Saturday, November 28, 2020

Dining in the Next Normal: Take A Big Bite With These Burger Picks

Perhaps no other dish exudes pure and classic americana than the iconic hamburger. Many claim to have invented it yet its history and origins remain ambiguous. But everyone agrees that it earned national recognition with its debut at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair just like that other all-American favorite, the hotdog. And the burger continues to evolve with inspired takes on the classic as well as inventive spins for a new flavor experience. During the quarantine, we've seen nine savory burgers that pleased the palate earning another mention in the blog. Here's my latest quarantine edition round-up of burger picks...  

A juicy and savory slab of meat slapped on a bun just never fails to trigger one's appetite. From the usual fast food variety to gourmet creations, the ubiquitous burger has endured the test of time even in the new normal. Hotels, restaurants and chefs unveiled their burger offerings in response to changing consumer habits with dining at home on the uptrend and the continued rise of the food delivery culture. From classic flavors to innovative new expressions of the all-time favorite, here's nine savory burgers that are now available for delivery to your doorstep...

Chef Chele Gonzalez of Gallery by Chele kicks off our list of burger picks with his Mini Chori Burger, tasty sliders with homemade chorizo, jamon, caramelized onions, cheese and lettuce in between two pillow-soft brioche buns. The Mini Chori Burger is part of Chef Chele's new offerings specifically created for dining at home, the AT HOME Spanish Signatures. From traditional Croquetas to Clam Fiduea, Pulpo a la Gallega "Chele Style" and the specialty Burnt Basque Cheesecake, Chef Chele lets you experience authentic Spanish flavors right in your own home.

And it's these Mini Chori Burgers that will have you going for another bite, delivering a savory richness in that elegant culinary style of Chef Chele. The quality and freshness of the ingredients deliver clean and vibrant notes that pop in your mouth as one more bite adds yet another layer of rich flavors and before you know it, you're reaching for the second bun. The combination of the distinct notes of the thick and juicy chorizo patty and jamon combine for intense flavors complemented by the sweetness of the caramelized onions, creamy cheese and garden-fresh and crisp lettuce.

Don't let the "mini" in Mini Chori Burger fool you, these burgers pack solid flavors and quite filling too. Each order comes with two Mini Chori Burgers and a side of thin and crisp chips. Chef Chele elevates the slider to a whole new level with his Mini Chori Burgers, and you'll wish you ordered a double serving (for more on Gallery by Chele's authentic Spanish and sumptuous AT HOME offerings, see my earlier post, Dining in the Next Normal: AT HOME Spanish Signatures Delivered to Your Doorstep from Gallery by Chele).

Novotel Manila takes on the new normal with its lavish offerings for take-out, pick-up and delivery with their innovative Take Me Out by Novotel Manila. Packed, boxed and ready to go, Take Me Out by Novotel Manila offers a wide range of options from fresh salads to sandwiches, soups and pasta, pizza, fresh baked bread, cakes and indulgent gelato to Chinese, Filipino and Indian dishes. Take Me Out by Novotel Manila makes it easy to serve a sumptuous feast at home without the fuss. They also offer a mean burger...

The Novotel Classic is one of the many offerings from Take Me Out by Novotel Manila with a double patty of juicy Australian beef patties layered with cheese, tomatoes, onions and lettuce on a soft brioche bun. Served with fries, The Novotel Classic brings a one-two punch of bold beefy notes with every bite. And everything just comes together with another bite weaving its rich savory notes. The soft brioche buns absorbs all the flavors perfectly while maintaining its form all the way, released in a flavorful burst with another bite. It's the perfect option for burger purists, clean and uncluttered with pure beefy notes.

The Novotel Classic is aptly named, highlighting the beefy notes of the iconic burger with its double premium beef patty execution. It's an uncomplicated burger with all the elements of your favorite burger, executed perfectly with the freshest and finest ingredients. And you get to experience full flavors with this double patty version from Novotel Manila (for more on the wide range of of offerings from Take Me Out by Novotel Manila, see my earlier post, Dining in the Next Normal: Enjoy #NovotelManilaAtHome with Take Me Out by Novotel Manila).

Resorts World Manila pulls all the stops for its resort-wide Grand Fiesta Manila Holiday Offerings with 11 Thrills of Christmas, including innovative burger creations from all its food outlets collectively dubbed as Bad Ass and Delicious Burgers or simply BAD Burgers. Infusing unique Asian spins like Filipino, Korean and Chinese flavors as well as classic western notes, BAD Burgers features eight new and playfully inventive creations for a refreshed burger experience.

