Whopper of a Tale – Burger King in Haggatt Hall, Galloping Gourmet? Horse-feathers!

Okay, lets get the supposedly horrific stuff out of the way – it seems Burger King (BK) in Englandnot Barbados – has served burgers which have 29% horse meat, millions of patties have been pulled. Not just the fast food chain, but Tesco, which uses the same processing company as BK.

The biggest grouse was waiting, the line was really long! Even when i placed the order - it seemed like close to 10 minutes before I got my food...

The biggest grouse was waiting, the line was really long! Even when I placed the order – it seemed like close to 10 minutes before I got my food…

On my side, what’s the big deal? Meat is meat… Being straight up? If I am trapped on an asteroid far, far away and your corpse is the only thing around? Pass the BBQ sauce, babies! Daddy’s gonna have me a hand-burger! Finger lickin’ … oh wait a minute, that’s another fellow!

Meals for children are cleverly designed where the top of their box detaches into a crown... Like this Prince here, next to his Dad.

Meals for children are cleverly designed where the top of their box detaches into a crown… Like this Prince here, next to his Dad.

So, there we have it – I was in Haggatt Hall earlier this week, when Elections were whispered via BGIS and I finally decided to see what the fuss is about, initially on Facebook a dude showed a Menu where the prices appeared steep, but he did not add these were for a Meal which includes a drink & chips, as opposed to a burger or sandwich by itself!

This receipt shows the cost but does not list the website to go and state your experience, then again you can't buy food there with your debit card as they are still without a machine (I guess that's how fast they opened before all of their e-commerce was set up)!

This receipt shows the cost but does not list the website to go and state your experience, then again you can’t buy food there with your debit card as they are still without a machine (I guess that’s how fast they opened before all of their e-commerce was set up)!

So I ordered the Whopper Meal which is chips & Coke with the burger for $20 – this is the same what you pay for a Large Coke, regular fries and an All Beef roti at Chefette. The cashier was Bajan and PLEASANT? (Subwaywhere I had a nightmare time, the staff were initially from other islands; to train the Bajans) The place was clean, and staff treated each other so politely – I wondered if I warped into another dimension? No yelling or grunting, employees spoke to each other clearly and with good diction; no mumbling or threats…

Don't think you can use the Drive Thru to beat the queue inside, still not finished yet LOL!

Don’t think you can use the Drive Thru to beat the queue inside, still not finished yet LOL!

The burger was adequate in terms of stopping hunger pangs, the onions were fresh and they had Mustard, which for me, is crucial to a good burger. The fries looked like KFC’s but had Chefette’s soft yet crisp texture, and they tasted like they were done with a bacon-like essence.

Sky Mall's Food Court will not have foreign franchises alone - there are local entities such as Greeks who live here and had a thriving time in Hastings now at Limegrove and seem to aim for Haggatt Hall now?

Sky Mall’s Food Court will not have foreign franchises alone – there are local entities such as Greeks who live here and had a thriving time in Hastings now at Limegrove and seem to aim for Haggatt Hall now?

The meal was alright, but if you really want to get a proper Burger where you can even get Blue Cheese, and there’s an olive as well as a pickle? Their chips are potatoes cut inside their jacket… Then you must head for Worthing and look for the Chopping Board Kitchen, where you have a truly royal meal for $32 and you feel like that cartoon character Muttley after he ate one of those special biscuits he adores so much.

Here goes nothing? Well, in fact, it was something and not what I expected - having had bad experiences elsewhere...

Here goes nothing? Well, in fact, it was something and not what I expected – having had bad experiences elsewhere…

Even so, for a quick meal, the prices by Haggatt Hall are fair, plus I did not feel to go and compete in the Sandy Lane Gold Cup afterwards. I even spoke to patrons – one banking lady said she had lunch there every day since it opened! When she studied in the USA, it was BK which kept her alive and she was glad for its cousin here in Barbados; a family of Bajans from Canada indicated the cost works out the same and they find the food as equal quality to what they had back home…

The Menu lists a Meal as the first price, the sandwich alone as a smaller price... So be not confused as I was originally!

The Menu lists a Meal as the first price, the sandwich alone as a smaller price… So be not confused as I was originally!

