Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday

A truth of which I was already keenly aware has been driven forcefully home since moving to Thailand: I like hamburgers. I mean I really like hamburgers. When we lived in California I ate at In-N-Out, pretty much on a weekly basis (Double-Double, Animal Style; french fries; large chocolate shake...*burp*). Well, we've been here for a month now, and I'm totally craving

For those of you who don't know, Five Guys is a burger joint that started in Alexandria, Virginia, that has recently franchised across the United States and is gaining an ardent following; but for many years it has been pretty darn popular back East. For the last three years I frequented Five Guys at least once a week. Lunches with coworkers, kicking back with a juicy burger after a hard day rock climbing, or pounding fries and root beer just before the Saturday night priesthood session of General Conference, there's never really a bad time for Five Guys in my world. We even met up with friends from Ethiopia at the Five Guys in West Valley, Utah before we moved. Friendships were renewed, fries were shared, and ketchup was spilled.

Five Guys was actually instrumental in helping our children face the myriad inoculations required for our overseas move. It usually went something like this.

Kid: [in a loud, panicky voice] I'm scared! I hate shots! I don't want to get any more shots!

Me: [in my best reasonable voice] If you don't get shots you can't go with us to Thailand...

Kid: That's fine, I'll stay with [insert random friend/family member name here].

Me: Okay, I was only joking. You have to go with us to Thailand, so you have to get the shots.

Kid: NOOOOOOOoooooooooooo... (it trails off as they try to run out the door)

Me: If you're good, we'll go to Five Guys for lunch...

Kid: [silence]

One of the funniest parts of being in Palmyra, New York the week before we moved from Virginia was the reaction to my Five Guys t-shirt (as seen in the family picture at the start of this blog). Mali bought me the shirt for my birthday, and it was a huge hit, a great conversation starter with a lot of the people we saw. Everyone assumed that I was from their area—Rochester, Philadelphia, Richmond, etc.—and it seemed that very few of them were aware that you could buy a Five Guys shirt. Nothing like free advertising for great food, eh? The only other shirt that I’ve gotten similar reactions to is the shirt I have from Zachary’s Pizza in Albany, California, but that one is so local to the East Bay that it doesn’t get quite the same reaction in as many places as the Five Guys shirt does. I will say, however, that Zachary's is to pizza as Five Guys is to burgers. Mull that one over for a bit.

For the record, I still love

and I refuse to be dragged into any petty debates about which one is better. Brave men and women have sacrificed so that we may all enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of a delicious hamburger wherever you live in the great United States and I for one refuse to dishonor those heroes. But if I were to be tied to an anthill and my ears smeared with jam unless I picked between the two, Mali and I both agree that although we like the fries at Five Guys better, In-N-Out wins by virtue of having milkshakes.

Oddly enough, in the month since leaving behind my beloved American hamburger joints, I seem to have lost about five pounds...


  1. Other places just don't seem to appreciate a good American burger. In Australia they put beets on the burgers instead of tomatoes. It was insulting. I was glad to have finally tasted the famous Five Guys this summer. We did it in honor of you. Speaking of...I never did post that pic in your honor. Gotta blog our CA trip.

  2. HaHa- now I get your reaction to me eating my In-N-Out burger in front of you guys while on Skype. It was delicious.

  3. I wore my Five Guys t-shirt to a barbeque for our housing complex, which is comprised mostly of people who work at the Embassy and therefore are familiar with the Five Guys from the DC area.

    I had two people offer to relieve me of said shirt.

  4. They are building an In-N-Out about 2 miles from my house. SO EXCITED!!!! It looks like it'll be one of those fancy ones with a 2nd story outside deck for my dining pleasure.