I'm sure you've already had the "Buy Local" message beaten into your brains more times than you can stand. Just in case you have room in their for one more beating though, here I come with one...
You see, Vermont is lucky enough to have Al's French Fries call our state home. And Hubby and I happen to be lucky enough to have most of our in-town errands be just a quick drive away from the culinary bliss that is Al's. It's is not fancy, but it's good, it's cheap, the staff is always friendly, the place is spotlessly clean, and they've been open since the 1940's making the same great fries. They've been decorated in the same old-fashioned black, white, and red diner colors since the beginning, and play awesome music from the era when it first opened. The atmosphere can't be beat, and literally, The Husband, The Kid, and I can all eat there for less than $25.00 (total for the 3 of us), and come away with happy full bellies. This place has been an institution in the Burlington area for as long as I can remember (and I'm sure long before that as well), and up until recently, there was simply no one who could compete with them. And to be perfectly honest, I don't think anyone local would ever be rude enough to try. You just don't mess with something that the locals love as much as they love Al's.
then a couple months ago, a Five Guy's opened on the other side of town. Yesterday when we were in town, Hubby and I decided to try it out to see if it was worth all the hype. For those of you who aren't familiar with them, Five Guys Burgers and Fries is a franchise that was started in the Washington DC area in the late 1980's, and has been popping up locations all over the country, with a cult-like following ever since. They've made quite a reputation for themselves serving fresh-off-the-grill burgers with about a bazillion different combinations of toppings, and, yes, fries. It's quick, it's cheap, it's good, and decorated in old-fashioned red and white diner colors. Sensing a trend here?
Understandably so, the staff at Al's was a bit uneasy when Five Guys came to town. Well, fellas, I'm hear to tell you that Al's is safe and sound, in my opinion. While the burgers at Five Guys were a bit bigger than the ones at Al's and there was an option of getting spicy fries (which we did, and they were good), it cost us easily double the price, we had to listen to the staff scream out burger and dog quantities the whole time, and we both had horrific gas later that evening. I'm sure you're thinking that's TMI, but that's an accurate food review folks. The aftermath is an important thing to factor in. Am I right, or am I right?
So there you have it. Buy local...or purchase air freshener on the way home...
Photo sources: travelthewriteway.com and fiveguys.com
Thanks for stopping by,