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Five Guys rates a 10 for fresh and tasty burgers, fries and dogs

| Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010

Burgers rule at Pittsburgh Mills' newest eatery: Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

The fries come in a close second.

When you walk in through the door, the grillers throw some beef on so that, by the time you know what you want on it, it's halfway done.

Of course, a small wait isn't so bad, because it gives diners a chance to dip into a large self-serve bag of roasted peanuts in the shell.

Patrons get in line to order. When your number is called, you return to the counter and pick up your order. Drinks are self-serve once you purchase the cup.

The Lunch Bunch's recent visit was during a busy time amid hectic holiday shoppers. No matter, Five Guys was up for the challenge. This growing chain has another local restaurant in The Waterworks, near Aspinwall, and several other Pittsburgh locations.

If you want a hamburger grilled to order with meat that's never frozen and served on a fresh bun, with a choice of almost a dozen free toppings, then Five Guys is for you.

We visited Five Guys a while back after it opened at Waterworks, so we were eager for a visit to the new spot at the Mills.

We sampled burgers in several sizes, with numerous toppings and all of them received a big thumbs up.

The Bacon Cheeseburger ($5.69) is a generous offering with cheese and slices of real bacon and your choice of toppings.

The Little Cheeseburger ($3.89) is just the right size for young children — or adults with less of an appetite.

The available toppings include grilled onions or mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, green peppers, mayo, relish, fresh onions, ketchup, mustard and A-1, barbeque or hot sauce.

Now, for the fries. As we walked in, we noticed 50-pound bags of fresh potatoes that were piled five or six high in a stacked aisle that was at least five bags long. And they obviously need that much, because the portion sizes at Five Guys are quite substantial. The large-size bag of wonderful Fries ($3.99) is made for sharing. The better part of a brown-paper lunch bag is filled with the slender, crispy fresh-cut sticks, perfectly seasoned. You can get them Five Guys-style or Cajun-style, both cooked in peanut oil.

We placed an order for two large fries and fed our table of four, with plenty left over to satisfy newsroom colleagues back at the office.

The hot dogs are superb at Five Guys, too. We ordered a Bacon Cheese Dog ($3.99) and decided to top ours with grilled mushrooms. It was so big, we couldn't finish it.

Five Guys' menu is limited, but we did spy a Grilled Cheese ($2.49). We're used to eating our grilled cheese plain, so decided to add bacon for some extra flavor. It was a decent sandwich, but we were surprised that it was served on a split hamburger bun. The bacon did add a special touch, but it would be more appealing if it were made on a thick Texas-style bread.

Send your vegetarian friends elsewhere and enjoy chomping on some real burgers at Five Guys.

Compiled by Rebecca Killian, Sis Reola and guests. Meals are paid for by the Valley News Dispatch and are unrelated to advertising.

Additional Information:

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Address: 2030 Pittsburgh Mills, Frazer

Phone: 724-274-4666

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Credit cards: All major cards accepted

Smoking: No

Handicapped accessible: Yes

Prices: Burgers, $3.29-$5.69; hot dogs, $2.79-$3.99; fries, $2.39-$3.99

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