Five Guys Burgers and Fries: Doing It Right


So, the other day I posted a Facebook status about Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and I thought I’d share it here and maybe even add some more thoughts.  It seemed to get a lot of comments pretty quickly.

Here it is:

I’ll tell you what, for all the customer service and food service that I do complain about… one place stands out as incredible. Every time I’m at a Five Guys Burgers and Fries no matter the location, they are fully staffed… everyone is doing a job & doing it quickly & efficiently with a rather pleasant look on their face. They communicate with each other quite well. The employees seem to be having fun while getting their job done, and they seem to take pride in what they do. I can only assume they pay much better than the average fast food joint, or just know how to delegate responsibilities evenly & know how to treat employees. I was in the one in Robinson when they got SLAMMED at lunch time today, and they put more people on registers, and worked down an ridiculously large amount of people in a short time. It helps that they only have burgers & the occasional hot dog as a menu item I’m sure, but it still is pretty impressive.

I'll tell you what, for all the customer service and food service that I do complain about... one place stands out as incredible. Every time I'm at a Five Guys Burgers and Fries no matter the location, they are fully staffed... everyone is doing a job & doing it quickly & efficiently with a rather pleasant look on their face. They communicate with each other quite well. The employees seem to be having fun while getting their job done, and they seem to take pride in what they do. I can only assume they pay much better than the average fast food joint, or just know how to delegate responsibilities evenly & know how to treat employees. I was in the one in Robinson when they got SLAMMED at lunch time today, and they put more people on registers, and worked down an ridiculously large amount of people in a short time. It helps that they only have burgers & the occasional hot dog as a menu item I'm sure, but it still is pretty impressive.

I’ll tell you what…

I should take a video of 10 minutes in a Five Guys and 10 minutes in this damn McDonald’s on West Liberty Ave. and compare how they’re run.  McDonald’s employees are slow, confused, careless, and sometimes even slovenly.  Five Guys employees seem to be the exact opposite on every front.

I’ve been to several locations, the Waterworks, Murrysville, Robinson, and Greensburg… and they’ve all been run with the same efficiency, pleasantness, and extreme cleanliness.  I just think it ought to be said that it’s noticed by the customers, and they need to keep doing what they’re doing.

Of course, I’m very aware of food allergies, and peanuts are a big thing at Five Guys.  This seems to get a bunch of flack, but they do take allergies seriously.  The peanut-allergic have to accept it just like I accept that being allergic to shellfish, I’m not going to get a safe meal at Red Lobster.  It’s OK.  There are many many places to dine & choices to make.  I’m glad that I have Five Guys as a choice.  I’ve heard that they are excellent in handling a dairy allergy.  Just check out the comments in the image above to the right.  I see the allergy warnings on the door as a very responsible thing to do.

Even after all that… the burgers are just absolutely delicious.  I tend to get a bacon cheeseburger with A1 and green peppers… sometimes even mushrooms.  The french fries are almost as awesome as Kennywood’s Potato Patch fries, and that’s hard to do.  The ingredients are always fresh, the burgers always cooked perfectly.  One of these days I want to try a hot dog… but I can never get past the burgers.  Maybe a little burger & a hot dog will have to do some day?  I don’t even know if I can handle that.  I’m glad I don’t live too close to one of these places, I’d be there way too often.

I hope to send a link to this to Five Guys, just to tell them that I appreciate what they’re doing, and to keep on doing it.  Customers can see and appreciate that the employees are enjoying what they do, and doing it well.  It does make a difference.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

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New BBQ Joints?


Pittsbugh BBQ Co. - Brisket Sandwich

Good BBQ helps to grow healthy sideburns.

Well, you probably know I like barbecue.  I’m a big fan, and I’m always willing to try out new places.  Well, new places that don’t have shrimp or other deathfish on the menu.  I’ve scoped out the web sites three places I haven’t tried… perhaps they’re rather new?  Can anyone tell me if they’ve been to any of these places & what they think?  (Or if they have any stuff on site that’s not listed on the online menu?)

Perhaps, like movie nights, I can organize a Pittsburgh (& surrounding area) BBQ tour?  Would anyone be interested?

I’d like to check out the following BBQ restaurants…

Of course we’d have to hit my favorites… Brentwood Express Rowdy BBQ, Pittsburgh Barbecue Co., & Clem’s Cafe!

Were else are the deathfish-free BBQ joints in in & around the ‘Burgh?

A wing tour has been suggested, but 95% of the places that fry wings also fry deathfish, so I’ll stick with Gooski’s.

