Blaze of Glory

Blaze Burgers
Sadaf, The Walk
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR),
United Arab Emirates

19th December, 2017

Life, Uh, Finds A Way” – Dr. Ian Malcolm

Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution states that life was not created but evolved from a pre-existing form. First there were the sea creatures, then came creatures who crawled on to land, followed by four legged mammals, creatures who could stand on two feet, and then the Great Apes. Last but not least us humans! (Though some of us are yet to arrive at that stage of the evolution process!)

You would think, then; it would be safe to assume that given this entire talk about evolution that as time progressed, we humans would have gradually evolved. While this undoubtedly holds true with regards to our physical (and mental) state, I am slightly more skeptical on evolution’s impact on our palettes. After all, this is a food blog and not an extract from a Charles Darwin biography and so the focus should be on our taste buds.

After centuries of evolving, one would think that the “sophisticated”, “suave”, “cultured, “urban cosmopolitan” present-day teenager would be equipped with a much more “nuanced” palate and be more accustomed to the finer things in life – Caviar, Lobster, Frogs Legs, Escargots! Alas, no! The palate, even today, is as simple as it ever was. The world is still inhabited by people who crave (shudder!) a dish famous for being uncouth, crude, and common (no second guesses!) – The Burger!

Alright, maybe I am being a wee bit too critical about the burger. After all it is one of the most transformative dishes in the world. Similar to a human fingerprint, no two burgers are alike (unless you order two of the same!). It can be crude and straightforward as it is in most fast food chains, costing a meager AED 20, or it could be unique, fancy, complex, and definitely worth a hundred bucks. Or in our case, it could be somewhere right in the middle!

I’m going to be honest as I can here (which is quite rare!) and say that I don’t mind the occasional burger. I’m not going to pretend that I am one of those health conscious monsters that my Instagram news feed is never filled with. I may look the part but as you can see from my previous outings, I prefer the less healthier option. Whoever said “I can live my entire life eating only salad!”?! Anyway, the burger definitely not my go-to meal nor is it something I would not mind biting on twice or thrice a week. A great burger can leave you satisfied for at least a month…at least in my case. As Joe Pesci’s Vinni Gambini so bluntly put it – “You guys down here hear about the ongoing cholesterol problem in the country?”

It was a pleasant winter evening and what better place to sit out and eat than by the beach. Well, to be clear, the restaurant isn’t actually by the beach but probably a stone’s throw away (if you can throw it far enough!). We arrived at the nearest metro station at a quarter to eight in the night, and took advantage of the cool weather to walk it down towards the restaurant. The added benefit being that the walk built up a massive appetite.

Now normally when you arrive at a restaurant you would expect to be greeted by a friendly face – be it a waiter, manager, or maître d’. However, upon arrival at Blaze Burger, our attention fell directly on to the humongous (LIT) board hanging by the entrance, which stated “No Stupid People Beyond This Point”. Remember what I told you earlier about some of us having yet to reach the latest stage in the evolution process? Well, it turns out we took the board quite literally, and requested to be seated outside when the waiter approached us. No complaints! Before we planted our bottoms on to the chairs, we were informed about the fact that we had to approach the counter in order to place our order. And so, we made our way past the “Stupid” sign and arrived at the counter. Fortunately, there wasn’t a queue lining up behind us at the counter, as our indecision on what we wanted to eat would have caused quite the stir. It’s not that the choices were innumerable. Just so happens that when you arrive at a restaurant, starving, after a long walk, everything looks so appetizing! Anyway, we placed our order and were about to head back out to our table, when we were suddenly handed a miniature shopping basket. Turns out, we had to walk up to the aisle beside the counter and pick out the sauces and condiments that we wanted as well as our cutlery (free of charge, of course!).

 ( From left to right ): Passionfruit Mojito; Chili Cheese Fries; Cookie Blondie; Old School Burger (Italian Job); Old School Burger (Texas BBQ); Old School Burger (Mushroom & Swiss)
(From left to right): Passionfruit Mojito; Chili Cheese Fries; Cookie Blondie; Old School Burger (Italian Job); Old School Burger (Texas BBQ); Old School Burger (Mushroom & Swiss)

Holding the miniature trolley in a fashion similar to that of the Queen holding her cup of tea, we made our way to our seat. It wasn’t too long before our drinks arrived along with our appetizer – two Passionfruit Mojitos and one medium sized skillet filled with Chili Cheese Fries. Let me tell you something about Passionfruit Mojito. It is off-the-chain delicious! And that’s not something you would say about a cocktail, let alone a mocktail. The combination of the sweetness from the 7UP with the sourness of the passionfruit made for a bittersweet drink. (See what I did there!). The Chili Cheese Fries was the perfect start to the evening. The fries were thin and crispy, the cheese was hot, golden, and melted, and the chili was not overly spicy. The biggest surprise was how light the dish was! Well, I suppose when you divide it amongst three people, it would be.

