Friday, January 31, 2014

Bonding Over Burgers & Brewskies

If you ask me what I think of the fairly new burger joint in Burgos Circle, I have one word for you: SoCal. The modern, laid-back atmosphere, the Cuban and Mexican-inspired cuisine, and the thick, All-American burger patties puts it's retro-themed neighbor to shame (even with all the dancing!) with innovative burger combinations that just don't involve bacon, lettuce and tomatoes.

Burgers & Brewskies has a California vibe that makes you feel like you're at a beach barbecue in the middle of sem break with an uncle who's been very creative in the kitchen. I met up with the rest of my loud, foodie classmates at the burger joint for a very long lunch that started with chili fries and ended with chocolate pudding, with some very interesting burger combinations in between.

To start things off, we scarfed down an order of Chili Cheese Fries (P160) - steak fries topped with B&B chili, B&B cheese sauce, onions, and sour cream. I think this could use some more fries, as they were practically swimming in cheese sauce! It's not a bad predicament to be in, actually. Sayang lang the cheese sauce.

The Onion Strings (P95) were a yummy carbload, but only when taken in small doses, as it can be quite cloying if you try to polish off the plate in one sitting. Thinly sliced onions are dusted with seasoned starch and fried crisp before being served with roasted garlic aioli.

A favorite at the table was the Cuban Missile (P120)! Very SoCal, the grilled sweet corn is slathered with mayo and rolled in spiced shredded cheese, before being served with wedge of lime to bring all the flavors harmoniously together. You can always ask to have them shred the corn for you if you don't want to eat it right off the cob.

For those looking for a slightly healthier alternative to all the fried appetizers, there's the B&B Wedge Salad (P180). Consisting of wedges of iceberg lettuce, roasted tomato strips, candied bacon bits, slathered with a heavy Bleu cheese dressing and sprinkled with crushed cashews. Like I mentioned, it was only slightly healthier.

I liked the Kick-Ass Spuds (P85). Albeit, they could do without frying the potatoes, giving it that greasy sheen, the salad is sprinkled with crumbled bacon, scallions and chili peppers, for the said 'kick' without going overboard on the heat.

Of course, the restaurant wouldn't get its name without said brewskies present, and since it was still too early for me to enjoy my late afternoon cocktail, the guys had no problem ordering pints of Holgate craft beers. The self-confessed alcoholics of my foodie fambam enjoyed Holgate's Mt. Macedon Pale Ale and the Road Trip IPL, which were both really good, even if all I could handle was the Macedon Pale Ale.

Burgers & Brewskies has quite a long list of local and international beer favorites. All you need to do is pick out whatever turns you on. The beers, I mean. Take your pick of the beers.

Before burying our faces nose deep in our burgers, we couldn't say no to all the different wings! There was Buffalo (P220) with the hot sauce with butter served with Bleu cheese sauce; Sweet Chili (P195) with Thai sweet chili sauce, ginger and cilantro; Sesame Sriracha (P195) - Sriracha hot sauce infused with a touch of honey and sesame; Zesty BBQ (P195), which is a sweet and spicy with a rum BBQ sauce; Honey Garlic (P195) with wild honey with garlic and a hint of soy sauce; and the limited edition Salt & Pepper Wings (P195) seasoned with Chinese five spice, and served with a sweet and spicy vinegar dip.

My favorites were the Sesame Sriracha because of its tangy hot flavors and the Zesty BBQ which for me, was perfection in buffalo wings. If you've been reading my blog for long enough then you're familiar with my obsession over the perfect bowl buffalo wings. I think I've found my buffalo love here at B&B!

The burgers took a while to be served, since everything is grilled as you order it, which was a good thing since we really needed to recover from all the appetizers we had just eaten. I had around three orders of Cuban Missiles and a lot of chicken wings that I was so full I split my burger with good ol' tito Gerry. With each burger order you can also pick your choice of brioche or whole wheat buns.

One of my friends got the Flipped (P215), which has spiced mustard aioli, B&B cheese sauce, toasted tomatoes, and fried onion strings. This looked really good, I was kicking myself for not ordering this instead.

A lot of the other guys tried Call the Nurse (P280), which consists of spiced mustard aioli, B&B cheese sauce, seared mac & cheese, and honey sriracha bacon. I think they were all curious about the seared mac & cheese - I know I was! I don't really know if this was any good. We were all too busy eating that there was a hushed silence at the table for a good 10 minutes that I forgot to ask how it was!

Jericho's favorite burger is the limited edition Mr. Chow (P255) that is made with B&B's 1/3 imported beef patty, hoisin sauce, hoisin garlic mushrooms, leeks, cilantro, and fried wonton strips. This was sweet, salty, soft, and crispy all at the same time. Jericho was deliriously happy with this and vowed to go back at least three more times before this burger is retired by the end of next week.

To make up for Mr. Chow's disappearance on the menu, Burgers & Brewskies is rolling our the All Day Breakfast Burger, a crazy pile up of patty, sunny side up egg, and topped with hash browns. The perfect burger after an all night drinking session with the buds or a pick me up before you do your walk of shame.

If you're still in Breaking Bad withdrawal, Burgers & Brewskies has two burger combinations that'll spark long, tiring discussions over whether or not Mr. White redeemed himself after he poisoned that kid. You know what I'm talking about.

One of the most memorable antagonists in the series has now been turned into a B&B burger! Hector Salamanca (P240) is fiery and mischievous, much like the character it was inspired from. Made with B&B chili oil, B&B cheese sauce, Jalapeño Crema, tomato salsa, and crisp nacho strips, this is basically what you get when a white bread American burger has a one night stand with a plate of sensual nachos. Although I found the nacho strips to be a bit too thick, overall, I enjoyed my saucy, spicy burger. This is a definite ding! for me!

Jericho tried the Heisenberg (P250) which had a bleu cheese sauce and jicama celery (aka singakamas) slaw with bacon vinaigrette. This looked very white (see what I did there?) but Jericho did say how well the odd combination of flavors went well together.

For dessert, I helped demolish one and a half cups of B&B Chocolate Pudding (P85)! The rich dark chocolate custard is topped with a crunchy cinnamon oatmeal streusel. This reminds me so much of pudding cups with muesli on top.

A new dessert that the B&B guys are still playing around with is a French Vanilla ice cream rolled in a blend of spiced chocolate powders topped with a touch of whipped cream and finely chopped spiced candied bacon. It makes for an odd combination, with the spiced candied bacon also leaves a weird aftertaste, and I kept looking for more chocolate, which is probably why I should just stick to the chocolate pudding.

When mucking around Burgos Circle and looking for a burger joint with good food that isn't overly hyped or overpriced, Burgers & Brewskies is the place to hit up! Soak up the SoCal vibe and kick back with a plate of chili fries, some chicken wings, a burger, and your favorite craft beer, and imagine the sound of the beach being a few yards away. It's almost Malibu, baby!

Just mucking around Manila,
Follow @_muckingaround on Twitter and Instagram.
Like the Mucking Around Manila fan page.

Burgers & Brewskies
+63 2 403 4038
Unit E, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Open Daily: Sunday-Thursday 11am-11:30pm, Friday-Satruday 11am-2am