Casper Food Critic – Five Guys Burgers and Fries Doesn’t Live Up To Their Rep
A note from the editor: The following is an original review from the "Casper Food Critic." The purpose of this review is to offer a single consumer's opinion about an establishment's food and service. At K2 Radio, we believe anonymity to be of paramount importance - this is to ensure that the Casper Food Critic receives the same quality food and service as any other customer. We encourage you, the reader, to join the conversation and leave your own reviews in the comment section at the bottom of the page. - Tom McCarthy, Managing Editor
I wanted to like it. I really did. I tried my hardest to enjoy the newest burgers in town. I am of course talking about Five Guys Burgers, on east 2nd street in Casper. So sit back and let me regale you with the tale of woe and want, all from the gullet of the Casper Food Critic.
I had initially held out extreme hope for this burger chain. Online reading and investigating showed promise. Critics raved about special fries, while still others raved about juicy burgers atop massive buns.
Arriving at the parking lot, I was subjected to the age old dilemma of driving a fuel guzzling beast. While investigation has clued me into the fact that Five Guys (here on out known as 5G’s) does not own the building, only leases, I still must ding them for the parking lot. Not only did I have problems staying within the lines of the space, I also found myself boxed in by late arrivals. I had to drive over curb and grass, simply to escape my confines. 5G’s did have a choice where they decided to open this franchise, and based upon parking, they chose wrong.
As soon as I stepped from the quiet interior of my truck, I hear the rhythmic thumping of music. Looking all around the building for outside speakers, but finding none, I opened the door with trepidation. Once the seal on the door was breached, my fears were realized when I was blown backward by the rock concert level of sound exiting the building. I felt as if I were entering a Man O’ War concert. Ok . . . . . . Perhaps I jest, but the sound level was enough to make my ears recoil in pain and horror. The rest of the critic crew was also in amazement. This was a constant problem throughout the meals and a common complaint I heard while dining. It is overwhelmingly loud. As we stood in line and communicated by semaphore, we all wondered what kind of equipment comprised the sound system. Surely they were blowing out amplifiers and speakers.
Our initial wait was brief as we slowly watched customer after customer place their order and move down the line. When it was my turn, the piercing shrill of the music proved too much. All of the servers were leaning close to patrons as they strained to hear the orders correctly. The critic clan had the same issue on all of our visits. It was simply too loud to effectively order food. This would come back to haunt us later.
Once the food was ordered and the drinks dispensed, the real wait began. We had to stand at the end of the counter while customer numbers are read off. Our first visit found an almost 30 minute wait before we began to receive food. The lines at the end of the delivery counter are long and uncomfortable. This is also where the soda dispensing machines are located. As you can imagine, it was almost like a small moshpit. With folks vying for position to receive their orders or stay hydrated for the marathon like wait, I felt like cattle being led to auction.
Because of this extreme wait, we had ample opportunity to snoop around. The building is simply one large room and eating area. Many tables are packed extremely close together, forcing diners to eat with unintended guests only inches away. All of us remarked at how we felt as if we were in a high school cafeteria. Coupled with the large space and huge mass of people, the earsplitting music was just the icing on the cake. The space needs some serious sound deadening techniques employed. The word “zingy” was tossed around by a number of other diners.
We were also taken aback by the décor. A significant portion of the dining area is used up by large potato sacks, piled all over the place. The technique seemed to be some ill conceived attempt at crowd control, loosely defining paths to navigate the building. The walls were adorned with quotes from various reviews and other accolades received in years past. While these were clearly for previously opened eateries, I was still holding out hope that the burgers and fries would take our minds off of the drudgery that 5G’s was becoming.
Before our food was delivered however, the calling card of 5G’s reared it’s ugly head again. As patrons walk to the door or an order is made, the staff yells various commands to each other as if in some weird military cadence. By itself, this isn’t a problem. Obviously though, 5Gs was attempting to make this some kind of show for the customers. Behind the counter stood over a dozen (we counted. Up to 16 at one point) staff members shouting indistinguishable phrases back and forth. It only added to the already deafening level of sound in this eatery. Each time a staff member would shout “TWO AT THE DOOR!!!” the remaining staff would shout back. With each shout, diners would violently look up from their meals as if they were expecting to see a fight erupting.
With ears bleeding and customers nearly ready to walk out, our waitress bellowed as our food was handed to us. Greasy brown paper sacks were adorning our meals. As we tore into each dish, we perked up a little. The burgers had an excellent appearance, colorful and bright. The first bite and further dissection of the meal told a different story. The patties are flat. I don’t just mean small, I mean FLAT. On subsequent visits we watched as a staff member used all of his body weight and physically smashed each patty as it grilled. While the burger had two patties, when combined, they barely made a passable single patty. Aside from the thickness, they were also flavorless and bland.
Those who ordered bacon on their burger were greeted by a small pile of crumbled up bacon pieces, all overcooked to the point of tasting like charcoal. Several members of our party, who would rather chop off their foot than waste bacon, scraped it off into a napkin. The final insult to the burger was the cheese. Everybody commented how the cheese looked and tasted like a plastic mess. It was hardly melted and the flavor overwhelmed the poorly seasoned beef. Several of us once again chuckled as we talked about bad high school cafeteria meals featuring cheese reminiscent of a petroleum byproduct.
Moving onto the fries, we were once again disappointed. The fries were soggy on the outside and mush on the inside. They needed to be cooked longer, at a slightly lower temperature. Research has revealed that 5G’s has their own fry cooking process that they believe sets them apart from the other burger chains. That played through my mind as I watched customer after customer dump most of their fries into the trash. Without hyperbole or sarcasm, these are perhaps the sorriest excuse for fries to ever grace my taste buds. Nothing more than a greasy, soggy mess. To top it all off, most of our orders were incorrect. We attributed this to the fact that staff could not hear the customers correctly. The incorrect orders were a problem during all three of our visits.
As if a ringing bell had signaled the end of lunch period, we all bolted toward the door. The only difference from high school was that we could not wait for lunch to end.
The food critic will not be back.
Due to an extremely uncomfortable dining experience, blah food, and an excessive bill, I rate this establishment a 3.5/10 soggy fries. The only redeeming factors were polite staff and the general cleanliness of the building.
I did not find a good place to work it into the actual review, but the price of 5G’s was another serious ding to their score. A burger, small fries, and small drink will set you back $13. I also want to point out that this eatery was tried several times by the critic staff. As if a triple crown of failure, we tested before/during/after the lunch rush and had excessive wait times and lackluster food on every visit. For the amount of staff on duty, and the length of time the business has been open, I expected a far far FAR better meal to be delivered in a timely fashion.
Have you eaten at Five Guys Burgers and Fries? Comment below and tell us what you thought!