Despite my pleas, my good friend, fellow meat-lover, and Lavola bass player Matt Hanser refused to join me at Five Guys today (something about getting ready for his trip to SoCal tomorrow – he prides himself on never being late, but this was ridiculous) for my follow-up, no cheese, jalapeño-laden, Cajun-seasoned fries accompanied burger eating excursion.
I wrote about my impressions of the Palm Beach Gardens Five Guys location just under a week ago, but since I thought the cheese was disgusting and neglected to try the Cajun fries, I knew I needed to make a follow up visit.
First, a correction: bacon is not free, as I said in my original piece. It’s 50 cents, as is cheese, which is a good news/bad news thing: a plain burger, sans cheese and bacon, is $4.59 which, while still spendy in the fast food world, is at least a bit more reasonable, particularly considering the fresh jalapeños. What is free is water. And the peanuts, of course. (I ordered a cupa the former, and skipped the latter).
Todays order was a “little” cheeseburger to take home for my son, a small order of Cajun-seasoned fries (and I still got an extra scoop dumped into the bag – sweet), and a regular burger (the difference between little and standard burgers: single vs. double patty – get the latter) with raw onions, grilled onions, and jalapeños. Taking the suggestion of my friend (and guest Meatist) Amiel, I ordered this fellow with A-1 sauce, though I got it on the side so I could monitor its application.
One of the nice things about South Florida summers combined with aluminum wrapping is that burgers are still plenty warm after sitting in the car for about an hour, which mine did. Really. An hour.
I munched the fries throughout that hour though, and at first they were tremendous; I highly recommend the Cajun variation. After 30 minutes though, the grease was winning the flavor battle, so eat them at the restaurant, down them quickly in a to-go setting, or take a pass.
As for the burger, I suspected that despite the delay in eating it I’d be in good shape because of, in Amiel’s words, “the way they ghetto-wrap the burgers that leaves the buns soaked in grease.” I was not wrong.
Even an hour after purchase, this burger was way above average, and had I gone with this set up originally, I think Five Guys may have copped a four star rating. I still have the same issues (cooked well done, smished meat), but without that hated cheese, the delicious onions-two-ways, fresh jalapeños, and greasy sesame seed bun were able to really shine. And Amiel was right: A-1 is a great sauce on this thing, at least in the format I ordered mine, and I say get it (even if it’s on the side).
Would I feel the same without the fresh jalapeños? Perhaps not – fresh jalapenos can make a sneaker palatable. But it’s a moot point, they’ve got ‘em, I love ‘em, and Five Guys delivers a very solid burger that I’d select over any other to-go burger in the area.