Primal Eats Vancouver: Five Guys Burgers & Fries

October 10, 2012


The only time you’d ever catch me eating at McDonald’s is if it’s late at night, everything else is closed, and perhaps I’m traveling and don’t know where else to eat, or there are simply no other options – i.e. almost never. And I’ve never actually consumed anything from Wendy’s, Burger King, and the like. But like with all things, not all fast food burgers are created equal. For example, my fave “fast food” burger (if you can even call it that) is Vera’s Burger Shack, a local chain. They’re not always consistent, but they’re head and shoulders above the competition.

In my books, Five Guys would rank a distant 2nd. They use only fresh ground beef, nothing is ever frozen (they don’t even own freezers), and their menu is trans-fat free and doesn’t contain pink slime. Sadly, everything is fried in peanut oil.

I have been at Five Guys enough times to have experienced a few unfortunate incidents. Like the time when upon coming home, I unwrapped my burger to find lettuce wrapped mushrooms, and nothing else. I had asked for no bun, but somehow managed to also get “no patty”. Not sure how that made sense to the person putting it together. I was slightly annoyed, but for the most part just amused at how that could’ve happened. Worse was the time when I found a hair in my burger. I guess stuff happens. But still, it really eeked me out.

But other than that, the service is great: efficiency with a smile. The prices are great. And most importantly, the burgers are quite tasty and juicy. They don’t taste overly processed like something you might find at McDonald’s.

I’ve only tried the West Van and Bellingham locations, but they will soon be opening downtown Vancouver as well. Their West Van location is currently closed due to Park Royal renovations.

Five Guys Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Bellingham) on Urbanspoon

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

KimHo October 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Similar to your story of visiting fast food places, Sherman (of Sherman’s Food Adventures) coined the phrase “Filet-o-Fish meal” in reference to visiting a restaurant (usually a high end one) where, after a meal there, you would end up swinging by one of these fast food restaurants because you didn’t feel satisfied. Of course, the item of choice was filet-o-fish…

I won’t deny I visit fast food places but, similar to you, it is mostly out of necessity. I recall a recent trip to the US (Charlotte, NC, specifically) where I threw up during the extremely turbulent flight (bless barf bags!) and, when I finally arrived to the hotel, the only thing open nearby was a Burger King. Given the circumstances, I will have to say that Whopper was delicious!

I do have on question: Can you explain the peanut oil note? To my understanding, it should not be related to allergies (if that was the case, people should be more worried about the peanuts and peanut shells in the restaurant floor), as the process of refining peanut oil usually strips the proteins that triggers peanut allergies. Otherwise, I prefer peanut oil in a lot of cooking applications.


[email protected] October 10, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Yah, like you fast food spots are a last resort for me. I find Vera’s to be too good to qualify as true fast food. And I find both Five Guys and Fatburger to be a significant notch above typical “fast food”.

As for the peanut oil, I eat a paleo/primal diet. Which among other things means no grains, no legumes, and no seed/vegetable/legume oils. Peanuts are a legume, and have the same characteristics as grains in terms of being unhealthy (e.g. phytates and lectins). Also, peanut oil isn’t a great choice for cooking because it’s high in easily oxidized polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. It goes rancid pretty easily. I only use the following fats for cooking: beef tallow (rendered beef fat), coconut oil, butter and clarified butter (ghee). If I ate pork, I’d also use lard. And yes, those are all saturated fats, which are actually good for you (another paleo tenet).

Anyways, that’s probably more than you wanted to know :P Thanks for commenting!


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