The Comeback Kid: Roadster Starts to Bounce Back

Let’s be honest: ever since Roadster’s reveal of a totally revamped brand identity, slogan, logo, and restaurant feel, Lebanon’s storied diner hasn’t gotten much good press. Diehard fans were a mixture of furious, dejected, puzzled, disillusioned, and even suspicious of the restaurant that once claimed the hearts of many.

Who could forget Roadster’s original slogan of “there goes my heart”? How about the quaint 50s and 60s memorabilia decking the walls at all the older outlets? Roadster’s character was one with whom every adolescent, young adult, and working professional could identify, and Lord knows their burgers always tantalized our taste buds long before any other modern Lebanese eatery did.

Like several others who endured less than awesome experiences at Roadster over the past year, I’d pretty much strayed far from their polished new playgrounds. Questionable customer service, diminishing portion sizes, and unjustifiably high prices kept me at bay, and I wondered whether the Roadster management would ever wake up and channel their inner kid again.

It appears they just finally may have, as evidenced by their latest Slider Squad campaign launched last week and purported to last through the end of May. The half-dozen selection of medium-sized burgers is an ode to what Roadster has inarguably always done right: burgers. A pair each of Swiss Truffle, the Black Burger, and The Mighty Chicken make a comeback in this competitively priced platter (29,500 LBP/USD 19.67) suited for two.

The Slider Squad (29,500 LL) features a half dozen medium-sized burgers

I can’t remember the last time I felt so good about a deal – here (at last!) is an enviable price-to-quality rapport. The beef patties are exactly what you look for in a burger: thick, juicy, succulent, and perfectly seasoned, with premium ingredients to boot.

For example, real cheddar hugs the Black Burger beef patty, and the Swiss Truffle draws upon real mushrooms and arugula for garnish. The Mighty Chicken features real chicken breast, not that mechanically processed rubbish we were wont to see in years past (Subway, I’m looking at you, too).

The essential cross-section of the Black Burger

The buns are fresh, golden and soft. The sauces are delicious but subtle – it’s all about the meat in these bunned beauties. And trust me, you won’t be able to wolf down more than three; they’re amply filling. So partner up on this one.

We’ve already tried the Slider Squad twice – once, delivered; the second, in-house at the City Mall branch in Dora. Both times were impeccable and nearly indistinguishable, which speaks volumes about Roadster’s consistency.

Appealing packaging for the Slider Squad delivery box

Here's how they come in delivered format -- totally unscathed!

If you play your cards correctly, you’ll have just enough room to split a decadent stack of chocolate-smothered Lotus Madness pancakes (13,750 LBP/USD 9.17). When did I ever relish pancakes outside the house this much? Divinely fluffy, layered with Speculoos and Nutella spreads, dotted with banana coins, swimming in genuine chocolate, and studded with discernible pieces of Biscoff Lotus. Here’s another gem from Roadster I hope we never see vanish from the menu.

Lotus Madness pancake stack from Roadster

I’m not here to try and win you back to Lebanon’s once favorite diner. Nonsense. That’s your call to make, not mine. But I did decide to bet on Roadster once more for old time’s sake, and my flame of love for good, simple food was suddenly rekindled.

If Roadster management continue to put their assets first – and that’s their customers – they have a solid shot of coming back and claiming their rightful place on the Lebanese food scene. Keep prices correct; make platters generous; abolish ridiculous fees for add-ons like sauces and garnishes; and just feel like home again.

Because at the end of the day, every one of us wants to come back home.

Roadster Diner
Multiple outlets
Delivery in Lebanon: 1585


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