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The next stop on our grand food adventure is the Five Guys in Lely. First off, I must give credit where credit is due. This company makes journalists feel right at home, with newspapers plastered all over the wall and headlines on the drinking cups. Mind you, the headlines are all about Five Guys.

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Apparently, these are the best burgers in Orlando and many cities, according to the press accounts on the wall.

Has it really happened? Have I finally found the best burgers?! No, I have not. C’mon Will. You just want to be critical. Well, I am a critic. But that’s not it. The burgers are good. Very good. But I’ve had better. Right here in Southwest Florida. If this is Orlando’s best burger, then we here in Naples/Marco Island are truly blessed.

On the menu they have the standard hamburgers, cheeseburgers, etc., and they have little burgers. Now if you are imaging that the little burgers are like White Castle, you’d be wrong. You see, the little burgers are full-grown hamburgers. So, what are the hamburgers? Well, they’re doubles.

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It’s brilliant really. Many people kick themselves for having a hamburger. But if you have a little hamburger, well that’s a different story. And if you’re kicking yourself for having a regular size burger, then ordering the double is over-the-top embarrassing. But not here. You can order the cheeseburger, get a whopper of a sandwich (no pun intended) and be all aghast that it’s so big.

My eating companion and I ordered a little bacon cheeseburger all the way, and a regular bacon cheeseburger, all the way; as well as a bacon cheese hot dog and a bag of fries. Then we halved everything. And let me tell you, one order of fries is plenty for two people.

Made with fresh ground beef, the burgers are a step above fast food and the buns are the softest I’ve ever had from a burger joint. All the way comes with the expected lettuce, tomato and onions, as well as a symphony of sauces and grilled mushrooms, which give the burger a unique twist.

Perhaps I can give the award of best hotdog in Southwest Florida to Five Guys. A large wiener is sliced down the center and grilled to goodness with cheese, bacon, onions, relish and mustard.

I like McDonalds fries better than Five Guys. But to be fair, McDonalds has awesome fries. Also, I was disappointed because I was told these fries are cooked in peanut oil, which always makes for a good fry. But these fries were just OK. Maybe the restaurant was having a bad Fry-day.

And I would be so wrong not to mention the self-serve peanuts you can partake in while you wait; or those amazing self-serve Coke machines that allow you to blend your own flavors: Vanilla Dr. Pepper anyone?

Five Guys may not have the best burger; but it’s an awesome one. And with other burger joints competing to have the biggest burger, it’s nice to see Five Guys using a more sophisticated form of food psychology.

More: Looking for a place to eat on Marco Island?

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Five Guys

  • 7729 Collier Blvd #501, Naples
  • 239-732-9502
  • fiveguys.com
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