On Saturday evening Toney and I had dinner at Five Guys, and it was good. I had a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, raw onions (as opposed to grilled), green peppers (hell yeah), ketchup, and mustard. Great burger! And we shared a metric shitload of fries. It’s always fantastic, and on Saturday it might’ve been even better than usual. The condiments were expertly distributed, which is rare. Extremely rare.
Another positive: they’re always cranking a classic rock (AOR) station from Sirius XM in there. They play all the stuff you’d expect, but also some semi-obscure gems like this. So, it was definitely a positive experience, overall.
However… there were also some negatives. I know this might be a surprise to some of you, but it’s true.
First of all, I find it to be a tad expensive. Of course, everything is expensive now. If you go to Wendy’s and get a number 1 with cheese, no pickles, and a Coke it’s about eight bucks at this point. That shit’s outrageous. And Five Guys is even worse. Every time I go there a little voice inside my head shouts, “Great God in heaven!!” whenever the cashier gives us the final cost. It’s pricey for an order-at-the-counter hamburger joint.
Also, the floors are really slick for some reason. I always feel like I could fall down in there. I’m practically navigating the place like I’m walking across a frozen lake. It’s not greasy, it’s just the kind of tiles they used on the floor. It’s hard to explain. If you go in with wet shoes, while it’s raining, good luck. Sometimes I find myself standing there ordering, and realize my feet are slowly moving apart. It’s a wonder people aren’t exploding their skulls there on a daily basis.
And their tables are elevated, which bothers me. They used to have normal tables, but now they’re way up in the air. I’m not a fan. For one thing, I’m a portly lad and those stilt-chairs put me in a dangerous position with the center of gravity, etc. I might have to start insisting that we all wear crash helmets while visiting a Five Guys. Sheesh. Plus, I just feel like a giant douche, sitting way up high like that. They still have a few booths, but they’re generally occupied. So, I have to climb a step ladder to eat my super-expensive meal…Whoever came up with that idea should be terminated at once.
They also have two of those touch-screen self-serve soda machines, which I’ve complained about before. Humans should not be offered that many options. They just stand there dazzled, like they’re being hypnotized onstage by a man in a black turtleneck. I have the same problem when I go to buy toothpaste. Is there really a need for a Vietnam War memorial of Crest? I think not. Plus, half of those beef-eating dolts are confused about how the machine even works… They tentatively push on the screen and take a half-step backward, apparently believing something bad might happen. It’s maddening.
However, despite all that… the burgers were great, the fries were good, and we’ll be back repeatedly. Many, many more times. As long as my sluggish heart continues to slog along.
Afterward we felt disgusted with ourselves, and decided to walk along a lighted trail not far from our house. There were a lot of people out there, even though it was pitch black outside. I was surprised. So, we were passing folks coming in the opposite direction, and I realized nobody was saying anything. No greetings, no “How ya doing?!” So, I did about five minutes on how people are not very friendly in these parts, and how it would be different in West Virginia or North Carolina.
Then I announced that I was going to greet every single person, no matter how deep the scowl on their faces. Toney groaned, but didn’t strongly object.
So I started shouting, “How you doing this evening?” Or, simply, “Hello!” Most responded in a normal manner, but a few only responded begrudgingly. One woman continued walking, as if I’d said nothing. It was an interesting experiment, and I think I’ll continue it whenever we walk. I asked Toney for her opinion, after we were finished, and she said, “I’m pretty sure they all thought you were special needs.”
I don’t know what to think about that, but I will not be deterred! I’m going to FORCE people to be human. At least until I get my ass kicked. Please stay tuned.
I need to call it a day, my friends. I don’t really have a question, unless you guys want to talk about options. Like, in which situations do they offer too many options? And where could they add a few? If you have anything on that, or whatever else jumps to mind, please use the comments section.
And I’ll be back on Thursday.
Have a great one!
