It’s something that no expat wants to hear… or any South African for that matter… but what if I told you that Steers will no longer be the Number 1 thing you will have when you get back to South Africa for a holiday… EISH Ja… very sad thought… but its true… it won’t be anymore…
On my recent trip to South Africa I performed the age old ritual that many an expat performs within mere hours after they land on African soil, and that is of course head to the closest Steers they can find and order themselves their favourite Steers combo. As many of my mates will know, I’m not very extravagant when it comes to food, I’m a no garnish kinda guy, a pedigree salad dodger if you may, but in my simple food sort of way, you might call me a bit of a self proclaimed, Fast Food Connoisseur (if that title exists, if not, it does now) contrary to what you might think, its actually a tough job, while the rest of the foodies try and decide whether 10 things taste good in their mouth at one time, leaving some ingredients to mask the taste of other shit tasting ingredients, I go straight in for the kill with about 3 ingredients… is it flipping awesome?… or is shit? keeping things plain and simple really, the fact remains, those three ingredients on their own have really got to impress.
Now over the years, like many, Steers has been a personal favourite. Back in the days when I was a delivery guy for Debonairs Pizza, I’d pull up to Steers in Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg and smash a Saucy Burger as if it was my daily ritual before every shift. Then when we were living in Pinetown, The Phreak worked at Pavilion Steers for many years, naturally I was a very well known face amongst the staff, and it wasn’t just because my sister worked there… no, those were the days when Steers was awesome… damn I can still taste a Big ‘n Bad Burger now However in the last 11 years I’ve been living here in the UK, Steers has slowly but surely crept in a downward slope, but not enough for me to give it up completely since I only get to have it every 6 months to a year, religiously having it every day of my holiday (fact)… until now.
So back to my recent trip to SA, as soon as I landed at King Shaka airport in Durban, we dropped the bags at home and headed straight down to the Steers at the Engen Garage at La Lucia Mall to perform said ritual, I got my usual, which was originally the good old S4 (Super Rave Burger and Chips with a coke) which has over time changed to the wider single patty Rave Burger with Chips combo. We got our chow and casually walked back to the bakkie like normal relaxed human beings, got in, and within split seconds transformed into savage vampires in a wild frenzy with sauce splattering on the windscreen and side windows, but then I suddenly stopped in a deafening silence, instantly transforming back to human state… “what the fuck was this?” I’d got through a few bites of the Rave burger, wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to (without the sauces you probably couldn’t tell the difference between a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder and a Rave Burger, sad, but true) so decided to move onto the old faithful… “the best chips that ever graced the take away industry” …and thats when it all ended. Let me describe to you what those once little slices sent from Heaven with flavoursome sprinkles of Steers special seasoning are now… they are now tasteless strips of baked potato… the reason I say baked potato is that they crumble and fall apart in your hands as you try and grab them… and tasteless… well… I mean seriously Steers…skimping massively on the seasoning, come now, cost cutting exercises can’t be that bad… you can hardly even see any seasoning on them whatsoever let alone taste anything… highly disappointed, I closed everything up and tossed the packaging to the floor of the bakkie in true South African fashion and we drove back home in silence, not quite sure on how to deal with what had just occurred.
Now you are probably asking yourself, did he complain to the shop?… No, its very rare that I ever complain, the truth is there’s a saying… “Never piss somebody off that is dealing with your food” for obvious reasons… if its not good, I just won’t go there again… if its really bad… well… I’ll blog about it… simples
Now I know you’re probably thinking, ok it might have just been that Steers branch… well sadly not… a few mates that I spoke to about the dilemma, all said Steers had really gone down, but I thought I’d give it the ultimate test. You see, I was in Cape Town a few days later and I headed over to Table View to get some pics of Table Mountain, sit on the beach on my ace and take in the awesome surroundings with infinite grace and appreciation, as one does when it Cape Town. So I popped into the Table View branch on Beach Boulevard, and ordered my soon to be ex-usual… expecting the worst but hoping for the best (words to live by)… well lets just say its what I was expecting… it was exactly the same as the Steers in La Lucia 2000kms away… which can only mean one thing… this was now the standard for all Steers Branches inbetween which makes up the vast majority in the country…. I won’t lie, it was a very dark day when this dawned on me.
Steers you have let the side down, you seriously need to sort your shit out if your most staunchest supporters are now looking for better options in fast food. To give you a bit of insight, when people talk about SA Inflation, they don’t compare the prices of Nando’s, KFC, McDonald’s, a loaf of bread or a litre of Milk or even a packet of Simba chips… they compare SA inflation to how much the price of Steers has increased and that’s a fact…you were legendary… in fact, its widely known that the best thing that could have ever happened to London was a Steers branch opening on Wimbledon Broadway, people have been saying for years what a killing you’d make… sadly now I think it would be the biggest embarrassment to South Africa, your standards seem to have fallen through the floor and are now sitting in basement B10, 10 stories below the surface.
So Steers, this is me breaking up with you… I never thought I’d see the day, but it’s not me, its you, we might engage in a one night stand here and there, but I’ll probably be ridiculously drunk with no inhibitions to the extent that I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between you and a big fat Johnny’s Roti… I’d be more than happy to sing your praises once again, but I’m sure myself and many South Africans will agree… you’ve got issues, and you need to sort your shit out.
Btw, I hear Burger King is coming to SA… at least their burgers taste like meat and their chips definitely aren’t as good as yours USED to be… but they’re a damn side better than what they are now… like 100 times better… no bullshit… trust me, an XL Bacon Double Cheese Burger is going to be a Steers Killer… SA is in for quite a treat in the coming future.
Steers… Real Food Made Not Real Good… anymore
You were once the pride of South Africa… not so much anymore
Until you can start doing things like you used to… I’m out
I’d really like to hear your own experiences and thoughts on how Steers has regressed over the years… please… do tell… Hit it up in the comments below, get all your mates to tell about their experiences… Lets all tell Steers what we think of their standards right now!