The first time I visited 1976 was in 2014, when it was in its nascent stages and the burger scene in Trivandrum was almost nil. I loved everything about the dinner that day – the garden area dining, the music, the ambience, the menu and the food. We had a fun night chatting and laughing as we relished every bite of our meal amongst which, was the best burger we ever had in Trivandrum, and yummy fish and chips. That said, after that, I’ve been recommending the place to practically everyone who asks me for dinner options, I never got an opportunity to go back there and enjoy their burgers over some good music and a chilled out setting.
Last time, though, when I was in Trivandrum, we were wondering where to go for dinner. There were a lot of options in front of us considering the innumerable new restaurants that have come up in recent years, when my brother suggested 1976. We were not too sure about it, since all of us were in the mood for Chinese, yet 1976 meant a bit of a drive and the good memories too vouched for it.
As we reached the place, eager to relive the experience, we were told that the restaurant is shifted to the rooftop due to renovation work taking place at the garden area. Blame it on our high expectations set by the last time’s wonderful experience, the rooftop was a bit of a let down for us, in terms of ambience. In fact, there wasn’t any ambience to speak about. There was music in the background, but that was just about it. As we sat there wondering if we should have waited until the garden area was renovated and opened, we were given the menu. The menu was still the same and all the options looked tempting enough.
We placed our order for a C3 (Classic Cottage Cheese) Burger, Funky Funghi Burger, Lord Of The Fries, House of Fries, The Classic Burger, and the Sting-Ring Roll along with a Passion Fruit Iced Tea and a Soda Pop. A very interesting option that caught my eye in the menu was the option to have a lettuce wrap instead of the burger one, a common option in many places outside India yet rarely seen here, and I opted for that. It took a while for the food to be served and we sat there chatting and laughing. Considering how we were let down with the ambience, I must say that we were a bit doubtful about the quality and the taste of the food going down too. However, a bite into our dishes and we realised that all our doubts were unnecessary.
The Lord of Fries was a different take of the usual french fries, with topped with cheese and lettuce. It was cheesy, crunchy and the addition of the lettuce gave a refreshing twist to the fries. The House of Fries, which consists of a mix of Yam, Raddish and Sweet Potato, however stole our hearts. This was a welcome change from the usual potato chips, I would say. The mix of different flavours were amazing, although the Sweet Potato chips stood out a bit more, and we sat there munching on these as we waited for our burgers and rolls to come. Soon, these too arrived.
The burgers, all three, were finger-licking good! The patties were juicy and moist, with a generous amount of fresh vegetable stuffing along with a good drizzle of the ketchup and mayonnaise, and cheese too! The flavouring was perfect and it was delicious to say the least. We were silent from the time our dish came until we licked the dishes clean and that itself should speak volumes about the dish, considering how chatty my family is! The roll, too, was perfect in terms of flavour and taste. However, the portion size felt insufficient for one.
A special mention must definitely be made to the lettuce wrap, though! This, I would say, was the best part of my meal that day. For a person who loves lettuce wraps instead of burger buns, this was a huge find for me in Trivandrum and it didn’t let me down. It was perfectly thick to hold the filling well without getting soggy yet at the same time not being overpowering with the layers. I absolutely loved the crunch it gave, which a burger bun never can, and the whole package – the lettuce, the patties and the veggies – left behind a beautiful burst of fresh flavours in my palate. In fact, I didn’t want to share it with anyone else, although I was taking a bit of everyone else’s meal.
There is a lot to improve on the presentation part. The burgers come half wrapped in butter paper, along with a white and red checkered tissue paper that holds a couple of fries, all put together into a plastic bowl. Considering the taste of the burgers here and the price that we pay, the first impression requires a bit of working on. It would be a total game changer if the same dish could be served on a plate, accompanied by fries, ketchup and a salad alongside. The service is a bit laid back and slow, but I wouldn’t complain about it once the restaurant is shifted back to the garden area, because the setting there is a totally different league. I would be happy to sit there, enjoying the moment, laughing and chatting without any hurry for my meal to arrive. The food is a definite value for money.
This is a must try if you are in Trivandrum. The burgers, here are not to be missed if you are a burger enthusiast. I am eagerly waiting for the restaurant to shift its operations back to the garden area to go back to enjoy my lettuce wrap amidst some good music and company!