I need to get this off my chest. I need to tell you about the time I was disappointed by Five Guys.
No, this isn't my Memoirs of a Geisha; this is a story of meat, mayonnaise and misfortune.
When I heard they were bringing Five Guys to the East Midlands I was ecstatic. It meant bringing my two favourite things to my doorstep: eating and pretending to be American. I couldn't shut up about it; I was rooting for the place big time.
If you're sat there thinking yeah yeah, she's probably just being overzealous about it for the sake of the blog, I'm certainly not. Before I went, I was on the website picking out exactly what I was going to order, right down to the regular lettuce, lite tomatoes and extra onions (brave I know, a modern day Joan of Arc, me).
I was so confident it was going to be brilliant I decided to make the trip into a date.
My thinking was that he was going to be so blown away by his burger he'd end up falling in love with me, and a couple of months after that I'd probably propose to him (Beyoncé's not gyrating around in leotards and getting her weave stuck in wind machines for us not to be able to do stuff like this). But, as we all know, the course of true love never does run smooth, especially when Cajun fries are involved.
So imagine walking into a nightclub, the music's blasting, the place is heaving, but they have all the lights on, and it's the middle of the day, and instead of it being a nightclub it's actually a burger place. Yeah, that's Five Guys. I couldn't actually hear for toffee.
While I was waiting for my date to arrive I could hear loud music coming from inside, it sounded like they'd hired Fall Out Boy to play to celebrate the opening, but when we got in I realised it was just a CD playing on loop really, REALLY loudly (probably not to dissimilar from a real Fall Out Boy performance). I asked the guy on the till why they had it turned up so loud and he said it was to keep the staff pumped-up. Behind the counter the kitchen staff were chanting and hollering. It was like being in the All Blacks dressing room on match day. The place was far too LOUD.
I guess there was an upside to the music being so loud though, it meant I got to lean right up against my date and shout sweet nothings in his ear.
So after nearly missing our order due to all the racket, we finally got upstairs and sat down only to realise they'd got it wrong. Now I know this could have been because it was still pretty new, and they were finding their feet, but by the time he'd gone back down and sorted it, the fries were cold and I'd nearly finished my burger. Thinking about it though, perhaps this was actually another plus point as it did mean he didn't have to witness the horror of me trying to fit a whole burger into my mouth all at once. Maybe Five Guys had my back on that one.
Their idea of 'Heaven in a brown paper bag' was more like a 'Tragedy in tinfoil'.
You know when you were at school and couldn't wait for dinner time to see what your mum had packed you, yet when you opened your lunch box it was warm, and your sandwiches were squashed, soggy and unappealing with not even a wagon wheel in site to redeem the situation? It was similar to that.
It looked like it had been put together by someone who had just been told if that they don't make it in less than 30 seconds and get the hell out of there, then they're going to be tied to a chair and forced to watch re runs of Homes Under The Hammer. These 'burger sculptors' should probably focus less on perfecting the Haka and more on the handcrafting (I use the term 'Burger sculptors' very lightly. Michelangelo's they ain't. There was more meat on David than there was in my burger).
I couldn't really tell you much about the decor of the place; I was too busy sobbing into my hand cut fries, but from what I remember nothing major to report on that front.
What I did think was good though was the amount of freedom you had to craft your own burger. It was like being handed a blank beef canvas and having 250,000 different ways to customize it. The toppings were unlimited, but, if I were you, when you're paying £6.75 upwards just for the burger I'd try and squeeze all those 250,000 combinations into the one bun.
To me, it felt like a glorified McDonald's, minus the shame you feel after every, slow bite of a Big Mac.
Also, take my advice and don't go there on a date because you'll probably spend your time eating separately and not being able to communicate. Unless you're a couple that have been together years, then this is probably your dream kind of place.
Believe it or not I never saw my date again after that and whilst exchanging parting words he also blamed part of our demise on this trip. (Note: at this point I should probably change the title to Disappointed by six guys).
So cheers Five Guys, cold fries and broken dreams all round.