Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Burger : Cheeseburger ($7.49) — a toasted sesame seed bun two fresh ground (never frozen) beef patties two slices of melted American cheese and your choice of 15 different toppings all of which come at no extra charge. The toppings are: mayo relish onions lettuce pickles tomatoes grilled onions grilled mushrooms ketchup mustard jalapeño peppers green peppers A-1 Sauce barbecue sauce or hot sauce.

Sides : Fries come in two varieties: Five Guys (regular) or Cajun (seasoned).

Atmosphere : The entire restaurant is decked out in reds and whites often with checkered borders. Bags of potatoes and containers of peanut oil are left out in the middle of the eating area reminding you that there is little-to-no processing between the raw ingredients and what ends up on your plate. Reviews and quotes from GQ magazine Zagat Survey and the New York Daily News are proudly displayed on the walls.

Menu : A back-to-basics no frills menu consisting of fries hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Grilled cheese and veggie sandwiches are the only other options beyond drinks.

Decision : Five Guys is a heavy hitter in the American burger scene and recently got some extra media attention when President Barack Obama paid a visit for lunch. So I drove 600 kilometres round-trip just to try it out.

So was it worth a six-hour trip? Unequivocally yes. This is what fast food should be — quality ingredients an underwhelming amount of menu options and fresh good food. That said I’m self-aware enough to know that my love for burgers is well above average. Most people won’t be able to justify the trip just to eat a hamburger. But if you have any other reason to be in Medicine Hat you absolutely must add Five Guys to your itinerary.

For my burger I opted for mayo mustard tomato lettuce pickles grilled onions and jalapeños. By default the burgers are two patties. After building my burger it was just shy of three inches tall. Everything was super fresh and delicious.

I have to single out the jalapeños which were fresh not pickled. They are sliced — seeds and all — and added a fresh spicy crunch unlike anything I’ve had to date. This will be a staple on my homemade burgers from now on.

I’m going to assume it’s only a matter of time before we get our own Five Guys in Calgary at which point I’m in big flavourful trouble.

Next Up : Toad ‘n’ Turtle Pubhouse & Grill 2475 27 Ave. N.E.

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