Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Taste of America

It's funny how simple little American things can get us so excited and make us so happy here.  Yesterday, we were in Dubai celebrating my son's 16th birthday( which is actually really tomorrow).  We always let the kids pick a restaurant to eat at for their birthday dinner, so he chose to eat at the new Texas Roadhouse in the Dubai Mall.  It was quite a treat, and for the hour or so I felt like we were actually in America.  Everything was just like you would expect to find in a Texas Roadhouse in the states, including the line dancing waitstaff and country music.  They even had one of my weird but favorite treats, fried pickles.

Anyways, after our little taste of  America yesterday I thought I would share with you all the American restaurants that we have here.  They are places we didn't really think of being a big deal when we lived in the states, but now they are little tastes of "home".  Sounds stupid I know, but these places are like a familiar face in a sea of strangers.  So here's the list not in any particular order:

McDonald's - No big surprise, I'm sure.  Definitely not my fav, since I haven't touched a McDonald's burger since I was 5.  Gross, but it makes the kids happy.  Oh, and here you can get a questionable sandwich called the McRoyal and a hot pocket like thing called a  McPuff.  I'm pretty sure there's camel in either one or both of them.

Wendy's/Arby's -  They are a combined restaurant here. Up until last month when the long awaited for Wendy's/Arby's opened in the new Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi, it wasn't out of the question for folks to drive to Dubai for a frosty.  One of the Dubai Wendy's/Arby's is conveniently located right beside the Dubai Autodrome racetrack and the Ducati dealership.  This area is my husband's little heaven.

Dunkin Doughnut, Krispy Kreme, Gloria Jeans, Caribou, and Starbucks- They are all here!  No Dunkin Doughnuts would have been a deal breaker for my daughter moving here.  Oh, and don't even get me started on  what life without Cafe Verona or a hazelnut latte from Starbucks would be like!  All of these are pretty close to their American counterparts, including the light at the Krispy Kreme when the doughnuts are hot and ready.

Applebee's - We were not huge fans of Applebee's in the states, but the one here seems to be way better.  It's either that or we just crave anything American and that makes it better here...not sure.  We've been to our Applebee's here so much that we have our own waiter, Bong, that knows exactly what drinks and food we want.  He doesn't even take our drink orders, he just brings them out to us as we are sitting down.  They'll actually deliver to our house, but we've never opted for that.  I think we all enjoy going to visit Bong too much.

Baskin Robbins and Cold Stone Creamery - They are both here, and in just about every mall.  Baskin Robbins seems to be the national ice cream company of the UAE, because they are everywhere including gas stations.

Dominoe's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, and California Pizza Kitchen - All the pizza places are here, but without the pork.

We also have TGI Friday's, Subway, Hardee's, Auntie Anne's, Cinnabon, Cantina Laredo, KFC, Taco Bell, Outback, PF Chang's, Burger King, NY Fries, Fuddruckers, Johnny Rockets, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Rainforest Cafe, Red Lobster, Dippin Dots, DQ, and I'm sure I have probably missed some.

In a nutshell, this may not be America, but we get plenty of little American reminders everyday when we see the signs for these places.  Even better are the times like yesterday, when we can go into a place and for an hour or so pretend we are back in our beloved USA.

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