Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Word from our Abu Dhabi Correspondent

Today we have a special treat here at Eating in Paradise! Zach has reported from his vacation! Read on...

HNL Airport - Burger King

Living the modern jet-setting lifestyle--slave to the clock, recently herded through the security-screening cattle chute, and soon to be whisked to the other side of the world (plus a little more) in a "mere" 39 hours--always puts me in the mood for some fast eating. That, and I had still had two hours to kill before my flight.

After contemplating the new triple whopper (dear God!), a chicken club (my old standby), and a $6.50 Whopper Jr meal (ah, airport prices), I decide I wasn't that hungry. I settled for a cheeseburger kids meal. I chose fries over applesauce for my side; and the 10oz apple juice box over the milk or soda for my drink. I found it interesting that kids were offered even many more choices than adults, who are usually limited to the simple "You want fries with that?" My camera was in my checked bag, so no picture of this one. The apple juice was cold and good. It probably had as much sugar and calories as the soda, but I believe there was still some redeeming nutritional value left in my filtered rehydrated multi-national apple concentrate.

The burger was pretty standard: a patty, very melted yellow-orange cheese, a dab of ketchup and mustard, and 2 pickles. I think the pickles are the magic ingredient. The burger was a bit dry overall, and I felt a little sorry I hadn't gone with the Whopper Jr. after all for a juicier, onion-ier experience.The fries were very standard BK fries. Kids meals are the only way to get small fries at BK. The staff is so used to dishing up large sides that I had as many overflowed "bag fries" as I did in the fry bag itself, effectively providing me a fry-size upgrade. (This seems to be a common occurrence http://cockeyed.com/inside/fries/fries.html.)
Added bonus: 2 onion rings at the bottom of the bag!

Normally, I ask them just to keep the toy, but I suffered a lapse today. As expected, the toy sucked. It was a bright green "TV" with a yellow knob allowing the Little Tyke to scroll between two (2) pictures of the quality and content normally found on the front of a refrigerator: a house and a dog. I believe this is intended to teach youngsters the value of finding what else is on. If the child has a sufficiently short attention span, he may not remember the first picture by the time he gets to the second, thereby providing hours of enjoyment! After twiddling the knob through the plastic wrap, I left the toy on the corner of a large planter in the hopes that some under-supervised child might snag it and eke at least a few minutes of enjoyment from this lame waste of Earth's resources. More likely it'll end up in a landfill, still hermetically sealed in its plastic wrap.

As so often with fast food, I was left only partly satisfied, yet, irrationally, still craving more junkfood. Sucking the sweet mash of fried potatoes from my back teeth, I was compelled to consume the head of a chocolate Santa from my bag. Without this quick palette cleansing, I may have been driven to return to BK in search of something fried with a sugary fruit-filling, or perhaps even that juicier Whopper Jr. experience! As it was, the compulsion passed, and I was left simply un-hungry.

Conclusion: An over-priced, semi-disappointing meal symbolizing modern civilized life; yet strangely addictive. I know I'll eat here again.

Abu Dhabi - Kwality (Delivery)

A few nights after arriving in Abu Dhabi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Dhabi, we ordered Indian food. Kwality is my favorite Indian restaurant in the whole world. I've been to the restaurant itself a few times--it has a very nice ambiance, and you can see into the kitchen through a large plate-glass window. But usually we just order delivery. We order when the restaurant opens at 7pm; it usually takes 60 to 90 minutes for the food to arrive.

We ordered:
Vegetable samosas
Vegetable buryani (rice)
Daal Tarka (lentils)
Dum Aloo Kashmiri (potatoes in Kashmiri sauce)
Kebab-e-Afghani (chicken)
Naan bread

The one drawback of delivery is that it doesn't include the sauteed onions of the Afghani chicken found on the sizzling hot platter at the restaurant. I usually make do with a few onions from the little salad plate. The price is great--we ordered enough for 3 of us (and I still ate leftovers for lunch for two days after) for less than $20.Conclusion: Top-"Kwality" flavor at a great price. Wonderful!

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