Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Washington Dulles Airport

I hate Dulles.

Not just a little.

The gate concourses seem to go on for miles and to have been designed with all the flair of Quonset huts in ‘Nam. The “mobile lounges” between the terminals are overgrown buses. They finally build an airport train, and it doesn’t go where passengers need to be. But if you’re flying United anywhere on the east coast (I was going to Allentown), you pretty much have to pass through here.

About the only thing that makes it bearable is a branch of the Five Guys burger chain, headquartered in northern Virginia. Five Guys attracts a following not unlike the mania Angelenos have for In & Out Burger. A “little” hamburger (one patty) is plenty big for me, grilled to just a tiny bit crispy, in nice contrast to the chewy heft of the sesame seed bun. Then there’s the head-spinning choice of toppings, all included in the price of the burger:

  • A.1. steak sauce
  • Bar-B-Q sauce
  • green peppers
  • grilled onions
  • grilled mushrooms
  • hot sauce
  • jalapenos
  • ketchup
  • lettuce
  • mayo
  • mustard
  • onions
  • pickles
  • relish
  • tomatoes

This. Is. Awesome.

And there are zero trans fats, even in the crispy fries.

Just one thing, though: Five Guys is expanding big time. I arrived in Allentown to find one a few hundred yards from my hotel. Then I noticed one in Philadelphia. I got to New York City: they’re there too. And then I checked the website for more locations: 17 within 100 miles of West Los Angeles.

OK, I can go back to hating Dulles now.