Five Guys makes some mouth-watering hamburgers

Blisin Baer
Special to Chronicle
When I lived out East, I found myself driving two hours round trip just to get my favorite cheeseburger and an order of the best french fries I have ever had. The closer I got to the restaurant, the more my mouth watered. My destination: Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I love french fries, but I have never tasted anything quite like the fries at Five Guys.

When I moved to Iowa, I found myself dreaming of Five Guys. My dream has now come true. Five Guys opened a location at South 64th Street and Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines in November 2016. I went to get my burger-and-fries fix as soon as I heard the news. I went on a Monday around 11 a.m. When I arrived, there was a huge line. That did not deter me—the wait was well worth it. It was everything I remembered. The environment was relaxing and fun, with music playing loudly for everyone to enjoy. The ambiance reminded me of a 60s diner with its red-and-white checkered wall tiles and workers grilling fresh hamburgers before you on the long, counter-length grill.

I ordered the only thing I have ever ordered there—a juicy cheeseburger (with pickles, ketchup and mustard), a regular order of french fries and a large soda. The regular cheeseburger is a double cheeseburger at Five Guys. The patties are cooked in front of you; they are never frozen. There are unlimited free toppings for your burger, such as grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, jalapenos, bacon, peppers, and even steak sauce. The french fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil, which might be why they stand out so much to my palate. You have a choice to order regular fries or Cajun-seasoned fries. They serve the fries in a tall, white paper cup. They dump handfuls of extra fries on top of that paper cup. You will never leave there hungry. Five Guys posts a chalkboard with the potato farm information for the potatoes they are using that day. It is somewhat comforting to know exactly where your food is coming from. They use a soda machine that lets you customize your drink. This makes the experience so much fun for me. I usually get a Cherry-Vanilla Diet Coke.

I wanted my mother, Juli Buck, to go with me and try my favorite food. On this day, she wasn’t able to come along for the adventure. I decided to take her home a cheeseburger and half of my fries. They wrapped the cheeseburger in foil-lined paper, so it managed to stay rather warm. When I got the food to her, it had been over an hour later. She ate some of the fries cold and heated up the rest of the meal. She said, “I can’t believe how amazing this tastes, even after I warmed it up!”

Since Five Guys is so new to the area, I asked students at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny if they had tried it yet. Most students said no. One student, Abigail Jackson, said, “I tried to go there, but the line was too long so I didn’t stay. The food must be really good to have such a long line!”

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