Great Eats

CaliBurger’s limited edition awesome-burger by Chef Rob Pengson

2014 has been an amazing year for the restaurant industry here in Manila. I can’t even count the number of new restaurants that have opened in the last few months, all of them with their own unique quirks. There have been a couple of burger places as well, and CaliBurger happens to be one of them.

Filipinos have always had a thing for burgers, which is why I think it’s a really good idea to have a bunch of places that specialize on burgers and anything that you can eat or drink with it. CaliBurger has been on my radar for a while but I haven’t really had the chance to check it out yet. Luckily I got the chance to do just that today.

The restaurant is huuuuuge with high ceilings. They even have the option for al fresco dining on the balcony, which extends all the way around the restaurant. This would be a great place for a kid’s birthday party, methinks.

The place emits a Californian beach-side vibe. I love that the large windows allow for a lot of natural light to come in. The bright tables are designed like picnic tables to give the feel of an outdoor barbecue location.

CaliBurger’s aim is to serve “Always Fresh”, mouth-watering, premium burgers that are made with the purest and freshest ingredients. Imagine perfectly toasted buns embracing a juicy cooked-to-order patty, slathered with CaliBurger’s signature Wild Sauce, and layered with crisp veggies. It’s the type of delicious burger that can bring out a bright disposition reminiscent of a sunny Californian day.

But of course, for restaurants like CaliBurger that wishes the best burger experience for everyone, it doesn’t just end with a signature classic burger. Starting November 17, CaliBurger is set to unveil an extremely special LIMITED EDITION burger called Chef’s Choice- Smokehouse Burger, crafted by none other than one of the country’s most respected chefs, Chef Rob Pengson.

For the longest time I have been a lover of anything in the way of a sandwich. It must be the charm of being able to have a complete meal you can hold in your hands and eat on the go. Basically give me two pieces of warm bread with veggies and some form of protein in the middle and I can be your friend. Well depending on how yummy it is haha!

I feel the same way when it comes to burgers even if I don’t eat them often enough. There just aren’t any burger joints close to where I live that satisfies the stringent requirements I have for a good burger: First of all the patty has to be juicy and flavourful. Doesn’t matter if it’s beef or chicken, or even fish for that matter! I am also kind of picky with the sauce they use for the burger. No mayo for me because I don’t like the stuff. It has to be some form of lip-puckering BBQ sauce concoction. Next it needs to be stacked well so that I can see what I’m actually biting into. There has to be some veggies in my burger because I think they balance the richness of the patty out. Finally there has to be pickles in that burger. Every version of my dream burger has pickles in it. (I love pickles.)

What, everyone is allowed to have a dream burger right? But you know what guys, this version is pretty dang close to that dream burger of mine.

Chef Rob himself introduced his creation, which he calls “a complete burger experience that will transport you to a Texan Smokehouse Barbecue Place”. The burger was also inspired from his favourite burger of all-time, which is the Bacon Cheeseburger.

Chef Rob is a really approachable and cool guy. He even brought us back into the kitchen to see how his special burger is cooked and assembled to perfection. I am going to get all your mouths watering starting now so I hope you’re getting ready to hit CaliBurger right after this.

As the Chef explained, the Smokehouse Burger was engineered not only to taste good, but to look good and smell amazing too. The juicy 100% beef patty and melty cheese aside, with every bite you can hear the crunch of the spiced onion rings. I know some people have acquired this habit of putting onion rings in their burgers already, but it’s a really good way to elevate your burger in my opinion.

Then you have the Chef’s unique concoction of maple-mustard BBQ sauce that brings all the flavours together. Oh and did I mention the pickles which I always love for providing that extra tangy kick to any good burger? This burger literally tickles the tastebuds and all other senses as well!

Chef Rob instructed us to get a good whiff of the burger before eating. The smokey woody scent is mesmerizing. It smells soooooo good.

The next step is to open your mouth wide and chomp! Tastes even better than it smells, in my opinion! This burger would be so great with beer. Or milkshake. I like milkshake better than beer haha! The cup with the green liquid inside in some of the photos is actually Cucumber Iced Tea. It smells so lovely and is not too sweet.

The yummy Smokehouse Burger will be available in ala carte for Php 235, or as part of a complete meal set with fries and drinks for Php 405. The one Chef is holding in his photo above is the Double Smokehouse Burger which essentially has two layers of cheese and beef patty. That one sells for Php 345.

Apart from the burgers, my Dad (who accompanied me to the event, thanks Papa!) also ordered some onion rings and chicken wings, plus a glass of strawberry milkshake. I loved the strawberry milkshake! It’s not too sweet, tastes wonderfully strawberry-ish, and is just the right degree of milky/creamy. Definitely get the milkshake with the burger!

Enjoy the Smokehouse Burger with your buddies, or take some home to your family to enjoy. (The burgers are best freshly-cooked and hot though.) Either way, I really recommend giving this burger a go.

I know there have been some mixed reviews about CaliBurger, but I think everyone will enjoy the Smokehouse Burger. I expected nothing less from Chef Rob, honestly.

Again, the Smokehouse Burger is on a limited run from November 17 to December 17, 2014. So go and grab yours now because I promise you Chef Rob Pengson did an amazing job with this burger. You. Will. Love. It.


4F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave, Makati
Tel No. (02) 403 8554
11:00am – 10:00pm

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Full disclosure: I received an event invitation (thank you!) to try Caliburger’s new Smokehouse Burger, but as always, all opinions stated above are my very own.

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