Every time I drive by a McDonald’s, Burger King or White Castle (unless I have a belly full of Budweisers while in an Uber), I can’t help asking myself – how do people even eat burgers from there?
Yes, every highway across America is littered with mass marketed fast foods joint and a full parking lot. Personally, I think there should be less McDonald’s or BK’s at rest stops, and more Five Guys and Smashburgers.
Are the latter two cheap? No. But they’re not THAT expensive, either. Compared to the mass marketed options, it is money well spent.
- Is it good?
- Do you get value for your money?
That being said – let’s rumble!
Five Guys (Route 22 in Union, New Jersey – about $6.00) – Five Guys reminds me a little of In and Out Burger, which you can only find on the west coast. It’s simple. There are just a few choices for burgers. It’s basically a step above no-frills. The keep their burgers simple.
I ordered a regular (which has two burgers) with lettuce, tomato, pickles, sautéed onion, jalapenos, mustard and ketchup. As burgers go, it’s just fine. Is it hands down the best burger I have ever eaten? Not at all. But it is tasty. It is simple. It is basic flavors all under a bun.
Smashburger (Route 22 in Union, New Jersey – about $7.00) – Smashburger offer much, much more than 5 Guys. Aside from create-your-own burgers, their menu includes:
An array of fried sides (french fries, fried pickles, sweet potato fries, fries tossed in rosemary, olive oil and garlic, spicy buffalo fries and more).
6 kinds of malts.
So compared to Five Guys, Smashburger appears to offer a wild ride! You can get goat cheese and truffle oil mayo. Swiss or spinach. Classic, multi-grain, gluten free or chipotle buns.
I chose the New Jersey burger, which is very onion oriented for burgers. It’s on an onion bun. Has fried, crispy haystack onions. Applewood smoked bacon. Bleu cheese. Lettuce, tomato and mayo.
Yowzaa! It was damn good. A lot of flavors. Or as Guy Fieri would say – welcome to Flavortown. Amazing. The Five Guys Burger, while perfectly fine, was the appetizer. The Smashburger New Jersey was the main course AND dessert in one.
Keep in mind that these burgers may have a ton of calories and sodium. I felt the need to have a glass of red wine to try and get some good things back into my blood stream.
Final verdict: The Smashburger New Jersey Burger wins hands down. But if you have a choice between a Burger King or Five Guys, then Five Guys is the place to be.