Take the Ube Cheese-Sig Burger by S Kitchen and Oori of Sheraton Manila which takes its cue from comforting Filipino flavors. The savory pork sisig is recreated in a juicy patty with all its comforting richness on crisp lettuce slathered with creamy mayo topped with a pickled red onion in a soft purple yam cheese bun. One experiences a whole range of familiar notes, from the pork sisig to the mildly sweet and nutty ube cheese bun yet it all works together delivering fresh notes.

Then there's the Donut Burger by Casa Buenas (L) with a juicy Angus beef patty topped with Cheddar, smoky and crisp bacon and egg in between a glazed donut. The play on sweet and savory notes are highlighted with each bite with seemingly contrasting notes in a fine and delicate balance of pure burger goodness. You may have tried a donut burger before, but Casa Buenas upgrades the combo with its Cheddar, bacon and egg components to complement the juicy Angus beef patty. 

The Tapsilog Burger by Casa Buenas (R) is another creative twist on local flavors with its juicy Angus beef patty topped with fried egg and pickled papaya draped in a creamy yet sharp and silky smooth pinakurat aioli. The savory richness of the burger is tempered by the pickled papaya and pinakurat ailoi for balanced notes. And the icing on the cake? The usual bun is replaced by a crisp Garlic Rice Cake Bun for a play on both textural contrast and flavors. That's just three fresh new takes on the burger, with five more on the must-try list. Try all eight for a new burger experience (for more on Resorts World Manila's Grand Fiesta Manila Holiday Offerings and creative BAD Burgers, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Resorts World Manila Launches Grand Fiesta Manila Holiday Offerings with 11 Thrills of Christmas).

Fire up the home grill for the Frozen Chori Burger Patties by Chef Redd Agustin's The Pork Project. Each juicy patty is a blend of ground sirloin, pork fat, ground pork, smoked paprika, cider, pimenton, garlic, Kosher salt and cracked pepper for that sweet and smoky finish. Conveniently delivered to your doorstep sealed and frozen, freshness is guaranteed by The Pork Project for its wide range of products. Plus all the unrestrained flavors Chef Redd is known for with these patties. 

Construct and customize your own burger creation at home with the Frozen Chori Burger Patties by The Pork Project, all you have to do is fire up the home grill (for more on The Pork Project, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Chef Redd Agustin's The Pork Project Rolls Out Savory New Offerings).

Adapting to the new normal, Chef Carlo Miguel brings comforting favorites to your doorstep with 24/7 EATS including a wide selection of burgers from his very own Burger Beast. Think of it as a virtual 24/7 food court. The Umami Burger with caramelized onions, Yellow Cheddar and juicy all-beef patty slathered in the special Umami Sauce is the perfect introduction to Chef Carlo's unrestrained culinary style.

Each bite drapes the palate with a savory and umami richness, with different layers of flavors coming together seamlessly. But do check out the variety of tasty offerings from 24/7 EATS by Chef Carlo Miguel for even more options to satisfy any craving (for more on 24/7 EATS by Chef Carlo Miguel, see my post All-Day Cravings Satisfied with 24/7 EATS by Chef Carlo Miguel).

The quarantine experience saw quite a number of new food businesses emerge, like Aedan's Burger with its full line of burger offerings for delivery. And they're pretty serious about their burgers too, like this impressively stacked Monster-Style Burger

Imagine this. Two all-beef patties topped with bacon and egg on lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions draped in imported cheese sauce and their proprietary Special Sauce, what's not to like? The juicy beef patties have that fresh-off-the-grill smoky hints plus the wide array of toppings makes this one serious burger contender (for more on the Monster Style Burger by Aedan's Burger, see my post, Monsterized. Aedan's Burger Goes Monster Style...).

And just in time for Lent, Aedan's Burger also offers a seafood option with their crisp, juicy and crunchy Fish Ole Burger. Meatless Fridays? No worries. The Fish Ole Burger takes care of that (more on my post, Quick Bites: Just In Time For Lent, Meet The Fish Ole by Aedan's Burger...).

Chef Egay Alejandria of Nostalgia Lounge and Bar now offers a selection of savory burgers from their new Nostalgia-To-Go Menu to add to your list, like this double dose of beefy goodness with the massive Double Burger with bacon, Cheddar and fried egg topped with crisp and crunchy onion rings. 

