By the looks of it, youngsters seem to be taking things in their own hands in order to provide the capital with the food and entertainment it deserves. Jawad Rehman and Saiful Haq, best friends and Islooites, have decided to fill the market need for authentic, off-the-grill beef burgers with “Char Grill Central”, a home delivery and takeaway service.
Both graduates of LUMS, the duo travelled abroad for their masters and once they returned home, they realised that the eateries of the city had huge shortcomings. “Fresh burgers are seriously lacking here. Usually we end up having processed meat which is unhealthy and unappealing. We wanted to bring the experience of freshly-cooked patties in a burger the way they are served abroad,” Rehman said.
Opening a home delivery or take away was no easy feat. The two toiled with recipes for months till they found perfection.
“We’d cook in our own kitchen every day for about 6 months, giving people samples for feedback. It wasn’t until we were completely satisfied with the final recipe that we initiated this venture,” explained Rehman.
The menu currently has three options, cheeseburgers, the original burger — which consists of lettuce, onions and tomatoes with grilled beef — and the Overdrive Burger — which consists of onion, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos, and mustard, packing a punch full of taste with a tangy secret sauce that is served with the burgers.
The typical fries on the side are replaced by a packet of crisps and a drink as the owners believe that fries get soggy when being delivered, and they “do not want to compromise on the taste of the burger at all, and serving them with soggy fries ruins the appeal”.
Since both friends have started-off small, deliveries are only in certain areas of the city at the moment, including F-10, F-11, G-10, G-11, and E-11.
The price range for the burgers is between Rs280 to Rs320, lower than most competing burger outlets and a compelling price, especially considering that the meat is freshly procured every day and is unprocessed.
The burgers are not only juicy but also crunchy thanks to the fresh onions and lettuce. The secret sauce adds to their texture. Usually one can’t tell one burger from another because of the standardised topping with ketchup, but this burger has a personality. It’s a little tangy but not too heavy on the taste buds.
While the burgers are extremely juicy and chewy with generous amounts of cheese, one hopes the boys manage to expand their network so that everyone can enjoy the “true beef burger” experience. Their Facebook page, “Char Grill Central”, has a menu and telephone numbers for delivery.
Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated the name of the restaurant as “Char Grilled Central” instead of “Char Grill Central”. The error is regretted.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.