I’VE GOT BEEF WITH BURG­ERS

Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Natalie Long, edi­tor Reach me at nlong@gulfnews.com

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.

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