The race to find the next cult burger shows no sign of stopping, but I’m getting weary of ground beef done every which way in a soggy bun. And while enthusiasts kvell over the fresh beef (“Nothing Frozen!”) in a Five Guys burger ($4.79 for a “little burger”), the “Famous Fries” are much more noteworthy than the beef in this spic-and-span franchise, which now boasts 625 outlets nationwide.
No match for the Shake Shack’s juicy, fatty burgers, the leathery patties could also do with a dose of the Shack’s special sauce. But focus, instead, on those fries in the wire baskets, sizzling in peanut oil. Unlike ones that look like they were cut from some generic starch product, these boast their potato provenance in taste and texture: thick cut, golden and dappled with crinkly brown skins. If only they were a wee bit crisper, but why complain when you get so many? A regular portion ($3.29) of feisty red-peppered Cajun or plain fries comes in a tall paper cup, and they’ll throw the equivalent of another order in the seemingly bottomless brown paper bag. An upbeat vibe, free salty roasted peanuts in the shell and endless drink refills make Five Guys the place to get your fries fix.
690 3rd Ave. (betw. East 43rd & 44th Sts.),
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