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Restaurants

Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Yonge St.)

Posted by Guest Contributor / Reviewed on November 28, 2012 / review policy

five guys yonge torontoFive Guys Burgers and Fries has been opening locations on the outskirts of Toronto over the past year but finally took the wrapping off of its first downtown location near Yonge and Dundas earlier this month.

five guys burger fries yonge torontoAs far as I'm concerned, you can't really go wrong with a place that plays both Journey and Van Morrison, and luckily for me, the ambience is not the only thing that delivers at the latest Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Upon entering, I'm slammed with the glaring red and white d├ęcor. For those who haven't had the pleasure, Five Guys is reminiscent of a 1950s takeout hotspot with a 1970s attitude.

five guys burger fries yonge torontoWe promptly order two cheeseburgers and one little cheeseburger at $5.99. Buyer beware that the regular cheeseburger is a mammoth-sized two-patties-with-everything, with two gooey slices of cheese snuck in between the meat. It's kind of huge, and at $7.69, well worth it. We're told by our server that a large fries is enough for four people so we order a regular ($4.99) and a Coke. After we place our order we move on our merry way down the line to pick up our food.

Five Guys is teeming with customers and, as one of my friends mentions, full of jovial cooks and servers. The atmosphere reads "we don't really care if you like what we've done with the place, but we're happy to be here."

five guys burger fries yonge torontoAfter a short wait the burgers arrive and are really, really good. Five guys boasts no-filler meat and locally sourced potatoes, and while my eat-local heart appreciates the effort, it doesn't mean much if their fries suck. I'll spare you the suspense: they don't. They are crispy enough to hold up to both ketchup and malt vinegar.

five guys burger fries yonge torontoThe cheeseburger is gigantic, succulent and juicy, and putting the cheese between the patties makes it only more so. I can't fit all the layers in my mouth at one go, so it takes me a few bites to really get a sense of everything at once. And as a self-professed cheeseburger connoisseur, I have to say as far as burger-to-bun ratios go, the "regular" cheeseburger has got it made.

five guys burger fries yonge torontoAnd, as if the great cheeseburgers, free toppings, no-nonsense atmosphere, and the star-studded selection of tunes weren't enough, there are peanuts. Shovel them into a little paper boat and bon appetit.

five guys burger fries yonge torontoWriting by Rehaana Manek

Discussion

66 Comments

steve / November 28, 2012 at 08:35 am
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B- the buns are mediocre at best. too many fries, too loud.
EricM replying to a comment from steve / November 28, 2012 at 08:51 am
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To many fries?! lol Impossible. Looking forward to trying the place out.
iSkyscraper / November 28, 2012 at 08:55 am
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For a little context, keep in mind that Five Guys in Toronto is charging you about 20% higher prices than Five Guys in Manhattan. Ouch.

Also, Canadians are not all that aware of In-n-Out Burger unless they have spent a lot of time in California or Las Vegas, but Five Guys is essentially an unlicensed knock off of that iconic chain, right down to the decor. Because In-n-Out was privately owned and not a franchise, there was no way to get them to expand to the East Coast despite the growing popularity of their concept. Five Guys was started in Washington DC to fill the void (with much higher prices though) and now has 1000+ locations. What I'm getting at is that if you like Five Guys, you will REALLY like In-n-Out the next time you visit the southwestern US.
hop / November 28, 2012 at 09:02 am
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Really great burgers and fries (don't bother with the cajun ones though, they're one note and not really spicy, just makes the fries bitter tasting). They pride themselves on cooking their burgers well-done, which normally is a burger no-no, but somehow the patties are still really juicy. I also appreciate having fresh jalapeno peppers as a topping as opposed to the pickled ones. If you like things hot, they add a perfect little bite of heat, but not too much to detract from the burger. I've tried other Five Guys locations and they don't compare to the one here at Yonge and Dundas for some reason. And if there's no free tables and you need a place to eat, there's always seating at 10 Dundas East.
Rafa / November 28, 2012 at 09:04 am
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Best described as:

Too busy.
Too salty.
Too expensive.

The burger is alright though. The fries have too many spices (including salt) on them...it's overwhelming.

alan / November 28, 2012 at 09:07 am
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how can you have too many fries ?
Chris P / November 28, 2012 at 09:16 am
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While they are descent burgers in the dirty burger sense, they are not worth the price or the line up that you experience at lunch or during busier hours. I really don't get the appeal of this chain. For the price, I do feel that Big Smoke Burger is better. But hey, they sure do make some serious business.
Albert / November 28, 2012 at 09:17 am
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Meh...

