Those of you who have known me for awhile know that I've never really been a burger girl. That was about the last thing I would order when going out to eat. I don't know what it is, old age or something, but burgers have become more and more tasty to me over the last year or so (see Juicy Lucy post from 9/22/09). So I figured it was only right to do another taste test post; here it is.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
France Ave, Edina
The burger: 'Little' cheeseburger (believe me, you don't need the regular size)
This burger is juicy goodness and it is mess. No real noticeable seasoning to the patty but that's ok with me because the flavor of the toppings in combination with the beef really stand out. As I said before, if you have eaten a burger from the Woodhouse, the taste and texture are very similar. Which makes my mouth and belly happy. The bun is a standard bun, Justin doesn't care for it but I like it. It doesn't overwhelm the burger. The juice/grease from this burger cause some blowouts about half way through eating it. I find myself rebuilding it several times during consumption. I love the taste of this burger and always finish the whole thing.Fries: Fresh, thick-cut fries. You can tell that they just cut the potatoes that day. But they are very thick, mushy in the middle. You have the option of getting cajun fries; we tried it and don't care for them. Overall, I don't really care too much for these fries. Yes they are fresh and I know a lot of people who like thick fries, but I am not one of them. I mostly just eat them because they are there. Too much potato and not enough crunch. However, you get an enormous serving with one order. If you're going with just one other person, DO NOT get the large size, regular will suit you just fine. So in my opinion, these fries leave something to be desired.
I should also mention they have in-the-shell peanuts available to eat while you're waiting for your order. I'm not a big peanut person, but I'm sure this appeals to a lot of people.
Drink: I always get orange soda. They have your typical fountain soda, plus some teas. They also have Mello Yello (which gets points from me) but I generally stick with the orange. No alcohol offered.
Atmosphere: Fast-foodish. Small place, you order at the counter, no server. An in-and-out type of place. Always hoppin'.
Price: Right around $15 for the two of us to eat. Pretty reasonable.
Flying Cloud Dr., Eden Prairie
The burger: I got the California cheeseburger (single).
Fixin's: California means lettuce and tomato, then I added mushrooms and raw onions. Extra $.80 for the 'shrooms.
The patty was seasoned and that was noticeable on the first bite. Very flavorful. Pefect juiciness, not a mess but just the right amount of juice. The mushrooms were very fresh with a strong flavor, which I really liked. This burger was much richer than 5 Guys due to the seasoned patty. So I would say I would be much more likely (if my belly could handle it) to eat 2 5G's burgers vs. 2 LT burgers. Bun was comparable to 5G's in my opinion, Justin think Lion's buns are better. The burger stayed together very well while eating, no major blowouts. I ate every bite of it.
Fries: Crinkle-cut, Justin told me to ask for them crispy. Perfect portion size for me, but I'm sure others may wish they had more. Perfect ratio of crisp to potato. Good flavor. I really liked these fries. Dipped them in a ketchup/mayo mixture. Far superior to 5G's fries. I ate them cuz I liked them, not because they were there.
Drink: We ordered a pitcher of their premium draft root beer. Very good. I'm not a huge root beer fan, so I can't say it was better than the orange I get from 5G's. But Lion's Tap also has orange soda among others. Another bonus here - you can order beer!
Atmosphere: Bar atmosphere. This is a sit-down restaurant with that homey, local feeling. Servers who were busy but attentive and friendly. Busy in there, loud, but I felt like I could hang out there longer. Definitely not a fast-food feeling.
Price: We spent over $30 (including tip) for our meal. A little on the pricey side.
And the winner is.....................
But this was a very, VERY close race. If the two restaurants were right next to each other, I would probably wind up going to Lion's Tap more. But Five Guy's is about 10 mins away, Lion's Tap a good 20 mins. The burgers themselves were almost a tie, but there was no competition in the fry dept. Although pricier, the atmosphere of the Lion's Tap is more ideal. I felt like this was more of a 'dinner' than Five Guys. And, any place where you can get a beer is going to be a plus in my book!
So if any of you are in the cities, I recommend you check out both and make the decision for yourself! And call me, because I would love having an excuse to eat either.
Happy Burger Season!