Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Canadian Edition) — A Review
The Five Guys Burgers and Fries chain of hamburger restaurants has decided to expand into Canada. The first outlet outside of the U.S. happens to be in the small out-of-the-way burg of Medicine Hat, Alberta. There are more outlets planned soon. Even after a couple of months or so since it opened, there was still a healthy lineup for a Sunday lunch.
ACK! Some sort of American vs. Canadian confusion about what a “hamburger” means vs. what Canadians call a “double burger”… I wasn’t aware before I ordered and so found out that a “hamburger” means “double-patty burger” in the Five Guys chain. It should mention that up on the price board.
Anyway, not TOO much meat — I got through it… but not quite as tasty or juicy as the burgers that I remember from the Lick’s Hamburger chain in southern Ontario. Then there was the so-called “Regular” order of fries… How wasteful for one person as there was enough for four people. They really ought to have a “small” order available as well.
Okay, beyond that, the burger was okay — on par roughly with the taste of a Wendy’s double-patty hamburger which makes sense since both use fresh (not frozen) meat patties. The Five Guys burger was a bit drier than I would have preferred. The Lick’s chain in eastern Canada has it beat in spades for taste and juiciness. So, nothing so special that I feel a big urge to go back again. Now if there is ever a Lick’s franchise in Calgary, I’ll be a regular customer!
Fries: Way too much (I said that already)… However, they had a nice “potato-ey” flavour, although with a heavier taste than either the fries at Lick’s or the best ones of all in Canada which are from the Ye Olde French Fries truck in downtown Kenora! Those are quite different and in a whole other category.
I think the “heaviness” I felt afterwards might have been due to the fries and not the burger. I don’t know what it is about their procedure to cook them, but they seems a bit oilier than they needed to be… I’ve had the fresh fries in Kenora which don’t have the same heavy oily taste.
If I were to ever eat at Five Guys Burgers and Fries again, I’d probably just get the burger without the fries… but the burger is not a reason enough to go back for a special trip.
Now the pizza at TOP Steak and Pizza House… that’s a whole other story! It definitely is worth a visit whenever I am in town!
It has been about a decade since I last ate at a Lick’s and maybe things have gone downhill since then. The comments would suggest this. That is too bad.
I have also been back to the Five Guys at Medicine Hat since my first visit and had the small burger (single patty) and a small Coke. The burger was still “okay”, but I can make one that tastes a lot better on my own BBQ using lean ground chuck. I skipped the fries this time around because of how much they provide, rather than any issue about the flavour. I notice that unlike the U.S. outlets which I believe still stick to just COKE, they serve many beverages from the Coca-Cola company including Sprite and all the usual options.
Maybe the Lick’s chain will return to their fresh meat roots… I really did enjoy their food.
Anyway, I thought I should update my original article.