5 Life-Changing Burgers in Metro Manila
Ok, we've proven our point. We are good Catholics who have avoided meat for 40 days (or at least every Friday of Lent). It took most of our strength and some of us cheated and licked the tip of a strip of bacon at least once, but we survived. But fasting is over. No more pansy-assed fish sandwiches for us, thank you very much. We want burgers. And we want them big, loud, and obnoxious.
Because we're fancy—and we're hungry AF—these are the burgers we've held out for since Ash Wednesday. Done with these five? We've got more coming.
Lusso Demi-pound Burger at Lusso
Margarita Forés' take on comfort food is definitely not casual, and this philosophy is perfectly demonstrated by her signature burger. At first glance, it looks pretty classic with a bonus of caramelized onions, but take a bite and it is pure, unadulterated luxury. Hidden inside the U.S. ground beef patty is a block of foie gras which, when cooked, turns into rich, custardy bliss. Imagine that when you bite into it. A Cambozola bath is served on the side, a good way to treat your fries. While burgers topped with foie gras are now more common than before, we won't forget our first. That's Lusso.
Lusso is at G/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City.
The Chef's Burger at Elbert's Steak Room
You don't need to worry about questionable mince here. The Cuencas only offer the best of the best. Since Chef Adrian Cuenca wants to ensure maximum juiciness and decadence, he speckles hand-chopped tenderloin with truffle-salted bone marrow and recommends keeping it medium to medium-rare. With that kind of patty, you don't really need much else, just caramelized onions for a sweet contrast and a choice between Gruyere cheese or cambozola sauce. Those duck fat-fried potato wedges are hard to ignore, so don't.
Elbert's Steak Room is at 3/F Sagittarius Building III, H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Grind Bistro's Indulge Burger
If you're not too impressed with their foie gras-embellished burger, find a better fit with the Indulge Burger. Their half-pound beef patty is topped with two kinds of cheese—Swiss and cheddar—not to mention mushrooms sautéed in bacon and onions for a biting finish. It's a fancy upgrade of a bacon mushroom melt burger, but a luxurious upgrade to an old favorite is always welcome.
Grind Bistro is at G/F Netpark, 5th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Green Pastures' 80/20 Burger
Anybody who's had a bacon cheeseburger knows that improperly cooked, chewy bacon can be a challenging bite. Chef Robby Goco, however, solves this dilemma with his 80/20 burger—that's a 80% freshly ground, grass-fed beef, 20% organic bacon type of situation topped with eggs Florentine. The blanched spinach (see, it's good for you!) is topped with a sous-vide egg and a Bacolod caciocavallo cheese bechamel sauce which is broiled until golden. If you're feeling guilty after this, have a swig of kombucha.
Green Pastures is at 4/F Shangrila Plaza East Wing, EDSA, Mandaluyong City; G/F Netpark 5th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
The Foie Gras Burger at Pound by Todd English
While we love Pound for their affordability, they sure know how to answer a call for luxury and decadence. Their version of the foie gras burger not only has a 50-gram slab of fatty duck liver on top of a half-pound patty, it's also smothered with foie gras mousse. The combination of caramelized and crispy onions, T.E. sauce, mustard relish, lettuce, and tomato is hardly messy—each component adds balance and freshness to what could easily be a cloying, apoplectic experience.
Todd English is at High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City; 2/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City.