If I am in the neighbourhood and peckish, I might do it again but it is not what I go out of my way for, I do believe the true test is to go back in a month or 3 and see if the place remains clean and are the staff still civil to each other? Moreover, will I have any urges to get a sea-bath by Pebbles Beach on Aquatic Gap early in the morning? ;)

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  1. Sounds like you’re staying with brother Cus!

    As you rightly say, the real test will be in 3, 6 months time. Look how TGI changed once they threw off the false razzmatazz?

    Don’t take debit cards; might surprise people after ordering…

    PS The lady that eats there every day; that can’t be good for your health long term.

    I’ll try it and look at value for money, with an open mind.

  2. I have not yet tasted the Burger King Burger…probably will soon but I did see that Mr. Richard Lake (Jamaica) spoke at the opening of this franchise here in Barbados at Sky Mall (Haggatt Hall) so I can only imagine that he has something to do with this particular branch of Burger King – perhaps he is the franchise owner for the Caribbean…have not really looked into it but write this because I know for a fact that Burger King Jamaica has some pluses (apart from being a darned good burger there)
    (a) they buy local beef (can do this here too surely – Cow and his cows?. Reviving our cattle industry??
    (b) bread is local (that is easy here too with their own particular recipe)
    (c) tomatoes, lettuce is local and they do support local businesses in their whole production wherever possible (can be done here with contracts with local farmers) and last but not least
    (d) their staff go through rigorous ‘service-oriented’ training at the beginning of their employment and from time to time during same.(Well perhaps they need to bring in their team from Kingston to do this ’cause I ent see it working here with whoever trains our other fast food places! Sad enough)

    I have commended Burger King for all of the above publicly when I was the Food contributor at The Gleaner (Jamaica)…and if they do the same here, I would also commend this innovative way of dealing with fast food. Add no trans fats and I would see nothing too wrong in Burger King continuing to do business here.

    However…there are some points that I just wish a new fast food chain such as Burger King might want to consider.

    1. Cassava, yam and sweet potato chips? Not instead of the imported US bagged frozen ones or I might be shot in public if not skinned alive but in addition to. This would help our import food bill as I know that many would choose “ours” instead of “theirs”.

    2. How about Burger King taking the very innovative step of keeping our environment as clean as possible with ‘eco-sensible’ boxes and cups (Mojo’s chopping Board Kitchen does it so it can be done) This would make a good change. And I really do not want to hear about the cost, because the cost to our environment is huge at the moment, and Burger King would not come to Barbados unless those involved knew they would be making a huge profit – so cut into them a little nah?

    3. And what about some rubbish containers around the island, say painted by children in the schools to reflect the flora and fauna of the island, with the Burger King logo on them eh? Since so much of our rubbish seems to come from fast food outlets…it would be nice to see one good ‘thinking citizen’ in their midst. And what an opportunity to the new kid on the block to show their high regard for this beautiful island Barbados.

    And yes…Bourne…I agree with you that it will take a lot to beat the burger offerings at the Chopping Board Kitchen at Mojo’s on Worthing Main Road but hey! those who want to take up the challenge can die trying!!

  3. Okay, so we tried the new BK. With a very small queue of 2-3 people before us, we waited 31 minutes for our food. Two people; simple order. While you don’t go to BK to eat healthily, there was at least ten days worth of a person’s sensible salt intake on the very small portion of chips, which were called medium. I dare not ask to see small. I know we could have asked for the chips without salt, but we didn’t expect more salt than chips. They have no healthy drink options; not even an orange juice, so kids are forced into drinking sugar coated E numbers. No coke zero from a coke based company. I did mention the lack of no bubble drinks for kids three times, but received the same blank stare from the employee.
    The food was okay, just as expected.
    The white bread made the burger look bigger, but while the chicken was no bigger than Chefette, the bigger amount of white bread (where’s the brown option?) meant you either had to leave some or eat more unhealthy white bread.
    The bathrooms were obviously tiled by an eight year old while asleep. The finishing is appalling. I hope they didn’t pay the bill for tiling and finishes yet. No paper to dry one’s hands after hand washing… The test of many a restaurant is by the quality of their bathroom. If they don’t care there, then…
    Slightly dearer than Chefette for the same thing. I’ll try it again in a few months, but Chefette doesn’t look likely to be losing our business.

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