Cuisine - American, Places - Milwaukee

Review: Five Guys Burgers & Fries

The Washington Post called them the “Willa Wonkas of Burgercraft” in a review, and they have been Zagat-rated for nine years. With monstrous burgers and ridiculously large portions of fries, Five Guys Burgers and Fries recently opened a new location at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wis. The national chain now has six Milwaukee-area locations, and in 2010 is looking to open up 200 more chains across the US.

Five Guys entrance at Mayfair MallThe Mayfair location opened in the storefront formerly occupied by The Sharper Image and a Laacke & Joys seasonal location (for longtime Milwaukee residents you might also remember it was once home to Mr. Bulky’s candy store), across from Panera Bread on the shopping center’s first floor. The restaurant has an indoor mall entrance and an outside sidewalk entrance.

The menu is simple. Burgers, fries, hot dogs and soda. All toppings including A-1, fried onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapenos and more are free. You also can get your fill of peel-and-eat peanuts.

Interior of Five Guys at MayfairThe decor is simple. Lots of white and red, stainless steel, glass windows and propaganda telling you how great the burger you are about to eat is. Seating is mostly high pub-like tables or standard tables. The line awkwardly snakes around piles of potatoes from Idaho. The mall entrance makes getting into line a bit easier. People using the exterior entrance seemed a bit confused about how to queue. Off to the side is the soda station (offering free refills on Coke products). If you have kiddos, you might like that they can color an ode to Five Guys and have it posted in the restaurant. Gotta love something to keep the little ones occupado.

Kitchen at Five GuysBut the best feature of all Five Guys locations is the open-concept kitchen. I love that you can see your food made right in front of you.

Five Guys patties are hand-formed. A little hint for newbies…The “regular” burger is really a double. If you can’t eat that much (it’s a lot and I like my meat), order the “little” version. And even the little is more than enough. As I said earlier, all toppings are free – so order away with whatever combo you’d like.

Brett's burgerOn a recent lunch trip, my hubby ordered a cheeseburger and a messy concoction of jalapenos, mustard, lettuce, ketchup, fried onions, pickles and mushrooms.

Cutaway of Brett's burgerAll burgers are served in minimalist aluminum foil. Just remember lots of napkins if you order like my husband.

Five Guys large friesThe reason I probably like Five Guys so much is their fries. They’re hand-cut, fresh and salty. Add a bit of pepper, dip in ketchup and repeat. You’ll be in heaven. Before I tried Five Guys everyone told me how big their fry portions are. I think I had imagined an ark-like serving of potatoes so when I received my first “large” serving to share with my hubby and brother more than a year ago, I was a bit disappointed that we finished it with no trouble. That said, you still get loads of fries. If you order a large fry for one person, it’ll probably take you a whole afternoon to finish. (Pictured above: A large fry that hubby and I shared. They take a 16-ounce soda cup fill that and then dump it into a paper bag and fill again. That’s a large. A regular-size is about half that much.)

My burger at Five GuysFive Guys buns are made fresh specifically for their restaurants at selected local bakeries. The buns are covered in sesame seeds and are nice and pillowy. The burger patties fill up the entire bun so they are substantially-sized and not like those puny fast food burgers some of us are used to. (Pictured above: a “little” cheeseburger that I ordered with A-1 sauce, onion and mushrooms. My go-to combo at Five Guys.)

Sign at Five GuysSo, now that you’re hungry, start thinking of the 250,000 ways you can order a Five Guys burger. Learn more about Five Guys, check out their website and menu at You can even order online and purchase Five Guy’s gear.

Programming note
Remember tonight is the cheeseburger match-up on Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” pitting Milwaukee’s AJ Bombers against Sobleman’s. Tune in at 9 p.m. central! Check out our preview!


2 thoughts on “Review: Five Guys Burgers & Fries

  1. I’ve been to Five Guys just once, but it was amazing. Loved the personalization of burgers and the fries. Glad there’s a location closer to me, too.

    • I was just by UWM the other day and didn’t realize they bought some real estate on Oakland Ave. I think it was that fast-food Asian place…can’t remember the name, though.

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