Manila is teeming with restaurants and fast food joints claiming to have the best burger in the city. And while it is proved to be most difficult to quantify taste without hunkering factors down to cholesterol level and sodium content and what-nots.
The only way to go about this noble quest for the best burger in town is to try them all — one burger joint at a time.
It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it and I ever-so-courageously step out of the line and yell on top of my lungs words that Katniss Everdeen immortalized — “I volunteer!”
On a payday Friday night, Yo and I found ourselves purposefully walking along Sgt. Esguerra Street in Quezon City, right across ABS-CBN Network, in search for a burger spot that’s been making waves online: Backyard Burgers. Well, at least in my world.
Located between a kebab restaurant and a car wash, Backyard Burgers is indeed a wonderful surprise. The place may not be so big, but the flavors and burgers are huge. Their burgers come in three sizes: Supreme (⅓-lb patty), Extreme (½-lb patty), and Obscene (1-lb patty).
For this meal, I had “The Godfather” (PhP195.00, around Can $4.60) — a half-pound beef patty stuffed with mozzarella cheese, topped with a slice of cheddar, lettuce, onions (I asked them not to put it in), and tomatoes sandwiched between a hoagie bun deliciously swabbed with pesto. For an additional PhP50.00 (around Can $1.18), you get a small tumbler of their house onion rings and a tall glass of red iced tea.
The patty was well done (the way I like it) but still juicy, and the gooey mozzarella cheese contributed an interesting play on texture and flavors. The sharp cheddar cheese was a nice salty contrast to the almost fruity crunch and tang of the tomatoes and the fresh burst of lettuce. The hoagie bun itself was a little dry, but the pesto surely fixed that problem. With every bite served with a generous dose of Sriracha hot sauce, I reduced “The Godfather” to nothing in less than an hour.
Yo had a “Heart Attack” with an order of onion rings and a glass of iced tea (PhP195.00 + PhP50.00). Aptly named, it’s a half-pound all-beef patty topped with cheese and crispy pork belly, once again served between Backyard Burger’s hoagie bun. Yo said there was nothing exceptional with the beef patty, but the pork belly was a welcomed treat.
Their house onion rings looked great, but seemed to taste of raw flour. For me, the raw taste overpowered the flavors of the spices in their batter or coating. It was a little disappointing. I’m hoping it’s just a one-time thing and that their rings really taste better on most days.
So, what was I supposed to do with sad onion rings? Put ‘em in my burger, or course! And I gave “The Godfather” an offer he simply could not refuse. Or rather, it was the other way around.
The meal was indeed hefty and I had to do breathing exercises to make room for dessert, which we had elsewhere so we can maximize our night out. Good thing we had to walk a little bit to our dessert spot.
All in all, we will come back at Backyard Burgers just to try out their other signature burgers. I’ve been getting rave reviews for their Truffle Burger (half-pound all-beef patty stuffed with mozzarella cheese, “truffled” shiitake mushrooms, and a slice of cheddar cheese). They also serve non-burger options, like beef belly cheese steak and chick-n-cheese, as well as homemade dulce de leche ice cream with sea salt and dark chocolate ice cream.