Five Guys, One Burger

Washington DC, 1986. The four young Murrell brothers were given a simple decision from their parents: “Start a business or go to college”. Two decades on and the fifth “guy” (a younger brother) was born, the recipe perfected, and Five Guys found itself on Britain’s shores, nestled in the heart of Covent Garden.

If you’ve walked past during the busier moments of the day you will have noticed a rather large queue snaking along the pavement. I’ve often wondered how ‘fast’ this fast food outlet really was considering the time it would take to get to the counter! Yet, I put my reservations aside and for the first time I stepped under the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes and decided to pop inside for what the Londoner calls “heaven in a brown paper bag”…

The verdict? It was fantastic! The term ‘Gourmet Fast Food’ has been thrown about a lot recently but given that this concept is almost as old as myself, it does set the standard for all things American: it’s the fastest, biggest, juiciest slab of processed meat either side of the pond. 

Once you’ve negotiated the queue, the menu won’t take long to conquer. You choose either a burger in it’s rawest form or choose to add cheese, bacon or both! There is a huge list of toppings that all come free with the burger, and you can opt to go for everything if you’re feeling gluttonous or lazy. Add a portion of good ol’ American fries and it is a winner!

I should say was. The only downside to this cracking fast food joint is that the fun is over far too quickly. Ten minutes later and I would have done anything for a second stomach just to enjoy it all over again.

Five Guys is a cult classic and rightly so. It’ll knock you out like Robert de Niro in Raging Bull but you’ll still want to go back for more. The old proverb talks of too many cooks spoiling the broth…well, I guess they never met the Five Guys, then. 


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