Deek'Matic: Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!
When I first saw Deek’Matic’s menu, I instantly thought, “Deek Duke knock-off.” Deep-seated in the chicken offering (hence “Deek,” or Arabic for rooster), the menu features wings, tenders, salads, burgers, and panini-style sandwiches, in addition to broasted (battered and fried à la KFC) and rotisserie. The only unique selling point I could induce from the menu alone was the “Fitmatic” section optimized for the calorie-conscious.
|Deek'Matic's appetizers and dips|
But the restaurant literature, notably its clean, sleek, red-and-white branding and unified brand image, spoke to me. With its incredibly lucid food photography and impeccable description for each food item, the menu underscored a broader, professional operation, and I was keen on meeting it.
So up we went to the Mazraat Yachouch area somewhere between Antelias and Bikfaya, right off the main highway (Google map it, it’s charted!). A smartly-situated corner joint, Deek’Matic is hard to miss with its bold red lettering and all-glass paneling. Inside, it’s got the feel of fast casual: a self-service counter where you order food, and immaculate tables and chairs where you dive into your nosh.
|The cashier counter at Deek'Matic|
|The counter at Deek'Matic|
And dive we did. At the behest of young yet impressively well-versed owner Nour Jalkh, we found ourselves gaga-eyed for fries, curly fries (dubbed “Twister”), crunchy chicken strips, and no less than half a dozen savory dipping sauces.
I’ve never been one to be tempted by fried matter. No, seriously, I’m not preaching from some glorified soapbox where nothing fried touches me (my Achilles’ heel are sweets). Over the years, I’ve accustomed my palate to grilled, seared, boiled, poached, and at most, pan-fried. But deep-fried?
Nah, I’m good.
But Deek’Matic made me eat my words, among other things. I could not keep my fingers off those fries, which I pretended were simply the only available (and conveniently delicious) vehicles to get to those sauces.
|A collection of dipping sauces|
Really, now, homemade pesto dip at a fast-casual chicken diner? Be still my heart. There’s also a blue-cheese dip derived from the namesake cheese – brilliant, right? Kids, this ain’t some powdered faux cheese mixed with mayo. It’s the real McCoy.
The chicken strips (10,500 LBP) boast plump white chicken breast breaded in a corn-flake-like coating, but it’s only flour. Perfectly seasoned curly fries (small: 5,500 LBP, large: 9,500 LBP) have just the right balance of crisp and soft between shell and core.
On to the burgers, which had me swooning with their fresh, Prunelle-sourced, seed-studded buns. Vintage (11,000 LBP) is a genuinely American burger, complete with dill pickles, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce on top of a smashed beef patty. I even acquiesced to its original “Deek’Steak” sauce, which transported me back to my childhood forays with the Big Mac.
The Wild West (13,000 LBP) layers a thick, marinated, grilled chicken breast topped with homemade onion rings, BBQ and garlic mayo sauces. A beautiful mess, it’s bursting with an uncanny juiciness and a flurry of textures and tastes you wouldn’t have foreseen as compatible.
|Wild West burger with marinated chicken breast|
Having sandwiches in the aftermath of those burgers was a huge risk – how could they measure up? The two we had are decidedly delicious, from the Light Chicken (8,500 LBP) with its light mustard sauce, rocket leaves, and whole-wheat bread, to the Romano’matic (8,500 LBP) with its delectable pesto-mayo concoction. But they’re still runner-up after those beasts of burgers.
|Light Chicken panini sandwich|
|Romano'matic panini sandwich|
Nour insisted we sample the dessert cups, which share a vanilla-bean-specked, panna cotta-like custard base. The toppings count crushed Oreo, Lotus biscuit, and, my favorite, blueberry coulis blanketed with Biscoff. They won’t wreck your diet (as if the burgers hadn’t!).
|Panna cotta dessert cups. Clockwise from top: |
crushed Lotus biscuits, blueberry coulis with Lotus, and Oreo
I felt surprisingly light as we pulled out of Deek’Matic, even though the only vegetable specimens we'd had were the garnishes in the bunned beauties. Now I have an excuse to go back and try the, er, salads. And possibly another burger.
What the hell? Throw in a side order of Twister and his trusted pal Crunchy Strips. There’s no shame among friends.