There are burgers and then there are Five Guys burgers. Those who are yet to experience one of this American chain’s much-loved creations will probably be perplexed by how ardently fans can wax lyrical about what is, on face value, just another slab of beef in a bun. Well, allow us to illuminate a few of the reasons that Sydney's carnivores should be putting on their eating pants and heading to Penrith.
The concept of Five Guys is the ultimate culinary 'choose your own adventure'. Your dollars buy you the basics, namely the bun and however many beef patties you dare to devour. Everything else you top that meat with is included in the price, and there are 15 additions at your disposal. You can add as few or as many as your heart (and stomach) desire. There are staples like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cheese and onions (both grilled and raw), as well as options for those with more gourmet inclinations like grilled mushrooms, green capsicum and jalapeños. And what burger is complete without a liberal application of condiments? You have relish, mayo, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, and HP to play with. Pick ‘em all, or pick none of them – you can’t go wrong.
Selecting your drink is a similarly spoilt-for-choice situation. All soda purchases are bottomless, but it’s the shakes where the real magic happens. They’re hand-whipped vanilla with your choice toppings – again, as many or as few as you like – including timeless faves like chocolate, strawberry and banana, and off-piste options like malted milk, salted caramel, Oreo, and bacon. Yes, bacon.
The fries are hand-cut in-house and fried skin on, keeping the freezer-free interiors fluffy and the outsides crisper than a crispy thing on Crispmas. And should you somehow find yourself hungry after all that, diners are welcome to eat their fill of complimentary shell-on peanuts, which you’ll find hanging out in open sacks dotted around the diner.
Until now, Aussies have only been able to enjoy the Five Guys experience remotely, but these are burgers best tasted hot off the grill. There is a kid-in-a-candy-shop vibe to dining in at Five Guys, as you glance around at what fellow burger seekers have opted for. Let the gastronomic muses take control and go wild at the counter for bragging rights on achieving the most outrageously loaded burg in the room, or play it safe with a carefully curated selection of toppings – the choice is yours.