With the skillet licked clean (metaphorically!), it was time for our burgers to arrive. It was slightly bewildering to see the burgers placed in a similar looking skillet as the chili cheese fries. After all, it didn’t provide the most appealing setting for my food pictures! Thankfully, the burgers were already sliced in half, which saved us the trouble of having to negotiate our way through cutting the meat in an enclosed space. The base of all of our burgers were similar (the bun and the single beef patty). However, what was different were the sauces and accompaniments that composed the entire burger. I told you, no two burgers are alike! So, let’s get down and dirty.

The first burger on my review list is the Italian Job. Wait, what?! An Italian burger?! Seriously?! What is it, pasta on beef in a bun?! That would’ve been something, wouldn’t it? Fortunately, the chefs at Blaze Burger were not clinically and culinary challenged. What it did comprise of was tomato, oregano, basil, mayonnaise, and one of the more intriguing elements – the slice of smoky, crispy parmesan cheese. I can only vouch for the crispy parmesan slice, which was handed over after my friend passed on it, citing it to be too tangy for his liking. The slice was definitely smokier and tangier than I would’ve expected, which could have been overpowering in a burger. However, as a standalone ingredient, it was definitely unique (and in a good way!). Apart from the parmesan crisp, the burger seemed like it went down well with my friend. I guess I would have to forgo a review of the second burger – the Texas BBQ – only because I didn’t have the pleasure of tasting the dish. So, we now move on to the final burger – my burger – the Mushroom & Swiss. Right off the bat you knew the ingredients would work perfectly – the beef, the mushrooms, and the melted Swiss cheese. And for the most part it did. If there was a drawback or two about the dish, it would be the slight overpowering use of the mushrooms, which at times dominated the taste of the beef patty. Almost as if I was eating a mushroom burger with beef! The second drawback – and I think this pertains to all of the burgers on the table – was the lack of a buttery glisten on the burger buns. I think had the buns been buttered on top and heated on the grill/pan for a few seconds, the crispiness would have added an extra layer of texture to the burgers. From a visual standpoint, the burgers looked drier than they were. However, apart from these somewhat minor but key issues, the burger was quite tasty. The beef still had enough moisture in them to make each bite a pleasant one, and the cheese and mushrooms were the perfect additions to the burger.

You would think that after a passionfruit mojito, chili cheese fries, and a burger that our stomachs would be too full to try out dessert. Oh! You didn’t think that? Well, bravo! You were right. There’s always room for dessert. When it came to deciding, there wasn’t much of a choice really. It was a choice between a dish made from chocolate fudge or chocolate chip cookie. In the end, the latter won. And so, it arrived, in all of its glory – the Cookie Blondie! Served in a square skillet, the dish left no space ‘un-cookied’. We stared at the dish for a moment, contemplating our strategy to complete this giant monstrosity of a dessert. Not to mention, the order in which we were going to pour in the served accompaniments – small jars of Smarties, Dark Chocolate Sauce, and White Chocolate Sauce. Few moments later, the dark chocolate sauce found its way drizzled across the cookie, followed by the smarties, and finally the white chocolate. Fifteen minutes later, the skillet was empty. I say fifteen because the first five minutes were spent waiting for the cookie to cool down slightly after I made the rookie mistake of rushing into the dessert too quickly. In my defence, it looked so(oooo!) good! Anyway, the chocolate covered cookie dough, each bite dipped in cool (cold cool not smart cool) vanilla ice-cream, found its way into our three stomachs. Remember when I said there was always room for dessert. Well, that room was now fully occupied!

We were ready to make our way back to the metro station, having paid our bill, when we were met with another, and possibly the best, surprise. No, it wasn’t a free dessert (not that we could eat another bite!). This was a surprise that, once you read it, most of will go “Oh, really? That surprised you?” It was a wet wipe, to get rid of the burger and meat stains. However, it was no ordinary, common wet wipe. This one came in a specialised, customised package, which read “Burger Crime Scene Cleaning Kit”. How cool was that? Of all things that could surprise you the most, it wasn’t the burgers or the miniature shopping basket, but a wet wipe. We spent five minutes discussing how brilliant an idea it was to make something so common so unique. It is always these little thoughts and ‘innovations’ that make the biggest impacts. With the evidence wiped clean, we made our way back. The long walk coming into the restaurant served one purpose, and the walk back was serving another (walking off the fat!). If, in the near future, we do commit a meat crime, we know where to get evidence-cleaning kits.

Blaze Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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