The itch that wouldn’t die.


Black & White Cat Scratching EarSo last Friday or Saturday, my back started itching.  It wasn’t a bug-bite itch.  It didn’t seem like a dry skin itch.  The closest thing I could equate it to is that feeling when you get a haircut and those stray clippered hairs that they couldn’t blow away with the hair-dryer or brush away with that tickling brush jab at you until you can get home & get a proper shower.  I just assumed it was dry skin, & asked my lovely wife to hook me up with some of the plethora of lotions in the house (ask me about her Bath & Bodyworks addiction some time).  She graciously applied some non-smelly Aveeno & confirmed that there wasn’t a rash or anything.

At least, that’s what we thought.

Cat getting back scratchedThrough the week it didn’t seem to subside.  I used some Benadryl one night to go to sleep, and we switched to Eucerin and then to some weird stinky pink (and ridiculously expensive) Aveeno Oatmeal lotion.  I Googled “itch without rash” to some benign and some alarming results.  It’s never good to search for afflictions online because common symptoms of everything lead to you dying of some unheard of horrible disease.

The itch had spread to my chest eventually, by again we couldn’t see any kind of rash or hives.  My skin was obviously hydrated to the touch thanks to the lotion(s), so dry skin couldn’t be the answer.  I was starting to think it might even be nerves.  It wasn’t constant, it’s just intermittent & weird.

We figured it couldn’t be too horrible as the wife didn’t “catch” anything, so it probably wasn’t some gross fungus or bugs or anything you’d see in a sci-fi movie.

Cat trying to scratch ear through coneI finally broke down & went to Med Express on Saturday.  (I hate missing work for doctor’s appointments, and Med Express was so easy to get in & out.)  The nurse-practitioner there did see a rash under her light… called it “micro-” something “dermatitis”, & the printout they gave me says “contact dermatitis“.  She gave me a steroid to take for 5 days, & said to keep using the Eucerin.  As weird as it sounds I was relieved that it was an actual rash & not all in my head or anything.  She also recommended Claritin instead of Benadryl as it apparently has less knock-you-out type side effects.

I’m still a little itchy occasionally, but I can hopefully see an end in sight.  Hope the Prednisone works!

Cat scratching another cat's back...She said I might be allergic to something, and may have to start some detective work.  If it was laundry detergent or fabric softener, it would most likely be on my thighs too… and it’s not yet.  Plus, we’re on the end of the detergent bottle & fabric softener sheet box… I would have thought it would have affected me by now.  I did try some new generic soap, but it stunk (literally & latherally) … so I stopped using it.  I don’t think that was it.  I don’t have any new shirts that I wore that I can remember.  It’s quite maddening.  I wonder if it was something I ate or a medicine… but I’ve been on my stomach stuff for a while now, & there’s nothing new.

Fat cat can't scratch his itchy ear...Has this happened to any of my other food allergy friends or their family?  I have little to no experience with allergic rashes… other than a minor itch caused by wool… but I generally stay away from wool clothing or blankets… and my (minor) allergies to wool, cats, & dogs for some reason tend to give me sniffles not a rash.  And with shellfish, I guess there’s a rash, but the whole throat-closing thing kind of eclipses that.

Any advice on how to find the culprit?  (Especially if it should return, provided it actually does clear-up.)  Any advice on home remedies or alternate things too sooth an itch that might work better than the Eucerin & Claritin?

Many thanks in advance!

Qdoba, I ❤ YOU.


This is why Qdoba is awesome. I’m just sayin’.

Instead of annoying the fish and shellfish-allergic masses* by adding deathfish to your menu where it wasn’t previously… they have decided to focus on selling something that they already have on the menu that also will not send you to eternal damnation.

I get the not eating meat thing, and giving things up… and it’s cool that you observe that and don’t cave in the face of rumors that the whole thing was set up by a corrupt pope taking money from fishermen in exchange for boosting their sales.

Let’s make Lent about reflection through sacrifice… not about where you can get a good deal on anaphylaxis-enducing sea bugs.

