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Raising the steaks

Newly opened branch of famous American restaurant chain proves a point: health and fast food can go together

  • Made for you: Right before your very eyesImage Credit: XPRESS/ Zarina Fernandes
  • Extra delight: Chicken-smashed potatoImage Credit: XPRESS/ Zarina Fernandes
  • Healthy Bite: The Grand Escape steak sandwich at Steak Escape in Business Bay, DubaiXPRESS/ Zarina FernandeImage Credit: XPRESS/ Zarina Fernandes

DUBAI Healthy fast food need not be an oxymoron anymore. That’s what we found at Steak Escape, a 31-year-old outlet known for its lemonade, hot sandwiches and burgers – all made to order fresh in front of you.

We did not set out looking for the healthiest dishes. But we found, to our delight, that this option is available. The menu is packed with scrumptious choices – from its signature Philadelphia Cheesesteak to the Grand Escape steak sandwich to the crispy fresh-cut fries. There’s baked potatoes with meat and mouthwatering toppings, chicken, steaks and turkey – with vegetable options.

Every Steak Escape has the grill as its centrepiece. The portions are decidedly upsize and taste just like the original package that’s made it a household name in the US. Jeff Pozzo, a 29-year-old engineer from San Francisco, is a regular at Steak Escape at Business Bay. “I’m familiar with this taste back home. So I’m happy they kept the same taste in Dubai, it’s exactly as it should be,” said Pozzo, adding that he was happy to discover the outlet, opened four months ago at the Bay Avenue Food Court.

My dining partner and I delighted in the fact that the place is not fully developed yet – there’s no JBR Walk kind of squeeze here.

As we got down to business, it was the freshly-squeezed lemonade that greeted us first. This refreshing drink is as natural as can be – I really wished I could duplicate it at home.

Our host, Ebrahim Al Shallal, director of HMS Steak Ltd., Steak Escape’s master franchisee in the UAE, was keen to impress, so he tossed their signature dishes at us. We tried bits of each. Generous amounts of lettuce, tomatoes came with the Steak Burger. Given its inherent size, a single-patty (Australian hallal beef, Dh26) burger is probably all you need even if you come hungry.

The chicken-smashed potato with fresh onions, green pepper and cheddar cheese, with sour cream was a delight. The Grand Escape, a Philadelphia style “Philly” (Australian beef, onions, mushrooms, green peppers and provolone, a more refined cheese than mozzarella), was great with white bread baked in-house (Dh23). The buffalo chicken (Dh22) included crispy chicken, hot sauce and cheddar cheese nicely wrapped in a tortilla. An interesting meal-by-itself is the fries loaded with cheddar cheese (or ranch sauce) with beef bits – all for just Dh10. Kids and adults can enjoy their signature Chicken Nibblers with fries and three choices of dips, or the Jr Steak Burger (Dh16).

For dessert, we had brownies (Dh7) which was Steak Escape’s own bar cookie dense with chocolate with just the right crunchiness.

The Dubai outlet is Steak Escape’s 85th branch around the world. “We hope to open 10 branches in the UAE in the next three years,” said Al Shallal.

I am certainly looking forward to that.


Meal for two: Dh50 to Dh100

Location: Bay Avenue Food Court, Business Bay Dubai

Timings: 10am to midnight

Call: 04-425 3939