Pancake House's Classic Burger From the '70s Is Available at Only One Branch
If you know your Pancake House history, then you would know the first Pancake House was opened just outside Magallanes Village in 1970 by a group of pioneering women who wanted to diversify the rice-heavy Filipino diet. By 1974, more partners swooped in to support the fast pace of its success and by 1975, a second branch was established in Ayala Arcade.
Through the years, more Pancake Houses followed, franchises were permitted, new owners came in, awards were received, and the company developed and purchased other dining concepts. By 2013, Pancake House Inc.—plus its entire restaurant network—merged with Max's Group. And Pancake House, the little restaurant that started it all in Magallanes, is getting stronger every year with over a hundred outlets in the Philippines
Within the twists and turns of corporate exchanges, however, some of the original magic was lost. As business grew, the menu was revised and we said goodbye to some of the restaurant's hallmark dishes, including the beloved classic cheeseburger (spelled Cheese Burger on the menu). And while many of the newer dishes have become blockbusters; the tapa is a crowdpleaser and don't get us started on the spaghetti, we still miss some of the old reliables.
Fortunately, we discovered that the current Magallanes branch is exclusively offering the Classic Cheese Burger on its menu. The Magallanes store, which opened in October 2018, is a stone's throw away from the original location (it's literally across the street), so it's a fitting venue for some throwback.
The Classic Cheese Burger is fired upon order—a 15-minute trade-off after decades of being missed. Two patties the size of your average cookie are made from fresh ground beef then tucked inside a soft but yielding bun. The only other element is a pair of American cheese triangles. On the side, if you're fancy, sweetish pickle relish, tomato ketchup, and mustard are available, but that's it. No extra mushrooms, no caramelized onions, no foie gras in between. It's as classic as its name lets on.
The burger is nothing extravagant (an order costs P299) but it's definitely delicious. In this day and age, there's comfort in enjoying a manageable, easy-to-eat, fuss-free meal that you can hold on to and easily fits in your hand and mouth. The patties are well-done though still moist, and seasoned only enough that you taste beef and nothing else.
There are no lines snaking through Pancake House Magallanes for the burgers, but that's only because no more than 10 are served on weekdays (a server confirmed this). There's also been no word on how long it'll be on the menu. If you only have 15 minutes of free time to wait for a burger, you have to try this one.