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RedruthRFC

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I didn't realise they were South African to be honest!
They were a favourite haunt of kids birthday parties when I was growing up because they'd usually be attached to things like bowling alleys or right next to cinemas etc.
They weren't, but the success in SA versus struggle everywhere else created a weird reverse buy out kind of thing.
 

RedruthRFC

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Neither have I yet. They are based solely in California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. Unfortunately I doubt they will ever come to the UK.

Yeh 5 guys is pretty good. Prefer it to Shake Shack which I think the burgers are overrated. Drinks are good IIRC.

Wimpey I can barely remember now. Same with Wendy’s.

Even McDonald’s now I don’t really rate unless I fancy their breakfast or have Big tasty burger with bacon.
Thanks very much for the recommendation of The Founder, I enjoyed it a lot. A good example of the spoiler paradox I think - I knew bits of the story, but enjoyed having the gaps filled in and details flushed out. Amazon also recommended The Read Founder to me, which I've added to my watchlist.

Having had a look at their website, In And Out Burger look like they're taking a leaf out of early days McDonald's book and sticking to what they do well / what sells. They also seem to understand that less is more - too many places think that they're adding value by adding far too much many extras / sauces and end up overpowering the star of the show - the beef.

As far as I can remember, the only thing I rate from McDonald's is their hash brown, but maybe I'd rate my own as highly if I deep fried them. As a non-egg eater, the breakfast menu is ridiculously limited, pretty much a bacon bap or nothing. I might well be out of date, I'm not sure I've eaten from McDonald's since I stopped working in an office just down the road from one about ten years ago. It tells a story that I haven't felt compelled to seek one out since then.
 

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Nando's is really starting to break into the USA, with multiple locations here in Chicago and elsewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if Nando's became a big chain in the states over the next 10 years because 1.) They have a niche. 2.) They have booze. 3.) They seem to have a good culture that attracts and holds onto employees.
 

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Thanks very much for the recommendation of The Founder, I enjoyed it a lot. A good example of the spoiler paradox I think - I knew bits of the story, but enjoyed having the gaps filled in and details flushed out. Amazon also recommended The Read Founder to me, which I've added to my watchlist.

Having had a look at their website, In And Out Burger look like they're taking a leaf out of early days McDonald's book and sticking to what they do well / what sells. They also seem to understand that less is more - too many places think that they're adding value by adding far too much many extras / sauces and end up overpowering the star of the show - the beef.

As far as I can remember, the only thing I rate from McDonald's is their hash brown, but maybe I'd rate my own as highly if I deep fried them. As a non-egg eater, the breakfast menu is ridiculously limited, pretty much a bacon bap or nothing. I might well be out of date, I'm not sure I've eaten from McDonald's since I stopped working in an office just down the road from one about ten years ago. It tells a story that I haven't felt compelled to seek one out since then.

I rewatched the Founder last night. I enjoyed it. Read up more around it. And $1m each back in 1961 would be worth around $9m each in today’s money. There’s a dispute whether there really was a “handshake” deal on the royalties, but boy that would hurt given the multi billions McDonald’s make annually. Wiki reporting there is no evidence and only the word of the nephew of one of the McDonald’s brothers. Still it makes a good story.

Dick McDonald reportedly didn’t hold a grudge, but Maurice McDonald died in 1970 reportedly torn up by the success of McDonald’s.

I think Dick McDonald is the one who is in the Real Founder documentary.

Thankfully it looks like he didn’t die penniless with an estate of $1.8m and didn’t die Bitter.

Yep, In N Out seems to have got their priorities right. Defo will seek it out if I am ever in that part of the world.

 

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Five Guys is great, but so expensive - £15 for burger and chips is OTT for fast food

I've never had In'n'Out, but I've heard it's great. Some people go a bit overboard with saying how life changing it is but I know Gordon Ramsay said it's his favourite fast food, and I watched a video with Anthony Bourdain talking about how much he loved the place, and it made me want to try it a lot


I didn't realise they were South African to be honest!
They were a favourite haunt of kids birthday parties when I was growing up because they'd usually be attached to things like bowling alleys or right next to cinemas etc.

