One of my food pet peeves is BAD RESTAURANT FOOD. I really hate it when I spend a lot of money or even not that much money on food and it's so bad that I toss most of it out. I know "people are starving in Africa". That's precisely why restaurants should attempt to make better food that people will eat.
The inspiration for this blog post comes from my recent visit to Five Guys Burgers. I was shopping out in the west end of Toronto and was so hungry that I needed to just get something that would be quick. Where I was there was a choice of a Pita place and Five Guys Burgers. I picked the Burgers because this chain seems to be popping up all over so I thought I would try it and see how they were. Well... I should have gone to the Pita Place instead.
It wasn't exactly cheap fast food. For a Cheeseburger, Fries and a Pop it cost me $16. I could have gotten lunch for 2 people at McDonald's for that price and enjoyed the taste a whole lot more. While I know I shouldn't eat junk food and Burgers aren't the best selection for a good lunch, I just wanted to get something fast that would fill me up so that I could keep going. I think I only ate about a third of the french fries, they weren't transported and they were still a little on the soggy side and they didn't have much flavour. The Hamburger had a couple of slices of cheap processed "American" cheese and it was just a basic Burger, no frills, on a un toasted squished Bun. The Burger totally fell apart in my hands while I was eating it and it wasn't even a juicy tasty burger.
Why does this chain exist? Do we really need more bad Hamburger joints? I get the good Burger places expanding like the Burger Priest. They make fresh ground Hamburgers that taste really good and have creative ways of jazzing them up. I get that. They deserve to expand to more stores. But the Five Guys Burgers really aren't worthy of multiple locations and charging the kind of prices they do. I guess an indication should have been that there were plenty of empty tables in the restaurant. Whereas if you go to a place like the Burger Priest there is always a line up out the door just for take out. Too bad there wasn't a Burger Priest where I was, because I probably would have gone there instead.
What really bugs me is that I don't have Culinary Training but I could probably make a whole lot better food than a whole lot of restaurants I have eaten at over the years.
There really is no excuse in making a Bad Burger and Fries... and to make a Chain of stores with these underwhelming Burgers is a Sin. It's not that hard to make a great burger. First you get the best quality beef you can get. Grind it fresh. You don't even have to do anything to it. You can just season it with Salt and Pepper and it would be great if you cook it properly. Add a toasted fresh bun with some substance, one that doesn't fall apart when you add the Burger and condiments. Have a good selection of FRESH condiments. Melt your cheese on the Burger. Serve it Fresh and Hot. Cook the fries until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Use the double fry method. Check your temperatures and do it right. That's all it takes. You can make gourmet burgers and add things like Blue Cheese or Avocado or whatever but you have to get the basic burger and fries right first.
All of those people who open bad restaurants should go away and make it easier for people that love to cook great food able to provide great food to their customers. Stop wasting people's time and money on these crappy joints.
Yes this bugs me. I probably could have bought a downtown condo if you added up all the money I have spent on bad restaurant food over the years. This isn't limited to just take out food, I had years of bad food at a hospital I worked in, and I have had bad restaurant food in places that are supposed to be good. Everyone has a bad day, I get that. But if you consistently just make bad food then you have no business running a restaurant. Yes I am going all Gordon Ramsey on this point but this is where I agree with him. Restaurant owners abuse people's money and health when they don't get it right. It's not like buying a shirt. You can donate your shirt to charity or give it to a friend. Your bad food just goes into the garbage and into the landfill. (assuming most restaurants don't bother composting). While there are a whole lot of people that can barely scrape together a meal everyday. It's just criminal to commit this food offence.
I am sure this food looks pretty good but in the big picture of the value and the quality, those 2 things didn't match.
I would much rather promote a restaurant than slag one...but I have seen a bit of a trend to sloppy cooking and service. With thousands of restaurants in the city most people know who the ones that are doing it right are.
This is the time when I miss having a BBQ and being able to grill up some great burgers at home.
I am not a vegetarian, although I believe in eating healthy food I do crave things like Burgers and Mac and Cheese and stuff I probably shouldn't be eating. If I cave and eat these things they might as well taste good and be worth it.
This is my opinion and obviously somebody must like this food or they wouldn't be in business. I just wish there were more choices for better food everywhere. I would much rather have gotten some great food off of a great food truck.
No, I don't work for Burger Priest or any other Burger chain and I don't even get paid for writing restaurant reviews. I am not a former employee of Five Guys but I am a good food lover and want to let people know where to spend their money and where to save it.