Gourmet food burger is usually not, but its popularity never seems to wane. Once every few years, a new wave of burger joints will spring up to create some buzz. The buzz will eventually fizzle out, and then the cycle starts again a few years later. In recent months, there are some pretty fancy burger shops opened in The Fort. I guess a new cycle has started. Or is it the beginning of another end?
Premium Burger Restaurants
OK, fast food restos also have burgers that they call premium burgers. But in our view, real premium burger joints are decorated like proper restaurants, and burgers are made to order. There seems to be two to three burger restaurants that qualify for this league:
8 Cuts Burger Blends
Serendra Piazza. This branch was opened only in July 2014. Burgers start at P145. The burgers are made to order, and you can actually see the meat being grounded for your burger. I do not know if the different cuts actually make difference to the taste, but the burgers are able to bring out the good flavor of the meat.
Burgers & Brewskies
Burgos Circle. Opened in 2013. The menu is creative, and the burgers are very good. Price starts at P215.
Murray & D'Vine
Serendra Piazza. This restaurant has been around for a few years. While its menu includes other American comfort food, the restaurant is known for its expensive burgers, such as Wagyu burger. A basic beef burger costs P315, which is the cheapest beef burger on its menu.
Psuedo Premium Burger Restaurants
They charge premium price as compared to fast food burgers, but either the eating place scores low on ambience, or the burgers are not yet quite there.
update: this restaurant has since been closed.
Burgos Circle, Forbes Town Center, Rizal Drive, BGC. It is basically an American diner, but burgers are its main attraction. Some people say the branch in Eastwood City has decent food. Maybe this branch belongs to a different franchise owner. A standard burger sells for P280. I guess they think that their jukebox music has a value of P100. We tried it when it had a promotion, offering burgers for P195 a piece. Even at that promo price, we were not impressed.
G/F, Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill. This resto is known for its value for money, i.e. a lot of meat at a low price, and quite a bit of grease (sort of like the Crabby Patties at Bikini Bottom where Spongebob works.) Some people seem to like the favor, while my eating companion said she could not get rid of the taste in her mouth fast enough. To each their own. Basic cheeseburger sells for P100. Add P30 you get fries and iced tea: now that's a good deal.
Sapphire Building, 2nd Avenue Corner 30th Street. Higher end fast food type burger joint. The standard burger, Crave burger, has a 1/3 pound beef patty, and costs P175. Why they think they can charge P60 for a can of soda is a puzzle. The place does not look much better than a fast food resto.
G/F Bonifacio High Street, 9th Ave. This brand has been around for over a decade, and has not lost its mojo. It has continued to update its burger designs, and thus been able to keep customers interested. Its standard burger, Brothers Burger, costs P175.
4/F Food Court, SM Aura Premier Mall. This second branch Canadian burger joint in the Philippines has been opened since October 2014. Its major selling point is 100% Canadian beef used in its beef patties. We have yet to find out what makes Canadian beef different from other beef.
Lucky's Burger and Bar
G/F Unit RJ-RJM Building 5, Tuscany, McKinley Hill
This place was reported to be renamed from The Burgery in October 2014 (maybe burgery sounds too much like burglary?). It is now more than a burger place, offering a wider range of food items on its menu.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. New burger joints come every now and then. If you have a wish list of improvements that you would like to see in the next wave of burger trend, please let us know. For me, I am still searching for burgers with good buns and patties that have a steaky texture. What about you?