In-N-Out (Poway) and Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Naval Base San Diego)

Yes, the In-N-Out in Poway is now open! Actually, it’s been open for a little while. We’ve been here a few times since the grand opening. Here’s a shot of the building from the drive-thru lane.

We’re still not sure why but they still have people standing outside taking orders during off-peak hours, every single time we’ve been there. We get the same thing each time, double double with everything, fries and milk shakes. Vanilla for me, chocolate for the Mister. Not paleo diet but it’s for when those times he takes a little break.

We stopped by the In-N-Out on Mira Mesa before going to the one in Poway and I swear that the Poway double doubles tasted different. At least the first dd that at the Poway location. It was the sauce I think. The Mister thought it was a little different too but he couldn’t put his finger on what either. I think I’ll have to do a side by side comparison of the two locations in the future.

One of the burgers seemed to have a lot more cheese than the other one only because of how all the cheese is oozing out on one end. A snippet shot of regular fries in the picture below. Boy these fries really suck once they are cold. What we do now is eat the fries while driving home. (One for Mister, one for me. One for Mister and one, two for me…). The fries are okay but I can take it or leave quite frankly.

We like In-N-Out double doubles. I like the taste of the hamburger with its Thousand Island Dressing-sque sauce. The Mister wants to try a 4×2 but not sure if he can eat it all. We barely get through a whole dd by ourselves. But I’d like to see him try. Maybe if he got it sans buns.

In-N-Out (Poway and multi locations throughout San Diego)
12890 Gregg Court
Poway, CA 92064
1-800-786-1000
Sunday – Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m

This past weekend, we were down at 32nd Street Navy Exchange and after a bit of shopping, I was starting to get really hungry. So the Mister suggested checking out the food court for some lunch. And what did we see when we walked in? Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Awesome! Since this was a food court, there didn’t seem to be the free peanuts that some other locations have.

Five Guys is often compared to In-N-Out. The Mister has had Five Guys on numerous occassions, back East and on the Coronado Naval Base. I’ve asked him how the two compared and he just shrugs and says, their hamburgers! So this was a good opportunity to compare the two since we just had In-N-Out a week before.

We both decided on the Bacon Cheeseburger. I wanted mine “All The Way” (insert tease and blue balls joke here). All the way gives you Mayo, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Ketchup, and Mustard. The Mister got the same thing. Here’s what mine looked like when I opened the foil wrapper. At first glance, I thought, “The cheese isn’t melted and the bun looks a little soggy.”

Here’s a better shot from the other side and after I restacked the bun. See the grilled onions? Yum!

So how was it compared to the double double? The patties seem a little smaller than the dds and they were smaller than the buns. I hate when the patties are smaller than the buns since I always seem to be left with nothing but bun and tomato sliver as the last two bites. I love the various topping selections to fit my mood. I like the In-N-Out buns better. But  we both felt the overall flavor of Five Guys was more our taste. I love that the patties had a bit of char to them around the edges. If I could get grilled onions and mushrooms on a double double, then I would have a really hard time choosing then. But as is, if both were in front of me, I would have to go wtih Five Guys.

I just realized I forgot to take a picture of the cajun fries we got. We got a large to share but in hindsight, we should have ordered the regular since we didn’t finish it all. I liked Five Guys fries better, taste and texture. Loved the cajun seasoning but then I haven’t met a cajun fry that I didn’t like. Sodas had free refill (rock on). For those who can’t get onto military bases, don’t fret. There are locations in Liberty Station, Hillcrest and Pacific Beach.

As we were waiting for our burgers, I noticed something I’ve never seen before, an IHOP Express! There were some folks sitting at the table next to us chowing down on pancakes. I like the concept. As far as I can tell, this is the only IHOP Express in San Diego so far. Gotta keep our military men and women fed for all the hard work they do!

 
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10 Comments

  1. A visit to the Mira Mesa In-N-Out before going to the Poway one? Wow!

    I tried Five Guys (Liberty Station) a couple of weeks ago, then had In-N-Out a couple of days later. I like the burger at In-N-Out much better, and you’re right about their fries. While I like having mushrooms on the burger included, it wasn’t enough to make me a Five Guys fan. Their fries are delicious (We had the regular ones, small).

    In-N-Out will do grilled onions on your burger if you ask.

    • Hi Sandy! I’ve heard from others who’ve tried Five Guys at the Liberty Station and they said the burgers there were so-so. The Mister said the burgers tasted a bit different between the Coronado location and the one we tried together. So maybe it varies a bit from location to location, which is too bad. I think I’m going to have to try the one at Liberty Station, you know for the sake of research and all. ;-)

      You’re right, I completely forgot that In-N-Out will grill the onions. I’ll ask for the grilled onions next time we’re at In-N-Out.

  2. I still haven’t gotten to the Poway In-n-Out! You have to order the fries well-done so they come out a little crispier. And, I learned that if you order the onions “diner style”, you get whole onion rings grilled, instead of the chopped grilled. But, I always order it animal style (grilled in mustard), anyway.

    I’ve always wanted to do an In-n-Out/Five Guys comparison, but I’m afraid the Californian in me would just be biased towards In-n-Out.

  3. I’ve been trying to decide whether I like In-n-out better or Five Guys. Recently I’ve been going to Five Guys a lot and I haven’t had in-n-out in a while, so I need to eat In-N-Out to compare again. One thing I’ve noticed about Five Guys is that it can be very inconsistent, depending on whose making your order. Sometimes they get my order right, sometimes it’s missing stuff. Whereas I think In-N-Out has always been pretty consistent. Btw, the peanuts are always in a weird spot. The one I went to in UTC, it was right next to the trash bin, so it looked like a pile of trash.

  4. That was a great post! I’ve also been wanting to try the UTC Five Guys. My friend and I were at Liberty Station the other week and we stepped inside Five Guys and both of us thought the place smelled really *strange*. Kind of agree w/ Kirbie’s comment about the ‘pile of trash’ …

    There’s definitely something comforting about walking into In N Out – it just smells REALLY good and homey…

    But after reading your post (and her’s) I will have to try it out.

    I use to despise the fries at INO but after learning awhile back about asking them to be prepared ‘well done’ – wow – makes a world of difference. You have to try it out.

    I noticed the new Poway INO – that’s the new one on the way to the Poway Costco right?

    Hope you have a wonderful long weekend !

    • Hi Faye! Yes, the new location in Poway is in the same mall area as Kohls, on the way to Costco. I will definitely have to ask for well done on the fries next time I’m there. It’s been over 2 decades since I’ve actually walked into an INO since I only do drive-thru now but I love the way it smells while I’m driving up with the windows down.

  5. Nice post CAB! After having Five Guys a couple of times…. only one word comes to mind… flaccid. I’ve been to Liberty Station location three times, and once in Chicago, and it might just be my bad luck…. but then again, I’m not one for a ton of stuff on my burger. They seem to always serve mushy mashed buns… so there you go flaccid, grey meat, and mushy buns…sounds like a bad porno movie! he-he-he…..

    • Hi Kirk! Yeah, those buns certainly wasn’t anything to boast about. hehe, bad porno, or a porno for the retirement homes. To be fair to In-N-Out, this was only one visit to Five Guys so I don’t have a more averaged rating. Unfortunately Five Guys isn’t close enough for me to have it more often to get a better comparison. But the last I heard they are still looking for a possible location in Poway. If that’s the case, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to a more in-depth comparison between the two.

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