Five Guys. Any way you want. There’s a whole lot of wrong with what I just said, but I’m actually talking about burgers. With a few locations scattered around town, Five Guys is an all-American, build-your-own burger chain growing in Montreal. You’ll find me at the one in the Old Port, on McGill, just a short walk from Square-Victoria metro. Decked out in red and white, it’s got fast food feel, a casual vibe and high-calorie, high-fat fare ideal for the fatty in me.
One or two beef patties? That is the question. In true American style, a standard size burger at Five Guys includes two beef patties, always fresh, never frozen. All four varieties – Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Bacon Burger and Bacon Cheeseburger – can be reduced to a single patty by dropping “petit” in front of the burger. At no additional cost, customize it with an array of toppings, most of which are classic vegetables and sauces. If you’re not picky, dress it with “everything” or “all the way”. Order and pay at the cash, head to the pick-up counter at the back and wait for them to yell out your number. You can munch on some peanuts in the meantime; just help yourself to the communal and complimentary boxes sitting around.
I went all out with a Bacon Cheeseburger ($7.99) – a meaty beast featuring two beef patties, bacon and melted American cheese nestled in a sweet, eggy bun. At my “everything” request, layer upon layer of mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions and grilled mushrooms were piled high, the final product tall and stuffed to the max.
I couldn’t unlock my jaw wide enough to take a full bite, and it was messy to eat with juices flowing and things slipping out – but I didn’t care. The quick-to-go-soggy bun on the other hand wasn’t so great. Oh well, I’ll just have to eat faster next time. There was a lot going on in there, but the focus didn’t shift from the meat – with the sheer amount of it, it’s not like it could. Not complaining though. I enjoyed it, but I’ll downsize to something with more balance at future visits. Don’t want to die you know?
Fries are made for burgers so don’t ruin a good thing by omitting them. I tried both Five Guys (basic) and Cajun (“spicy”), and became a fan of the former. Fried in peanut oil, the sizeable potato sticks (skin still on) weren’t the crispy kind. They were soft, plush and feel-good starchy. Again, portions are awesomely outrageous. Regular ($3.29), the smallest size, can easily feed two hungry people. But if I’m being completely honest, I could do some serious damage if I were left alone with them…
Between chatty customers, very vocal workers and beats blasting in the background, a quiet meal is highly unlikely. Come here for a quick bite and go. A trio adds up to about 15$, but it’s a price I don’t mind paying once in a while. Five Guys isn’t home to my favorite burger, but it's one I know I’ll be back for when I’ve got greasy, potentially deadly (if consumed in excess) grub on my mind and an empty stomach begging for a calorie overdose.
468 rue McGill | map