This was in my inbox today…

From: Qdoba Mexican Grill
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Subject: Ash Wednesday and Friday Lenten Special-$1 Off Vegetarian Entrees

Qdoba Pittsburgh | Ash Wednesday and Friday Lenten Special - $1 Off Vegetarian Entrees

Qdoba Pittsburgh | Ash Wednesday and Friday Lenten Special - $1 Off Vegetarian Entrees

*me, and about 2 other people that I have found on the internet with a fish and/or shellfish allergy.

https://twitter.com/#!/AiXeLsyD13/status/172322010217717761

https://twitter.com/#!/QdobaMexGrill/status/172347402991308800

Subway, Quiznos, Taco Bell, W.G. Grinder’s, & Sheetz take note…


https://twitter.com/#!/W_a_L_D/status/169103504059797506

https://twitter.com/#!/FirehouseSubs/status/169104530632474624

https://twitter.com/#!/W_a_L_D/status/169104935043088385

Firehouse Subs, you’re awesome.  I’m just sayin’.

Other food places with no shellfish currently on the menu, pay attention here too.  You don’t need shellfish.

Places that have added it over the years, preventing me from going back…

Other places that don’t need to add it to the menu…

Got that?  Good.

Also, what ever happened to Roly Poly & Schlotzsky’s?  They were excellent shellfish-free places to dine.  Come back!  Also, we need McCalister’s Deli and Lion’s Choice to remain shellfish free and move to the ‘Burgh.  Maybe even Jack in the Box too.

To the rest of you, let’s stop these damn seafood lent specials.  Let the business go to Red Lobster, Joe’s Crab Shack, Long John Silver’s‘, VFD fish fry events, and Monterey Bay.  If you don’t normally do shellfish, stay away from it.  Please?  I ask of behalf of the seafood allergic and those who choose to eat kosher.

Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs - my new food heroes.

Subway still sucks, so does IHOP, take your allergy-sniffing dog there with you…


Some good food allergy articles popping up lately, if you’re paying attention:

  • Allergies in the classroom: What’s OK to send in for snack time?  –  Some good tips.  Not sure if I’m 100% on-board with banning stuff in schools & classrooms.  I’d just promote safety a little more.
  • Subway expanding gluten-free test – Subway is still clueless.  They’re pushing the gluten free fad as far as they can with as little effort as possible, all while making a big deal about it & ignoring that other allergens exist.  (Read the comments.)
  • IHOP flops – IHOP owed by the same company that owns Crapplebees, also could not give a crap about your food allergies.  Try the new effortless lemon-zest dairy-free salad today! (Read the comments.)
  • $20,000 allergy-sniffing dog is a real lifesaver – Such a great idea!  Too bad it’s a $20K price tag.  I’d love to have a deathfish-detecting pooch.  I’d also train him to poop right outside of Subway restaurants.
  • Managing your food allergies in dining halls and dorm rooms – It’s back to school time.  Solid advice from a real expert.  I’m all about the buddy system.  Friends that look out for your best interest as far as not dying are friends for life.

So yeah, stuff’s happening.  I’m really just posting this to say… we’re out there.

Still taking donations for the Food Allergy Walk


90% towards my goal of $500!

90% towards my goal of $500!

That’s right, Bethany & I are still taking donations for the Food Allergy Walk in  Pittsburgh.  It’s happening this Sunday, Sept. 18th at 11:00 am.  You can make a secure online tax-deductible donation for either of us, to help us meet our prospective goals, or you can hook us up with a check made out to FAAN.

Support me!
Support me!

Just click the blue “Support Me” button under each of our photos on our respective profiles to donate!

You can read my older posts about the walk for more info:

If you’re following the “Celebrity Endorsement” thing, Andrew Stockey did eventually contact me & agree to help get the word out on WTAE.com.  I still haven’t’ seen anything there yet.

Interestingly, Qdoba & Chick-fil-A also said they’d donate something, yet they haven’t online yet anyway.  I’m going to have to remind them.

You can also read all of my Food Allergy related posts if interested in learning more about food allergies form an outspoken crazy blogger.

More from the Food Allergy Walk Facebook Page

The Walk in Pittsburgh will feature lots activities, such as: face painting, balloon artist, trackless train, mad science and inflatables. We will have a musical performance by Kyle Dine and be joined by Pittsburgh Panthers mascot ROC.

We look forward to once again welcoming Sally Wiggin and Stephen Cropper. Following the Walk, will be Q&A session with allergists from AGH and UPMC who have volunteered their time. Rep. Matt Smith will join us to share information about the new EpiPen laws in PA.

You can get one of these limited edition T-shirts for donating $50 or more, thanks to Erin “Ernie” Payne:

King Krab Orange Ernie and the Berts T-Shirt
Special Edition King Krab Orange Ernie and the Berts T-Shirt

OK, sponsor me or Bethany for the 2011 Food Allergy Walk in Pittsburgh!


