If you’re a fast-food fan, it comes with the territory that your meat might come from slightly strange sources. Tales of McDonald’s legendary pink slime and super-engineered KFC chickens have ensured that anyone eating at a franchise orders everything with a healthy dollop of scepticism.
However, in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, one popular burger chain takes things in a completely different direction, eschewing traditional options like beef, poultry and pork in favour of something much more unorthodox. Ideal for the adventurous diner, Hot Horse more than lives up to its name by serving the tastiest horse meat in the city.
Like any aptly named establishment, the Hot Horse menu is a testament to the culinary potential of the world’s tastiest steed. Traditional fast-food favourites, such as burgers and kebabs, are readily available, only with equine steaks, sausages and slices in place of more commonplace cuts.
The chain has grown to become a vital part of Ljubljana’s burgeoning restaurant scene, with locals flocking to the franchise’s four locations after a night on the town. A particularly popular item is the group’s unequivocal “Horse Burger”, which comes with a generous squirt of hot pepper “ajvar” - a ubiquitous condiment that helps define much of Slovenia’s dining.
Other sought after options include the “Tortilja” - a wrap filled with thinly sliced pieces of horse flank as well as sauce and fresh veggies. Included alongside the burgers and wraps are everything from fries to salad boxes, proving that provenance is now obstacle to fast food success.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hot Horse has become something of a hotspot for daring and hungry tourists. Although many visitors might go for the novelty, there’s no doubting that the restaurant is much more than a gimmick. Travellers and locals alike have praised the quality and flavour of the food, suggesting that there could be something in the unusual meat market. Who knows, as the business expands, perhaps it’s not long before a Horse Burger is as unremarkable as a Big Mac.