Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Guys In Columbia

Somewhere between gourmet and fast food, Five Guys is serving up burgers and fries that make tasty casual meals.

At one point, Five Guys was a cult joint growing in northern Virginia.  Now, it's a solid chain, and it settled into Howard County over the past year with locations at the Columbia Mall and off Dobbin Road.

There is something authentic about a Five Guys.  You can watch them fry up potato slices, and you can peek into the back where piles of meat wait to be shaped into burgers.

Real food makes a good burger -- although one that you can't red or pink inside.  On our last errand trip to the mall, we split a burger as a snack.  Good beef flavor that comes close to my own grill.  A bun far better than most burger joints.  Really good pickles and mushrooms.  This isn't my favorite burger at Victoria Gastro Pub, but that one costs triple and frankly doesn't have fries that match Five Guys' offerings when they're hot from the oil.

The truth about these little chains is that they can vary.  The Fatburger in Elkridge hasn't inspired me to return.  I'm hoping that Sonic lives up to expectations if it comes to Ellicott City.  So far, Five Guys met the standards that lured me to Laurel before the Columbia locations opened.  I'm hoping that continues.

Five Guys at Columbia Mall
10300 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD  21044

NEAR:  This is in the Columbia Mall food court.  It is on the ground floor at the end of food court closest to the stores.

Five Guys - Columbia Mall on Urbanspoon

Five Guys at Dobbin Center
6435 Dobbin Center Way
Columbia, MD 20145

NEAR:  Five Guys is in the shopping area with a Blockbuster off Dobbin Road.  This is the backside of the large shopping center that faces Rte 175, but you get there by going south on Dobbin Road from Rte 175 and then turning left at the second light.

Five Guys - Dobbin Center on Urbanspoon


TJ said...

my issue with 5 Guys, and most 'chain' type places that serve up burgers, is that they won't cook your burger to order. You can do far worse that 5 Guys, but it really isn't all that.

Anonymous said...

I love my burgers medium rare. It's true, Five Guys doesn't cook to order. But, to their credit, their medium well burgers are almost always juicy in spite of being cooked to that degree. I've been to Five Guys in Bethany Beach, Westminster, Towson, Glen Burnie, and now, Ellicott City, and have found the ingredients and preparation to be very good, especially in light of the cost.

It's not my favorite burger - that's my own off of the grill. I'd say it's top five when you factor in cost and availability. It's a well-made, tasty product fixed within a few minutes. Zagat and polls love them, as the displayed magazine covers testify throughout the dining area.

MaybeKathy said...

I haven't made it to 5 Guys yet but I can't believe anybody makes fries that rival Victoria's duck fat fries.

Sarah said...

Victoria's duck fat fries are really good.

But there is also something about Five Guys fries in the paper bag.

Still haven't had burgers at either one yet...

HowChow said...

@MaybeKathy -- I love Victoria, but I have to pick the Five Guys fries for the gold. The advantage of a good chain is that the food is predictable.

Victoria's have been all over the place -- soemtimes too crisped, sometimes a half serving of tiny little potato pieces. Of course, that's a minor complaint -- especially with that burger and the beer that I need to write about again soon.

K8teebug said...

Five Guys is definitely the go-to burger when you want something relatively quick. The burgers and fries at Victoria are outstanding, but Five Guys is 1/2 the price and not as long of a wait :)

It depends what you're in the mood for when you're craving a burger.

Anonymous said...

we hit victoria's last month and most likely will never return. They were over priced for what you received and the burger was ok. Maybe it was an off night. But I don't understand the hype.