Great Breasts – No Chicken

Stopped in at one of our local “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” outlets. According to their website, Five Guys started in Arlington, VA, in 1986, and now has over 400 locations.

The menu is simple, hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries, with an abundance of “free toppings” that enables one to have their sandwich served in any of “over 250,000” toppings.

The interior theme is red and white tile, with decorations limited to stockpiles of their ingredients, including 25 pound boxes of peanuts (which are your free appetizer while waiting for your custom cooked burger), 35 # chubs of peanut oil, and 50 # bags of Idaho potatoes (from Rick Miles Produce, Rigby, ID), for their fresh-cut fries.

If one is to believe the posted sign endorsements, as well as repetitive statements on their website and menus, this burger is the greatest thing since sliced bread, having one numerous awards from various newspapers, websites, and magazines.

One curious category that these awards fall into is “Cheap Eats”, and I’m not sure north of $10 for a hamburger, fries, and drink fall into the genre. The small order of fries is 2.79, tho the descriptor of “small” is probably misleading. The order comes in a small foam drink cup, but the server then pours a second serving in the bag, much like the old days of when you ordered a milkshake, got the serving glass as well as the mixing cup delivered to you.

Diners are greated by the Five Guys version of when you walk into a sushi bar, except here the greeting is “four in the door”, to acknowledge you and maybe alert the staff as well.

Burger toppings, as I said, are abundant, “free”, and your choices include

* Mayo
* Relish
* Onions
* Lettuce
* Pickles
* Tomatoes
* Grilled Onions
* Grilled Mushrooms
* Ketchup
* Mustard
* Jalapeno Peppers
* Green Peppers
* A-1 Sauce
* Bar-B-Q Sauce
* Hot Sauce

The standard burger is two patties, and they also offer a “little hamburger” which one would assume is a single patty. Patties appear to be hand-formed, and, I have to say, are rather good. Fries need no extra seasoning, but a “cajun version” is offered along side the standard fries as a choice at no additional charge.

Soft drinks are bottomless. Full menu is below. I sat outside next to a pair of the most incredible Chinese ta-tas, thus the title for this piece. Five Guys is better than a stick in the eye, and may just be better than In N Out.


Five Guys

Five Guys Menu

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Atlanta, GA – The Varsity

Although I had heard about it for years, in all the times I have been to Atlanta , I had never made time to visit the Varsity.   I was there last week, and oh, so many years wasted.

For the unwashed, the Varsity is the world’s largest hot dog stand.  Covering two acres in downtown , with parking for 600 cars, and seating for 1200, the Varsity has been dishing up dogs, burgers, fries, rings, and their famous “Frosted Orange” beverage since  1928 under the watchful eye of Frank Gordy and his descendents.

Initially operating under the name “The Yellow Jacket, Gordy served hot dogs and bottled Coca-Cola (what else in Atlanta ?)  to Georgia Tech students. Not wishing to limit his clientele to one particular school, the name change came shortly thereafter, along with the move to the present location.

When you sidle up to the counter, and hear the famous cry from the clerks: “What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?”  it helps to know the proper retort.  There’s much more, but this will get you past the basics of ordering:

Hot Dog: Hot dog with chili and mustard
Heavy weight: Same as hot dog but with extra chili
Naked Dog: Plain hot dog in a bun
MK Dog: Hot dog with mustard and ketchup
Regular C Dog: Hot dog with chili, mustard and ketchup
Red Dog: Ketchup only
Yellow Dog: Mustard only
Yankee Dog: Same as a yellow dog
Walk a Dog (or Steak): Hot dog to go
Steak: Hamburger with mustard, ketchup, and pickle
Chili Steak: Hamburger with Varsity chili
Glorified Steak: Hamburger with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato

There are 5 locations these days .  But the original is the place for the complete Varsity experience.  Bring the kids, but not much money.  A meal at the Varsity is well under five bucks.  Unless you order like I do.

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varsity2 (2)

The Varsity on Urbanspoon

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Birmingham, AL – Krystal Mini Dogs

I couldn’t pass up Krystal’s version of chili dogs, mild curiousity.  For those of you not living in the South, Krystal is to Southerners what White Castle is to Northerners/   I wanted to try the Krystal “Pups” just because they were cute – diminutive versions of the chili dog, small enough to fit three into a standard styrofoam container.

There being only two in my foto is not to be taken as a sign that one was consumed.  I, in fact, only ordered. two.  Should it surprise me that the included frank had the most flavor of any that I tried?  Not really, I guess.  In annual surveys of fast food joints, both Krystal and White Castle rate at the top of the scale for quality of food ingredients.  They have “purer” ground beef that the McDonalds of the world, for example, so it made perfect sense to me that the “Pups” on their own, would taste good.  The chili was better than most, but still not what I was looking for.

You have a choice of pups


Krystal Mini Dogs

Krystal Mini Dogs

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Atlanta, GA – The Vortex

The Vortex,  Atlanta, GA, has been on my “must………..stop………………eat”  list for a long time.  Underground whispers, street rumors,  gossip have long been around about the famous “Double Coronary Bypass Burger”,  a legend if there ever was one.   One-half pound of sirloin, topped with two fried eggs,  four slices of America Cheese,  five slices of bacon, and the bun?   Glad you asked.  A singular delicious grilled cheese sandwich taking the place of each bun half.  Yep, two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns.

Confronted with the option of devouring this monster, could I?  Would I?  Should I?    Well, turns out at the last moment, someone said “try and onion rings”, and I knew I couldn’t do the Double and the rings at the same sitting, and when would I be here again?

So it was the ordinary Coronary Bypass Burger, which forgoes the grilled cheese(s) for a regular bun, is missing one fried egg, 1 strip of bacon, and 1 slice of american processed cheese food.

It was incredible.   And nice pickle!


Vortex Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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