Inspired by the famous Route 66 and the American street food truck culture, an innovative concept has recently opened on the highway that links Dubai to AbuDhabi. Although it is called Last Exist, this place is in fact on the first exist inside Dubai. The concept is interesting; it’s a drive-thru where a dozen of concepts meet.
Reach Last Exit and follow the signage on the ground. Every restaurant has a color with a road leading you straight to it. You can walk, if you want, but I don't recommend it, as the roads are not equipped for that. Stay in your car, tour around, chose your sandwiches and continue towards the mechanic shop to eat them where another half a dozen coffee places await.
The little details before you arrive:
- Caravans don't have menus so you'll have to stand in front of the big board like a car to order.
- Caravans are only equipped to receive cars not walking thru.
- Not a single sign on the road mentions pedestrians and informs cars to slow down.
- Drive-thru many concepts, order your food then walk back to pick up because the smallest of sandwiches needs at least 15 minutes to be prepared - so at the end it's not a real drive thru concept.
Follow the colored asphalt, choose your favorite food - and that is if you already know about the different concepts - otherwise you would have to guess. Follow the road to your screen and talk to a machine. Colors, stainless shiny caravans, the feel of a mechanic shop, metal and gravel... the concept is better described in photos which you can check in the photo gallery below.
I loved the lights, the old American feel of the place, the real Route 66 ambiance, the restrooms, and the inner seating area, the fake grass and much more. The area hosts many concepts that offer coffee, burgers, hot dogs, Mexican food, seafood, a mini market, falafel and shawarma, ice cream … They even have Knefeh and Turkish ice cream.
Food is a bit deceiving:
- Operation Falafel's tiny little falafels are a bit too soggy with no crunch. Not enough vegetables and too much garlic for my personal taste. There’s nothing impressive about their falafel; you'll need at least four to satisfy your hunger.
- The shawarma is more of a meat burrito. It’s more like shredded meat with no taste of real shawarma and the bread is too chewy. If this is what the concept is offering around all their other stores, I'm not sure they will last long.
- Big Smoke offers good burgers: Two thick patties, an enjoyable sauce, fresh vegetables and tender bun. The portion is extremely small but the burger is very good.
- Burger Pit truck seems to be the best looking truck, in my opinion. It’s impressive, probably the most beautiful but their burger is not one I'll order again. It’s too sweet and the texture of the meat is not what your teeth would want to feel.
- The lobster roll at Urban Seafood should not be called a lobster roll. There are more crabsticks than lobster in the sandwich. The lobster used is frozen and not fresh. The mix is blended with spicy sauce that kills all the finesse of a lobster roll. The quality of the buns is good but requires more butter and more toasting.
What I'll change and improve:
- Have a receptionist or a welcoming staff to guide you through the concepts available.
- Take better care of the pedestrians; probably ask the caravans to open a back access to welcome walking guests.
- Food quality needs to be controlled and surely the portions should be doubled.
- Cars should not be allowed to park in places where people walk.
- Music is missing around the drive-thru area.
An interesting concept, super innovative, beautiful, colorful, catchy, spot on but unfortunately the food can be much better. I expected more.