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Food Wars: Fatburger v. 5 Guys



Seeing as how I started my LA trip with the trendy sushi of Katsuya and a shared bottle of champagne at dinner in Malibu, it was only a matter of time before my wallet begged for a better balance.

Cue Fatburger, a California institution with a fast-food culture all its own.

Medium Fatburger meal

Medium Fatburger meal

I ordered a medium cheeseburger meal which came with fries and a soda. 

The burger was certainly better than your typical McDonald's Quarter Pounder, but the fries were average. 

The atmosphere inside the little location we stopped at was quaint. I can't remember the last time I saw a jukebox in a fast-food restaurant.

But I couldn't help but compare my meal to that of the one I had at Five Guys before my DC to LA flight

I'd had their wonderful, thick-cut fries before, however, it was the first time I'd ordered a burger. 

It was just as good as Fatburger, which means in a head-to-head competition, Five Guys wins on the merit of its fries.

Fatburger's social media efforts.

Fatburger's social media efforts.

And then something has to be said about Fatburger's totally un-PC approach toward marketing.

A sign next to the menu was a call to action – they need BFFs (Big Fat Friends). 

Fatburger can say they got their start in the 1950s all they want, but the reality of today is that the United States faces an epidemic of obesity, and their messaging rubbed me the wrong way.

What do you think — savvy marketing or sending the wrong message?

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:

Myrl Pluff

Friday 29th of October 2010

For some reason my browser doesn?t display this page correctly? Anyway, it was a really interesting article, keep up the good work and I will be back for more

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Friday 29th of October 2010

The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it'll do even better in those areas, but for now it's a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod's strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.


Wednesday 16th of June 2010

If a place has bad fries it sort of doesn't matter how good the burger is. They have to do both well so kudos to 5 Guys.


Friday 11th of June 2010

Hi Gloria - actually, I ran out of time before I could get to In 'n Out Burger, but I'll definitely be trying it next time I'm in LA!


Friday 11th of June 2010

Even though I live in L.A., I haven't been to Fatburger in a long time so I can't really speak on it. I was wondering if you managed to try In-n-Out while you were here? I hope you did. It's so delicious. I find that a lot of people compare In-n-Out with 5 Guys and In-n-Out always comes out on top, though I like 5 Guys too. The burgers and fries at the two places are quite different with the In-n-Out winning and the fries being a toss up...some people love In-n-Out fries and others hate them. They are just fresh cut and fried natural fries. I think the comparisons started because the red and white decor at 5 Guys looks almost exactly like In-n-Out, though In-n-Out has been around since 1948.

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