There's a scene in Woody Allen's classic movie Annie Hall where he explains why he won't move from New York to California. "I could never live in a place where the only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light."
If I was ever given the chance to respond to him I would pop off that I could never live in a place that didn't have an In-N-Out Burger. But while visiting New York City this past holiday weekend I had the chance to try Five Guys. How does it compare to In-N-Out? Well, let me put it this way. Lack of a stand-out hamburger chain is no longer an excuse for not moving back east.
I first heard of Five Guys when President Obama took NBC's Brian Williams there as he picked up lunch for his White House office staff. I can confirm, the President treats his staff very well. At least when it comes to eating.
The Five Guys burger struck me as a jucier, messier and yes, tastier burger than In-N-Out. And the garnishes, which they don't charge extra for, are outlandish. They even throw on grilled mushrooms which reminds me of another well-known burger from Santa Barbara's bygone days. The "May Burger," which they used to serve at the Creekside when it was known as "The Falls."
Of course at $6.29 it's roughly about twice the price of its In-N-Out counterpart, the Double-Double. Five Guys has a smaller single patty burger which will set you back $4 bucks and change.
Five Guys probably has something to learn in the "green" department. The burger came wrapped in aluminum foil, even though I was eating it "for here" and not "to go."
Being environmentally conscious is no longer just for the alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast crowd anymore.
© 2010 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com