Five Guys – the absolute king of garbage guts American burger chains – is opening its first-ever Australian store in Sydney’s western suburbs next week. It’s here, it’s finally bloody here.
While the menu on the boards in the shop seems pretty straightforward, the beauty of Five Guys is in the details: you can alter and customise your order in with a seemingly endless combination of free toppings, sauces, and other accoutrements. The sky’s the limit with what you can do (except for maybe asking for just a bunch of sauce with two pickles wrapped in foil).
Because the menu is so malleable, and gives you a pretty simple base from which to create culinary chaos, there’s a well-loved Five Guys secret menu of sorts, cobbled together by people who have taken the humble burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, and shakes, and moulded them into meals worthy of a MasterChef pin.
So if you’re wanting something a bit off the beaten path, here’s what you can quietly order to seriously expand the horizons of the Five Guys offerings.
The Presidential Burger
There’s a tale of President Barack Obama once dropping into a Five Guys into 2009, and after ordering for his team he placed his own specific order. A cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, and mustard. It’s simple, but it sounds fucking amazing, and immediately got elevated to Five Guys Secret Menu status.
The Double Grilled Cheeseburger
Five Guys does cheeseburgers, it also does grilled cheese sandwiches. But if you’re feeling particularly gluttonous, Five Guys will also do you a double grilled cheeseburger. It pretty much does what it says on the tin – two grilled cheeses replace the burger bun and you pop the patty in between.
If they don’t make it for you (the Aussie store is so new, so they might not be privvy just yet), you can just order two grilled cheeses and a bun-less burger, and whatever sauces and extras you wanna chuck in there.
The Patty Melt
A Five Guys secret menu classic is the Patty Melt. I had this one on a trip to Seattle a few years back, and it changed my life a bit. Sure, it was a mess and it did not look very appealing, but I devoured it nonetheless.
To cop this elite option, order a grilled cheese sandwich with a burger patty or two, grilled onions, and your choice of toppings. It’ll come out with the burger buns flipped inside-out, and grilled to perfection. Add bacon, and it turns into the ‘Fatty Melt’.
Let’s not get things twisted here – the fries at Five Guys are the best. They’re not deep fried from frozen, they’re hand cut each day from fresh potatoes. If you go into a Five Guys at the right time, you’ll see sacks of potatoes lining the walls, waiting to be peeled and prepared for frying.
So it’s only fair you can jack the fries to make loaded versions, right? Get them to chuck some melted cheese on your chippies and Bob’s your uncle, you’ve got cheesy fries.
Take your cheese fries up a notch and ask for jalapeños and onion, making delicious nacho-style cheese fries.
Those wanting to forgo some of the carbs, you can also ask for a burger bowl. Simply order yourself a bun-less burger, and chuck in some salad-y toppings – think pickles, lettuce, tomato, green capsicum/peppers, jalapeños, whatever you want. It’ll all come out in a foil tray instead of the burger paper wrap (which is for the best, really.)
The Veg BLT
Sure, the main menu isn’t super vegetarian-friendly (and I already plan to break gentle veg when I eventually get to an Aussie store), but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a veggie option at Five Guys. For this, simply order a traditional BLT and switch the bacon with grilled mushrooms. Maybe some capsicum for crunch, and melted cheese for decadent ooze.
A true American classic, and something I’ve wanted to properly try since I first watched Billy Madison have them “extra sloppy” all those years ago. For this, order yourself a stock-standard burger, and pop in grilled green peppers/capsicum, grilled onions, ketchup, and BBQ sauce.
A nod to the other US burger chain (which shall not be named), this can be done for either a burger or fries. Simply order a cheeseburger with extra cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and grilled onions. For the animal style sauce (which you can chuck on the burger and your chippies), ask for sides of mayonnaise, relish, and ketchup, so you can mix it up and slather it on.
Thai Lettuce Wrap
A slight deviation away from the classic burgs and fries, this one involves a bit of legwork on your end. Coming from chef Justin Warner, he suggests ordering a bunless burger in a lettuce wrap, with jalapeños and steak sauce. While you’re waiting for it to come out, grab a handful of the free unshelled peanuts, crack ’em open, and sprinkle them on top.
Order yourself a bun-less burger hamburger (giving you just the patty), with fries and a side of A.1. steak sauce. It’ll all come in a foil tin. Et voila – a Five Guys Steak Frites.
Ahh, the beloved chip butty. I once again simply must stress that the chippies at Five Guys are elite level. Sorry to all the other chip providers out there, but the fact these are hand cut from potatoes every day makes a world of difference. To cop the Five Guys Chip Butty, simply ask for a Little-sized fries inside an untoasted bun with a side of ketchup. Maybe there’s some vinegar there you can splash on too, and you’ve got a butty that’s reminiscent of hot days at the beach.
There are plenty more secret menu creations out there, but at least you’re armed with plenty of options for your first pilgrimage to Australia’s first Five Guys store. It’ll save you from being stuck at the front of the line with a billion combinations whizzing through your head, trying to figure out what the fuck to do.
All they gotta do now is open a store in Melbourne so I can visit way too often.
Five Guys opens its first Australian store at 123 Mulgoa Rd Penrith from Monday, September 20 – for takeaway only at this stage.