The Five Guys Melt (or why didn’t I think of this before)
Ladies and gentlemen! Yesterday, I had a culinary epiphany, a culiphany if you will, at Five Guys.
For the uninitiated, Five Guys is a fast food restaurant chain that originated in the DMV (DC/MD/VA area). If you’ve never heard of them, you must live in one of the 15 states that don’t have a franchise as they now have more than 550 locations in over 35 states, and there’s more coming. In the DMV, if there’s a new retail/commercial development, there’ll be a Five Guys in it. In fact, there may come a day when the name Five Guys becomes synonymous with gentrification.
I’m not sure what it is about burgers, but people sure do love to argue about which is the best purveyor of ground beef on a bun. In the DMV, Polena, Ray’s Hell Burger, Big Buns, Z Burger, and Good Stuff to name a few, have staunch supporters. And of course, anyone who has ever been out to Cali or Nevada (and now, Utah and Arizona apparently) loves In-N-Out. In-N-Out will always be in Pop’s heart –the 7 by 7 animal style I had many years ago is likely still coursing through my veins –but I’ll always have a soft spot for Five Guys, literally, as the burgers I’ve eaten over the years have resulted in several soft spots on my frame.
What’s good about Five Guys? For one, their regular hamburger (about $5) has two patties. Second, when they prepare your fries (about $3), which are similar to board walk fries, they measure out the appropriate amount for whatever size you ordered, and then dump a whole bunch more in your bag. Third, although the made-to-order food takes a while, they have free peanuts and you’ll find most patrons happily masticating away while awaiting their number to be called like some heart attack lottery.
For the health conscious, Men’s Health has a little guide for what to order. But let’s be honest, no one goes to a Five Guys to be healthy. If you leave a Five Guys and you don’t feel like you should jog a marathon to work it off but ultimately decide against it because you’d be spewing burger chunks, you’ve failed. And if it makes you feel any better, even the leader of the free world, who claims to be a health food nut, makes cheeseburger runs. So if it’s good enough for President Obama, it sure the heck is good enough for Pop.
Ok, back to the culiphany. Did you know Five Guys has a grilled cheese and a veggie burger? Who knew?! The hot dogs are good but I’ve never been tempted to try the grilled cheese because, well, there’s no meat in it, and the veggie burger? Pfffftttt..I avoid veggie burgers like a kid with pink eye. So my wife’s friend, who is also pregnant, tells her to try the grilled cheese. Preggos tend to trust food recommendations from other preggos, so she ordered a grilled cheese; I of course ordered a cheeseburger with bacon, with everything + BBQ and hot sauce.
The wife, kind person she is, offers me a bite of her grilled cheese (most likely, she is disappointed with the lack of meat and is offering it to me with the hope that I’ll give her a bite of my burger). It was VERY good. The slices of bread were perfectly grilled, the cheese was gooey and delicious, but once again, it had no meat. And then it hit me!
The Five Guys burger is good; the grilled cheese is good…what if I combined them? *insert choir of angels sound effect here* Why didn’t I think of this before? I LOVE patty melts but Waffle Houses and Steak ‘n Shakes are a bit too far.
I eagerly approach the counter and I asked the guy if they could combine a grilled cheese and a hamburger. His look was somewhere between surprised and “does this guy really want a heart attack?” He gave me a look to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. When I gave him a firm nod, he said, “Yeah…sure. We can do whatever you want to do.” It turns out no one has ever done this before and the cooks weren’t exactly sure how they were going to make this concoction. The cashier rings it up as a grilled cheese and I ask for two patties, with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, bbq sauce and mayo.
Did you notice the order number? 55! If you know me, you know I love the number five, so I took this as a sign that something beyond awesome was awaiting me. For only a few cents more than their regular cheeseburger, I was able to get a Five Guys Melt!
A while later, my patty melt was ready. The employee had an amused look on his face, which most would construe as “Dude, you’re going to die.” I interpreted it as, “Dude! You’re my hero! I wish I were as awesome as you!”
One look at the grease covering the receipt and I began to giggle with glee. I think my wife began to rub the baby in utero either to shield his/her eyes or to comfort him/her by saying, “Don’t worry. Your daddy is crazy…but mommy will take care of you.”
I opened the first layer of foil. What’s this?!
Another layer of foil?! Please…you can’t foil me with, errr,,,foil! In fact, I took this as a good sign as a Chipotle burrito that requires two pieces of foil to wrap are great!
Look at all that goodness! (yes, I did remove that little piece of foil before eating) And to think, I could’ve been eating this all along. The first bite was euphoric. The last bite was painful.
But I was proud. I not only discovered a new sandwich at Five Guys, but I ate two burgers plus fries. I beamed boastfully after my last bite. My wife smiled, but due to the cholesterol and itis impairing my vision, I couldn’t tell if it was fake or not.
Needless to say, I definitely hit the gym last night, and the 2500 calories I consumed joy of my culiphany powered the workout.