After a not unpleasant hike that involved a walk in the hazy heat from Rego Park to Flushing and a 20-minute bus ride to College Point, Gothamist arrived at Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries the other day. As expected, the dreaded mantra of the D.C.-based burgermeisters hung above the counter in the cheery red-and-white dining room. It read: "We Cook All Our Meat WELL-DONE." When asked why on earth anyone would cook a hamburger, much less any meat in such a fashion, the cashier replied, "Don't worry, it's still juicy."
Given the dozens of rave reviews lining the walls, Gothamist decided to keep an open mind. It should be noted that a "hamburger" at Five Guys consists of two 3.3-ounce patties. (If for some ungodly reason you wish to eat less well-done beef, you must order a "Little Hamburger.") Our hamburger was topped with bacon, cheese, tomatoes, ketchup and raw onions and sided with a regular order of fries. The Guys present all orders in brown paper bags, whether they're to go or not. Perhaps there was a tray shortage in the D.C. area when they first opened. Tearing open the bag provides a serviceable tray much like butcher paper acts as a plate at any good Texas barbecue joint.
As you can see, the patties themselves remained quite juicy, and had a wonderful crispy, crunchy char on top that would make Louis-Camille Maillard beam with pride. Combined with the squishy sesame bun and the other ingredients it was truly delicious. It was certainly the best well-done burger that ever passed our lips.
And just why were these well-done burgers done so well? The answer's simple: every morning the staff churns out anywhere from 600 to 800 hand-formed beef patties. The hand-cut fries were also fabulous. As a sign on the wall pointed out, that day's fries hailed from Rigby, Idaho.
If you want to avoid the trek to College Point, just wait until July when the Guys plan to open a Manhattan location. Can't wait that long? They're a opening a store in Brooklyn Heights next month.
Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries is located at 132-01 14 Avenue (at 132 Street) in College Point, Queens. 718-767-6500.