You know what there should be? There should be an International Day dedicated to That Place You Keep Meaning To Go. It would provide us with the little push we sometimes need to visit all the restaurants, shops, beauty spots etc. about which we have said "Oh that place, yes, I keep meaning to pop in there!"
I've been excited to try Elevation Burger ever since it got its enticing Coming Soon signage up at Muscat Grand Mall. (Remember it? It had an enticingly hi-resolution image of a huge juicy burger, and the tagline Ingredients Matter - appealing to my tastebuds and my mind simultaneously.)
We went along last week (and in doing so inaugurated International Day of That Place You Keep Meaning To Go, March 6th). It was a good day to go because the Elevation Burger team had an event on, aimed at educating us potential customers as to what it is that their restaurant is all about. We got to visit the kitchen, hairnets and gloves in place, and had a go at making our own burgers. I was a bit daunted by the equipment at first but soon came around when I discovered the cathartic joys of the potato chipper.
Elevation Burger is one of those places that has real ideas behind it. It's all about organic, free-range foods being made into simple, tasty burgers and fries. What I liked most about the kitchen tour was all the actual ingredients - they use real food! Example: the fries are made of potatoes! I mean, they get fresh potatoes, on the day, and, right there in the restaurant, cut them up, skin-on, and fry them. Nothing frozen, nothing chemically enhanced, nothing out of a packet, no "potato-flavored chip substitute". It makes me quite sad that this is even something remarkable, but it is. Real food should be something you can legitimately expect in a restaurant but all too often that's not what we are served. The staff at Elevation Burger really seem passionate about trying to raise that standard.
Maurizio was hard to get out of the kitchens once he had the burger-flipper in his hand, and in between triple-stacking his own patties he made me a burger. I confess here that due to my (entirely justified) loathing of horrible synthetic empty food, I very rarely eat burgers except at home. I'm glad I made the exception at Elevation. Just the right amount of bite, a nice toasty bun, and the meat itself was allowed to shine and be the hero of the burger. I hadn't realised quite how different beef can taste - whether it's the grass-fed, free-range element or some other quality I'm not expert enough to discern, but I can tell you that it was flavourful and juicy. The cheese, of course, is actual cheddar.
And the fries! Fries are one of those things that everyone has an opinion on. The Elevation Burger version is as close as I've ever tasted to my idea of the perfect chip. The skin is left on for tastiness and nutrition, and they're twice-fried - in olive oil - to add a little crunch. (If you like them crispier, you can just ask the staff and they'll flash-fry them for an extra 20 seconds.) Best chips in Oman in my opinion, full of flavour, with a bit of bite. I'll be popping in a lot more often.