Nandos is bloody everywhere, and insanely popular - I'm not a big fan tbh, not keen on the taste of peri peri seasoning
There's an Irish burger chain called wowburger that's essentially a five guys knock-off just cheaper, still more expensive than mcds though. Better burgers and shakes but everything else a good bit worse, my go to when hanging.

Looks like they've set up their first outlet in the UK in Doncaster of all places.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Nando's is really starting to break into the USA, with multiple locations here in Chicago and elsewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if Nando's became a big chain in the states over the next 10 years because 1.) They have a niche. 2.) They have booze. 3.) They seem to have a good culture that attracts and holds onto employees.
Yeah but Nandos is like that Mexican criminal food isn't it? Probably a front for drugs or something, I've seen breaking bad.
 

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Yeah but Nandos is like that Mexican criminal food isn't it? Probably a front for drugs or something, I've seen breaking bad.
I don't know, most Americans avoid Alquerque. New Mexico in general is avoided outside of Santa Fe and Taos.
 

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One of my favourite Vloggers comparing Shake Shack with In N Out.

 

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I think the UK were the first place to get Wimpy outside the US, in the mid 50s. They had the advantage of being first to market, but my perception is that they fizzled out as more competition came in to the market place. I was surprised to look at their website and see how many locations they still have, mostly in pretty low rent places.

Having visited Nando's in SA in the mid 2000s, I was quite surprised / confused when they started getting popular in the UK. Maybe the offering here is better, but I certainly wouldn't rush back for what I experienced in SA.

Is it possible to get a decent chip (French fry, I can't remember whose vernacular you use) in SA? I remember commenting on how bad they were, the friend I was travelling with had a theory that the lack of rain made growing decent tubers difficult, but I've never heard that substantiated elsewhere.
We call it chips here, yes.

And here I blame the global economy, and our exports of potatoes. We grow a lot of potatoes, especially here in my valley, there's potato farms everywhere. But we get the poor quality of potatoes, or the rejected ones, while the big nice ones, are all exported.

As for the flavour of the chips. I think our fast food chains' chips are the most tasteless thing you can get. When I was in the hotel industry, we learnt that all the fast food chains buys their chips from Mccain's and they are all frozen chips. Mccain's just cut them the right size as the outlet wants it. Steers is the only fast food franchise that cuts their own chips from potatoes at the outlets.

If you want good chips, you need to go to the nearest cafe/corner grocery store that's run by a family from portugal/greece. They make the best chips.

But since we are on the topic of potatoes, chips isn't the first choice to make of them over here. Mashed Potatoes, Potato Salad, or Baked Potato are the first choice, especially at a braai.
 

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Fries versus chips. For me fish and chips shops sell chips - ie thick cut ones. Fries are thin cut and are fries, are sold by the likes of McDonalds etc ie French Fries or more accurate Belgian Fries. Just My pedantry coming out here.
 

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We call it chips here, yes.

And here I blame the global economy, and our exports of potatoes. We grow a lot of potatoes, especially here in my valley, there's potato farms everywhere. But we get the poor quality of potatoes, or the rejected ones, while the big nice ones, are all exported.

As for the flavour of the chips. I think our fast food chains' chips are the most tasteless thing you can get. When I was in the hotel industry, we learnt that all the fast food chains buys their chips from Mccain's and they are all frozen chips. Mccain's just cut them the right size as the outlet wants it. Steers is the only fast food franchise that cuts their own chips from potatoes at the outlets.

If you want good chips, you need to go to the nearest cafe/corner grocery store that's run by a family from portugal/greece. They make the best chips.

But since we are on the topic of potatoes, chips isn't the first choice to make of them over here. Mashed Potatoes, Potato Salad, or Baked Potato are the first choice, especially at a braai.
Thanks for all of that, all very interesting. I had no idea that potatoes were widely farmed in SA, the only thing I noticed as bananas, but that's probably because it's obvious what they are. My parents met a kiwi couple on holiday a few years ago who said similar about lamb in New Zealand - not that special because the good stuff goes for export.