I'd rather have a Shake Shack in Toronto
SoCalGal replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / November 28, 2012 at 09:20 am
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Hear, hear, Iskycraper! I'm from Southern California and while Five Guys does try, it is nothing like the real thing: In-N-Out. I also agree with steve in that Five Guys' buns are poor and they give you way too many greasy fries. And the price? No thank you. One try of Five Guys and I'm done. I'll wait for another trip to So Cal (or Texas, they've expanded there) for In-N-Out or just go to Burger's Priest, which is the best burger in Toronto, hands down!
the lemur replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / November 28, 2012 at 09:21 am
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Funny you should mention In-N-Out - I walked over to Five Guys thinking 'Hmm, maybe I'll try those animal fries I've heard about', then realizing that was In-N-Out and that Five Guys' fries were pretty ordinary.

And yes, it's possible to have too many fries. If they're unremarkable, it gets boring eating them and what's the point of enough fries to serve 4 people in a one-person combo?
Steven / November 28, 2012 at 09:30 am
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Attention teachers: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT take your students to eat there. My God... they serve peanuts!!!

You know how sensitive students are to peanuts in school, imagine how they will react at Five Guys! No, not convulsing on the floor but chomping down on those yummy burgers and fries - lots of fries. No political correctness there. Guarantee their peanut allergies will disappear too.
bill / November 28, 2012 at 09:35 am
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These burgers are the real deal. 9+. 10 times for satisfying than Burgers Priest. And the fries are outstanding. And what kind of wanker could possibly complain about getting "too many" fries?!?
Picard102 / November 28, 2012 at 09:36 am
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Tried it for the first time yesterday and was pretty disappointed.

Fries are overcooked and tasteless
Hamburger meat was bland
Bun was probably the worst fast food bun I've ever had
Cheese was that processed kind
Terribly expensive for the poor quality

Walk a block south and just go to Smokes in the Eaton Centre.
Brandon / November 28, 2012 at 09:36 am
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Awesome burgers/fries, but you're going to pay about $15 with a drink, which is about double what I paid in Buffalo.
Todd / November 28, 2012 at 09:40 am
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Meat was kind of bland, buns were cold and hard... I liked the fries, but there are far too many of them in an order. If you're super hungry, that's not a bad thing... but some of us hate throwing away food we pay for.

I probably wouldn't be back. It has nothing on In N Out (I'm not seeing how it's a clone... burgers are much larger, fries are different, bun is different, more choice of toppings... a 60s diner aesthetic doesn't make it a clone... if anything, Shake Shack is closer to an In N Out clone).
Aydin / November 28, 2012 at 09:46 am
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Can't speak to this location - tried the new Laird location 3 times, though. BEST chain burger I've ever had. Far better than the local "gourmet" burger joints, which focus on serving you uncomfortably large patties, which are often overcooked and dried out. I much prefer Five Guys's two smaller, more moist and flavourful patties.

Tip, get it "all the way", hold the mushrooms, and DEFINITELY add green peppers - they all extra crunch. And yes, one order of regular fries is enough for two people.
And the grilled cheese is surprisingly good, especially when you add grilled mushrooms and onions, and ask for a side of BBQ sauce!
Todd / November 28, 2012 at 09:50 am
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Forgot to mention... they didn't melt the cheese on the burger and some cold, semi-congealed cheese came off the burger in one chunk. The meat/bun ratio is waaaaaaaay off and they don't seem to add the cheese when the meat is cooking, which would fuse the cheese into the grooves and cracks in the meat.

I bet quality control and consistency is a big issue here.
brendan replying to a comment from steve / November 28, 2012 at 09:57 am
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How the hell is too many fries a problem? And besides the fact I don't understand how I ended up paying $16 for my meal, the food was good. I'd go again and just get a burger.
Hman / November 28, 2012 at 10:28 am
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Disgusting burgers, fried on a griddle....gross.
Todd Toronto / November 28, 2012 at 10:30 am
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Wonder why Harvey's didn't retool its burger in anticipation of Five Guys arrival.

Seems like they would be well-positioned to launch a burger similar to the Five Guys/Shake Shack/Steak 'n' Shake/In 'n' Our style.
Todd Toronto replying to a comment from Todd Toronto / November 28, 2012 at 10:30 am
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Our = Out
Bobo replying to a comment from bill / November 28, 2012 at 10:46 am
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Agreed! Much better than Burger Priest for a smashed style burger, and you don't have to deal with the 'trendy place' crowd that always lines up there.
the lemur replying to a comment from Steven / November 28, 2012 at 10:53 am
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They cook their fries in peanut oil, FYI.

