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A Late Lunch at Roadhouse

Just like Patrick Swayze.

Little-known fact: restaurants in Rarotonga generally close their lunch doors after 2:00 pm. This fact would have been great to know before the girlfriend and I rode our motor scooter around half of the island in search of a late lunch. Just when we had given up hope, I recalled a place called Roadhouse that we had passed many a time on our way from our hotel to Avarua. If they were closed, we were just going to have to snack ourselves away until dinner time. Fortunately, Roadhouse was open (from 11 am to 2 am every day) and sadly devoid of Patrick Swayze (RIP).

The chalkboard outside the place advertizes burgers for 5 bucks and fish and chips. And when we got inside and talked to the bartender, we found out that was the extent of the menu. You see, Roadhouse is pretty much a bar, and their food offerings are the type that someone would love after a few beers.

They did, however, offer two types of burgers – egg and cheese. Usually I love egg on my burger, but after destroying a load of eggs for breakfast, I needed a little break from chicken babies. I ordered the cheeseburger straight up, with a side of chips (fries), then took it to go to chow down on back at the hotel.

I call this the salad burger.

When I opened up my greasy bag, I found pretty much an entire salad on my burger. The bartender had told me everything that came on it, so I expected it to a certain extent, but didn’t realize my burger would be buried in veggies. Nonetheless, I had ordered the veggies for my starving girlfriend to eat.

Once the burger was cleared, I went to work on eating. The bun was a bit large-looking after clearing out the veggies, but the bread was awesome. I guess Rarotongan bread is pretty much amazing. The burger inside was decently tasty and actually a bit better than the one from Palace Takeaways, but definitely would have been more tasty after a couple of beers. Of course, as the only food available at that time of day, I couldn’t complain.

They look good in the bag, until you let them out.

The only thing I could complain about were the chips. These guys were undercooked, undersalted and kind of soggy. Even a few beers wouldn’t have made these taste good. Perhaps the cook was just shocked by the crazy people that wanted to eat at 2:30 and the shock made him lose his deep-frying memory, but I would definitely order these chips extra crispy next time to ensure a better side.

For a bar, I don’t expect much from Roadhouse as far as food, but when you only make two things I would have hoped for a little better. Sure, the burger was alright, and I was asking a lot for food in the middle of the afternoon, but I couldn’t be entirely happy with a burger whose best feature is the bun.