Sorry if I seem like that guy next to a dumpster outside of a funeral home trying to sell you dead flowers so I can raise “bus fair” lately.

That said, this is a cause that’s obviously near & dear to me… so I’d really like to make a big impact.  I’m already a great deal of the way closer to reaching my “goal” of $300, but I’d prefer to exceed that goal for my first Food Allergy Walk if at all possible.  I just left the default goal of $300 as I was setting up the page at FoodAllergyWalk.org, and thought it would be a good start.  I had no idea that donations would come in so quickly!  I think I can do a lot more than $300, with the help of my friends & family.

As of this posting:

  • The national goal is $3,000,000.00, and the amount raised so far is $822,567.86 with 4 of 43 walks completed overall.
  • The goal for the Pittsburgh walk is $50,000.00 and they’re currently at $29,150.45.

Keep ’em coming, and pass along the link if so inclined!  That’s:

Donate to Eric for the 2011 FAAN Walk!

Donate to Eric for the 2011 FAAN Walk!

If you’d like to donate to my lovely wife instead of me, you can do that too:

Donate to Bethany for the 2011 FAAN Walk!

Donate to Bethany for the 2011 FAAN Walk!

She has to deal with this food allergy crap as much as I do, and she has to put up with my insane ramblings about food allergies & food service in real life, then hear “Yeah, didn’t you read my blog post about that?” from me repeatedly.  She reads labels, asks questions, makes phone calls and even taste-tests for me.  Perhaps she deserves your donations more than I do!

You can follow the links to either of our names do donate right through a secure connection through the Food Allergy Walk website.  I have found out that since my last post about this, the minimum donation online is $10.  I’ll take any amount in person.  $5 or $1 is still a donation.  I’ll have an envelope for cash & checks (made payable to FAAN).

I’ll hit you with some FAAN Facts

  • As many as 15 million Americans have food allergies, including approximately 6 million children.
  • The CDC reported that food allergies result in over 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children.
  • Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
  • There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of food allergens and early recognition and management of allergic reactions to food are important measures to prevent serious health consequences.
  • Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.
  • Most people who’ve had an allergic reaction to something they ate thought that it was safe.

I’m all about raising awareness of the seriousness of food allergies.  It’s hard to impress the severity upon some people, especially those in the food service industry.  Money raised will go to research and education.  In fact, here’s how your donations will be used:

How FAAN Uses Your Contributions
FAAN uses contributions to fund its education, advocacy, research, and awareness efforts. Eighty-one cents of every dollar is spent on innovative research and programs that help give families struggling with food allergies a fighting chance. Since 2004, FAAN has funded more than $4.6 million in research. Education remains the single most important component of staying safe while living with food allergies. Since 2006, FAAN has funded nearly $175,000 in Community Outreach Grants to local support groups throughout the country.

Again, I thank you for your tolerance.  I’d like to develop one to shellfish, but I don’t see it happening without your help!

Oh yeah, Ernie of Ernie and the Berts is willing to give a free special-run king krab orange T-shirt to anyone who donates over $50 & wants one.  Click here for how to claim yours!

Sponsor me for FAAN’s Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk 2011?


Did you read my last blog about the food allergy walk?  OK, so you can officially donate to me now, via this link:

FAAN Thermometer

FAAN

I decided for the 1st time to just sign up as an individual, maybe do a team next year.  I believe we’ll be signing my wife Bethany up for the walk too, she’ll be walking with me if you’d like to donate to her too or instead of me.  (…Perhaps more well deserved for putting up with my crazy ass.)  I’ll post her URL as soon as we have one.

I would appreciate any donations to FAAN, be it a $1 or $100.  Please don’t feel obligated or pressured to donate.  I realize that there are many many other charities/causes out there worth of donations.  I want you to think about donating your time and or money to those that you hold dear.

FOOD☠ALLERGIES

FOOD ☠ ALLERGIES

For me personally, as far as food allergies go… just raising awareness of the seriousness and validity of serious food allergies is as important as research for a cure.  People need to realize that it’s a growing concern, and it will need to be addressed more and more in schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and homes everywhere.

I’m looking forward to the event & meeting other like-minded food-allergy Yinzers.  Thanks for reading, considering, & possibly donating!

As an added bonus, Erin (a.k.a. Ernie of Ernie and the Berts) has pledged to provide some special-edition Ernie and the Berts T-shirts to the first 10 people who donate $50 or more, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.  They’ll be the new design, but a different limited orange deathfish color run.

Just email Erin at ernie@ernieandtheberts.com to tell him you donated & are interested in a T-shirt.