Review: Five Guys, Reading

Thursday, 5 December 2013
We've managed to get to Five Guys in Reading twice now.  The first time we went I tried out the veggie grilled sandwich, the second, we were just honest about the fact that we wanted the chips and the drinks.

Five Guys started out in America and the walls of the place sing out with all of the positive reviews they've had.  They are seriously popular, with accolades including 'best burger' and 'best budget meal' all over the place.  I'd disagree a bit with the latter.  One of the reasons that Mr K went with a junior burger the second time is that the burgers are really very expensive.  What's good about them is that you can add whatever toppings you want for free.  Small consolation for a burger that costs £8 and is presented in a paper bag.

The veggie options are really disappointing if you want a burger.  Not too bad for the diet but rubbish if you want an actual meal.  The options are basically a grilled cheese, or a veggie sandwich - a burger bun filled with grilled vegetables.

The grilled cheese is pretty impressive, well, if you're a three year old anyway - this was such a popular option that I'm sure we'll get it for him again - it was all gone rather quickly.

As I mentioned before, presentation leaves a bit to be desired but the cajun chips are really worth the visit - spicy and crispy.  Although they are a little greasy, that's not massively surprising given what they are.  

Watching the staff at work as they prepare the food is something quite incredible.  There is someone different on each little step of the order and it begins to become clear why the prices are as high as they are - staffing costs must be rather high.  It's a serious factory line.  You are never stiffed on the chips portion sizes - they are huge.  To the extent where I wonder if their nutritional information can be even close to right.  According to my calculations, half a portion of regular fries are 8pp.  I'm not convinced.  

The other good part of the place is the drinks machine.  Here you can mix and match many incredible combinations, including orange diet coke and still grape Fanta.  The claim is that you can make over a hundred combinations of soft drinks.  I particularly love that they have diet vanilla coke - something which has disappeared entirely from the shelves over here and seems unlikely to make a return.  The drinks can be refilled as many times as you like and there is often a bit of a queue to get to the two machines that are available.  

So, Five Guys.  Not really worth it for a full meal but as a bit of a snack now and again, or something to fill up the little guy, a good option.  

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