Your next date better be at Fatburger
Back in college, our Personality Development professor once advised to avoid ordering burgers on a first date. “It doesn’t look attractive if you open your mouth and take a big bite in front of your date. Order a pasta dish instead, make sure it is properly twirled on your fork before you take a bite,” she said with a prissily pursed mouth.
Several bad dates later, I realized that she was wrong. Bringing someone to burger joints is a fast and subtle way to reveal your date’s true colors right off the bat—better not waste time if you don't have to—and this is especially true with Fatburger, a recently opened burger chain where you can customize your heftily portioned orders.
Dating test No. 1: Ordering
You can tell a lot about your dates by the way they talk to the restaurant staff. Manners are the hallmark of a good date, after all. The staff automatically greets the customers with a warm welcome, and bonus points are due for those who greet back.
It gets more interesting when you place your order because there are many tasty combos to choose from. There are five choices of buns (white, English muffin, brioche, lettuce wrap, or gluten-free), three choices of cheese (American, cheddar, or blue cheese), and a thermometer-like guide as to how hot you want your Buffalo wings to be.
If your date waffles for a long time in making his or her decision, and that irritates you, that’s strike one. Ladies, if your date starts mansplaining how brioche is the superior burger bun or which is the best cheese to go with your burger, that’s strike two.
Your status on FB may be “it’s complicated” but ordering from the many choices they have at the counter shouldn’t be as perplexing. Fatburger COO Jack Halaby says that they have five premade choices up there on the board, and the staff can give helpful suggestions based on the add-ons you have already decided upon.
What you both decide to order is sort of a compatibility test. When you both spring for the same thing, then that’s a match made in heaven right there—it’s like you both swiped right on Tinder. Fatburger also has a veggie option, made with nuts, cereals, and vegetables instead of the usual tofu. If you are both into healthy eating or taking care of the planet, then there is something here for you, too.
What if she orders a salad, while you go for the Quad Challenge (finishing a four-patty burger gets you into their wall of fame)? Watch as she finishes the big bowl of greens and chunky chicken by herself. This means that she might have an appetite on her after all.
You can mix and match everything, from the bun to the number of patties to the add-ons.
They also have a section for wings.
Bacon Chili Cheese Dog with Cheese Fries
Premium Angus Fatdog
Dating test No. 2: Eating
The burgers are so big that they actually serve them on rectangular metal trays. This helps catch any spills and makes sure that you are more-or-less protected from wayward dripping. Enjoying that burger without any self-consciousness in the equation can show how comfortable you are with each other.
If your partner does happen to get some sauce on her face, here’s your chance to go all rom-com hero and wipe it off with your finger. That physical contact can be sweet and super hot at the same time. Also, the wings are served with gloves, so it’s time to get all primal and eat with your hands.
Fatburgers can be sexy, Halaby adds. “One misconception that we have because of the name is that our burgers are all about fat. While our fresh-ground meat does have a percentage of fat content to keep that juiciness and taste, the name comes from the size of the burger. Our product is actually good for you and better than most because we use high-quality ingredients and make everything from scratch.”
Chicken Caesar Wrap
Milkshakes are never too far off when you have burgers on the menu.
As well as rootbeer
Dating test No. 3: Drinking
While Fatburger has a tantalizing array of rich, thick, hand-scooped milkshakes, they also have a Fat Bar that serves local beers and Millers. You can check how well she holds up to alcohol and if her personality changes after a drink or two.
If it’s a group date you’re at—and their booth seating is perfect for this—you can get social without having to worry about the tab as you ply your dates with the drinks. Halaby says that they have instituted an open tab system, where you can continue ordering and keep your tab open until you are done.
If your date passes through the three tests with flying colors, do not hesitate to book a follow-up date right way. That’s #relationshipgoals IRL.
The concept’s history actually has its own relationship story to tell: It started out as Mr. Fatburger, a three-stool stand in California back in 1947 by Lovie Yancy and her partner, who worked at a construction company. When Lovie and her partner parted ways in 1952, she kept on with the burger stand and dropped the “Mr.” from its name. Since then, it has gone Hollywood, with Lovie herself preparing burgers for Redd Foxx and Ray Charles back in the day, and with its franchisees reportedly including Queen Latifah and Pharrell.
In the Philippines, the franchise was brought over by FTBR, the same guys behind Cold Stone Creamery, Pizza Warehouse, and Tous les Jours. Halaby says they are staying true to Lovie’s vision of serving burgers that are awesome meals in themselves. They’ve only tweaked some items on the menu to suit the Filipino palate—adjusting the hotness of the chili, and adding rice to the meal choices of the Buffalo’s brand of chicken wings.
All in all, Fatburger is a fun place, with a casual atmosphere and a come-as-you-are attitude. It’s not just for dating, of course. Its menu and price points will appeal to families and friends as well.
Fatburger is at G/F Glorietta 2, Palm Drive, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City; open daily from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; www.fatburger.com/philippines.