We did a fair bit of travelling, so ate whatever fast food was convenient en route. I don't remember them being bad in better places we sought out in the evenings, but maybe that's because I was less likely to go for chips. I think I remember eating in a Steers, I tried to confirm with Google Maps, but either my sense of direction wasn't good enough to get me back to where I thought it was, or it has changed hands in the 15 years or so that have passed.
 

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Thanks for all of that, all very interesting. I had no idea that potatoes were widely farmed in SA, the only thing I noticed as bananas, but that's probably because it's obvious what they are. My parents met a kiwi couple on holiday a few years ago who said similar about lamb in New Zealand - not that special because the good stuff goes for export.

We did a fair bit of travelling, so ate whatever fast food was convenient en route. I don't remember them being bad in better places we sought out in the evenings, but maybe that's because I was less likely to go for chips. I think I remember eating in a Steers, I tried to confirm with Google Maps, but either my sense of direction wasn't good enough to get me back to where I thought it was, or it has changed hands in the 15 years or so that have passed.
We are one of the biggest exporters of Bananas, Potatoes, Citrus, and Pecan Nuts in the world. But I think we are the biggest when it comes to Avo's
 

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Fries versus chips. For me fish and chips shops sell chips - ie thick cut ones. Fries are thin cut and are fries, are sold by the likes of McDonalds etc ie French Fries or more accurate Belgian Fries. Just My pedantry coming out here.
Agreed, McDonand's and Burger King's websites agree too.

<rant>This thread makes me realise how many strong food opinions I hold. One of my big bugbears is mid-range eateries (takeaways that position themselves as better than big chains / standard kebab shops and pubs that think they have the right to charge restaurant prices) selling frozen chips. If I'm paying £15-20 for a steak and chips, or £10+ for a burger and chips, is it too much to expect the place to employ someone who understands how to work a potato peeler! To make it worse, a good portion of these places don't seem to realise that frozen things are colder than fresh things, so need to be cooked for longer to achieve the same effect. </rant>

Similarly evil are the chip shops that make bad chips. There's one in my home town that gets rave reviews, but serves dreadful limp, dense chips......you only had one job! Luckily, one of the others is excellent - insanely crispy and light in the middle.
 

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Agreed, McDonand's and Burger King's websites agree too.

<rant>This thread makes me realise how many strong food opinions I hold. One of my big bugbears is mid-range eateries (takeaways that position themselves as better than big chains / standard kebab shops and pubs that think they have the right to charge restaurant prices) selling frozen chips. If I'm paying £15-20 for a steak and chips, or £10+ for a burger and chips, is it too much to expect the place to employ someone who understands how to work a potato peeler! To make it worse, a good portion of these places don't seem to realise that frozen things are colder than fresh things, so need to be cooked for longer to achieve the same effect. </rant>

Similarly evil are the chip shops that make bad chips. There's one in my home town that gets rave reviews, but serves dreadful limp, dense chips......you only had one job! Luckily, one of the others is excellent - insanely crispy and light in the middle.
Speaking of crispy. Do you prefer your chips to be crispy and cruchy or soft an mushy?

There's this one pub that does the mushy chips with their own spices that is to die for. You get it a lot that people go there, and then order just the chips, nothing else.
 

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Speaking of crispy. Do you prefer your chips to be crispy and cruchy or soft an mushy?

There's this one pub that does the mushy chips with their own spices that is to die for. You get it a lot that people go there, and then order just the chips, nothing else.
I like soft chips with loads of salt, vinager and curry sauce
 

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Onion vinegar on my chips and yes curry sauce.

Especially good chips when they have just come out of the fryer.

My parents used have two fish and chip shops way back in the 1990s. Glad they got out of the trade when they did. There are just too many in our area now. Counted at least 5 within a 4 mile radius of each other. Another sector of the fast food market which are just cutting each other’s throats, especially with fish prices now.
 

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Neon orange battered chips are top tier

That might just be a west midlands thing though
 

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Speaking of crispy. Do you prefer your chips to be crispy and cruchy or soft an mushy?

