Succumbing to Roadster's Low-Cal Burger

For as long as I can remember, I've dismissed Roadster as uninventive. Clichéd. Predictable. Consistent, sure, but bland. Roadster has a very big, very loyal following in Lebanon, and I just couldn't swallow the hype. Nachos, chicken tenders, burgers, sandwiches, and platters. Yes, they've got a comprehensive menu for a diner. Yes, they're superfluously friendly, borderline obsequious, when it comes to customer service. But based on a few dining experiences I've had at their various outlets--opting mainly for the lighter selection of fare even before there was a health-conscious menu--I formed a rather apathetic attitude toward the chain, whose prices I found a tad mature for a diner. Nothing swayed me, until, in a wild fit for a simple, unadorned all-American burger, I was coaxed into sampling Roadster's.

Roadster offers three diet-friendly burgers: the Ever Slim, Fit n' Burger, and Grain Chicken Burger. The first is your classic, garnished with lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles. The second is a notch more gourmet, with grilled veggies (tomato, mushroom, and onions) and steamed rocket leaves. The last is a grilled chicken breast with all the fixings including light garlic mayo. Given my love of all things vegetable, I chose the Fit n' (I've not been able to decipher what "Fit n'" is short for--fit and what?). The burger arrives on a whole-grain wheat bun, soft and delicate and studded with seeds and grains. The top bun is hollowed out to make room for the fillings and is slathered in a light "homestyle" sauce evocative of McDonald's secret sauce. The vegetables are grilled, which subdues their crispness and allows the beef patty to take center stage. And center stage it does indeed command, with its tender texture, wonderful marination, and ideal thickness. I couldn't believe it weighed in at only 487 calories, which in my book is very acceptable for a burger. The side spring lettuce salad, tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette, was a lovely added bonus, even though the burger alone satiates.

While I've not tried the range of Roadster's food proposition, I can say without an ounce of doubt that I've found a simple, reliable, no-frills, melt-in-your-mouth, truffle-oil-free burger.

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