We've all been there, It's Saturday night, you had a few too many Strawberry Daquiri's on the Friday and now, delusionally, you're thinking you'll only go out for a couple of pints... Suddenly it's 6 o'clock in the morning, you've successfully made your way through a bag of cheap cans and are desperately trying to play along to country songs with very little success on a ukelele... Then the inevitable happens... The hunger that knows no standards rears it's ugly head.But alas Newbridge's unsung heroes, the wonderful people of the late night fast food industry, are deservedly tucked up in bed... and that leaves only one desperate option...
The 24 hour Tesco. Good Jaysus.
With a blood alcohol level that would make it illegal for you to operate a wrist watch, yet with an odd level of calmness and clarity you wander around the grey sterile environment of Tesco hoping against hope that you're going to find a garlic cheese chips in amongst the tins of assorted luxury biscuits.
On this occasion though, I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew Tesco were more than willing to sell it to me. Burgers... Microwavable Burgers...
So there I am, with my infinitely tolerant friend and designated driver for 364 days of the year, JJ Fleming, wandering the isles looking for what I hoped would be an absolute delicacy.
There they were... Beautiful.. looking like... well.. a load of burgers to a starved drunk.
"Rustlers" seem to be the big boys in this business so I went for their quarter pounder with cheese option called "The Big One."
I grabbed a "Zugo's Chargrilled Chicken Panini" too because hey, why just get a burger when you can have a panini too?
I seem to remember years ago having one of these Rustlers burgers and thinking they were actually nice. Well let me be perfectly clear about this, I must have been fucking dreaming because I've never had anything as poxy as this pile of horse shit before in my life.
First off these burger kits pass themselves off as a self contained unit, now the wonderful picture on the cover clearly shows lettuce and onions on this burger... Well ye screwed me on that lads!!
Now I'm sure aul Mick Rustler or whoever is in charge would come out and claim these are optional extras that you can add yourself. Well Mick I don't think the type of fella who decides it's a good idea to have a microwavable burger for his dinner is the type of lad that keeps a supply of fresh salad at home.
I have a stomach and tastebuds that are well used to eating the lowest forms of fast food, now add to that I hadn't eaten since the previous lunchtime, then for me to not even swallow one bite of this burger never mind not finish it is a first for me.
This yoke was just not fit for human consumption, the burger was like a lump of leather, the bun was both soggy and like rubber, however they managed that. The cheese, oh the fucking cheese, now I'm a fan of shitty cheap processed cheese slices on a burger but this was a cheese too far even for me. It had the consistency and taste of a soiled bin liner.
And then there was the "Rustler Sauce".. It pains me to think that somewhere at a time in the not too distant past there was a meeting about this sauce, plans were drawn up, recipes were devised, taste tests were done, adjustments were made and at the end of the day many backs were patted in a false sense of achievement. Well everyone involved should have been fucking fired.
The little plastic sachet of orange gloop that greeted me from beneath the slice of cheese was, and this is as kind as I can be about it, tangy. It just didnt taste like anything, I'm sure there was meant to be some kind of tomato taste in there but I couldn't find it. Really lads, what is it supposed to taste of?!
So to sum up this part of the review, because I really don't want to talk about this thing anymore:
Do not buy one of these, there's more to life. Simple.
Now thankfully the Ugo's Paninni wasn't as bad, I managed to eat most of it.
Urgh... I'm sorry, I just don't have the motivation to write nice things about these kind of sandwiches, It was chicken, cheese and a kind of pesto/mayonnaise mix in a panini and it was microwaved for a few minutes.
It was chewy, it was edible, but overall bland.
Blander than the one you payed about £11 Sterling on the Ryanair flight to some airport 75 miles from whatever city you intended to land in. (No need to thank me for the plug O'Leary).
What more is there to say?
I've learned my lesson, and I don't want to sound snobbish, because I will literally eat anything that is served to me from any fast food place in this country or any other, drunk or sober, but these are a step too far.
This is where I draw the line.
I'll try to go to bed hungry next time... doubt it though...