I’VE GOT BEEF WITH BURGERS
Idon’t know about you, but I love burgers. Except that now I hate them. Big time. I’ve eaten more than my fair share of the big-name brands, back when that was all you could find here and my metabolism was more forgiving. The ‘better burger’ movement came along and populated Jumeirah Beach Road, and then the local start-ups got on board – around the time that independent restaurants generally were getting traction. What a time to be alive!
Then, suddenly, there were burgers everywhere (We saw it happen with cupcakes a few years earlier). Every food truck sold bigger and better burgers, loaded with more and more ridiculousness.
As I write, it’s lunchtime. I have just scanned the categories available for delivery on a well-known website. The category with the highest number of entries is Burgers. More than Asian or Lebanese and more than double that for Pizza. I went to Market OTB a couple of weeks ago, and there was a string of ‘food trucks’. Nearly every one had burgers as the main offering, with the exception of a pizza and a koshary purveyor.
Is there nothing else one could sell as a food truck? Isn’t a food truck meant to be an option for a start-up business to showcase a chef’s creativity without the cost of a bricks-and-mortar restaurant – which is not a cheap business to start. Let me break it to you: Putting a crunchy snack food (out of a bag) on a burger does not equal creativity. It’s a calorie bomb with little pay-off in terms of deliciousness.
At the other extreme, there’s expensive-for-the-sake-of-it burgers. So when a company sent me an email this week about its mountainous burger with a gold-leaf bun, the 80/20 ground meat hit the fan. No, I will not post on social media about your silly creation. (I know that by raising this issue, I am indirectly giving them publicity.)
Come up with something else to offer the eaters of the UAE. We are not all lured by something big, golden and stacked with truffle and foie gras. (Hey, fancy hotels: I also don’t care about your gold-leaf cappuccino.) We want more, and for me, that actually means less.