Chef Egay Alejandria also adds an inventive global spin with his Spanish, Korean, Filipino, French and Australian-inspired burgers to the menu like the Conquistador Burger with Spanish chorizo on a cheese sauce draped all-beef patty (for more on the selection of burgers and other dishes of Nostalgia Lounge and Bar, see my post, The Full Spread with Nostalgia Lounge and Bar's New and Extensive Nostalgia-To-Go Menu).

During the quarantine, I also tried something truly unique for a memorable burger experience. Call it the snapping handbag, but this one didn't bite back. The Urban Croc Burger by Urban Cafe is a tasty surprise for something different. And healthier too.

Leaner than beef, crocodile meat delivers juicy and delicate flavors with a mildly sweet finish almost like chicken. Try it, just for the experience, and you'll be glad you did. Urban Cafe also offers other croc dishes like sausages and even sisig (more on the Urban Croc Burger and other specialty dishes at Urban Cafe on my post, The Secret's Out. Discovering Crocodile Meat and Other Savory Treats at The Urban Cafe in Wilcon Depot).

Beef, chicken or shrimp? Chef Mike Santos of Nanka Japanese Steakhouse adds his own creative flair with his trio of new burger creations, the Premium Angus Burger, the Fried Chicken Burger and the Ebi Burger.

The culinary style built around simple yet fresh, bold and real flavors of Chef Mike Santos are reflected in all three of his new burger creations. And he adds scale to his take on burgers. Using a single grind blend of ribeye and brisket for his beef patties, the flavors just punch through with each bite of his Premium Angus Burger. And Chef Mike insists on doing everything from scratch right in the kitchen of Nanka Japanese Steakhouse from the pickled jalapeƱos to the soft brioche bun made fresh in-house. And go for the Double Premium Angus Burger

Large whole plump and succulent shrimps draped in a delicately crisp batter make the Ebi Burger another serious option to satisfy your burger cravings. The briny sweetness of the shrimps come through followed by an audible snap, complemented by the fresh cucumbers, shredded lettuce and grilled onions slathered in Wasabi Aioli for that subtle and contrasting sharpness.

Made from unground whole chicken breast, the Fried Chicken Burger offers another tasty option. Lightly crisp on the outside and juicy inside, the clean notes of the chicken breast is perfectly complemented by the shredded lettuce, grilled vegetables, house pickled jalapeƱos and creamy aioli. And you get a thick slab of crisp and juicy chicken breast for your burger. Aside from the specialty premium steaks, these burgers are just more reasons to visit Nanka Japanese Steakhouse (for more on the new burger creations at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Chef Mike Santos Unveils His New Burger Creations at Nanka Japanese Steakhouse).

We've seen a number of creative culinary innovations during the quarantine, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. There's a whole lot more the metro has to offer in this new normal, with more mouthwatering lists including noodles, savory dishes and fresh baked artisan creations to follow in future posts so stay tuned. And stay safe.

For more on AT HOME Spanish Signatures from Gallery by Chele, call +639175461673 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page at for more updates and website at for menu details.

For more on Take Me Out by Novotel Manila, visit their FB Page at or call +632 8990 7999 or +63949 886 5591 for orders and inquiries. You can also email at for orders.

For more on Resorts World Manila's Grand Fiesta Manila 2020 celebrations and offers, visit their website at

For more on Chef Redd Agustin's The Pork Project, call 0917 438 2133 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page at for more updates.

For more on 24/7 Eats by Chef Carlo Miguel, you can check out their menu here at GrabFood.

For more on Aedan's Burger, visit their website at for more information, menu details and updates. You can also call 0966 5625631 (Globe) and 0929 850 7733 for orders.

For more on Nostalgia Lounge & Bar at Joy-Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila, call +63 7719 1160 for orders and inquiries or visit their website at Nostalgia to Go. Be sure to check out Joy-Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila latest offers here at

The Urban Cafe is located in all Wilcon Depot branches, you can also visit their Facebook Page at and IG Feed at @theurbancafeph for more information and updates. For location details of Wilcon Depot, visit their website at

Nanka Japanese Steakhouse is located at 1810 Mother Ignacia Avenue corner Roces Avenue, Quezon City or call 0977 621 8472 and 8921 6772 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their Facebook Page at for more updates.

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