A hard day’s sight-seeing and shopping in Auld Reekie deserves a good meal at the end of it, but you have to choose wisely from the plethora of good eateries on offer.
My daughter and I had spent a few hours pounding Princes Street searching for her latest fashion fads before a trip up Calton Hill for fantastic panoramic views across the capital, albeit in the rain, but that didn’t dampen our spirits on what was a delightful father-daughter day out.
I’d had a couple of places in mind for dinner, but whilst passing Frederick Street I noticed Five Guys’ distinguishable red sign which swayed my choice. Well, the thought of one of their burgers did.
The American chain is becoming very popular in the UK with branches popping up all over the place - my previous visit was to the Glasgow one and I remembered it because I failed to eat the whole burger.
It’s a fast-food joint, but is a tad more elegant than the more well known high street brands.
The post-industrial interior is bright and punchy with white walls and tiles decorated with splashes of red and a mixture of solid wood tables and booths for seating, upstairs and down.
It has the feel of an industrial canteen and you need a workmanlike appetite for the burgers.
It is self-service, but luckily the menu is very simple – you choose a burger, tell them what you want on it, they make it for you and you pick it up at the end of the long counter.
Normal burgers come with two sizeable patties on a sesame seed bun and any extra topping you can see on the menu above your server. I had the relish in the Glasgow restaurant and didn’t like it so I opted for ketchup this time along with lettuce, onions, mustard and pickle.
For some reason I really enjoy pickle on burgers now, as opposed to when previously that was the first thing I would pick off before eating one. Anyway, I digress. The burgers are brilliant. Thick and meaty with two slices of melted cheese between them and depending on what toppings your sticking on, they can be stacked quite high. Five Guys is definitely my new guilty pleasure.
Five Guys chips are perfect accompaniments to the burgers and they are up there with the best I’ve tasted. They’re cooked in peanut oil to heat at a higher temperature which helps to lock in flavour apparently. You also have the choice of normal salted chips or Cajun fries and both are delicious.
For two burgers (one of them small with just one patty), a milkshake costing £4.85, one large chips and a bottle of Irn Bru it was £23.75
The shake made me think of Pulp Fiction when John Travolta says he has to find out what a five dollar shake tastes like. I had the same positive reaction as he did. It was fantastic. I’ve heard people moan Five Guys is a bit pricey and I suppose it is if you’re comparing it with other well known burger outlets, but for me there is no comparison. Corny, but it’s five stars for Five Guys from me.