The hamburger is an American culinary icon and one that has been getting lots of attention lately, especially in New York. As a result of the new found respect for the dish, there are many options for delicious burgers in the city. From the long lines at the Shake Shack to the lofty price tag and gourmet ingredients at DB Bistro Moderne, from the secretive divey-ness of The Burger Joint, to the straight forward divey-ness of Paul's Palace, there's a burger in this town for everyone.
One of the latest additions to the tradition is Five Guys, with locations on 55th, Bleecker and LaGuardia. Actually, to call it new is not completely accurate, the chain has been around since 1986 and it did have one location in the five boroughs – but it was in the hard to get to (for most of us) neighborhood of College Point. Lately, though it's popping up everywhere and I couldn't be happier.
It's a dietary splurge to be sure, especially if you tack on some of their yummy Cajun fries, but when is a burger a health conscious choice anyway? Theirs is moist and flavorful with a great squishy bun (I hate buns that stand up too much to the burger) and fresh toppings.
The menu offers a regular (one patty) or a large (two patty) and an array of free toppings. Be sure to tell them all the toppings you want, they won't assume lettuce or tomatoes or anything else unless you specify. I usually add some hot sauce, which only heightens the eating experience.
The environment (at least at the Bleecker location) is pretty clean and cheerful, particularly for a fast food spot and the food is miles away from the assembly line “junk food” of more typical chains.