by Ashley Alleluya
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 Qout 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.
It is terribly easy to walk right past Sloppy Moe’s and miss it, as I almost did. Owned by Khaled Zawawi, Mohammed J. Abuhakmeh (also known as Monstariam, the graffiti artist) and Hassan Kamrul, Sloppy Moe’s 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 is a large black door with a man peeking from a window, ready to take your order and serve up your burger. 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.
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. 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 served on nights when the beef takes a break. “We want people to come on different days and find different options,” he continues.
It’s the Sloppy Moe’s packaging that first caught my eye. This is a sturdy black box that would easily survive a tumble or two in your car. Inside was a decent sized burger, loosely packed meat slopped in a 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 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 loved about the burger was its lightness – not a greasy or messy affair and does not leave you feeling stuffed. You could easily try one of each option without the dangers of a food coma.
Even before my burger arrived and long after I’d wolfed it down, I heard the rave reviews around me. From the softness of the pink bun to the perfection of the meat, everyone had only nice things to say about the Sloppy Moe’s offerings. Unanimous praise is rare, 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 more in store,” 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 made a solid start. In the current competitive burger market, Sloppy Moe’s has 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 beauties will definitely have you coming back for more sloppy goodness.
Photography by Khaled Al Zawawi.