The old rivalry, McDonalds versus Burger King, is over. There are two new pretenders to the throne. Wimpy is crying in the corner (Brits: Remember Wimpy? I love Wimpy).
This month two American hamburger joints opened their new flagship stores in London. The first is Shake Shack, wonderfully modern Americana hailing from the center of Manhattan, dishing out fine fast food and delectable milkshakes.
I've already seen Facebook chatter and instagram pics of this tasty place. But I'm not impressed. You see, to me, there is another. And it's right around the corner…
Five Guys: Less fancy, more basic, and dare I say, more American. And they proved that by opening the day before the London Shake Shack, on July 4th. What a statement to make to those pesky Brits, eh? Happy Independence day, have a burger!
The thing is, Shake Shack UK is currently beating Five Guys UK in Facebook likes. And I'm not happy about that. So here are some reasons you need to get yourself up, out and around the corner…
Oh, and just to let you know: This is NOT a sponsored post. The true story is this: I have driven past Five Guys almost every day for the past six months and have never been in. As soon as I heard that it opened in London, I had to get my burger-loving butt down to my own local branch to try it before all of my UK friends. Hence, a new love affair began.
1. Free freakin' peanuts!
Okay, let me just say first that if you're allergic to peanuts, you're going to have a bad time in this place. Stay away. If not, you'll love this. Free peanuts while you wait for your burger. Why? Because their food is cooked in peanut oil, and also, why not?
2. Big and Little Burgers!
I know Burger King's "Have it your way" was too much for us Brits to deal with, but you've got to make some choices. Five Guys happily provides different sizes of burger for different appetites. I'll choose the little bacon burger for a princely meal of 560 calories, whereas my husband may plump for (pun intended) the 920 calorie big bacon cheeseburger.
3. Free Toppings!
Yes, I know, more choices. But go for it, they're all free. You can have a pile of healthy stuff as big as you like. Oh, and the pickles/gherkins? Sweet and crunchy. Not the slimy token gesture other fast foodies try to get away with.
3. THOSE FRIES!
Five Guys fries are a big deal for me. They are the only American 'fry' that comes anywhere close to a British 'chip', and that's including those paltry 'steak fries' offered in some restaurants.
If you live in the UK you can pop down to your local chippy and they will almost always serve a better chip, but these are the best effort I've tasted in a US burger joint.
Watch out though: A regular is for two people, and I swear the servers just free pour these fries into the bottom of your bag. That's a good thing - you get loads of them, and they're great.
|If a regular fries is for two people, these must be the large.|
And that's all I have to say really. I know I must sound a bit 'nuts' (sorry). Especially when I try so hard to convince you that American cuisine isn't always just burgers and fries. It's just that sometimes, just sometimes, American cuisine is just burgers and fries. And they do it so darned well.
Okay Brits, Americans, and everyone else, where's your favorite burger? And have you ever been to Wimpys?