There's this one pub that does the mushy chips with their own spices that is to die for. You get it a lot that people go there, and then order just the chips, nothing else.
To me, they need to be a combination of the both, which is what makes them a bit tricky to get right. To me, they should be crispy enough to crunch when you bite into them, but as light and fluffy as possible on the inside. I guess this is achieved by picking the right potato and double cooking to create surfaces to crisp up, a bit like making roast potatoes.

I'm not really sure what you mean by mushy chips.
Onion vinegar on my chips and yes curry sauce.

Especially good chips when they have just come out of the fryer.

My parents used have two fish and chip shops way back in the 1990s. Glad they got out of the trade when they did. There are just too many in our area now. Counted at least 5 within a 4 mile radius of each other. Another sector of the fast food market which are just cutting each other’s throats, especially with fish prices now.
Onion vinegar as in vinegar that's been used to pickle onions? I like the sound of this, but unfortunately I only have silverskin onions and I can't see white vinegar doing it. It's got to be proper malt vinegar for me, so I order vinegar free and put it on at home so that I don't run the risk of getting non-brewed condiment on my chips. It also saves the vinegar making the chips soggy. I remember seeing Heston atomising vinegar for chip shop chips, which seems like a really good idea to me, but I haven't taken it to that extent. I'm a fan of chips that retain the salt put on them / salt that's the right texture to adhere to the chips. It's mad to think how much salt over the years has been poured on top of chips only to roll off and make the bottom of the tray look like a Colombian toilet cistern. I'm a curry sauce fan too. For some reason the stuff you make at home never seems the same, so much against my tight nature, I stump up an insane amount for a tiny pot of sauce. It has to be on the side for dipping, I fail to see the logic in taking something that's considered better the crispier it is and purposely making it less crispy, like these weirdos who pour gravy into a Yorkshire pudding.

I'd say your parents did the right thing. A mate of mine's family had one, which seemed to make them a very nice living. They were always smart in having a point of difference that made people use them. In their early days, they were the only chippy to open late, so got all the post-pub trade (my mate's old man was an England U16 second row, so could cope with a few drunks), in the mid / late 90s, they were one of very few businesses locally to offer delivery. They also kept their menu up to date and diverse. It sounds mad to say now, but it was quite a thing in the early 90s for a chippy to offer pizzas and Southern Fried Chicken.

In my home town, there are probably fewer chippies than at any time in the last 50 years. In my home town, the pinch has come from a massive expansion in the range of different offerings in the marketplace. From memory, when I was growing up in the 80s, the only other takeaways competing with them were a couple of Chinese takeaways (both still trading, one under the same ownership). Over the course of the 90s, Indians, kebab shops, chicken shops and pizza places. The price of fish won't have helped as you say, but the margins are still pretty mouth watering as long as you can get sufficient turnover. It's interesting that you think that 5 within 4 miles is a lot, if Google Maps is to be believed, there are 9 within 4 miles of me (4 in town, 5 in near by villages), but I suspect it's missing a few.
Neon orange battered chips are top tier

That might just be a west midlands thing though
TIL that this is a thing. Less the turmeric, I think that this is what my preferred local chippy does and is why they're so good. Possibly not as heavy handed with the batter as some examples that Google threw up though.
 

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Yep, onions vinegar used to store pickled onions.

Mushy pea fritters. Anyone have that where they live? That’s how my parents used to serve mushy peas back in their day. Northerners would order it and when they saw it they would say “WTF is that?” Lol. Yeh I think my parents should have described it better on the menu that it was fried in batter And not served in a pot Like up north.

But yeh tough trade. Used to be a pub opposite the shop and would get the trade from that late night and also people passing on the main road. Not helped as time went by with parking restrictions. The pub is now gone and replaced by posh flats. I popped into my parent’s old shop in December for chips and curry sauce, it was weird as it’s now got new owners and they’ve changed the layout of the shop. I grew up in the shop from around 3 years old, so brought back a lot of memories. I used to remember looking out of the window in the flat above and seeing people queuing outside to get into the shop. Those were the days when money could be made and also less competition. Now as you say choice is endless.

The chip shop near me, which I go to now has closed it’s restaurant part and just kept the takeaway section opened. Not sure if it’s just because of Covid and the effects on its business. A sushi place is going to open in its place.
 

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