Contrary to popular belief, hamburgers aren’t of North American origin. ‘Burger’ wasn’t a real word until slang talk came into the scene. History indicates that the burger patty has been around since the 12th century. Back then, they used minced horse and camel meat. It wasn’t until the first half of the 19th century that European immigrants brought the beef recipe with them from Hamburg, Germany to North America. It was called a Hamburg Steak during that time, go figure.
There isn’t any certain source of information as to how the idea of putting the steak between two slices of bread came about — German and American historians haven’t come to an agreement on that — but whoever did is a Godsend.
The globalization of burgers has been a remarkable success since then. Almost every country serves hamburgers. Americans are known to have burgers everyday, whether bought or grilled in their own backyards. We have our own brand of cheap burgers, such as Angel’s P20 Buy 1 Take 1 burgers. In pre-dominantly Hindu India, where they worship cows and wouldn’t dare consume their beefy gods, they still have their version of burgers: the Chicken Majaraja Mac (do they say ‘cow damn’, ‘for cow’s sake’ or ‘I swear to cow” there?). There was even a time when the McDonald’s here was serving Rice Burgers; me and my cousin are still in disbelief as to why they cancelled that product, it was delicious.
Here in the Philippines alone, where the stirring pot of cultures come alive, burgers are still rampant. They range from small stands to exquisite restaurants. There’s fast food, and there’s made to serve burgers (even the small burger businesses do!). As one who hasn’t gone the distance yet, one of my aspirations is to try every single burger there is here in this country; and if I could ever get out, the world. But I already have a list of those I’ve tried; it’s just a lot — and I mean, A LOT — shorter than the list containing those I want to sample a taste of.
a. Been there, done that
Great burgers will make anyone say, “Holy Cow!” Such as this one. Brother’s Burgers, in general, have a menu that will make any burger lover craving for more. Any of their burgers will do, they do serve them in different sizes anyway. That one up there is their Brother’s Pounder; 2 patties equating to 1 pound of grilled juicy beef and I don’t care what else they have. All I remember is sinking my teeth in for a bite. Then I forgot how to make the moment last. When the meat juices start cuddling the rest of the sandwich in your mouth, you find yourself in Meat Heaven. I could go on and on about how wonderful this burger is, but words can’t describe the feeling. You have to try it for yourself.
The rest of their menu is worth trying as well. They have burgers served with Angus Beef. Just check their website if you want a peek. Or you can just drop by one of their branches and try it yourself!
b. Somewhere out there
I don’t think the mouth watering goodness that cholesterol paradise has to offer ends at 1 pound burgers, however. Like I said, the list is long. Most of the best burgers are found overseas; the United States, specifically and unfortunately. Such as these two:
b.1 Across the ocean
I mean, just look at those things. This is what I hate making food blogs about what I want to eat: the craving. Then comes the stage where reality sinks in: I have no money. Then comes depression.
Behold. These two are burgers from In N’ Out — a “healthier” choice in comparison to the next — and the Heart Attack Grill (found only in Phoenix, Arizona), respectively. The second one, the aptly named Quadruple Bypass Burger, is just a cardiac disaster waiting to happen. But how can you even think of your health when that masterpiece of a meal is laid out in front of you? Just looking at the damn thing and thinking how I can’t have it right now is giving me a heart attack.
The gimmick they have in the Heart Attack Grill is funky, too. Nurses for waiters and hospital gowns are on standby. They serve unhealthy food willingly, but they do give you a warning before entering their restaurant; meaning, you order their scrumptious entrees at your own risk. Customers over 350 lbs. get to eat for free after a weigh in by a ‘doctor’ or ‘nurse’ before each burger; more motivation for Americans to get fat. Well I’ll be damned. One order of Flatliner Fries cooked in pure lard, please.
I’d also want to try everything on this list:
b.2 Around the corner
Thankfully, there are local choices. The globalization of the hamburger has reached our country, and are sharing their blessings with the populace.
Zark’s Burger (Taft, downtown Manila)
Zark’s presents to you, The Tombstone Challenge. Finish this behemoth in ten minutes and you win an anti-health T-Shirt.
“A true man does not burn calories, he fucks it.”
Or at least that’s how the motto goes there at Zark’s. For P500, that cheeseburger is just ridiculous. It seems to be worth it, though. I always believed in enjoying 80 years than hating a 100.
Something that good is not something you just finish in ten minutes. That’s a complete waste of money, energy, food and worship time. You must use up at least 2 minutes for each bite you take because of two reasons: 1) ten minutes to finish that is a death sentence; 2) you must savor every minute you’re chowing down on that cheese-bathed whopper. I recommend to myself not eating anything for 24 hours before digging in on one of these leviathans.
Hamburgers have always been frowned upon by nutritionists and parents alike. Parents will be parents. Nutritionists, on the other hand, change their minds more often than a woman on her period. One minute they’ll say a chemical called chorvaloo found in peanuts raises your chance of dying by 0.1% — a figure that they don’t alter in their presented findings but continue to ramble on and on to make it seem like 0.1% is groundbreaking. The next minute they’ll say you can’t have enough of it.
So yeah…on with the hamburger hunt.
I don’t claim any of the images as my own. Thank You, Google.