KINGDOME GETS SLOPPY
Written by: Ashley Alleluya
Photography: Khaled Al Zawawi
I’m surprised to learn that the latest burger place I headed over to review, Sloppy Moe’s, is by no means new. “We’ve been setting up our food stand at places like Kout market for about three years now,” Moe, one of the owners told me. “It’s this location that is new; we received such good feedback from customers that we’re finally giving Sloppy Moe’s a base.” Burgers so delicious they demand to be elevated from stand to store? This I had to taste. So I took my appetite to the soft opening of Sloppy Moe’s on a sometimes windy, sometimes rainy Saturday evening.
If you were in a hurry, you’d probably walk right past Sloppy Moe’s and miss it, as I almost did. You shouldn’t be looking for a sprawling burger joint with diner-style booths or indoor seating. Instead, Sloppy Moe’s, owned by Khaled Zawawi, Mohammed J. Abuhakmeh (also known as Monstariam, the graffiti artist) and Hassan Kamrul is a hole-in-the-wall burger stop wedged between a coffee shop and a beauty store in the heart of the business district on Oman Street in Kuwait City. What may catch your attention, however, is a large black door with a man peeking from a window, ready to take your order and serve up your burger in under five minutes – no joke. With a small collection of unfussy tables outside, Sloppy Moe’s seems to have positioned itself as a grab-and-go burger joint – perfect for the work crowd it is looking to target.
As soon as I got there, Khaled and Moe walked up to say hello and get my order. Mind you, this wasn’t because they were expecting me or because I am dazzlingly beautiful. I noticed that every single person who walked up to the joint got the VIP treatment – a warm welcome and service with a smile. I had two choices for the night – in both cases a beef burger, either in the original recipe or the spicy variation. I chose the spicy burger and a soda to go along with it. There are no fries, onion rings or side orders of any kind to distract from the burger experience. Don’t expect milkshakes and fancy drinks with these burgers either. As with their food offerings, Sloppy Moe’s keeps it simple on the drinks front too; only burgers and fizzy drinks so the meat gets your undivided attention.
I was also curious at the lack of vegetarian options – “That’s the point of Sloppy Moe’s,” Moe laughs. “Our burgers are all meat, for those who love meat.” They also have chicken burgers on the menu, although those are served on nights when the beef options are given a break. “We want people to seek out the burgers and come on different days to try out the beef and chicken options,” Moe confides. “Our social media pages will keep the audience posted about what’s on offer each day, and we hope people will keep coming to try out everything we offer.”
Khaled brought my box to me and it was the packaging that first caught my eye – and hand. A sturdy stark black box with the logo stamped on it. This is a box that would easily survive a tumble or two in your car and still leave the contents unharmed. Inside the box was a decent sized burger, loosely packed meat slopped in an easily distinguishable bright pink bun with cheese and the special in-house sauce. “I’ve tested this burger so thoroughly over the past few years that I can tell you it holds up in taste even after thirty minutes,” Moe said with a proud smile. So I take his word for it and let my burger rest while a friend seated next to me chomps down burger after burger with happy sighs.
Twenty minutes later, I cave and bite in. The bun was soft, delightfully so, and blankets the meat in perfect balance with every bite. The meat itself was seasoned well and cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. When I heard the word spicy, I was prepared to chug down my soda for relief, but I needn’t have worried. Mildly spicy, the sauce, though absolutely delicious, had slightly sweet undertones and could have been used just a touch more generously. What I personally loved about the Sloppy Moe’s burger was its lightness – it is not a greasy or messy affair and does not leave you feeling stuffed. If you’re hungry, you could try one of each option without fearing the dangers of a food coma.
Even before my burger made it to me and long after I’d wolfed mine down, I could hear the rave reviews from people gathered around me. From the softness of the pink bun, to the perfection of the meat and even the robust black boxes the burgers came packed in, everyone had only nice things to say about the Sloppy Moe’s offerings that night. It’s rare that praise for a place is this unanimously unified, and when a number of people can find different things to appreciate in the same item, you know you have a winner on your hands.
“We have worked hard on this recipe and have some more exciting items lined up on our menu,” Moe confides. “I want people to think of Sloppy Moe’s as the place to get a good burger at a decent price within minutes.” They’ve certainly found the right place and price point to start. In the current competitive burger market in Kuwait, Sloppy Moe’s makes a confident entry with a vibe and recipe that is bold, confident and most importantly, yummy. At KD 1.750 for a regular beef burger and KD 2.000 for the cheese option, these bright pink beauties will definitely make an impression on your taste buds and have you coming back for more sloppy goodness.