Sunday, May 09, 2010

5 Guys That Know How to Fry

Five Guys Burgers and Fries arrived in town from the east coast and set up shop on Valley Mills Dr. between Pei Wei and Jason's Deli. Having eaten at a 5 Guys last year, I knew what to expect from this fast growing burger and potato palace (200 will open in 2010). They focus almost entirely on two items. Generously sized burgers and well prepared fried potatoes.

While not cheap, the burgers and fries are a good value. A single order of fries could easily be split between two or three people. The flexible menu of additions allows you to make any number of combination. The result is a burger that is just like you like it and probably a bit bigger that you need. Oh well somebody has to eat it.

I love the gimmick of building the room divider out of stacks of potatoes and proclaiming on a sign where today's fresh potatoes are from.

I am not ready to move their burger to the top spot on my Waco Eats Burger List but they are quickly making an impact. About my only complaint about 5 Guys, is a lack of Diet Dr Pepper on the fountain. This is something that its two neighbor chains listed above learned very quickly when they came to Waco.

GreeZy Bar and Grill

The Z Bar and Grill has taken the place of Basaberu on 6th St. It is an improvement over its predecessor and on a good day can turn out some acceptable food. The main flaw I have found on both my visits starts and ends in the deep fryer. What could be a signature dish- thick cut sweet potato fries - has consistently been limp and greasy when they arrived on the plate. Someone needs a lesson in how to properly deep fry the lifeless onion strings as well. While tasty and well seasoned, they came as a mass of soft onions sitting in a pool of fry oil. Both of these problems could have been solved by better temperature control.. The smaller matchstick potato fries came out in good shape.

One my first visit, the hamburger was large and delicious with a thick juicy patty and a trace of pink in the center. The second time around the patty was overcooked to about half its size - even though it was ordered medium. A chicken fried steak looked good but lost most of its shell immediately and suffered from too much cream gravy.

There is some promise here but more skill and consistency needs to come from the kitchen.

Although the striped booths and waitstaff shirts fit the theme, my veggie companion was offended by the actual zebra head at the entrance. He probably wasn't that happy about it either.