Perhaps a better title for this post would be “The Best Burger in Tampa so far”, obviously I haven’t tried every burger in Tampa. I’m all for supporting the little guy, the independently run, the mom & pop, but honestly non of those places comes close to this burger. At least not in University/New Tampa area. I will throw out a disclaimer and say yes this is a chain/franchise and the experiences at each location are going to be different, but of the two that I have been to, the one on Fowler near USF and the one on Bruce B Downs in New Tampa, consistently turn out fresh, great tasting food, and have friendly well informed staff.
The number one reason to choose Five Guys when you need a burger fix is the…the burger. (Did you really expect anything else?) Five Guys burgers are hand packed and formed everyday from fresh ground beef. The burgers here miss that mass produced fast food chain burger feel and hit the backyard homemade family picnic feel. The burgers are always cooked to well done (restaurant policy) but I’ve never had one that wasn’t still juicy and tender.
The second thing to love about Five Guys is the toppings. The menu is limited to burgers, fries, and hot dogs; but somehow the options definitely aren’t lacking. There are something like 15 topping choices here ranging from the standard ketchup, mustard (yuck!), and pickles to the unusual jalapenos, BBQ sauce, and sauteed onions.I get cheese, pickles, and extra ketchup.
The other big highlight is the french fries. Cut fresh and double fried in peanut oil these fries are almost always piping hot. They come over flowing from a Styrofoam cup into the bottom of a paper bag; the same bag you pick your burgers up in (efficient). Add a little salt or Cajun spice, shake the bag to mix and you’re in french fry heaven.
Obviously there are things that could be improved on, they could toast the buns for one. That would minimize sogginess and disintegration (for those people who are topping crazy). Mostly this is my biggest gripe/only complaint. I like that the burgers are simple (or are as simple as you make them). While I like an Angus burger with mushrooms, onions, and arugula as much as the next girl sometimes I just want simple. Cheeseburger in Paradise…or at least in Tampa.