THe All Americans is the name, American fast food is what they do. Located on Baabda's internal road, this kiosk or kind of food-truck prepares burgers, hotdogs, crepes and the signature baked potato. I've been want to try it for so long and the night has finally come. Not too American though...
The first impression:
- The stand is very dark.
- The burger meat they use is frozen.
- Burgers they are serving look pathetically empty.
- The place is fully loaded all week, every night.
- Prices are very reasonable. LBP5,000 for a burger! That's wow!
A stand on the side of the road next to Byblos Bank is a meeting point of the village youth. Dark blue and a signboard with two men working behind the nylon curtains. Burgers, hotdogs and potatoes are served in white plastic containers.
I ordered the potato, one hotdog and two burgers:
- A big potato which he opens and cuts in half, stuffed with a kid of shredded cheese, mixed together with the skin left on. Inside his white polyester box he waits for the sliced hotdog to cook, adds some corn, crunchy finger chips, lots of molten cheddar cheese and starts the decoration. Lines of ketchup followed by lines of mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and the potato is ready to go. That's a good job! A delicious and addictive mix of different textures and flavors, a light sweetness, the crunchy chips are served warm mixed with molten cheese. Bravo. All this for only LBP8,000.
- Now comes the hotdog. A pain au lait is opened, mayonnaise, ketchup, the hotdog, chips and a hot cheddar sauce; be aware not to burn your nose. The mix is fine but the bun is so dry and cold that it will spoil the enjoyment. Those buns need moistening surely being prepared in a steamer. This hotdog sandwich can become a talk of town if only the bun is steamed.
- The burgers: Cocktail sauce on both buns, sliced American pickles, fresh iceberg, a slice of tomato, ready to go. The burger has a big bun, fluffy but cold, hosting a mini patty leaving two centimeters of bun all around. The meat is too Lebanese, mixed with all kinds of spices and crumbs turning it feel like a kafta-ish burger. I loved the bun if warmed and steamed, nothing else.
- The mozzarella burger is the same with a fried mozzarella piece which doesn't make a big difference. Dry bread, a half empty bun; not good!
- The guys need to travel more and try more burgers around town to fine tune theirs. It's too homey without being enjoyable. A bigger patty, a warmer bun with less bread in it are just two details to be considered.
- The hotdog needs to be bigger and have a warmer, steamed bun.
- The potato on the other hand is fabulous and recommended.
- Maybe smile more and interact more with customers?
Many have talked about All American, raising expectations.