Since Cluj is such a lively city, with tons of things to do and places to go, you always have to come up with ingenious ideas if you want to make your business succeed. One of these projects with a lot of potential that recently popped up in Cluj is the Big Red Busturant.
Big Red Busturant is exactly what you think it is: a restaurant in bus. The one in Cluj is situated near the Polyvalent Hall and you really can’t miss it. It’s a big, red British bus.
The concept is quite interesting and kind of reminded me of those food trucks you see in the movies. Since everyone was talking about it, I decided to give it a try.
I was actually looking forward to try out this new place because I thought it was an interesting concept, but it turned out to be a disappointment. Here’s why.
I went there with a friend of mine on a really hot Sunday afternoon. There were people waiting in line and a few more eating at the tables outside. I checked the menu. They only had hot dogs and burgers. The prices were fairly decent. The cheapest thing on the menu was the classic hot dog (5 lei) and the most expensive one was the ‘Big Red Burger’ (16.5 lei). The drinks were actually cheaper than I expected. A bottle of Coca-Cola or Fanta is 4.5 lei. I decided to buy a ‘Big Red’ hot dog with bacon and caramelized onion and my friend decided to buy a cheeseburger. We waited for about 10 minutes after they took our order for it to be ready. I think it’s a fair amount of time to wait, since the burger meat was freshly cooked then and there.
Since all the tables outside were taken, we decided to go upstairs in the bus. It was only us and after a couple of minutes I understood why. It got very hot, very soon. Also, fair warning, if you’re a tall person you probably wouldn’t be able to stand up in the bus, or you could, but it probably wouldn’t be too comfortable.
Despite the heat and the chairs being burning hot, we decided to stay there anyway, since there was no place to sit outside. The food looked quite appealing and the fact that we were hungry made it look even more delicious. Too bad it only looked like that.
The hot dog wasn’t bad, but the caramelized onion wasn’t actually caramelized. You know those small pieces of fries that get overly cooked by the times you finish frying your actually fries? It was worse than that. There were just some small pieces of tasteless and somewhat crunchy onions. Oh, and did I mentioned tasteless? That’s okay, it’s worth mentioning again. According to my friend, the burger was okay, but not fantastic. It was quite small and except for the meat, the rest of the ingredients kind of just passed around the burger. There were there, you just couldn’t really taste them. The fries that came with the burger were floating in oil and salt. Which is no surprise, since they salted the fries twice: once when they put them on the plate and once after they put the burger on the plate. The interesting thing is that part of the fries was almost inedible because of the salt, while the other part was lacking taste and it was really oily.
Now, I’m not saying that the food was so bad you couldn’t eat it. You could eat it if you struggled a little. Somehow they managed to make junk food have even more calories than it normally has, while also making you leave even hungrier than you were before. That must be some kind of a record somewhere.
Another thing that I think that they could work on is the music. Nowadays there’s no place where you go out to eat, or drink for that matter, and has no music whatsoever. So it was kind of odd to eat in complete silence. I can’t even remember the last time I ate like this, so I guess it could be an experience to add to your list. You could totally go to your friends and brag about that one time you went out and ate in complete silence. I’m sure they’ll be impressed.
This busturant has a long road ahead of it before calling itself an actual restaurant. I will give them the benefit of the doubt since they are new on the market, but this is definitely not a place that I would recommend, since there are other places in Cluj that you could eat at and actually feel like you ate. I will, however, say that the busturant has the potential of becoming a ‘go to’ place to get over your hangover after a wild night out, thanks to all its greasy food.