Monday, June 15, 2015

Two Guys at a Five Guys? Why so?

Earlier this month I made a couple of trips out to Barrhaven to visit clients for my business.  After a client visit I usually stop off for a meal before heading home.

Five Guys Burgers & Fries (1181 Greenbank Road, Ottawa) is near OC Transpo's Strandherd Transitway station and also easily accessible from the nearby Greenbank Road.  I use this as great spot to both transfer from nearby streets to Ottawa's transit system to head homewards.

This Five Guys Burgers & Fries is located in the Riocan Centre located at Greenbank & Strandherd.  During the weekdays it is a nice quiet place to have lunch as most locals are either in school or gone to work in downtown Ottawa.

I entered shortly after noon on two occasions about a month apart.  I was warmly welcomed by one "Guy".  There was another "Guy" at the grill with burger flipper in hand eagerly awaiting my order to begin cooking.  

This brings me to an eternal question I have of this franchised set of burger places. Sure Five Guys, as you'd expect, was founded and operated by five guys.  However, each store isn't operated by five guys working the kitchen. Today there were only two.  Heck, one time I visited the Ottawa Trainyards location to find the store worked by "Five Gals".  And no, they don't change the sign when that happens.  But I hilariously digress.

I, of course being a Five Guys periodic attendee across town at Trainyards, already knew what I wanted to order...

The Order: 1 Little Hamburger, 1 Regular Fries and 1 Regular Coke.

I paid and received my regular size fast food style beverage cup to fill at the nearby fountain drink station nearby.  The kitchen "Guy" started his magic by unloading one paddy onto the grill and the other "Guy" started the fries.

As I waited I loaded up on the free peanuts and started munching as my burger and fries cooked.

It's pretty quiet on the two occasions I ate there.  Only the odd area worker and stay at home moms and dads stop by with their little charges bringing up the rear.   This makes for a semi-quiet atmosphere that probably changes after school and work lets out. But for a daytime lunch spot I'll take it!

The burger and fries usually are ready about ten minutes after ordering.  I visit the counter, grab the paper bag and return to my seat.

The burger, as usual, is awesome with it's own unique taste as they grill burgers using peanut oil.  I usually top the burgers "All the way" which includes ketchup, relish, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, grilled mushrooms, and grilled onions which provides a delectable tasty burger combination.  The only complaint is the burger's appearance after unwrapped.  Both Five Guys Barrhaven and Trainyards have burgers that appear "smushed" when unwrapped from the tin foil.  Is there no way around this?  It's like the burgers are put together and then roughly wrapped by the kitchen crew using cinder block hands. Is there not cardboard burger packaging like McDonald's has for their Big Macs.

The fries were overflowing as usual.  The key thing with Five Guys Fries is they first take the regular size container, fill it and then add another heap of fries into your bag.  Sometimes they can be a little oversalted to some tastes but I usually find them just right.  Make sure to get ample enough ketchup for your fries.  Pro tip: After opening your paper bag and unloading the hamburgers, strategically rip the paper bag to lay flat at on the table to provide a communal french fries station!

Overall, the Five Guys Burgers & Fries in Barrhaven is a great spot for lunch.  Quiet atmosphere and good service accompanied with the taste that Five Guys' is known for makes it hit with me.  I wouldn't hang around till the evenings though, especially on the weekends, when this location must be hopping with the area locals and tables must be hard to find. When in Barrhaven, I'll be back!

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