So far as the former is concerned, new eatery Bikes’N Bites rode the extra kilometer to fill its interior with authentic items to make most petrol heads feel at home while refuelling.
Exhausts, hubcaps, bikes chains, rusty oil cans, weathered signs and number plates are the backdrop that go towards creating an industrial garage feel.
But look further at some of the innovations that re-purpose these imported materials and you soon realise this was no lazily constructed novelty joint.
The venue – first place on Al Wasl Road heading from Al Safa direction – has lampshades fashioned from number plates and seating composed of fake grass and 'pre-loved' tyres.
There are tables emulating ‘Stop’ signs and the cutlery is seemingly fashioned from spanners - likely to bring a smile to most faces on first observation. Likewise the fuel pump dispensers that have been skillfully converted into wall lights. Another, quite literally, bright idea.
And they’re actioned by a fairly no nonsense menu that has a distinctly US feel, from the home-pressed lemonades to the strong BBQ influence.
The meal combo section name checks some of America’s best known southern motorcycle routes; The Cave Run Lake Loop, The Great River Road and, of course, Route 66.
These allow you to put together the likes of luscious Slow Smoked Prime Angus Beef Brisket, a moreish Sweet & Smoky Turkey Breast and an oh so tasty Hotlink Beef Sausage.
Little pots of coleslaw and shoestring fries add to the picture alongside surely one of the most extensive ketchup and sauce selections in town (40 and counting).
Chicken wings come with a choice of sauce, namely a zesty lemon pepper, honey mustard, Caesar or Texas Spicy. We absolutely loved the Crispy Potato Skins with chilli con carne and sour cream and the onion rings mean business.
The Sandwich Stacks – bikes such as The Triumph, Black Jack Chopper and Harley Davidson – lend their names to hearty options such as a to share 300g monster smoky burger bun filled with Angus beef brisket, turkey breast, sausage and more, an open steak sandwich and a Texas link hot dog.
And if all that sounds a tad too heavy for the road then there are salads – although the well named Or Maybe Not Combo adds some of those meats to the mix.
Giving it up to the sweet toothed is a Daily Pie, a Mississippi Mud Pie, Peach Cobbler and a Jarred Snicker Cheesecake which turns out to be a naughty but nice layered cheesecake mousse imbibed with chocolate cookies and a salty peanut caramel sauce; as good as it sounds.
Then there is the hat trick of Sundaes…
To wash all that down Bikes’N Bites tenders a list of mocktails named after bikes clubs around the globe, such as Moped Army, Ulysses Club, Frozen Bandidos, Holy Riders and Cycle Queens. The Strawberry Lemonade - not named after a club - is to be recommended.
All in all, it is hard not to like this place. The concept is well thought out and carefully executed with enthusiasm and a great vibe. Not only is Bikes’N Bites independent - in other words, not part of a chain or a franchise -it is a genuinely interesting place to pitch up and eat.
Aesthetically it is likely to appeal to both kids, small and big – such as us dads – whether you’re into bikes or not, largely because of that fun garage set-up and feelgood food.
While signing copies of his books for guests, the American motorcycle veteran declared Bikes’N Bites one of the nicest bike joints he had been to. “And I’ve been in a few," he added.
The UAE does, of course, have a fairly healthy biking culture – even if at times it seems every other vehicle is a Land Cruiser.
Whether those burly bikers will make Bikes’N Bites their home from home remains to be seen, but whatever happens, Dubai now has a great new destination for family dining with as much to look at on the walls as the table.
And those easy-riding road dwellers could well have inspired a concept that will travel. The UAE is a voracious consumer of overseas franchises, but in Bikes’N Bites lies a new 'brand' that would be viable in any city, whether it has a busy biking community or not.
FIND Bikes'N Bites on Al Wasl Road at BOXPARK.
IT is open noon to 12am every day.
FOR more information, contact 055-200-0528