Monday, 30 June 2014


Ok! Friday Night myself, Sandy, Miles and Max went to the new Five Guys in Birmingham to give it a whirl. Sandy was the only one out of us who had been to one before, but for the three of us this was our first Five Guys experience.



ATMOSPHERE: I had a little think about this. Given the rigid criteria of what I'll do these reviews by, wether 'atmosphere' is really applicable to what is ultimately a fast food burger shop. Then I thought about the actual atmosphere on Friday at Five Guys and it's totally applicable. The atmosphere was awesome. They were pumping out a really good playlist of 80s songs, where almost every song made you go I LOVE THIS SONG and the staff were jokingly singing along. All the customers were enjoying it and in good spirits, it seemed like there was a little buzz because it was still relatively new to the city. Everyone was super friendly. The music was the perfect volume level not to take away from your experience, it was just all on point. 9/10

DECOR: The decor was cool. It was all red and white (as I'm sure you can see) and seemed to stay true to the original American diners they've got that I saw whilst doing a bit of research. the main area was below ground level, then the ground level was the main dining area and they had a mezzanine floor too. it was well lit and all looked clean and smart. As fancy as a burger shop could look without looking contrived. 8/10

This drinks machine is called 'Coca cola freestyle' and has 127 different drinks flavours. Every single drink that Coca Cola PLC do is available, from Peach Sprite to Grape Fanta to Blue Powerade. Insane. £2.50 unlimited refills

FOOD: The food was crazy. It was so classic, a real example of something simple done very well. I'll go on record as saying it's the best cheeseburger I've ever had. Max has been to New York twice and ate cheeseburgers non stop and also agreed that this was the best one he had ever had. They also did hotdogs, but we didn't order those. I had heard big talk about the fries. They were good but left a little to be desired for me, maybe I'm being harsh for the sake of it. They were delicious, salty and home cooked. The menu is short, but this place know what they do and do it well. If you want a burger and fries, you go to Five Guys, although a milkshakes and sides menu wouldn't have gone a miss. 9/10

We all had bacon cheeseburgers which in true fatty American style come as doubles as standard then you add any toppings you so choose for free. Everything from jalapeƱos to gherkins to fried mushrooms. 

SERVICE: The service was great too! We were faffing a little given that we hadn't been before and didn't really know what to do and they were really patient with us. Right at the last minute as my food was being made I realised ketchup technically counted as a topping on the burger and asked to change my order to add it, the guy did, with no hesitation. Any time we needed sauces or whatever they were cool.

The girl who took our order looked like one of those sexy black girls from Birmingham who have bad attitudes but she was actually really nice and helpful. She broke it down for us and even when we were asking her questions about the portion sizes of chips she was fine with it. Even after we finished and we were just finishing our drinks and letting our food go down and chatting in our booth they weren't in a rush to move us on or come clear our table. They just left us alone, it was perfect. They couldn't have been better. 10/10

PRICE: I suppose this depends on your outlook. I spent £14 on a regular chips (that was huge as you can see), a double bacon cheeseburger and unlimited drinks. For me, that's ok given that it was the best cheeseburger I'd ever had. In terms of price I was comparing it to the Handmade Burger Co in terms of going out for a meal that happens to be a burger and fries rather than holding it up against McDonalds or something of the like. Other people might argue that £14 for a burger and fries is steep. But given that I'd happily go and pay £15 + for a Nandos I didn't feel like I was getting ripped off or leaving dissatisfied. The obviously salty food took it's toll and when you think I had 3 refills it really does make it good value for money. 8/10

CONCLUSION: I like American food and as much as I wouldn't like to admit it to myself I eat a lot of burgers of an average week. I think American food is so simple, but also so easy to do badly, the margins are very fine. Given how poor a lot of the places that jump on this American trend are (see Coast to Coast) I went in expecting to be disappointed and it to have been overhyped to me. It was spot on, seriously. I almost wanted it to be bad but it delivered.

The return journey on the train was £12 and the food was £14 so for roughly £30 all in I had a really nice evening and felt like it was money well spent. Believe the hype, Five Guys is fucking awesome. I'll be going back very soon indeed. 44/50

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