Let’s keep it together, Newcastle.
I know you’re gonna lose your shit over this.
Remember not too long ago when people were clamming for the last next big things – Jamie’s, The Botanist, etc. etc? I think there’s an element of it which is like “oooh, look, we saw one of those in [insert big city here], so now that Newcastle has got one, we’ve gotta try it!”. That looks like the entire strategy for the new Metrocentre bit. For some reason, the UK absolutely LOVES an American Brand – they’re everywhere.
Five Guys comes to Newcastle riding the biggest hype train I’ve seen in a long time. I mean, there was a Chronicle live-blog of the opening, WTactualF? There’s going to be one in prime position in The Pearl at the bottom of Northumberland Street, and here, in the Metrocentre. They are going to be heaving.
Guys, it’s just not that good.
Simple premise. You get a burger – £6.75, and if you want something with bacon & cheese, you’re looking at £8.75. You then add your own toppings for free – pickles, tomato, onion, etc. and create apparently 250,000 combinations of burger + things. There’s fries, hot dogs, a BLT, grilled cheese, and milkshakes (£4.75 though?). The crowd goes wild. The idea is sound.
The burger is not.
Burgers are one of man’s greatest sandwiches, but Five Guys? It’s just not worth the money. You wade through the hype and unwrap your meaty prize, expecting that MMMMMMM, and then realise it’s just McDonalds with (marginally) better flavour, for more than twice the price.
The kicker for me, is that a Byron classic is only 25p more. And at that price, I want Byron, not Burger King quality. To be fair, it’s a fair bit tastier than that – they rightfully play on their “no freezers” policy, but still, it’s thin, not discernibly beef patties, in a soggy bun.
If you want a Five Guys cheeseburger (of course you want a cheeseburger), fries & milkshake. You’re talking about dropping seventeen quid. I can’t even.
Look, I “get it”, it’s the American diner style burger, food for the hungry masses, etc. even pretend “it’s been here since like 1959!”. This ^ was a couple of days ago where we waited for about 20 mins for our food. I’ve never, ever seen a place busier than this in NCL. It’s Nandos for burgers, i.e. food for teenagers who don’t know any better, and are getting ripped off for it. It’s OK but there are miles better options for your £.
You can get free peanuts. There’s one of those Coke Freestyle machines where you can concoct things like raspberry flavour Coke, or grape Fanta. Double yay.
I’m not just hating here. I tried the (beef) dog this weekend, with cheese, bacon, pickles, onion, mustard. Much better value for £5.50, and it was as tasty as it was salty, which is to say, very. Plus, deep-fried bacon!
Best of all, the fries are really, really great. I don’t know if it’s the peanut oil or what, but they’re well seasoned, ridiculously addictive and you get just a daft amount of them. Seriously, go for the fries. You’ll be happy. They’re almost perfect.
Sack off the burger though, stop buying the hype, and making out like this is the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Newcastle™. Do what I did, go and satiate your curiosity, and divn’t gan back.
Food hygiene rating: Not yet rated.
Better burgers in Newcastle: Bridge Tavern, Broad Chare, Byron, Fat Hippo, Forth, MPW, Lane7, DatBar, Burger Stop, even GBK.