Lord of the Fries - a review (of sorts)

26 June 2014

I remember when I was really small begging to go to MacDonald's. We could sometimes persuade Mum, but Dad was resolute that it wasn't even food there. He was convinced it would give him food poisoning.

By the time I'd reached high school, I was enough of a food snob that eating at Macca's held no appeal, except for the cheap softserves, and by the time I'd left school, the only thing I could be tempted to buy were some of the McCafe products. The last time I bought food there would have been about 4 years ago, and that was because I was on taekwondo camp, and we were expected to have eaten before arriving. I hadn't known. The person who was nice enough to take me to get food took me to MacDonald's, and though I wasn't impressed, but I wasn't in a position to argue.

The point of me rambling on about Macca's is this. Every now and then, I think it's a good idea to buy something from Lord of the Fries, and I have no idea why I think it's a good idea. In case you're not familiar with them, they're a Melbourne based vegetarian fast food chain with vegan options. They're also Kosher and Halal, which I imagine is fairly easy to do if you're all vegetarian. They have stores all over Melbourne, and from their website, it looks like there's now one in Sydney too.

Before I went vegan, even before I went vegetarian, you couldn't drag me into Macca's or Hungry Jack's. Yet every now and then I buy food from Lord of the Fries. It's like I get so excited that as a vegan I can eat this sort of food that I forget that I don't even like it.

A few days ago was one of those days. I was out shopping, and needed to buy lunch. I could have had vegan options in any number of chains, Zambrero is excellent, I'm sure I would have found something tasty and vegan at Sumo Salad. I could have gone to Wagamamas if I was feeling a bit more upmarket, or if I really wanted a burger, I could have gone to Grill'd. Instead, I wandered past a Lord of the Fries that I hadn't previously even known was there, and immediately walked in and started trying to decide what to order. Even as I was doing this, I knew I would regret it, but well, I hadn't had Lord of the Fries since going vegan, and they offer cheese.

I bought the Parma Burger. Because I listened at least a little bit to the voice in my head telling me it was a bad idea, I ordered the mini rather than the full size. There must have been a remnant of sense left in me. When they handed me my mini burger and chips, I couldn't believe my eyes, mini really did mean mini. I wish I'd thought to take a scale photo.

It really doesn't look appetizing, does it?

The chips and sauce were ok, though nowhere near as good as they're hyped up to be. Grill'd chips are way better. As for the burger... As soon as I unwrapped it, all I could smell was the cheese. It reeked. Just in case that isn't clear, it didn't reek in a good way, like for example (dairy) parmesan smells bad, yet still tastes good. It was a genuine reek, that was accompanied by an unpleasant flavour. Cheese aside, the burger itself was predictably mediocre. I imagine that if you like Macca's burgers, Lord of the Fries is probably on a par. I mean, the texture of their mock meat, though not exactly like meat, is pretty good. A little bit can even be pleasant. But taken as a whole, the burger just wasn't good. Edible, definitely, but not much more than that. I regret it, I really do. I hope next time, I can remember what I've written here, and keep walking. There wasn't even the token lettuce and pickle to pretend at being healthy.

What do you eat knowing you'll regret it?

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