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Archive for the ‘Hamburger’ Category

A tall order

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Wandering the mall on a random weekend and needed to find a spot for lunch. The same old chain restaurants that occupy entire wings of the mall, all serving the same overpriced meal options – it’s very much, slim pickings. Zark’s, which also happens to be a chain, usually offers up good burger and fries options, always a go-to when there isn’t much of a craving for anything in particular.

Having visited several times before, it has always been good – although, still taken aback by the number of patrons who eat their burger and fries with a fork and knife.

On this occasion, picked the stone-cold stunner, described as “a double bacon cheeseburger on a bed of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, and caramelized onion,” it sounded great.

The plate arrives at the table and, having experienced double cheeseburgers before, this one did not disappoint in height. It took a bit to figure out the mechanics of it, and it was an absolute mouthful.

Zark’s has always been a good fallback when there didn’t appear to be many other options. Plus, the massive “stone-cold stunner” was some good eats to carry through the rest of the day.

Stone-Cold Stunner

A Decent Burger Spot

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Ever since moving to the Philippines, it’s been a disappointing search for a decent hamburger. Either the bread wasn’t great, the toppings were insufficient, or (the worst) the burger was not all beef – and not a blend of another meat, some kind of filler made it obvious restaurants were not serving a 100% meat patty.

Did have a smidge of hope with the monthly burger pop-up at The District by Ayala, in Talisay, but that went to the wayside after too many occasions having to wait because they opened without having their beef patties or buns ready for service; just unprofessional.

Burger chain Zark’s opened up at SM City and, after visiting twice, it’s a pretty good spot and the price isn’t too bad. Enjoyed the Black Mamba on the first visit, came with a really delicious and sweet barbeque sauce; on the last visit, tried the Shaq, topped with onion rings and bacon.

For something as simple as a sandwich comprised of a bun, burger patty, lettuce, tomato, and any other additional toppings, it’s incredible how many places get it wrong. Zark’s has a huge menu and there are so many more to try – so far, so good.

The Shaq, a cheeseburger topped with onion rings and bacon.

The Shaq, a cheeseburger topped with onion rings and bacon.

There was an incident with the hostess on the last visit. Apparently, some fellow food photographers have taken the rather tacky habit to an all new level. The customer, who ordered takeout, asked to have the food brought out on a place for her to take a photo, to add to that, she asked the seating hostess to hold the plate as she took the photo.

That was some pure idiocy, on the part of the customer, and very bad judgement from the seating hostess.

Written by Paulo Loreto

April 17, 2016 at 12:19 AM

Australian Burger

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In all the years in New York City and all the variety of foods consumed in that time, there is really nothing that satisfies than a good hamburger. Leaving the United States, learned very quickly that a good hamburger cannot be taken for granted and it’s not as simple a concept as one would imagine in formulating a decent burger. Having enjoyed an extended vacation in 2015, stopped by one of the regular haunts, The Australian NYC – the only place to enjoy live rugby league at five in the morning.

If there’s anything as quintessentially Australian as koalas and kangaroos, it’s the way they enjoy their burgers. Two words: Beetroot and pineapple. Have had pineapple on burger before, usually places call it an “Aloha burger” or something Hawaiian, but it’s the Australians that have locked in an amazing combination of flavors with the variety of toppings. Given the other essentials – lettuce, tomato, onion – the burger can stack pretty high, but what other way is there to enjoy it?

The burger at The Australian NYC is both a classic and a new concept (depending on where you’re coming from). Must say, personally, not one to really indulge in beetroot that often, it’s usually only on hamburgers that the ingredient ever springs up. The Aussie burger is a nice contrast to the regular burger one would get at a typical pub, plus (for newbies), it has that little extra from the Aussie ingredients without getting too far into weird burger territory.

Beetroot and pineapple never worked better together.

Beetroot and pineapple never worked better together.

It also comes with some really tasty fries.

Written by Paulo Loreto

February 15, 2016 at 8:12 AM

The Big Reade

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On an early Sunday afternoon, wandering lower Manhattan to meet a friend for lunch, hoping for some decent pub food. Walked down Reade Street and stopped at the Reade Street Pub, the only customers – probably the first customers, the place likely just opened a few minutes prior. After perusing the healthy beer menu (accompanied with decent prices), looked through the food menu and zeroed in on the burger selections.

The Big Reade, described as two 5oz. patties, American cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and what grabbed the attention was the addition of a chipotle sauce. Before the burger arrived, imagined a traditional burger, one stacked high with ingredients and two patties; arriving at the table, it was not what was expected. The burger was, essentially, split into two open-faced sandwiches. Not sure the exact way it was supposed to be enjoyed – did attempt to make it one burger and it was difficult.

In the end, went with eating one patty with the lettuce and one patty as a traditional burger – one “Atkins”-esque and the other like a slider. Tasty stuff, very satisfied but it must be said, the chipotle sauce was smoky. Understood, chipotle is known for a smoky flavor, but the abundance piled on top of each patty was breathtaking. Did have to take a bit off after the sauce was having an effect, but, ultimately, it was good pub food.

Big Reade

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 3, 2016 at 10:54 PM

Jane

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On many instances, one of the things that make the work experience what it is is the environment. Whether the place of work is surrounded by business, greenery, or part of an office park, it really impacts the way one operates at the job. In a previous job, before moving overseas, had the prime opportunity of working in between New York City’s Greenwich Village and SoHo. North, south, east, or west, there was always something to see or do.

One of the great lunch spots in the area is Jane, situated right on Houston Street. Also known for their weekend brunch, during the week, the place never disappointed with their offerings, which change seasonally.

A classic, one of the constants, is their Jane Burger. With ingredients stacked high, their signature rosemary fries, and a cold beer, that’s a lunch one doesn’t forget too easily. The burger is cooked to order, juicy with a generous helping of bacon, and those rosemary fries – those come in a large pile on the side of the platter – delicious and filling.

And with lunches like that, it makes the rest of the day a good one.

Sometimes a burger is a burger, other times, it’s a Jane Burger.

Sometimes a burger is a burger, other times, it’s a Jane Burger.

Written by Paulo Loreto

November 5, 2015 at 7:24 PM

Das Bürgery

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The star of the monthly Weekend Souk, Das Bürgery offers up a variety of hamburgers that are arguably the best in the Bacolod City area. Unlike many food places that don’t always offer 100% beef hamburgers, Das Bürgery is unlike the rest, in that, they put some thought when it comes to something like a hamburger.

Found in the courtyard area of The District at Ayala North Point in Talisay, every month the shopping center opens up as a marketplace of local food and goods, with merchants offering everything from cultural treats, locally-produced apparel, fresh sugar cane juice, and, of course, Das Bürgery sets up a table there.

As mentioned before, what really sets them apart is the use of actual beef in their hamburger patties – in this instance, a good idea to avoid cutting corners. Yes, compared to contemporaries, they are pricier, but that comes with the territory. Alongside a quality bun and a variety of toppings, it’s a monthly treat enjoyed by many.

Unfortunately, (asked the proprietor on several occasions) they do not have a free-standing store.

Das Bürgery only serves burgers. The fries can be purchased from the local Tater’s franchise just around the corner – makes for a very satisfying lunch.

Das Bürgery only serves burgers. The fries can be purchased from the local Tater’s franchise just around the corner – makes for a very satisfying lunch.

Written by Paulo Loreto

September 29, 2014 at 8:12 AM