We try new Five Guys restaurant in Barton Mills, near Mildenhall, with its second UK-drive through
When the opportunity came up to visit the first Five Guys restaurant in Suffolk, I immediately jumped at it.
The burger joint has made its new home at the former Pancake and Waffle Shack, off the A11 at Barton Mills, near Mildenhall.
It is only the restaurant’s second drive-through to open in the UK, the other being in Teeside, and it will create over 80 jobs for people in the area.
The new location is also the third in the UK to feature an extended breakfast menu, including bacon & egg sandwiches, where you can choose up to 15 toppings for free.
If you consider yourself a Five Guys fan, here’s a question for you - there are 166 Five Guys in the UK, but where and in what year did the American burger brand first open?
It was in London's Covent Garden in 2013. If you got that - well done, if not - well now you know.
When entering the new eatery, I was greeted by Addi Mohamed, head of operations at Five Guys Europe, and brand representative Yetzi Garcia.
Both of them were down-to-earth, very kind and helpful, and also came across really well, including when I asked them for any particular recommendations off the menu.
Talking about the menu, I had some tricky decisions to make. It was made quite a bit trickier discovering there are 250,000 possible burger order combinations, with up to 15 toppings available for free.
I made the decision to go for a bacon cheeseburger, with lettuce, grilled onions and ketchup. I’ll pretend I was considering opting for adding jalapeños as well, but that would be a blatant lie.
With my bacon cheeseburger, I ordered salted fries and an oreo-biscoff milkshake. Yes you read that right. You can mix the flavour of the milkshake with up to 10 free mix-ins if you want, which means 1,000 different shake mix-in combinations.
I also got an ‘unlimited freestyle’ drink (a soda) but I’ll come to that later…
The average wait time once you’ve ordered is seven minutes. While it is being prepared in front of you, workers don’t have timers when preparing the food and it is instead judged if it’s ready by the workers before it is served.
While you wait for your order, there are peanuts available to eat for free which I thought was a nice touch.
Mr Mohamed emphasised that the restaurant prides itself on the freshness of its products and gave his thoughts on its opening today.
“It’s only our second drive through in the UK and we are so excited to open at Barton Mills,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to being in this community and it’s amazing to see there’s already a great buzz in here.
“Hopefully we can take care of all the customers that come to the restaurant here in Barton Mills and we’re all just very excited to finally open now.”
After sitting down with my order, I wasn’t sure where to start so I eased myself in with the regular fries (£5.75), which are ‘boardwalk style’ fries, meaning they’re hand-cut on the site each day and cooked in 100% peanut oil.
I can confirm they’re very good. Very good indeed. For those of you looking for a comparison with the fries at McDonalds, I would say these Five Guys ones are marginally better.
However, they are more expensive, but you do get a bigger portion than the regular size at McDonalds, where there is of course one less than a two minute drive away at Fiveways Roundabout.
Moving onto my milkshake (£5.95), I was very uncertain about it. I’m a big Oreo fan and I’m a big Biscoff fan. I was worried combining the two would be a mistake.
I was proven wrong.
Although it took some time to grow on me, the combination of the two eventually won me over.
My bacon cheeseburger (£11.95), with the lettuce, grilled onions and ketchup, was honestly fantastic. It was cooked well, a nice mixture of ingredients and it tasted brilliant so it is certainly one I will return to in the future.
Now, potentially the highlight of my experience was the unlimited freestyle drink option - which cost £4.35. It is again a bit pricey, but you do get free refills, and in my opinion it’s absolutely worth it as you can mix as many combinations of this as you want.
After some serious consideration, I landed on something I had never tried before - Fanta Raspberry.
I felt like I had discovered some kind of treasure because it’s no exaggeration on my part to say it is one of the best drinks I’ve had. It was absolutely unreal and I would recommend this to anyone that hasn’t experienced it before.
I also had the added luxury of trying a strawberry and vanilla milkshake which was very nice, a Dr Pepper Strawberry which tasted excellent and finally…a salted caramel and bacon shake.
Some of you may have raised your eyebrow reading that last item. I had the same reaction.
All I will say is that it pleasantly surprised me - it’s up to you what you do with that information.
After finishing off my meal, I can confidently say it was a very enjoyable experience, the food and drinks were genuinely very good, and I will definitely be returning again.
Although the options on the menu are maybe slightly pricier than other fast food places, I would say because of the endless combinations you can try, it gives Five Guys that extra edge and it makes going to the restaurant quite fun and a bit more of an experience.