The past thirteen years living in the US (Houston, Texas) have led me to experience some of the most American altars of food that, in my opinion, must come to the UAE as well as other places throughout the Middle East. These are restaurants that I personally think that I miss dearly whenever I return to Abu-Dhabi every now and then.
1.The Holy Texan Idol that is Whataburger
Whataburger has grown to be an icon of Texas, with locations in every county of the State (some locations in other surrounding States such as New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma). Their Thick ‘n Hearty burger has grown to be one of my favorites from the Whatashrine, and its arrival in the UAE maybe one of the greatest blessings that any country can receive.
One notable thing I remember about Whataburger was from a few road trips across the north and east of Texas (towards Dallas or Louisiana), and Whataburger’s definition of the size “large” is bigger than large itself; this meant that say—Coke is good to consume for the rest of a two-hour road trip.
Whataburger products such as their own spicy ketchup and mustard can be shipped over to the UAE via Amazon, not that I have actually done it yet.
Additional note: Not that this matters, but Whataburger has been recently purchased by a BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago based firm, and are planning to make Whataburger expand. This has been met with some concern from loyal fans, with Texans Defence player J.J. Watt (who isn’t even from Texas) going as far as urging people to resist the expansion.
2. The Holy Georgian Idol that is Chick-Fil-A
I could take back my Whataburger praises if I want to, since Chick-Fil-A is a fast food restaurant that stands out from other fast food chains by having a strong work ethic that is reflected within dishes such as their No. 2 Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It may be a challenge for Chick-Fil-A to expand greatly (with their only international location in Toronto) not just for financial reasons, but their values are strongly embedded with their religious beliefs–being a Christian operated business (they’re closed on a Sunday!). They still however have diversity with whom they serve, thus the possibility of a Chick-Fil-A in a Muslim country should be open.
For Chick-Fil-A merchandise, Amazon only happens to have phone cases.
3. The Holy Washingtonian Idol that is MOD Pizza
MOD isn’t technically a fast food restaurant, but it’s reaching peak popularity further eastward of its founding location in Bellevue, WA. The restaurant is best thought of as the “Subway” of pizza where you can have any toppings and sauces you wish for your pizza, or you can resort to a selection of pizzas with each their own toppings; my favorite is the “Mad Dog” that happens to be a carnivore’s dream, with nothing but pepperoni, sausage, and ground beef (not that I have the former two, as I stick to the ground beef). MOD currently has locations throughout Britain, and putting a MOD somewhere in the UAE or anywhere in the GCC will bring a boost in popularity and unity.