My Newfound Love for Roadster's Angus Beef Burgers
It’d been sometime since I’d last eaten at Roadster Diner. (I can imagine the massive Roadster following in Lebanon gaping with disbelief.) We’d visited sister restaurant Deek Duke during the Lenten season to sample the fish burger, which proved simply delicious. But a trip to Roadster was long overdue.
|Face-off between two Angus beef burgers|
So on Monday, we made the drive to the new outlet in Jbeil and waited a few minutes as a table on the outdoor deck was cleared. Inside, there’re two floors overlooking the street that leads down to the main souk. That day, Roadster was abuzz with customers young and old huddled over food and chitchat.
We ordered the chicken quesadilla (LBP 19,750) as a prelude to our prime Angus beef burgers. Four folded quarters of soft warmed wheat tortilla bread came layered with roasted bell peppers and onions, melted mozzarella and slender strips of marinated chargrilled chicken. The TexMex specialty at Roadster is deliriously good and no doubt figures as a healthy dish. Sides of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa accompany the quesadilla, but I found the guacamole on its own to be the perfect accompaniment. The sour cream was a bit runny where it could have been whipped, and the salsa struck me as bitter—I like my pico de gallo slightly sweet.
Now for the pièce de resistance, or should I use the plural, as both burgers really hit the mark. Confession: we’d never before indulged in the Rd Angus burgers. (Add that to the counts of Roadster blasphemy!) We opted for the Route 66 and Cheese ‘N Cheese (both LBP 24,750), and upgraded one platter from skin-on fries to seasoned curly fries for comparison purposes.
The Route 66 is pure bliss. A soft, golden-brown, seed-studded bun snugly hugs a moist cheddar-blanketed 160g-beef patty slathered with a sauce reminiscent of McDonald's Big Mac. For garnish, there’s crisp iceberg lettuce, a slice of fresh tomato, red onion, and dill pickles. The only downside? You wish it were bigger! Maybe 180-200g would deliver a bigger dose of satisfaction, because you’re slightly miffed when you reach the last bite.
Cheese ‘N Cheese could best be described as Roadster's take on the Swiss and mushroom burger. Melted cheddar and Swiss, sautéed fresh mushrooms, crisp lettuce, Philly sauce, and a dab of mayo all combine to make this one helluva bunned beauty, but I would have loved a crunchy contrast with, say, fresh onions and a juicy, red-ripe tomato. It’s still a worthy affair though.
I’m not sure about you, but I'm convinced Roadster has come a long way in streamlining its food and becoming a destination for Lebanon's foodies. No doubt, we've known all along how poised they are in customer service and hygiene standards, a model for other Lebanese institutions even outside the F&B sector. But the main attraction—the grub, if you will—is top-notch.
That’s the kind of business that stays in business even in the face of a stagnant economy and stiff competition. Thumbs up, Roadster, for your relentless pursuit of excellence! I commend you.