supply. Still, you can never have enough great burger places.