Weekly Dining Round-up

2009 August 29
by Chuck Shotton

This week’s round-up starts with a visit to FedEx Field, where we sampled the culinary arts of the Redskins’ snack bars. This sublime dining experience started with an appetizer of nachos and cheese. Prepared counter-side, the cheese is expertly squeezed from a large foil pouch while you watch, ensuring its optimum freshness. While we would have preferred one of the little cups to hold the usual jalapeño pepper slices, no one was complaining about a double helping of the luscious cheese food product. The chips were as round as I have ever seen, and were slightly crunchy and lightly salted. Definitely a nice combination with the cheese.

Of course, no visit to Landover would be complete without sampling something deep-fat fried, so our selected entree was the chicken tenders and fries basket. The tenders actually lived up to their name, and were moist and juicy with a crispy batter that was slightly spicy. The black pepper of the batter was nicely matched by a dollop of Heinz Ketchup which was precisely dispensed by the large ketchup pumps nearby. The fries were reminiscent of those at Five Guys (see the review below), and clearly were taking advantage of SysCo’s best battered fry recipe.

We washed it all down with two bottles of vintage 2009 Dasani water. Appetizer and dinner with beverages came in at just over the Redskin’s final score (24-27) at $25.

All joking aside, lunch earlier this week at Five Guys in Chantilly was actually quite enjoyable in comparison to the snack bar. For those who aren’t yet initiated into the cult of Five Guys, they make what are arguably the best hamburgers and fries on the planet. I chose the cheeseburger with the classic lettuce/tomato/mayo toppings and a Coke. Everything is made to order and stuffed in a brown paper sack, with the fries dumped in on top.

Five Guys makes double patty burgers by default, so if you’re not feeling too hungry, you should make sure to order the “Little” version instead. The meat is cooked medium well unless you ask for something different, and the burger is juicy. So don’t skip on the napkins! But the real secret of Five Guys is the fries. These are the classic, square-cut, deep-fried lovelies that every burger joint on the planet used to serve before some marketing person got the brilliant idea that we wanted our fries dunked in batter before cooking. A small order of fries is enough for 2, but I confess to finishing most of mine myself.

If you’re in that part of town and feel the need for an awesome burger, Five Guys will definitely fix you up. They’re located at 14421 Chantilly Crossing Lane, just southwest of the Rt. 50/28 intersection at the end of the strip mall. A burger, fries, and drink will set you back about $10, 1500 calories, and 20 minutes of guilty dining pleasure.

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