When it comes to the "Burgers and Fries" approach to eating there is more than one way to skin a cat. Unfortunately, the stuff you get these days from Ronald, The King, and even Wendy tastes an awful lot like the anecdotal skinned cat. I haven't eaten at Mickey Dee's in at least a year and a half, and it's been almost as long since I've been to the King. I always feel lethargic after eating there, which I don't really have too much of a problem with mind you, but it's not worth it.
I never sit around saying 'you know what would hit the spot right now? A fast food burger.' What I do like is a real burger that comes of the griddle or the grill. They have actual taste, which the fast food verity seem to lack. The Big Mac just doesn't do it for me any longer, and forget about the Whopper. Not only is the name offensive to my people (I demand an Imus style apology) but it's devoid of any real taste other than the chemical they put on it to make it taste 'flame broiled." Cherry Starburst don't taste like cherries, Orange Trix don't taste like the oranges and Fast Food burgers don't taste like burgers anymore.
Just when I thought there was no place I could get a good burger 'over the counter' anymore, along comes Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries. They are a chain that started in DC and it's surrounding burbs, and they take a Fuddruckers-esqe approach to food, but they are faster then Fuddruckers. And the burgers are way better. They don't have any fancy names for their menu items, of which there are only 4 with variations. There's the Hamburger (or Cheeseburger, Bacon Burger, and Bacon Cheeseburger) which is two big 'never frozen' patties adorned with 17 free toppings. If the two patties are too much for you, pick up the same array of options in the "Little" variety, eg Little Hamburger, Little Cheeseburger etc.
In addition to the Burger and Little Burger they also feature a Hot Dog and Fries. The dogs come split down the middle and grilled, like my old man used to like them. I found the dogs to be the unhealed star of the show, and they go perfectly with a Little Burger. The fries are 'boardwalk style' and they even have vinegar on the tables for you. Be warned, a small order of fries is enough to split with someone, since they pour about an orders worth on the top of your food when it's put in the bag. There's not "for here" or "to go" at Five Guys, as all orders come in a bag. Everything is made fresh, so unlike the big fast food places you'll have to wait a few minutes for your order. Five Guys borrowed a trick from some steakhouse's by putting peanuts out for people to snack on while waiting for their food.
My one knock on this place is that they close at 10 each night, or at least the ones in my home town do. I no longer drink, but when I did, I liked nothing more than a nice burger and some fries to soak up all the alcohol when my night was over. I took Inky and XL to Five Guys after they polished off about 7 or 8 drafts each last Saturday afternoon and they definitely enjoyed it. Back in Jersey we got our 'drunken burger' on at White Castle, or if you had a DD that could get you to Highland Park, at White Rose System. White Rose was a place where your Cali Burger was made and served to you in the time it took for you to tell the lady behind the register what you wanted, so they have that leg up on Five Guys. I have to say, that's good work out of you to Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries. It's some damn good stuff.