Monthly Archives: January 2012

Five Guys

Since I’m on the topic of the East Coast, I thought this would be a good time for a post about Five Guys.  Though Five Fuys is now a burger franchise all over the world, it started out as a little, family-run burger joint in Arlington, VA.  My first experience with these delicious burgers was during my senior year of college.  Somehow, I had made it almost all the way through my entire college career before I had even heard of the place.  Then, one lucky day, one of my friends decided that we were having burgers for dinner.  Words like “handmade patties” and “just like in-n-out” were thrown about, and even though I was extremely skeptical, I went with it.

Now, I am a Southern California girl through and through, and you just don’t compare any fast food burger to In-N-Out.  Period.  And this was no Double Double.  But, Five Guys makes burgers that could fit the description of an East Coast In-N-Out.  Plus, they have toppings (pictured is lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, and grilled mushrooms).  These toppings range from the classic ketchup, onions, lettuce, etc, to the more exotic A1 sauce and green peppers.  Furthermore, and this is what totally sold me on Five Guys, they have really good fries.  As much as I love In-N-Out, I just really don’t like their fries.  And not only are the Five Guys fries amazing, but they also have cajun fries, which are pretty much to die for.

I must say that I was slightly devastated to move back to Los Angeles and realize that my Five Guys days were over.  But then…I discovered that the closest Ikea happens to share an address with the closest Five Guys.  And since I was moving and obviously needed an Ikea trip, what better time to hit up Five Guys?!  The best part was the first bite…until I took another…and another.

So who’s heading out to Carson with me for another Five Guys trip?

Fred’s Shanty Fish Sandwich

I semi-recently took a trip to New York to see my brother and my college friends.  Now for those of you who have been following along, you will have noticed that I frequent the East Coast, and that I continue my quest for awesome sandwiches on these little vacations.  While I did have some great sandwiches on this trip, you’ll have to wait for future blog posts.  This post is about a little seafood shack in Connecticut and a fish sandwich that signified the change of the seasons, the beginning and end of the school year, and the promise of fun with great friends.

Though there are two main seafood shacks in New London that have similar traditional menus, Fred’s Shanty is the place you go when you want a fish sandwich.  Simple, cheap, and fresh, there really isn’t much that’s better on a crisp fall day that’s reminiscent of summer.

In an earlier post, I touched on the idea of the connection between food and memory.  In the same way that a smell or sound can take you back to a previous moment in your life, food can also be associated with memory.  Just how I have many good feelings and memories associated with sea urchin, the Fred’s Shanty fish sandwich evokes visions of countless warm fall and spring college days spent outside – on the green, in the arboretum, at the beach – accented by trips to a small seafood shack on the Thames River.  And of course, these memories are attached to this sandwich not just because the consumption is recurring, but because of the strength of the emotions that the memories call up.  Yes, the fish sandwich from Fred’s Shanty is good, but it doesn’t stand out in a crowd of fish sandwiches.  In fact, the main reason to go to Fred’s Shanty instead of Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock (the other sea food shack in New London) is because it’s cheaper, not  because the food is better.  And though I have similar, and definitely more Lobster Dock memories, they involve a sandwich of a different sort.  It is this sandwich, the simple yet delicious fish sandwich, that carries ties to the lush life of college.