For 10 years I’ve been coming to you. Sometimes stoned, sometimes drunk. You are the stoner’s late night booty call. You are the drunk’s reassurance when the waiter at the bar says “Sir, kitchen is closed”. My past few visits made me realize you are the kingpins of the late-night food mafia. We all like that you stay open and feed us when no else will. You are amazing, but...
We only come because you are open! Your food is consistently average. And the entire city has come to terms with this. To your advantage, a majority of your clientele is either extremely drunk or majorly stoned. In such an intoxicated state of mind, food has no taste.
They say “do not spit on the plate that feeds you”... but what if the food makes you do that? Your food makes people sick as they eat it. Your Coin Parotha is steelier than an actual coin. Your dal has so much water, it could save a civilization from draught. And then one more. The best part is I don’t even have to look at the menu, because no matter what I order, it all tastes the same… like regret. But I continue to dine with you... because you are open at 1 AM.
Your ever-so-famous Shawarma Roll is not really a Shawarma. It barely passes for a roll either. No one has the guts to tell you that. To make things worse, some people out there have only eaten your Shawarma — and have nothing to compare it to. The “roll” is a cabbage-chicken-kubus-closed-cylinder at best. In fact the only thing that makes it edible is the ample mayo which you make us pay extra for. Not to mention the only thing ‘jumbo’ about the jumbo-shawarma is the claim of it being a big size. We all know the actual reason we come to you for a “Shawarma Roll”, is because that’s the only counter without a queue. My Arabian friends have often called your Shawarma Roll a “Scam-warma Roll”l. But I will remain loyal.. because you are open at 1 AM.
I often order from your wide options of beverages so I don’t choke on my food. My favorite is your iconic cold coffee - special emphasis on ‘cold’. On my last visit, I realized sipping it induces such an enormous brain freeze that you never really notice the lack of coffee in it. Most food franchises have a secret ingredient in drinks for extra flavour, your drinks do not have flavour Apart from sugar. The drinks here don’t taste sweet, they taste sugary. Extremely different things. But I will still drink them.. because you are open at 1 AM.
I love your staff though. They have a carefree attitude towards life. In their overused, one-size small black vests with heads bent into their mobile-tables, they couldn’t care less about your order. Getting served in any Empire adds a sense of adventure to your night. My friends and I play this game called “Who ordered this? Where is what I ordered?”. I had no idea the only requirement to be a waiter at Empire is to have short-term-memory-loss. Fact - the longer you wait at restaurants, the hungrier you get. And this is the very trait of us humans that the staff at Empire exploits. But I will deal with your service.. because you are open at 1 AM.
In conclusion, all I want to tell you is that — you an inspiration. You reaffirm that you do not have to be the best, to be the biggest name out there. That you don’t even have to care about the quality of the product or the delivery to be the biggest name out there. You reaffirm that chasing greatness in today’s world is pointless. And it is your legacy of mediocrity which feeds an entire city daily... because you’re the only one open at 1 AM.