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John Is That Guy At 5Guys

May 4, 2014
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All right, so the term “hot dog” does not appear in the name 5Guys Burgers and Fries. Maybe it should. Because despite being known for juicy burgers and an overly generous hand in the french fry department, this chain can knock out a pretty decent dog.

Normally I shy away from large-chain hot dogs. To me, they lack a real hot dog joint vibe, which is part of the whole hot dogging experience. But it was Saturday night before a viewing of Spider-Man 2, the place was right there, and I was feeling doggy. Good thing.

5Guys serves a Hebrew National all-beef dog (a quarter-pounder, perhaps?), split and slapped on the griddle. The casing gets a good snap and the open side takes on a nice light browning. The dog goes into a standard soft hot dog roll, and then the magic happens. For starters, while you can have your dog as is, you can also choose either cheese or cheese and bacon. Please note that I say “choose” like there’s even an actual choice to be made when cheese and bacon are on the line. But then it gets better: every condiment listed for your average 5Guys burger is also available for your dog. That’s 15 mix-and-match things right there, waiting for you, you encased-meats Picasso, to paint your own little masterpiece. You say it, they put it on, no extra charge.

IMG_0938

My first awful hot dog photo of the season. I can tell I’ve been out of the field for a while because I actually felt awkward photographing my dinner in a busy restaurant. It won’t happen again.

I opted for two bacon and cheese dogs with my usual 5Guys toppings: grilled onions and grilled jalapenos. The bacon comes in big, full strips and just a little chewy, the way I like it, and I would gladly pay to sit down with a bucket of their grilled onions and a fork. American cheese goes all melty in the mix. The bun on my first dog was up to the task of holding in the goods, but the second had a bottom-seam blowout–which was fine. Just turn that sucker sideways and chow down.

There’s something about the 5Guys dog that sets it apart from the usual iffy franchise hot dog. Maybe it’s just that freedom of toppings. At over $4 a whack for the bacon and cheese version, loading up the toppings is a way to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. But even as a straight-up dog, it’s hard to go wrong with Hebrew Nationals and a flat-top. Definitely a dog worth checking out.

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