Following on from my last blog about my weekend away in London with my wife, I wanted to share another experience and thought I had over the weekend. Before we get in to that though, in case you missed it, below is a link to the last blog about our first night in London:
Last year my wife and I spent two weeks road tripping across the east coast of America. On this trip we stopped at two of our favourite fast food places, those being Chipotle and Five Guys. Sadly both these chains have not made it to the south west of England yet where we live, but they do have stores in London. So on the Saturday in amongst seeing the sights we made sure we stopped off at Chipotle for Lunch and Five Guys for dinner.
Keep it simple
One thing I love about these places is how the food is the star. Instead of your food coming in an overly branded wrapper and being called a ridiculous name, there is something nice in these stores about the simplicity of your food being wrapped up in tin foil and in the case of Five Guys being given to you in a plain brown paper bag.
I also love how in both these places there is no over complicated menu with lots of predefined choices. Chipotle, for those have never been specialize in burritos and tacos, you choose what you want and then exactly what you want in it and I must say their burritos are so satisfying and so filling. In Chipotle you definitely get your money’s worth and a burrito that will keep you going until dinner.
Five Guys is a slightly unhealthier choice than Chipotle but it is so nice to be able to go and get a hamburger where you get two quality patties of beef and at no extra cost be able to choose exactly what you want in it. Not only are their burgers awesome, their fries in my opinion are some of the best around and it is good to know that the Five Guys stores always try and source their potatoes from a local farm.
I think the simplicity of the design and colour schemes of both, Chipotle and Five Guys are brilliant too. I wish all places to eat focused more on the food than the branding but until we become an audience that chooses where we eat based on quality of food and taste, over branding, it will never happen. When I look at places to eat I think the simpler and less branded it looks, the bigger the chance that the owner just concentrates on the food. I know this isn’t always the case but I think it can be true in many cases.
Whilst in America last year my wife and I ate at a handful of independently run restaurants and many of those had the same philosophy of the food being the star as well. I am a fan of milkshakes (yes I am a big kid) and remember stopping off in Pennsylvania for a shake at this independent place and the shake came in a white polystyrene like cup but boy did it taste amazing. It was refreshing to see as we waited for our order that evening, that the place had big queues, a community vibe and lots of locals who used it.
I love the novelty and attraction of plain wrapping at food places in this overly marketed world, it takes me back to my younger days and makes the food feel more home made, I just hope one day that it isn’t a novelty to see places doing this.