Food Fight: Battle of the Burger chains

It’s time for another Food Fight, pitting two restaurants head-to-head with a single dish to see which one makes it better. This time, it’s a battle of the burgers between Five Guys Burgers & Fries and In-N-Out, a fight that appeared in my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald.

In honor of National Hamburger Month, this food fight pitted the new kid in town — Five Guys Burgers & Fries — against local favorite, In-N-Out.

Five Guys is an East Coast expat with a simple concept: order a burger with any toppings you want.

The kitchen at Five Guys was hopping when I visited.

They boast more than 250,000 possible burger combinations on their menu, but I ordered a simple cheeseburger (double by default) with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and mayo ($5.99).

I kept my burger simple, just the basics: lettuce, cheese, tomato and mayo.

My burger was nicely seasoned and the toppings fresh and flavorful, though the bun was a little limp.

The fries were a disappointment, tasting too strongly of peanut oil.

The fries ($2.89) — cooked in peanut oil — were crispy and golden. But I was disappointed that the greasy oil overpowered the taste of potatoes.

Five Guys Burgers & Fries is at 1742 North Main St. in Salinas. 444-0170. www.fiveguys.com.

In-N-Out has a cult following in town–many foodies make the trek from the Peninsula to Salinas for their burger fix.

At In-N-Out, I ordered the classic Double Double — two beef patties with cheese, lettuce and tomato — with grilled onions ($3.30).

The classic Double Double and fries made a tasty dinner.

My burger was a tad salty, but the cheese was perfectly gooey and melted. The bun was certainly up to the challenge of carrying all that meat and cheese.

The fries ($1.50) were crispy, but not greasy. They had a clean taste, like potatoes, not oil.

In-N-Out Burger is at 151 Kern St. in Salinas. 800-786-1000. www.in-n-out.com.

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics — In-N-Out’s Double Double won out for me.

Who do you think makes the better burger, Five Guys or In-N-Out? Email or tweet me!

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This entry was posted in Burgers, Food Fight, Herald, Off The Menu, Restaurants, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

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