Dear Dave

Hard Rock Helsinki, by Dave Simmmer II

(The picture on the right is of the Hard Rock Café in Helsinki, Finland and is by Dave Simmer II. It is used in accordance with his Creative Commons license.)

The Dave I’m referring to is Dave at Blogography, who has been running his blog for as long as I’ve been running mine (longer, actually). In this day and age when blogs are falling by the wayside (for proof, check out all the broken links on this page), I feel a kinship to the man. True, a lot of that is because he puts his soul into his writing, and he bears that writing to the world. He seems like a cool guy, and though I’ve never met him, I feel like I know him, and that we’re friends.

Anyway, I’ve been following his blog for literally years, and you should too. He travels a lot and he takes good pictures. And for years, he’s talked about his desire to visit every single outlet for the Hard Rock Café in the whole wide world. This week, he’s in Helsinki, Finland, and has paid that city’s Hard Rock Café a visit.

Now, I’ve got to admit, his write-ups on each of the Hard Rock Cafes he visited intrigued me enough that I asked Erin, her father and step-mother to try out the local Hard Rock Café when we were in Niagara Falls. And I’m sorry to say that I don’t quite get it. For me, the food was okay, but overpriced. The ambiance was interesting, but loud. It was nice seeing all of the rock and roll history on the walls, but I fear that I’m not enough of a rock’n’roll-a-phile to truly appreciate the work that goes on here. But maybe Dave sees something that I don’t. Here’s his review of Hard Rock Helsinki:

I ended up having a “Caribbean Black Bean Burger” because the Helsinki Hard Rock didn’t have the usual “Veggie-Leggie” burger. The flavor was pretty good. The problem was that it had a marinated black bean patty and some kind of sauce on top, which made the burger a wet-hot mess. It was so slippery that it was impossible to keep in the bun. Which was a soggy bun, because the marinade had soaked into it. Making this the singular most stupid f——king “burger” I’ve ever attempted to eat. Which begs the question… when this was dreamed up, did they ever bother to f——king try one before putting it on the menu? Because there is no way this should be sold like this. The thing costs $23 (with fries!) and I was only to eat half of it because even attempting to eat it with a knife and fork proved futile. I don’t expect amazing food at a Hard Rock—

Wait, what?

I don’t expect amazing food at a Hard Rock, but I at least expect it to be edible.

That’s what I thought you said.

Let me get this straight: you don’t like the food at Hard Rock or, at best, find it “edible”. So, why in the heck are you trying to go to every single one of these in the world?!

I guess it has to be the rock and roll memorabilia, right? Which, as I said before, I guess I’m not built to quite appreciate.


Well, to each their own. I remember that, down the street from where I used to live, there was a restaurant that they had built within the inside of a streetcar loop. Moreover, they had used two actual streetcars and built the structure of the restaurant around it. You could eat inside the streetcar while you watched streetcars turning during the evening rush hour. I loved it. Then there was the time — which Erin will not let me forget — that I wandered the country roads of Ontario for close to an hour looking for the town of Shelbourne because I had heard that there was a burger and fries place that had been built inside of an old Toronto streetcar (and, guess what: I found it).

And if I’m honest with myself, the food at both of these places was… adequate and edible. And probably not worth the amount we actually paid for it. The trolley restaurant in Toronto went under around the time I moved to Kitchener, and is now a real estate office.

I guess we all have to have our idiosyncrasies. Dave, did you ever explain your undying love for the Hard Rock Café on your blog?

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