There are plenty of places that try very hard to raise the simple and delicious hamburger into something like a high art form. I’m sure there is a place for a gourmet burger piled high with expensive and exotic toppings, but for my money there’s nothing better than a basic cheeseburger loaded down with ketchup, mustard, and raw onion on a buttered and toasted bun. Take one look at me and you’ll know I’m not exactly one to go in for the latest trends in Asian fusion or French cuisine. Those meals are more like an appetizer than a main course. It all boils down to personal preference, but I’m going to lay the blame squarely on the greasy spoon dining of my youth – Scotty’s, Kelly’s, and Marshall’s were all places to go to find a burger that was unapologetic about what it was and that didn’t need to be heaped with extras to taste good.
The real, local hamburger experience is getting harder and harder to find – it’s almost impossible unless you’ve been in an area close to forever. Ask most people where to get the best burger in town and they’re as likely to direct you to Sonic as they are to some mom and pop diner outside of town on the back road. For most of us, those places don’t exist anywhere but in our memory any more… But fortunately, that doesn’t mean the purists among us are stuck with some kind of fancy pants, snob burger.
Enter Five Guys. In my travels a few weekends ago I was lucky enough to spy what appeared to be a Five Guys Burgers and Fries not far away from me in Delaware. As far as I can tell, putting in an order from them is the next best thing to sitting down for one more burger in the battered, stained, and broken booths at Scotty’s. The atmosphere doesn’t even come close, but if you close your eyes and bite, the flavor is right there… Now if I can just talk them into putting brown gravy on the fries.
You’ll have to excuse me, but I need to go change. It’s time to start thinking about crossing state lines in search of dinner.