Actual peanut/nut allergies are serious and real, as are other genuine food allergies. Have you ever witnessed an anaphylactic reaction?
poops / November 28, 2012 at 11:07 am
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The beef patties are completely flavourless. I was not impressed.
Nixon / November 28, 2012 at 11:12 am
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Those pics do not look appetizing at all. And In-N-Out burgers are TERRIBLE.
Rider / November 28, 2012 at 11:24 am
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Ugh, they use processed cheese? Is there any respite from this crap? I want a burger with real cheese, dammit. Even Wendys had one for a while (maybe still does?)
Jose / November 28, 2012 at 11:29 am
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We need more Denny's.

We need a dope Philly Cheese Steak spot. (Not impressed with "So I Went to Philly" on Yonge & College).

We need a place like Katz Deli or Schwartz. (not a fan of Kirplanski's on College)

We need Whatta Burger (Texas Chain)

We need In n Out, and not an overpriced knock off such as Five Guys

And, we need Church's Fried Chicken back, or a Rosco's Chicken n Waffles.

Get it done Rob Ford...I mean...wait...?
JB / November 28, 2012 at 11:59 am
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That is on seriously dry looking burger. Why would anyone want to eat that when you can have Burger Priest, Stockyards or Holy Chuck?!?!?
v79 / November 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm
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If it wasn't for the toppings, the burgers would be completely devoid of any taste/flavour. It's a decent meal, but nowhere near worth the price. As for the fries, they were good, but nothing to write home about. Since they're using fresh pressed/cut potatoes, their taste and texture will depend on the amount of sugar and starch in each individual tater, so there will be no consistency.
Nitwit / November 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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I love the reviews of Guest Contributor.
JT / November 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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Only in Toronto do you find people complaining about "too many fries". Then again, being an ex pat, having too much of something doesn't really register in my homeland.

Apparently, the Canadian stores use a different type of cheese than the American ones. I've been told it makes a difference. Either way, I think this is a good burger and reminds me of home. Now if only I could get a cherry coke or a sweet tea in this town and I'd be set.
Todd replying to a comment from JT / November 28, 2012 at 01:12 pm
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What's wrong about not wanting to waste food especially when you pay so much for it?
HarryBurgers replying to a comment from steve / November 28, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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Too Loud? What do you expect from a burger joint at Yonge and Dundas?
ryan / November 28, 2012 at 01:27 pm
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Worst burger place I've been to in Toronto. Subpar vegetables, gross fountain drinks, high prices, pathetic excuse for cheese, and a "meat" patty that has been FRIED. Why is this place so popular? It's disgusting. Oh and the fries had so much salt on them I could hardly taste the potatoe.
Tony / November 28, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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I haven't tried this one yet, but honestly.. That burger in the picture looks HORRIBLE! Add some people are saying $15 for a combo?! I'm so sick and tired of these American chains gracing us with their presence by jacking up their prices for the Canadian market.

STOP MAKING THESE AMERICAN ASSHOLES RICH! Dum dums.
Skye replying to a comment from the lemur / November 28, 2012 at 02:11 pm
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Don't be silly! Peanut allergies and obese children are just a side effect of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD! /sarcasm/
Sunny replying to a comment from Jose / November 28, 2012 at 03:36 pm
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There's a Church's Chicken at St Clair & Dufferin. Unless it closed down?
Me / November 28, 2012 at 03:56 pm
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I thought BlogTO spent all their time whining about how much they HATE chains?

Well, all the more reason to try this one I suppose.
Angela replying to a comment from steve / November 28, 2012 at 04:10 pm
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You should stay home & eat your oatmeal with the TV on mute. Bore.
Mikey / November 28, 2012 at 04:12 pm
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One tasty burger. Up there with the priest
Joey replying to a comment from Todd / November 28, 2012 at 04:14 pm
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There's nothing wrong with it at all. People just want to flaunt that they are privileged enough to be able to waste overpriced food.
Angela replying to a comment from steve / November 28, 2012 at 04:15 pm
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Just ate at one in Rochester, 2 burgers, 2 fries, 2 beverages, with choices of Coke Zero that you NEVER see in Canada, plus my beloved Mr. Pibb (diet) all for under $20!!! That is why we are cross-border enthusiasts. Sorry, but it is always like this in Canada.
Me replying to a comment from Angela / November 28, 2012 at 04:24 pm
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So. Move if you don't like it here.
Jose replying to a comment from Sunny / November 28, 2012 at 04:26 pm
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Didn't know that. I will have to find out. Would be good if it were still open.
yt replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / November 28, 2012 at 06:09 pm
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i don't think they are similar. the food is much different. in-n-out has more in common with mcdonalds than five guys, imo.
charalique / November 28, 2012 at 07:36 pm
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i frequent the five guys up on eglinton and warden and the new location up on laird.

i've never been to the downtown location, but i LOVE their cajun fries at the other ones!

i do agree about the burgers though....completely tasteless.

my favourite combo = five guys fries + south st. cheese burger (and they use REAL cheese :D)

yumm!
Jim replying to a comment from Steven / November 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm
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Do they serve the fries in peanut oil as well at this location?
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from yt / November 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm
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In'n'Out is like McDonalds only if you have a DeLorean and 1.8 Gigawatts (i.e. can travel back to 1955).

