Sunday, March 13, 2011

EMPS: Cell Phones and Potato Bags

For this week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, Carly wants to see what the cameras on our cell phones can do. As it happens, I was at a new burger joint recently without my "real" camera, so I took a bunch of pictures with my Samsung/Verizon phone. Here are the best of them:

The name of the chain is 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. Or something like that. Like Whataburger and In-N-Out Burger, they have a red and white retro look to the decor and signage. Unlike the other chains, however, this extends to the display of red and white bags of potatoes. This reinforces the fact that the fries are hand cut and made fresh from whole potatoes. (In-N-Out makes theirs from actual fresh potatoes as well.)

Another unusual thing they do with their potatoes is use them for crowd control. The line from the cash register, which that night went all the way back to the main entrance at the other end of the room, is herded past a barrier of stacked potato bags. The crowd thus becomes a captive audience for a wall full of glowing food reviews and testimonials from around the country.

When some new food chain hits Tucson, large numbers of Tucsonans show up to check it out. About ten years ago, when Krispy Kreme first opened here, people drove across town and stood in line for twenty minutes or more for the dubious privilege of eating a fresh glazed doughnut. About four years ago, In-N-Out Burger arrived, and the local press reported a 90-minute wait for their wares. The In-N-Out people hired a large staff to process as many people as possible as efficiently as possible, and did so very well. Even so, it was quite a while before one could get one of their burgers in 10 minutes instead of half an hour or more. Now it's 5 Guys turn. At this newest location, the wait was about half an hour, I think.

So was it worth it? Well, I wouldn't want to wait that long for a burger every night, but yes, it was good. The basic cost is a bit higher than at most places, but for that you can add as many toppings as you like in any combination you want. I got mine with cheese, ketchup, mushrooms, lettuce and tomato. John's had jalapeños and I forget what else. Needless to say, however. John did not join me in line for all this. John does not like lines. At all.

When I pulled these pictures off my phone tonight, I discovered that the little card in it is well on its way to being corrupted. I'm lucky these photos survived long enough to be posted. All, in all, though, I think my cell phone did okay that night.



Scrabblequeen said...

Great pics for a camera phone, to be sure! I'm laughing, because we have the same phenomenon here...Sonic opening took months to get under control, In-N-Out...still not reasonable...after a year +.

Jama said...

It's the same here Karen, with any new restaurant open, sure to have long queue of people want to try the food. It's easy to eat out here, as we have abundance of restaurants, food courts, hawker centers - with all kind of food from local to international.
My entry is on food too and a picture of my darling niece.

Carly said...

Hi Karen :)

CUTE! I love taking photos in restaurants... and using a camera phone is the perfect discreet way to do it! Although, when I use my regular camera I seem to get better service! LOL :) Love the colors and the photos really tell the story! :)