Now playing in the bunker
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I use to go to Five Guys with a group of people about every Tuesday night. We would get there not long before they closed. So we usually ended up with tons of fries. Since I am am on a no bread/french fries kick – I don’t know how I would handle that place now. It seems to me you can’t go out to eat – even fast food – without spending at least 20 bucks. The amount of places we have to go eat in Morgantown now is simply amazing. I don’t know how they all stay in business.
I don’t recall talking to many people on the street these days. Most people are looking at a cell phone now. That is one thing I don’t do. Since I am bus rider – I am usually hoping people will not talk to me. And there are several nutcases that ride the buses all day and never stop talking.
Joe T. says
5 Guys is an excellent hamburger, but it’s more a special occasion treat rather than a regular stop.
I though I was the only person who really liked Thunder Island.
The Qweezy Mark says
Thunder Island. And you think you know a person.
Hadn’t heard that since high school. Now cannot get it out of my head. Sucks with last week and this week being incredibly stressful, long hour work weeks.
Im not a fan of the push button drink Despenser either. I don’t like standing there waiting on Memaw to get done pushing random buttons and ending up with Vanilla cherry Hi C fruit punch only to pour it out and start over again. Pretty soon we’ll have to create an account and log in with a password just to get a Goddamn drink. Plus the screen is always smeared with asshole s getting their greasy fingered refills.
You had me at Five Guys.
Surreal Killer says
I am also not a fan of the crazy-big automated drink dispensers, but at least they always have my go-to Dr Pepper available.
I view “Vietnam War memorial of Crest” as a monumental achievement in creative writing.
I’ll second that, I did a double take when I read that
I love those multiple choice soft drink dispensers, it is VERY entertaining to watch nursing home age customers try and figure them out. Eventually, it seems a grandkid/great grandkid comes to their rescue. Here in our small town in IL, I always greet people out walking on our hiking/biking trail. I’ve had entertaining conversations with people I’ve never previously met.
Now that I’m at that stage where I need to look over my glasses to read things, or use some magnifier when working on small stuff, I would suspect most of the older folks just can’t see the necessary options. Or those stupid instruction that are written in tiny print that you can’t see, or didn’t notice because it looked more like a design element than instructions… I’m sure I’d be doing some stepping back as well trying to focus on the screen, and it ain’t for being afraid of the stuff, I work and repair tech on a daily basis. Just those confounded designs that do not have any standard, so one day you are looking for a big green OK button, and the next you need to find a red NEXT button… Yeah, thanks, I just want a drink, I don’t want to try and read the fine print.
Too many choices? I would start in the cereal aisle in the supermarket. Every possible combination of grain, sugar, coal tar-derived colorants and flavor bits are available in technocolor cardboard. The most expensive, healthier option variants (on the top shelves) arrange various popular grains and additives (Danish quinoa with Cambodian lychee nuts and blown in Panamanian cellulose)…top dollar stuff is better when its from someplace else.
A person will naturally evolve from Captain Crunch to Muesilix to generic raisin bran as the aging digestive train calls for more help “leaving the station.” A 200ft grocery aisle dedicated to cold cereal seems a bit excessive, choice-wise.
The electronic soda dispenser seems to be a hideous glimpse of the future. Asking the teenager behind the counter for a medium Mountain Dew now seems quaint. In the same vein, maybe Apple will develop salutation devices that could sense someone approaching and belt out a “Hiya” as you pass…no effort required of the wearers. Some folks already talk to an electronic can on the coffee table to turn on lights and select music, etc. Thus, our lives are made simpler.
Ozzie Bucco says
I have no quibble with Five Guys. I was really excited when they opened a location less than a mile from home. We frequented it for maybe six months, and one day it was closed without warning, gone in minutes. We found another maybe 7 miles away. After going there a few times, we found it closed down just like the other one. They must have a hair trigger on the panic button.
I liked the ability to build a burger to order, and the heaps of french fries they served. The price was high, but what isn’t anymore?
I like Five Guys, but it always seems like there’s one employee who’s just a little too friendly. He/She talks too much at the counter, or wants to strike up a lengthy conversation while cleaning the dining area.
