pizza and burgers

On Saturday, we tried not one, but two new (to us) places. For lunch we stopped by Pie-ology and then ended up having dinner at 5 Guys.

When I first heard the name, Pie-ology, I thought it would be all about cherry and lemon meringue. Turns out it is pizza pie. Their twist on things is that they assemble their pizzas along the lines of Chipotle.

You can put just about anything you want on your pizza. First they use a machine to roll out your dough, and then lightly brush it with olive oil. You can pick from about half a dozen combinations they have listed and either add or omit at will, or just start from scratch.

They then pop your pizza into their giant and very hot oven, and within about 10 minutes, you have your pie. I tried the BBQ chicken pizza without the Gorgonzola. I added ricotta instead. B tried their pesto pizza, which he also added ricotta too. The price is the same no matter how many toppings you add (or slightly less for just cheese).

We both liked it, and would go back. The space looked like it used to be a mechanic shop of some sort. It is very open and has one giant common table, along with a few tables that have couches. There are also several 2-top  and a couple of 4-top tables. There are clever signs all about, helping people navigate their system.

For dinner, we ended up over at Tustin’s District, which recently opened a 5 Guys where the Johnny Rocket’s was previously. We had heard about 5 Guys, and almost went to one while we were in Oregon. There is much debate over whether they are better than SoCal’s In ‘N Out, which has an almost cult-like following and the not so secret, secret menu.

If you haven’t been to 5 Guys, basically you go up to the counter and can order either a little burger or a big burger. You can get either with cheese or bacon or both, if you like. Then you can pretty much add any other topping for no charge. What they call “all the way” has mayo, lettuce, pickles, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, and mustard. There was another list that you can add from, but I didn’t add any. The list included things like BBQ sauce, A-1, relish, and jalapeno peppers.

One thing we both liked is that you can get your burger with grilled mushrooms. I liked that you could get a little burger and shave a couple hundred calories off your meal. [I really believe that most people who crave a burger really are craving the toppings.] And yes, I realize that at In ‘N Out, you can just get a cheeseburger, but it hard to resist saying “double-double”.

There is also much talk about 5 Guys fries. Perhaps because we like our fries well done, we both preferred the In ‘N Out fries, although these were pretty good. We learned that you really need to let them cool, or they taste a bit underdone. The regular fries is more than plenty for two people.

The other plus to 5 Guys is that they did have a vegetarian option (oh and hot dogs too). Of course, at In ‘N Out there is the grilled cheese off the secret menu. Oh, and they have free roasted peanuts with the shells on, if you like, while you wait the 6 minutes for your burger to cook.

We then went to Whole Foods and got some fish.

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