Restaurant News & Reviews

Five Guys falls short of all the hype

Yes, I know that Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been voted "Best Burgers" for the past five years in Washington, D.C. I know that Zagat considers it the Washington's No.1 "Bang for the Buck," too. As it expanded outside the D.C. area, it continued to rack up awards like "Best Fries" and "Reader's Choice." After all those accolades, I couldn't wait to go to the new location in Macon.

I was underwhelmed.

I'll admit I'm not a huge burger, fry or hot dog person, so I took a burger fan along with me. He thought it was messy but not in a good way. I had heard that the fries were fantastic and came in a huge brown paper bag, so we ordered some of those. Not fantastic, and not a huge amount. Maybe we should have ordered the Cajun fries.

Out of curiosity, I asked about the "Veggie" that was listed next to the grilled cheese and right under the hot dogs. I wondered if it would be a veggie hot dog, a vegan grilled cheese, or a veggie hamburger, the way it was listed on the board. I was told that it was the same thing as the hamburger, but just the tomato and the lettuce. On a bun.

But don't let my bad experience keep you from going. If you are a huge hamburger fan, you'll find lots to love. You can get all the usual toppings for your hamburger, plus sauteed mushrooms, green peppers, A1 sauce, jalapeno peppers, hot sauce, or barbecue sauce. The

burgers are hand-formed just like you would make yourself. You definitely won't find these options at most burger places, and you won't find them this cheap at the ones you can. With a little creativity, you could design a $15 burger for a third of that price.

The hamburger beef is fresh ground for the burgers and is never frozen. The hot dogs aren't just regular dogs, either. They are 100 percent kosher beef --- the best kind of hot dog there is. You get free peanuts on your table (as long as you sit inside) while you wait for your food, which comes out quickly.

And that's pretty much the whole menu --- burgers, fries, hot dogs and toppings. Plus the free peanuts. You order at the front counter and they bring it to your table when it's ready. There's a patio area in front that's very pleasant in cooler weather. Interestingly, they don't allow peanuts outside in consideration of people with peanut allergies, yet everything they sell is fried in peanut oil. And try to come early so you won't struggle to find a parking spot; Five Guys can be very popular on the weekends, as can the restaurant next door.

Many, many, many people have told me they enjoyed the food at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Just as many told me that their location at Tom Hill was "OK." The best idea is to go see for yourself.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

120 Tom Hill Senior Blvd.

Two stars

Phone: (478) 474-0445

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. every day

Price range: $4-10

Payment: Cash, credit card

Reservations: No

Dress: Casual

Children's menu: Yes

Vegetarian selections: Yes

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Noise level: Low

Alcohol: No

Health Rating: 100

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