I pay good money–a lot of good money–to eat in silence. I have no intention of making love to any Five Guys employee on the cool sand of Thunder Island.
Eugene B. Sims says
Five Guys is expensive but worth it (have to have grilled onions and mayo on it). At Freddy’s (also excellent) last week it was $75 for 5 of us, and that seemed like too much.
Freddy’s fries are divine. And their patty melt is the best.
I will have a patty melt next time on your recommendation.
“special needs” haha, I loled as the kids say.
love the soda machines at 5 guys. I do soda pairings. I start with the diet mr pibb for the peanut course before moving to the diet vanilla root beer for the fries course before mixing it up for the main burger course.
Jim Britton says
I go to Labcorp as I need frequent blood tests. The location I frequent opens at 0700. The tests are often a fasting test, which means no food until after the test. I want to get these tests done, so I arrive at 0610 or so. I am that guy greeting everyone with a “Good Morning”. Very few people don’t respond. There is a Five Guys near me on Route 37 in Toms River. I really like their food, the employees seem nice, but my wife doesn’t want me anywhere near the place.
There are (is?) a plethora of expensive-ass burger places…five guys, burger-fi, shake shack, smash burger, steak burger..blah blah blah. I’m an in and out guy…double double animal style with chopped chiliis, well done fries and a root beer and I’m out the door for around $8.
Did they follow thunder island with lonely boy by Andrew Gold?
Seems like there are too many yogurt choices.
Limey, too many is so close to too few that it makes me nervous.
Also, fuck Thunder Island. I’m a Thunder Road man, and I’m not talking about the one just off exit 8 on the New Jersey Turnpike.
safe for work
And what the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound, which I understand is something like twenty shillings. Also safe for work . . .
I was born after decimalization, it could be a thousand farthings for all I know. Yoghurt, BTW.
Greek yogurt popped up the last decade, then whipped Greek, then Greek with stuff to dump in it, then whipped Greek with stuff to dump in it… I complain, but I’ll confess to liking the Icelandic style yogurts that have recently appeared, not too sweet. No doubt we’ll be offered Tasmanian style yoghurt in due course.
I understand the Icelandic yogurts cause the eater to erupt every three months or so, but that might just be a rumor by the anti-Iceland lobby.
I like your ex-pat compromise of spelling the substance both ways in the same comment. Nice to cover all the bases, although you might call it splitting the wickets, which I understand means something else to a younger generation with lots of energy.
John, your references have me stumped, so I’m bailing.
I swear you guys have had this exact same yog(h)urt exchange/eruption before. Semi-recently.
I blame this on old age and the bastards who legalized marijuana (another substance with alternative spellings).
We did? I guess I need to switch to the yogurt that helps memory. Is that the Jamie Lee Curtis one? Or is that for pooping? See, too many yogurt types to choice from.
Too many choices or more like too many possible combinations, talkin’ Chipotle. I don’t know what the menu items even are and certainly don’t know what goes on, with, or alongside. I just listen to what the guy in line ahead of me orders and get that.
Five Guys is much too expensive unless a friend wants to go there. Then it’s cool because it’s about friendship.
You are, indeed, special needs. I’ve read both your books and loved them. Just go stand in the corner, self stim and recite the alphabet like you know you totally want to do.
Years ago when I started on construction sites I found the passing by someone and saying, “Hey” to be incredibly awkward. Like seven times a day, because it’s the same jobsite. I’ve learned to handle it in any number of ways. Sometimes I’m a cog in the machine, living on one floor, one section of one floor at a time. At these times it’s all about me, my immediate co-workers in my trade/company, the people within 20 feet of my workspace and the people who are running the job. I don’t even catch the names of people who are, say, 22 feet away. They DON’T FUCKING EXIST.
