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Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Cherry Hill, NJ

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Would you like some hype with that burger?

Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Cherry Hill, NJ
1650 Kings Hwy N, Cherry Hill
Price: $15 (For Two – No Tip)
Meal: Weekend / 8pm
Website: Five Guys

After we reviewed In ‘N Out Burger in Vegas, many of our friends told us to check out Five Guys, a growing burger franchise across the country. There appear to be a substantial amount in the NJ region, although I just started noticing them a few months ago. Like INOB, Five Guys offers handmade burgers, fresh-cut fries, and a whole lot of nostalgia about what it used to be like to go out and get a juicy, dripping, calorie-ridden piece of meat. Still, Five Guys has big shoes to fill. Even lacking some very good competition in the burger business, their almost narcissistic plastering of food critic reviews all over their restaurant (and website) really got me thinking. If they already have you in their store, do they really need that much propaganda to sell a burger and fries?

The first thing you’ll notice entering the shop is that there are sacks of potatoes in front of the window, in plain sight. Five Guys not only makes your fries fresh, they’re also happy to tell you where your potatoes came from (ours were from Sugar City, Idaho). Almost immediately, though, you’ll notice the hundreds of magazine, newspaper, and food-critic articles for their burgers arranged neatly across almost the entire wall space – and it’s a rather large space. Just like the old Seinfeld joke about not needing to know about every burger McDonald’s has sold, do we really need to be inundated with each and every positive thing anyone has ever said about Five Guys? Sheesh. That said, the interior was super clean and there appears to be plenty of seating.

The menu is pretty straightforward. They sell burgers, fries, hot dogs, and two veggie alternatives – a veggie dog and a grilled cheese sandwich. You won’t find any club wraps, salads, or fish here, that’s for sure. Ordering is really limited to knowing if you want a regular burger (two patties) or a little burger (single patty). Fries appropriately come in large and small varieties or regular or cajun. They make them on the spot; peeled, cut, and fried. Fountain drinks came with free refills, and had a good enough selection for us.

Unlike INOB, Five Guys makes all of their burgers one way – well-done. I would have liked the option for a medium-rare burger, but hey, I forgot to even ask. Up to 15 (yes, fifteen!) toppings are free. Ketchup, onions, mushrooms, mayo, lettuce, tomato, A-1, hot sauce, peppers, the list goes on.. they’ve got it. I didn’t get anything exotic; a simple lettuce, tomato, and onion slab was good enough for me. I had a regular sized burger, and Autumn got the little variety. We were told a small fries would be more than enough to share. The price for two burgers and fries is a little higher than what you’d pay at the mainstream fast food places.

It took our order only about ten minutes to be ready. They wrap the burgers and put them in a brown paper bag along with a styrofoam cup full of fries, regardless of whether you’re eating in. On top of it all, they scoop in more fries, so you’ll have to reach through a little greasiness to get at everything. With the amount of fries you get, we’re not complaining. Seriously? A small is probably enough for four people to have a decent portion. We were amazed how many you got. Shame on us for eating them all, too, because they were top notch.

The burgers were clearly hand-formed and had an irregular shape. Because they are well-done by default, they weren’t as moist and juicy as I wanted them to be. Still, they certainly trumped ones you’d find in the McDonald’s of the world. In the end though, both Autumn and I agreed they weren’t the best we’ve ever had, they didn’t redefine what a hamburger means to us, and they certainly don’t live up to the staggering amount of hype. I would actually recommend those who are really high on Five Guys to try the Charcoal Pit in Delaware (not reviewed yet). I’ve crossed state lines for that burger on numerous occasions.

Overall, Five Guys is a terrific alternative to most burger joints that should satisfy purists, if not outright delight those who haven’t had a real hamburger in ages. However, I was left with a lingering feeling of disappointment only because my expectations were set so high from the start. We’ll come back, but admittedly I might be more excited for the fries the second time around.

Pros:

– Amazing fries in a gigantic proportion
– Toppings!

Cons:

– Way too much in-house advertising
– No milkshakes to wash it down?

Guru’s Score: 3.4 Chews
★★★½☆
Subjective rating: We’ll come back.
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Five Guys Burgers and Fries - Cherry Hill, NJ, 3.6 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

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