Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Zark's Burgers (Taft)

Another burger place? Why, yes. A couple of days ago, me and some friends ate at Zark's Burgers. This is a newly-discovered place by my friends who studies at DLS-CSB where the burger joint can be found. I'm not quite sure if it's a new or old place, as I don't have anyone to ask while I'm writing this review early in the morning. Anyway, since this is located at Taft, it's a pretty far journey from home. However, what made me decide to tag along was their insurmountable challenges that the place offers, to foreshadow everything.

My friend who became a regular in just a couple of visits because of their somewhat affordable menu (for middle-to-high class students, at least) at very generous servings invited me to challenge the biggest burger on their menu—the Tombstone. This monstrosity of a burger boasts four 1/2 pound patties with cheese tagged with a price of 500 Php and a warning that whoever consumes this might die on the spot. I accepted.

When we arrived, I looked over the menu. Indeed, they do have a lot of 1/4 pound burgers they put under "Minor League" in the 100Php price range, all named with a sports-related theme, such as Strikeout, Homerun, and Submission, with differences only in the toppings. A step up is their "Major League" menu, consisting of premium toppings with similar sports-themed names, such as Rock Bottom, Three Pointer, and Shaq!, still at affordable prices hovering at the 130Php range. Finally, they have the "Best Pound For Pound" menu, which are half-pound or multiple-patty burgers served with fries and your choice of iced tea or lemonade, priced at least 180Php. Here, you can find two of the joint's challenges. First, the Jawbreaker, which is a triple 1/4 pound burger with spam and bacon priced at 250 Php. Similar to the challenge in Burger Ave., if you are able to finish this in 5 minutes, it's free. And second, which is the one we came here for, the Tombstone.

The challenge was to eat this in 10 minutes to get a shirt and become immortalized in their hall of fame if you are able to finish it. Since there's basically nothing to lose and at least two pounds to gain, I willingly chose the bigger challenge, even though I somewhat wanted to try the Jawbreaker more. Oh, and also, they also serve other sandwiches and rice dishes, but I wasn't really able to remember much about them. Anyway, I asked for the Tombstone, but didn't take the challenge as I was doubting my stomach which just consumed a good few pounds of pork belly the night before.

Monday, January 17, 2011

BRGR: The Burger Project (Maginhawa Street)

First off, Happy New Year to my readers. Thank you very much for visiting, and I appreciate all current and more future visits. I know me and Beloved aren't really professionals or anything, using only our cellphone cameras to take photos and my lengthy or Beloved's chirpy writing, and we just do this for fun (and maybe some loose change). Still, we appreciate it that you find time to read our reviews, and we promise to take time to do more, and then some.

That said, Beloved and I decided our first nomnom adventure for 2011 will be on BRGR: The Burger Project. This somewhat newly-opened burger joint is located on Maginhawa Street, Teacher's Village. It's a pretty accessible place from where I live, and I've been actually wanting to go here since its opening a few months back. I've heard plenty of praise from friends who've tried it, especially with their unique method of ordering, which I'll explain later. What has taken me aback from trying it out sooner was the budget: I was warned that it's not really a very affordable place. Since Beloved got plenty of ang paos last Christmas and New Years, we finally had the chance to do so last night.

It's a pretty cozy and roomy place for a joint in Maginhawa St., where most of the places are pretty crowded. They have tables both inside and out, and their bright sign and interiors make the place even more inviting. They have a step-by-step process painted on their windows explaining how to make your own BRGR. We went to the counter to try it out for ourselves.

We were given the form above and a pen to fill it up. The first step consists of selecting your choice and quantity of meat; which can be Angus Beef (at most 125 Php per patty), 100% Beef (95 Php each), Chicken (95 Php), or Tofu (75 Php); and from one to three patties. While I was pretty curious of their Tofu burger, I was pretty hungry, so I decided to build mine with double Angus Beef. Beloved had two of their 100% beef patties for hers.

Next step was choosing the bun. The choices are Poppyseed (free of charge), Potato (additional 15 Php), or Oatmeal (additional 15 Php). I just ticked the Poppyseed, and Beloved decided to use the Potato bun.

Step three consists of choosing your cheese. Each costs 35 Php, and can be either Bleu, Mozarella, Graveria, or Cheddar. I assume you can tick more than one cheese, but I just had Mozarella on mine. Beloved put Bleu on hers.

The fourth step had customers picking premium toppings, which costs 25 Php each. These toppings are Bacon, Chili Con Carne, Caramelized Onions, Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni, Onion Rings, and Guacamole, the last one was seasonal. I put Bacon on mine, and Beloved passed on this step.

Next was choosing basic toppings, which cost 20 Php each. They are Mango Salsa, Pineapple Slices, Jalapeño Pepper, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Egg, Sliced Onions, and Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms. This time, it was me that passed on this step while Beloved ticked the box for the Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms. They also offer free toppings, consisting of Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Pickles. I ticked all of them and Beloved had the first two.

Finally, for the burger at least, they have you choose your sauce, costing 15 Php each. Because we already had cheese on ours, we both passed on this step. Anyway, for the curious, the choices were Wasabi Mayonnaise, Pesto, BBQ Sauce, Buffalo Wings Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Special BRGR Sauce, Marinara, and Garlic Sauce.

You then have to name your order for a personal touch and you're done! I named mine Ramburger after my name, which, to review, had Double Angus Beef (235 Php), Poppyseed Bun (free), Mozarella Cheese (+35 Php), Bacon (+25 Php), Lettuce (free), Tomatoes (free), and Pickles (free) for a grand total of 295 Php. It was essentially a Double Angus Mozarella Bacon Cheeseburger. As for Beloved, she named hers Blue Tomato, consisting of 100% Beef Patty (95 Php), Potato Bun (+15 Php), Bleu Cheese (+35 Php), Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms (+20 Php), Lettuce (free), and Tomatoes (free) with a total price of 165 Php.

Of course, that's just for the burger. They also have sides, milkshakes, and beverages to go with them. Beloved ordered their Onion Rings (65 Php) and Vanilla Milkshake (145 Php). I asked for their Fries (60 Php).

The Vanilla Milkshake arrived first. To put it simply, it's a tall glass of vanilla ice cream in thick, liquid form topped with whipped cream. Beloved obviously didn't have any complaints.

Our sides arrived next. Their Fries weren't really french fries, but more like potato wedges. The outside was deceivingly tepid. When we bit in, it was piping hot! While it was good, I was pretty disappointed that it wasn't crispy as I expected fries to be.

Their Onion Rings was the better side that night. They were large rings of onions, the largest one can almost fit Beloved's hand. They were crunchy on the outside and the onions themselves were sweetly caramelized.