Then there’s jobs like I just finished where I’m moving duct into the building, up stairs, in the elevator, daily, in this case nightly, running a crew, this time two people. I’m 54 and I have to keep people half my age motivated, working, positive, not injured. In this case I own the building. I’m the fucking POPE of the building, because the only thing that takes more space than the duct on a job is the drywall for the walls. Currently I have at least 8 different people on speed dial and although I just took 3 weeks off to go hide in Montana, I just came back and it was OLD HOME DAY. On jobs like this the “hey” factor is way, way off the charts. I’ll walk onto a floor (9 stories in this case, offices for 250 people per floor) and it’s HEY CHRIS or BAM BAM HOW IS BAM BAM DOING (yes, the dude’s nickname is bam bam. silly but true.) It’s like being a circus performer but 1. ugly 2. no cool animals 3. no circus 4. “I thought I told you I wanted that stuff on the third floor, why is it on the fifth floor?
I have got to work with some outside contractors a time or two here where I work. I always had a nice time with them. As they were usually down to earth.
Root 66 says
People probably think I’m ‘special needs’, too. What is it with folks that they can’t even acknowledge another’s existence? Good manners and politeness should never go out of style. It’s as if people are terrified to make eye contact or just say, “Hey!”
However, they have no qualms broadcasting about their latest bowel movement or whatever with the whole world over the internet!
I just don’t get it…
Five Guys IS good, but I’ve got a thing against needing a co-signer for a cheeseburger and fries!
I haven’t had the pleasure yet of trying Five Guys but I did enjoy Shake Shack. Like 2Tall said – there are a load of upscale burger places. A new one around here is called Bare Burger. All organic, grass fed and even some game meats. But JESUS H! It’s one of those leave-your-paycheck-on-the-table joints. If I’m going to indulge in that kind of an expensive meal, I’d rather spend it on a good steak house.
The Qweezy Mark says
Love Shake Shack. Smoke Shack is a very good burger and love the Shack-A-Go Dog.
Five Guy’s burgers just slightly better, though. BUT…..beer at Shake Shack!
Up here in the bluish state of Washington, we have a metric shitload of Smoke Shacks, all of which have popped up in the last four years. I think whichever one came along first intends to sue the others for name infringement, but by noon they forget. Just a theory.
I have to respond to your comment about the Trail walkers you encountered. I have heard several similiar complaints about that lighted Trail and I agree with your tactic. The “other” trail has a much different walking clientele that seems more apt to give a cheery hello when they pass.
If you want to treat yourself well today, go out and buy “The Fabulous Mr. D”, “Walking to New Orleans” or any other well-reviewed Fats Domino collection. A terrific writer, singer, piano player and showman, Fats kept the bluesy branch of rock n roll alive when Little Richard was banned from more than a few radio stations for, among other things, carrying a parasol in the South on the Sabbath; when Chuck Berry was charged with a felony once a year whether he’d served out the last one or not; when Jerry Lee Lewis was ejected from England, and, in effect, from rock n roll for marrying his young cousin without technically getting a divorce from his last fling; when Elvis was hauled into the Army and then forced to make twenty horrible movies. While all this shit went down, Fats Domino continued to imbue rock n roll with the New Orleans component of its parentage and rack up 35 top 40 hits in a country that had heard few Black folks on their white radios.
But don’t buy the collection for its historical value, although it damn well has that. Just let that wonderful voice and Vieux Carré piano wash over you and baptize you in the church of rock n roll.
Keep playing those triples in Heaven, Fat Man, so when my time comes I can navigate in on the beam.
I’ll miss him too.
Five Guys is “expensive” compared to McDonald’s or Wendy’s, but it’s still cheap compared to any real restaurant. Their burgers are OK, but the fries (especially Cajun) are awesome. A better burger – for more money of course – may be had at Gordon Biersch. But they have garlic fries and beer.
Being a Yankee and a city kid, I don’t care for random strangers accosting me as if we’re old friends. If you’re somebody I see semi-regularly, then sure; I might even initiate a howyadoin. But please, stop with the cheery “good morning” when I don’t know you from Adam.
Sorry, but Jay Ferguson looks like he wants to fuck me up the ass, and buy me a Five Guys burger afterwards
Out on Thunder Island.