No food gets a man in touch with his carnal self more than flesh sandwiched between two buns. It brings together man, meat, and the brute pleasure of eating with bare hands. Nothing can pry a burger away from a man (except perhaps a few starchy pieces of French fries). And because of that, we bring you the top 10 bovine treats that make us love beef even more.
That was my introduction to an article that I wrote about burgers, which obviously have a special place in my stomach.
Back in 2013, I wrote a list of the best burgers in Metro Manila for Speed magazine‘s 10th anniversary issue. Like most best-of lists, it was subjective to the core, but I had fun writing it and I did take into consideration other people’s recommendations as well. The list will be four years old this May, and a lot of new burger joints have opened since I wrote it, so it is due for an update–something that you shouldn’t miss, trust me. But looking at the list now, it appears to stand the test of time, as I still find myself running to Charlie’s Grind & Grill (although the Ronac ART Center branch has just recently closed) to quell a burger craving and still regard Snack Shack as one of my all-time favorites.
Read the rest of the article below and see if any of your own favorites made the list. If not, or if you think any of the new burgers should be included in a 2016 best-of list, then let me know! I’m always game for a burger or two.
• • •
First published in Speed May 2013
10. BURGER MACHINE’s Regular Burger
The original street-corner burger chain is still king of the road. Burger Machine remains the go-to joint to quell the latenight grumbling of stomachs. An occasional buy-one-take-one promo on the Regular Burger is just the add-on that seals the deal.
9. JOLLIBEE’s Champ
This all-Filipino heavyweight continues to be a favorite because it appeals to the Pinoy taste—something that Jollibee is an expert on. And it doesn’t hurt that you can easily buy a Champ on virtually every block in the city.
8. McDONALD’S’ Quarter Pounder
Classics are difficult to topple over. Way before gourmet burgers filled our bellies with fancy grease, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is perhaps the most real beef burger that we had. And we never forget a good, trusty friend.
7. CHILI’S’ Bacon Burger
A mouth wide open isn’t enough to pound this Big Mouth Burger down. You’ve got to bring a huge appetite, too. The double-threat Chili’s Bacon Burger makes the list because it puts together two of man’s best meaty friends.
6. T.G.I. FRIDAY’S’ Jack Daniel’s Burger
Don’t bother getting your alcohol fix from a whiskey glass in between bites when you can taste the premium Tennessee whiskey right from your burger. With T.G.I. Friday’s, meat, and Jack Daniel’s sans the buzz, how can you go wrong?
5. BURGERBAR’s Bar Burger
When your big bro’s dishing out top-of-the-line barbecue, you shouldn’t go wrong offering your own red meat, even if you like putting yours on bread. BurgerBar fired up its grill with this in mind, giving us nothing less than the double-patty likes of the Bar Burger.
4. BROTHERS BURGER’s Black Angus Burger
The first Black Angus Burger to make the list, from a more accessible burger franchise. Brothers Burger started early in the fancy burger race and after more than a decade, it still brings in serious muscle.
3. SNACK SHACK’s Fresh Grilled Burger
Fat and chunky homemade beef patties grilled fresh as you order are among the reasons why we tip our hats off to small businesses and entrepreneurs such as Snack Shack—the haven for messy, greasy, and non-commercialized burgers from right next door.
2. ELBERT’S STEAK ROOM’s Chef’s Burger
What would it take for a burger to send your world spinning? For Elbert’s Steak Room, that would be all-beef patty, bone marrow, and truffles. And we couldn’t agree more.
1. CHARLIE’S GRIND & GRILL’s Black Angus Burger
Charlie’s Grind & Grill offers lots of mouth-watering, knee-buckling, moan-inducing grubs. But for the sake of this list, we’re bringing in only one of the big guns: Black Angus Burger. It brings all the boys to the neighborhood carwash. Damn right, it does.
The burger to cheat (a list) with:
Murray and D’Vine’s Beef Bleu Cheese Burger