I have just about settled in to life here in Rotorua and everything, even the daily cleaning of the hostel, has become routine. It’s almost as if I’ve gone home and taken up a regular job that I go to every day. With my eyes set on saving some cash, I don’t really venture out much (not that there’s much to do in Rotorua by means of nightlife anyway). So, what’s left? Eating, of course. Here’s a quick review of two chain restaurants: Breakers Cafe and Bar and Burger Fuel.
Alex, Miriam and I headed to Breakers one night for dinner. Miriam just started working with us so it was nice to spend some time getting to know her. I ordered the Breakers Burger and we all shared a pitcher of orange Fanta. I can’t remember what the girls had. Charlyn also joined us later in the evening.
Anyway, getting to my burger – it was huge, juicy and hit the spot perfectly. The backpacker’s diet, if you don’t know, usually consists of a noodle (either pasta or instant ramen) and/or rice and veggies. It almost never includes meat, even if you’re not a vegetarian.
Meat, chicken and fish are difficult to transport and will go bad on you faster than a bottle of tomato sauce and some pasta. Also, to be honest, most of us won’t pay for the luxury of protein. Most backpackers would rather spend their money on entertainment (aka alcohol) than food. I’d just rather spend my money on future travels, but to each his own.
But on special occasions like this one, it’s nice to have a real meal away from the hostel and pretend that we all have the money to do this all the time. It’s amazing how something as normal as eating out with your friends becomes a luxury when you’re traveling and is such a normal thing when you’re at home. I think the burgers at Breakers get two thumbs up, even though the decor is slightly cheesy (it’s an American-themed surf restaurant).
The day before Alex left Crank, we decided to give Burger Fuel a try. We had a coupon for free chips (aka fries in the States) with the purchase of any burger. I got the Ring Burner (yes, that’s what it’s called) and a chocolate shake. Both were delish! The Ring Burner was this enormously messy thing that you had to hold with two hands. I think all of their burgers are like that. Only later did we learn that they have special burger holders that help you hold things together. As we weren’t in-the-know, we struggled to wrap our mouths around it all, but the effort was definitely worth it. Our burgers were truly filling and we didn’t even touch most of our chips, which was such a waste. Oh well.
On a side note, I can’t believe Alex is leaving already. I think she actually stayed longer than the two-week minimum required of our work-for-accommodation staff, but it seems that time has flown by once again. In addition to her departure, we’ve lost a few people already – Nynke, Nina and Lasse – and Miriam is also on her way out. New people arrive soon and I hope they’re easy-going.
In the showdown between Breakers and Burger Fuel, my vote goes to Burger Fuel simply because its sheer size. It also tastes great (at least mine did and Alex seemed to enjoy hers as well) and is made with a thick meat patty. Round one goes to Burger Fuel.