For years I have searched for the perfect burger, the kind where the juice pours in and out of little crevasses like water tracks through a sponge. The kind that is so thick, it takes two hands to control its ascent to your waiting taste buds and your jaw has to open so wide to take a bite that it's sore for a day. The kind that calls for an ice cold Diet Coke or draft mug of Heineken to rinse it down.
I have found that burger. It lives at a chain called Five Guys Burger and Fries.
At Five Guys, the mission statement says "we're in the business of selling hamburgers." Their goal is "to sell the best quality burgers possible" and they far surpass this aspiration. In fact, per the website they've been voted #1 Burger by Washingtonian Magazine for 7 years in a row. Now that's an accomplishment.
I remember back when I was temping during a summer in Westport, Connecticut and a group of us would regularly head down to the Nautilus Cafe on Fairfield Beach for our summer lunches. Even though the sun was blazing outside, we'd saunter into the cavernous bar at "The Naut," grab a stool, and order up some bar burgers. These things were not the pressed patties you commonly find today. These burgers were made fresh and thick, grilled ever so right, and smothered with onions, mushrooms, ketchup, lettuce, and tomato. We'd sit and savor those burgers as we breathed in the stale beer sent from the night before and kept our shoes resting on the rungs of the stool, hoping they wouldn't permanently stick to the bar room floor covered with who knows what.
The Naut has been closed for many years, in its place a cafe I believe. It is rare to find a hole in the wall bar that serves up such a burger. But now, the bar burger of my youth is alive and well and being grilled up in of all places a franchise establishment.
No, I haven't struck up a deal with Five Guys to write a review. I'm not even sure if there's really Five Guys, or one or ten, or if they're actually men or women. But if there truly are Five Guys I'd love to hear from them. They are my beefy heroes.
But when it comes to food, I'm a passionate fool. And I've fallen head over heels for the Five Guys "All the Way" Burger. I hope you will, too.
As I ready to head to Lithuania I can only hope that, perhaps, among the McDonald's and Subways there will be Five Guys cooking up some terrific burgers.
Stay tuned for my exciting adventures in Lithuania, coming very soon to The Eclectic Writer!