Friends’ Avenue Café in The Ribbon, Motor City is the second installation of this Tom&Serg meets Limetree Café concept, the first being in Cluster T, JLT. Sandwiched between Nando’s and Papa Jones, the small Friends’ sign is easily missed. Inside you’re greeted with the same laid-back, minimalist look-feel that is so much the rage with European cafés and bistros these days; painted over brick walls, grey epoxy floors, painted ceilings with exposed ducting, and wall matching paned windows. Although a little overused these days, it’s the recipe for instant cosy.
Like at the Limetree there are a number of sandwiches and salads you can choose from behind the display at the cash counter. And like T&S there are a number you can order a la carte. But I’ll tell you what, these new kids in town have two things which will upset the big boys no end – an excellent range of kick-ass burgers, and the most amazing coffee in…um, MotorCity (for a start). My wife tells me that their salads are pretty good too.
My daughter and I ordered the Handyman and Dragon Fire burgers respectively. Hers with no tomato, no lettuce, no sauce, no nothing…just a patty and a bun. Oh, and bacon (which they charged us AED14 for). And it wasn’t even oink. Pah! My Dragon Fire burger (what an amazing, Game of Thrones name for a burger) came with way, way too much sauce which, delicious as it was, had me a slobbery mess after two bites. But listen up, if you are a burger lover, you really need to try one of their Melt Burger Company burgers – they’re insanely good.
Their milkshakes are insane too.
The all Filipino staff are friendly but constantly on the run; busy, busy, busy, as if they’re a member short. Other than that, Friends’ Avenue Café is a welcome, refreshing, non-Lebanese addition to the MotorCity culinary scene; for some stupid reason, we have four (yes four) restaurants within a 200m radius which are Lebanese, three of which serve shisha. Thankfully, this is one outlet in The Ribbon’s Tobacco Triangle which does not, making it my choice.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.