Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bad burger, Good burger

When I first arrived in Singapore two years ago, I had a major Asian food phobia. I was terrified to try anything from local restaurants and food shops. I blame the fact that most of the food either had a head still attached and looking at me, or at the very least, bones or shells to clog my esophagus. (Unless it's fried chicken, Americans don't do bones in our dinner.)

So one of the first foods I tried in Singapore was as American as it comes: a burger. I got it at the most American sounding place I could find too: New York, New York.

And it was the most disappointing American thing that I have ever eaten. I've never been so sad to be away from Midwestern cows.

I don't know why it is, but the Australian ones just aren't as delicious. (Sorry Aussie cows.) There's a weird flavor to the meat that I just couldn't get past.

I steered clear of burgers for a long time after that. Two whole years, in fact.

Then, Aaron brought me home lunch one day. (Which was incredibly sweet since it was a surprise.)

But it was one of those weird Singaporean burgers.

This one was even weirder than the first. See that there? That's white mystery meat again! The same crap they tried to put on my pizza a few months ago. What's even worse is that after I took a bite, I still couldn't decipher whether it was chicken, turkey or pork.

It was that bad.

I just threw it away. I couldn't even make myself eat it.

After that experience, I told my American friend at work about my sadness over eating bad burgers here.

And he knew of a cure:

Hello Carl's Jr.! I forgot all about you! Silly me.

And you have a Guacamole Bacon burger?! Sign me up!

See that kids? That's American beef, baby. And it's delicious.

So the quest for decent burgers ended at an American fast food restaurant. Not perfect, but compared to the competition, a distant number one.

On a side note, I haven't tried the burgers at Chili's, TGI Fridays or the soon-to-open Applebee's yet. I bet they're good; I'm just a little scared to see what the Singaporean prices are for a hunk of beef on a bun at these places.


FISH said...

Have you tried the burgers at Hard Rock yet? By far the best in S'pore.

And their milkshakes are almost like real milkshakes. But, the still kinda suffer from the thin, runny Singaporean recipe. ;)

Brad Farless said...

The prices are what keep me from enjoying burgers in Singapore. I'm sure that those places you mention, Chili's and TGIF, have decent burgers, but I'm also sure their prices are high. I ate at a TGIF in Manila and the bill was retarded. I remember checking the conversion and the price for a NY Strip there was about 50 USD.

I haven't tried Carl's Jr. because I can't bring myself to spend 15 bucks on a hamburger when there are so many other, bigger meals I could get for the same price here.

I do know what you mean about American food here not tasting very American though. I'm glad to hear you got to satisfy your craving!

Beth said...

At this point in Dublin I'll only eat burgers in one of two places (yes, one of them is the Hard Rock!). It's not worth it to me to be disappointed otherwise. Except that occasionally I do miss a good fried egg on my burger!

Cori said...

When you get home, we're hitting 5 Guys. Minus the peanut allergy Blessings, of course. I'll wait for you!

Megan said...

And that's why you'd be my favorite sister even if I had more than one. Five Guys is definitely the best burger I've EVER had.

bon said...

did you know Wendy's just opened up in La Pau Sat?

Brad Farless said...

Bon, that Wendy's has been open for a while now. I've been there, but didn't get a burger because I didn't like Wendy's burgers in the US, so I was sure I wouldn't like them here. LOL. The chili is good though. Basked potatoes too.

Miami Culinary Tours said...

Five guys best burger? Am I the only one not belonging to the burger cult - I just wrote a post about Five guys in Miami - I am not a burger lover so who am I to judge, but even though my burger knowledge is low, five guys did not make the cut (for me).
Cheers Megan, I LOVE the way you write, you make me LAUGH!

Debbie said...

It sounds like you're leaving very very soon...but if you can try Botak Jones first! It's the hawker stall with american food from an american! It's YUMMY and they even have REAL CHEDDAR! Yes, it's ORANGE! :)