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In a pre-McDonald’s era, where fast food and hamburgers were considered a treat and not every restaurant was featuring it on their menu, Pune city had its own dedicated hamburger outlet. The original Burger King owned by Mr. Shapur Irani has been delighting locals for nearly two decades. There isn't a single person who grew up or studied in the city that hasn't eaten at Burger King now simply renamed 'Burger' thanks to the American chain.
I still remember these were considered by far the very best burgers in town. So much so that they had people clamouring to get their hands on them. With various burgers all priced under Rs. 100 and the tastiest hot French fries served to you straight from the pan, this was the ideal place for a filling meal that was easy on the pocket. While it is extremely popular all through the week, the weekends witnessed people lining up for their food and spilling right out of the restaurant and on to the streets. The absolute gem on their menu is their beef burger. While there are vegetarian, chicken and fish burger options as well, it is the beef burgers that reigned supreme. This is of course all pre beef ban in the state of Maharashtra.
A lot has changed in these last two decades. McDonald’s entered the market and made Burger King even more popular with the locals. It became even more fashionable and trendy to munch on a burger. Far cooler than any rasta sandwich. Burger King in America decided to come to India and challenge this local eatery and force it to change its name and then the impossible happened. The government decided to taboo the most precious commodity on the menu.
Today the beloved beef burger isn't on the menu but loyal subjects still flock to Burger for incredibly priced food. He might be dethroned and stripped off a title, but with two outlets still packed to the rafters - it's only proof that Burger is and will always be one of Pune's most beloved eateries.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.