I always meant to pop into Five Guys in Dundrum. When we’d head to the cinema or do a bit of Saturday shopping, I always began with the intention of finishing up in the funky restaurant which was tucked away so neatly past the toy store, sitting proudly beside Jamie Oliver’s Italian.
Laziness or time always got the better of me and I’d leave it, saying ‘next time’. I live about a twenty minute drive from Dundrum, so next times were always few and far between (I despise shopping and it’s often hard to fit a burger in after snacking on popcorn) but when Five Guys on George’s Street was unveiled, I had no more excuses.
Side note: I know it’s situated on South Great George’s Street but to me, that whole strip is just George’s Street, I don’t think it’ll ever change. Same way I consider from The Bleeding Horse to the start of Aungier Street to be all Camden Street and nothing else.
Today was that day.
I reassured myself in the morning that I’d go through with it and when the Weetabix was left to one side as I headed to work, by lunchtime, my body was roaring at me to go.
What’s the story with the bags of potatoes that greet you as you come in the door? Who knows. It’s excessive but it’s nice to see, some might say you might even keep your eyes ‘peeled’ for them.
The last time I came across a bag was probably sometime down the west of the country. They served as a reminder of the hard work that would be put into making home-made chips and the hard work that the Five Guys, guys and girls go through every day.
But these aren’t home-made chips, these are heaven-made chips, more on that later.
The hunger is real and a bacon cheeseburger is ordered. The cashier can tell I’m a hungry guy and states that I’m a man that “could do with some chips”. Absolutely I could sir, horse them down on the bill and take for a coke too while you’re at it.
The bill came to €16.40 in total and for that sort of money, I want to be blown away by this burger meal.
The friendly banter at the till was followed by a quick turnover of the food taking it all of ten minutes from order to table, at peak-lunchtime if you wouldn’t smile.
The coke was an excellent shout, I don’t think I would have finished the lot without it because the chips are very salty.
Personally, I’m all for the salt, they just saved me 30 seconds of dosing the chips by myself.
But, if you’re not a salt-lover, it’s probably worth-giving the heads up at the counter.
The meal comes in a brown bag but that doesn’t bother me. Some of the best presented food I’ve ever seen has been shite-tasting. I tear the bag apart and tackle into the chips.
A bold statement, I know, but they are the best in Dublin at this moment in time for me.
They have that delicious crispiness that all chip lovers want but without losing its potato-like, home-made feel.
The chips are finished with great difficulty and food coma begins to hit strong but momma didn’t raise no quitter and with the lid now off the coke, it was time to unwrap this burger.
I knew the uphill battle that was ahead of me at the start when I took all the serviettes out of the bag. Don’t come to Five Guys on George’s Street and complain about the mess you made with the burger. Don’t expect to handle that beast and not lose a few casualties on the way. Watch as bits of onions, lettuce, pickles and mushrooms make a jump for it before they meet their untimely death.
For me, all of those things are just bit-players. When you get a burger you’re looking out for the meat, first of all, and in this case for me after that it was all about the cheese and bacon.
If you looked at this burger hard enough, it would have fallen apart. It was so juicy with the cheese just adding to the party that was going on in my mouth. The bacon was crispy and although bits were flying off left, right and centre, the bacon was saved and replaced back on the burger – an addition that nice isn’t escaping that easy.
I had ripped the brown bag opened at this stage and laid it out like a make-shift plate on the table. By the end, It looked like I was a child who had just discovered food for the first time but didn’t know how I was supposed to eat it.
I was messy and I felt that everyone else that came in would have been just as messy but sadly I never got to figure out. Within 30 seconds of someone leaving, their table was clean and ready for the next customer. If I had wanted to glance back and reminisce about the joyful moment that had just taken place in that chair, I couldn’t because the remains were already in the bin with the brown table sparkling once again. The boyo that was cleaning was on the ball.
I don’t think I’ve ever come out of a burger-joint thinking about the chips as much as the burger. They are the stuff you dream about when you’re pissed drunk at 4am in the morning or when you’re having a shit Tuesday afternoon and need something to make you realise that life isn’t all that bad.
As for the burger, it’s a toughie. It’s up there with your Bunsens and your WOWs and my head is telling me that it’s better than both of those.
And I think it’s only a matter of time before people realise that too. The other two have had their time to shine, they’ve held a position in the city centre long before the thought of Five Guys heading here was even imagined.
If Bunsen is Ronaldo and WOW is Messi, Five Guys is Mo Salah. The potential has always been there, people have been on about it for years but the majority have only started listening now that it’s hit the big time.
Much like Salah, Five Guys is finally on the big stage and if it shines, it can become a bigger player in the city centre than the other two, even with just its one store.
As I chomp mid-way through my burger, a stripped-down version of Oasis’ ‘Fade Away’ plays in the background, containing the lines “fantasy is real, now I know much about the way I feel”.
The burger meal fantasy is real and it’s situated on George’s Street, South George’s Street.
— Five Guys Ireland (@FiveGuysIre) May 9, 2018