What I'm getting at is that In'n'Out didn't necessarily invent, but they certainly popularized, the retro-burger fast-food concept, i.e.:

- limited menu of just burgers and fries. No chicken nuggets, no snack wraps, no cookies, no breakfast.
- limited drinks menu. No gourmet coffee or smoothies.
- fries fresh-cut on site, not frozen
- retro decor of red and white tiles, simple menu signage.

Others have been replicating this concept successfully - most notably Shake Shack - but In'n'Out gets the original credit in my mind, and since their rapid franchising Five Guys has been their most copycat successor. Granted, the burgers are a bit different in size and taste, but in terms of the franchise concept, can you tell which one of these images is In'n'Out and which is Five Guys?

http://snurl.com/25qdt98
http://tinyurl.com/cmwq9wo


Happy eating.
Brad / November 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm
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I like them, silly that they charge Canadians more just because they can though
Steve / November 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm
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Why-oh-why do they have to use processed cheese?
NO NO replying to a comment from the lemur / November 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm
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Actually, peanut oil contains no allergens. Little known fact, but true nonetheless...

http://www.peanut-institute.org/eating-well/allergy/peanut-oil-no-allergens.asp
Ash replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / November 29, 2012 at 11:19 am
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If only it actually WAS as good as In-N-Out--!
Ash replying to a comment from Jose / November 29, 2012 at 11:24 am
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It is still open. :)
Roberto / November 29, 2012 at 01:56 pm
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I tell you, Torontonians arguing about burgers on the internet never gets old!

Oh wait...

Squint replying to a comment from Todd / November 29, 2012 at 04:17 pm
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Don't throw away your food. Just walk a block in any direction from there and I'm sure you can find a homeless person that would probably be glad to have your left over fries.

I'm interested in trying the burgers, but it does seem quite overpriced. I think I'll let the craziness die down a bit before trying it out, I hear there's always a line up. Till then there's plenty of other very good burger places in Toronto to have.
Todd replying to a comment from Squint / November 30, 2012 at 11:01 am
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In theory, yes. From my experiences, the homeless hate leftover food and just ask for money too. Access to food isn't a problem for the homeless.
Chris replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / November 30, 2012 at 03:02 pm
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I agree In & Out is the shiznet... lol also when im in el passo I eat whatabuger ....lol bu tin and out is sooo good.
CB / December 1, 2012 at 03:14 pm
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I too wonder why they don't put the cheese on the burger while it's cooking. The burger was good, though. I didn't try the fries. One major fail is the fact that they make all orders to go whether they are to go or not, meaning tons of paper bag waste. I had to beg them not to put it in a bag, as I was only going to be walking to a table ten feet away to eat.
Mic / December 5, 2012 at 04:41 am
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LOVED this spot....
Delicious burgers and love the cajun fries. In my opinion, better than Burgers priest.
It's now my "go-to" spot.
PinkLucy replying to a comment from NO NO / December 5, 2012 at 03:46 pm
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SOME peanut oil contains no allergens. Not all. If you have a life-threatening peanut allergy, it's not something you're going to take a chance on.
Ed / December 9, 2012 at 07:13 pm
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I was disappointed. The meat had no flavour.
Alex replying to a comment from Me / January 19, 2013 at 08:02 am
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Agreed! And she can enjoy the $$$ healthcare she'll need from ingesting all that sludgy chemical coke zero and fatty patties.
Cheryl / April 21, 2013 at 01:59 pm
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Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how
could we communicate?
Gene Kumar / September 23, 2013 at 05:54 pm
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While Five Guys is good, it does'nt even come close to Fresh Burger in Richmond Hill. Also, for a lesser price, I can go to Burger's Priest.
Gene Kumar replying to a comment from Ash / September 23, 2013 at 06:04 pm
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Try Fresh Burger. It's an In-n-out clone.
Andy / May 16, 2014 at 05:58 pm
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Three words: terrible, ugly, expensive

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