I already have a reputation among family and friends. To them, I am “Dora, ang batang gala” (Dora, the wandering kid). It’s not as if I can’t stay put (I love reading books and being a couch potato too yannow); I just have this urge from time to time to go out of the house and see what’s out there. Maybe that’s why The Pink Tarha was at the edge of my brain six years ago; even if Riyadh was a restricted society and the first thing that my father told me was “don’t go to the mall alone,” I still went out because I can’t stay put and deal with the fact that I know there’s something worth something out there and I’m just staying put contented with not knowing. The not knowing gets to my Ms. Know-It-All personality. Haha! I don’t regret being tagged as “gala.” It’s not as if I go out for nothing right? After all, my discoveries land on the pages of The Pink Tarha website and I get to share information to others. (That’s my gasgas [tried and tested] reason to go out, haha!)
My partner in crime when it comes to going out would have to be my younger brother because he’s the one who drives a car and I call him ‘kaladkarin’ sometimes. Because a ‘batang gala’ should always have a support system, the ‘kaladkarin‘. Hahaha! Kaladkarin is a Filipino term for a person you can drag to go out with you wherever any time. I’m sure you have a friend like this. He’s more adventurous than the older bro who has a responsibility already that’s why I’m glad whenever the younger bro has the car because I can ask him to go here or there and everywhere, as long as he’s not playing DOTA and it’s all about new food we can try. Hahaha! Anyway, that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago. He’s a burger lover, (fact: he can line up for hours in Hamburgini and not lose his patience (you know how guys are about waiting right?) so I called him and ask, “Can you accompany me to this burger joint that a Saudi food critic likes? I have to try this! You should too.” He asked where and I said, “I can direct you to the place!” He was hesitant at first but he relented.
What I didn’t tell him is the location of the said burger joint: Al-Shafa. Uhmn where?!?
It’s uhmn, a little bit outside of Riyadh Center already. Haha! If you know the Riyadh suspension bridge, then you go the opposite side in the Wadi Laban area (yeah that’s quite big and wide of an area). You should check out Foursquare and search for “Highway 5 Burger” and click on the map. Simple. Haha! So while on the way, I kept on building up the burger joint to the bro because you know, it’s a bit far and we don’t want to walk out disappointed right? It was a good road trip, by the way. So if you don’t have anything to do with your afternoon and you want to get away from Riyadh’s traffic (that is getting worse by the day; what’s up with the unannounced road blocking and detours?!), then hop on your car and drive away from the center. Discover hidden gems along the way! (How’s that for a sales talk to your husband/brother/driver to take you all the way to Al-Shifa, haha!)
So we rode on to the afternoon sun and my brother was beginning to get apprehensive. He’s not seeing establishments; only dessert with tents and camps. I told him when we reach an intersection, we’ll see a small town. I’m not sure myself but we couldn’t quit now that we were already in Jeddah highway! And we did came to a small town that’s filled with establishments here and there. It’s a slowly burgeoning town that has Herfy, Panda, etc. Actually, it’s not that far from the hustle and bustle of a city life. We found what we were looking for after a few traffic light intersections: Highway 5 Burgers & Fries. It’s like pit stop for biker groups or something.
It has both a bachelor section and a family section. We took the stairs to the family section but it seemed empty so we went down again and ordered on the counter instead. We’re ordering take out anyway. The staff are mostly Filipinos so it’s a good thing because they explained to us what the Arabic menu says. Basically, they have mini burgers, regular burgers, and sandwiches. We got the regular beef burgers and customized some of them with orders of bacon and egg. The cashier recommended their grilled chicken burger and their cheese fries so we got them too. A meal is around SR 17 and above, depending on what you’re ordering and heaping upon your burger.
We sampled one burger on the drive back to the city center and wow! It was a mess in my hands but it was one of the best burgers I’ve tasted in Riyadh.Their bun is soft, their burger patty is beefy and tasty and their bacon… oh my gahd their bacon! I love their bacon. That’s all I can say. Haha! They bake their bread fresh every day and the patty was blanketed with cheese. The dressing is simple but the lettuce looks fresh and has quite a crisp to it. The double patty was spot on; it filled my tummy to the brim. Everything blended well together. And yes, I love the bacon. Haha!
When we got home, we tried the grilled chicken burger, the healthier burger. Unfortunately, it paled in comparison to the beef burger. It has the same bun but the chicken fillet was dry.
The fries, which the staff generously gave us, were okay. I love how simple it is; the cheese blanketing a heap of potato sticks and we got ourselves a complete meal. I want more cheese, of course, but I’m happy. It’s a good accompaniment to the burger which is still the star of the show.
Highway 5 Burger is a bit far from your usual itinerary but for a burger this good, you might want to take that road trip. But if the drive is too much of a hassle then there are a lot of burgers in the city center that might come close.
Highway 5 Burger & Fries
Al-Shafa, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
TIP: Try the chicken pasty in Pasty and Burger near Highway 5 Burgers and Fries.