Hey there! A belated ‘Happy Christmas’ to everyone, I hope you’ve all had a lovely time with family and friends, enjoying the festive period to the fullest!! It’s been a few weeks since my last post (The Reliance), so I have a few reviews to post to stop a mini-backlog building up. Here’s the first!!
Another burger place has popped up in Leeds, this time in the form of Five Guys. I didn’t really know anything about them, they hadn’t crossed my radar before, should they have?? Others had told me it was a better version of the well known burger place with the golden arches, only when in London recently did I even notice them with a long queue wrapped around the building. I’m still on the fence to how many burger joints we actually need in the city, so when they opened recently, I popped in to give it a fair chance and see how they compared to others.
It’s found on the Cardigan Fields site with other family friendly eateries on the busy thoroughfare that is Kirkstall road. I parked up to be greeted by a couple of the staff trying to entice customers in, I was always going to come in, so let them ‘persuade’ me and duly followed. On the walls were displayed some of the plaudits Five Guys has received, seems like they’ve been a big deal for quite a while by the looks of it!
Being unfamiliar with the menu, a quick explanation made it pretty straightforward – it has a build-your-own-burger quality to it; little burgers have one patty, standard burgers have two, the price includes all the toppings, of which there are many to choose from. Fries and drinks are extra. For those not wanting a burger, there were some hot dogs and sandwiches (e.g. grilled cheese and BLT) also on the menu.
One thing that struck me was the simplicity of it, I still like the simple stuff, dislike fussy burgers and how pretentious they are in some places. Five Guys seems to stick to this philosophy too! Ordering a little bacon cheeseburger with tomato ketchup and small fries, the next thing to tackle was the drinks machine which could conjure up 120 different combinations!! WTF?! If you’re a soft drink fan, surely this is soft drink heaven. With a push of a button, a plethora of flavours, even ones I never knew existed popped up on the screen. After spending a minute pressing as many buttons as I could before annoying anyone, I went for raspberry flavour cloudy lemonade. Refillable too, so more flavours could be tried out!
Sitting down I could watch the busyness going on behind the counter, with approximately 14/15 staff, orders were shouted out and dealt with in a regimented and orderly fashion. A few minutes later my number was called out from the counter and I collected my brown paper bag.
The skin-on fries were crisp, golden and the portion size was more than decent. My only complaint was the amount of salt on them, there was visibly too much for me and I couldn’t eat many, needing to drink in-between to dilute the saltiness.
As far as the burger goes I liked it; the patties are cooked through which I can understand as they are thin, topped with thin crispy bacon and well melted cheese to made for a tasty burger. None of that horrid solid cheese hanging off the edge. You won’t get any brioche buns either here, the seeded bun tasted good and matched the diameter of the patty, which is a silly picky thing, but a majorly important thing for me.
I liked it that staff were asking if everything was alright, of course they’ve just opened and wanted to create a good impression. Nevertheless it’s good that they’re bothered, you won’t see that in some of the other well known fast food burger joints out there. Being asked did give me an opportunity to mention the fries, the man said they can be ordered without salt so I could add my own. He kindly ordered a complimentary portion so I could see for myself, then a few minutes later a massive portion was brought over. I tasted them as they were, again lovely and crisp, with a little salt added to my liking made them just right!
News had certainly got round about their opening day, as the place steadily filled during my visit, including some of the Reds True BBQ team, checking out the competition eh?!
Leeds already has more than its fair share of burger joints, which makes me wonder if there’s enough room for them all to be honest. However, I think if I was going to the cinema in the Cardigan Fields area, I’d rather go to Five Guys than any other chain burger joint in close proximity. My lunch did come to £12 though, maybe a touch pricey for a burger, fries and drink from a fast food joint. What do you reckon?
On another note, I do sympathise for those with nut allergies, as Five Guys use peanut oil for cooking with and love providing diners with free peanuts.
Food: Simple concept, done well.
Service: Quick, friendly service.
Cardigan Fields Leisure Park