Reviews

Ghetto Grub: Good Burgers

April 12, 2019

I’ve always thought of the very existence of burgers as one of those things you could point to as irrefutable proof that going vegetarian will never work for the greater majority. It’s also a leading candidate for the real reason why widespread clinical obesity will likely take down the entire human race in the very near future. I’m okay with this. I think perfectly cooked 100% beef patties nestled in soft toasted buns with fresh lettuce and grilled onions is worth the risk of a Wall-E future.

Still, not everyone seems to be cool with my vision of tomorrow. Along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, there’s a humble little place that not only has the audacity to not have beef (or any other animal that goes moo) on their burger menu, they also have the confidence to call all their sandwiches good and healthy.

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Aside from Maginhawa, Good Burgers has branches in Kapitolyo, Beacon Plaza, and along C5.

To be perfectly honest, I’m pretty sure that a lot of you already know all about Good Burgers. They’ve got branches in Kapitolyo, Beacon Plaza, and along C5. However, all of those other outlets wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the success of the original Maginhawa store.

If you’re one of the two dozen or so people of legal drinking age that hasn’t yet had the opportunity to try Good Burgers, it’s pretty easy to find. All you have to do is turn left, if you’re coming from CP Garcia, and go on straight until you find it on the right side of the road. It’s next to a Mexican diner and one of thirty seven million milk tea places with a green color scheme.

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If I’m being really generous, I’d say this branch can comfortably seat 10-13 people. That’s a best case scenario though, involving a large family who won’t mind  squeezing into every available space and/or a freshman block of kids who can only ever travel in packs. In the real world, though, most Filipinos would rather die than sit next to a stranger on the bar and a guy with a laptop would hog one of the two larger tables that are meant for groups of three to four.

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A majority of  the Good Burgers customers are students.

Most of the clientele are either students from one of the many schools and universities that dot Katipunan or drivers holding up everyone’s orders because his boss texted him to buy sixteen burgers for takeout on his way home. There’s also plenty of parking on either side of the wide, recently renovated, road for those bringing a car.

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Clearly, as you can see on the menu, you’re spoilt for choice. They have eleven different kinds of burgers, over a dozen optional add-ons, and three available sizes. That’s what the good, better, best stuff means, by the way, they tell the cook how big you want your non-beef patty to be.

Good Burgers only serves chicken and veggie patties.

The reason they call themselves Good Burgers is because they only offer chicken and veggie patties. Also, they use pandesal as the burger bun, which you can change to whole-wheat pandesal for an extra five pesos. I know all of these things will sound anathema to so-called burger “purists,” but that’s okay, they’d never get this far down Maginhawa. They would’ve passed by another, much more expensive, burger joint on the way here where they could park their F150’s.

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Since I couldn’t very well order everything on the menu, I decided to just get my favorite burger first, the Bacon Mozza Melt. It’s a chicken patty with a generous helping of bacon bits and mozzarella cheese.  It is, with no exaggeration, absolutely fantastic. It’s unpretentious comfort food wrapped in shiny aluminum foil.

The mozzarella cheese had just the right amount of oozy-ness.

The bacon bits work well with the chicken patty, adding a different texture and flavor profile to keep the burger from becoming one-note. The mozzarella is just the right amount of oozy, eager to give your mouth a hug with every bite, and is loathe to let go.

For me, the mark of a good burger is in its ability to make you emit unintentional sex sounds as you eat. The Bacon Mozza Melt made it inappropriate for me to be around minors for the ninety-seven seconds it took me to finish it.  

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I also tried the Persian Burger, which I’d never had before. It turned out, my instincts were correct. The roasted onion and peppers, what they say is a garlic aioli sauce, and the chicken patty never really clicked together for me. Eating it was an odd experience. It wasn’t inedible, but it’s also really not something I would try again in the near future.

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I ordered a veggie patty in 3-Cheese.

Of course, I couldn’t do a Ghetto Grub review of Good Burgers without trying their veggie patty. I ordered the 3-Cheese to go with it, my second favorite burger and one that I’ve enjoyed in the past many times, so I’d have a pretty solid set of criteria to set it against.

My veggie 3-Cheese made revise my original thesis regarding why going vegetarian will never reach total adoption. I’ve realized it’s not the love for delicious 100% beef patties that stand in the movement’s way, it’s fear of this thing. This. This is the reason why people will never trade in their steaks for salads.

Its texture is like it’s the love child of undercooked bread pudding and raw kikiam.

While the veggie patty’s flavor wasn’t anything to write home about, it also wasn’t completely terrible. What I found most off-putting was actually the freaky texture. I thought long and hard on what it reminded me off, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if undercooked bread pudding and raw kikiam had a love child, it would bear a very very close resemblance to veggie meat. Thank the cosmos for the copious amounts of cheese on my order, as well as the free tube of hot sauce on the table. Otherwise, without them, I probably would’ve never gotten to finish my food.

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I’d have appreciated a little more restraint on the chili powder.

I also ordered their Cayenne Hot Wedges. They gave me a serving a bit smaller than what I expected, but what really got me was the heat. See, I love spicy food. I’m the type of weirdo who slathers sriracha on everything, even sweets, and by the time I’d emptied the tiny paper bag of fries, my mouth was fried. It’s the same kind of heat they put on their other spicy offerings, like the Silly Burger. I’d have appreciated a little more restraint on the chili powder. It’s a bit hard to enjoy your food when your tongue feels like sandpaper.

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Good Burgers, despite that sinister vegan-friendly imitation patty, is worth a visit for any open-minded burger lovers out there. Yes, it’s all chicken, but when you have bacon and mountains of cheese piled on top of it, you’d quickly lose any lingering desire you have for cow. Most of their extensive line-up is pretty good, and the prices are cheap enough that you could conceivably order 2-3 different kinds with each visit. The next time you’re in the Maginhawa area, catch a trike and swing by. You won’t be disappointed.

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Good Burgers
162 D Maginhawa St.,
Sikatuna Village,
Diliman,
Quezon City

Lars Roxas Lars Roxas

Laurence is a twenty-something turtle pretending to be a writer. In the past, he has worked as a warehouse clerk, Apple genius, martial arts instructor, copywriter, editor, english teacher, and personal trainer. He can’t swim or ride a bike, but he's done Judo on three continents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Occasionally, his stories appear in real actual books. He makes awesome waffles.

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12 comments in this post SHOW

12 responses to “Ghetto Grub: Good Burgers”

  1. Volts Sanchez says:

    For the next episode of GG, can we please up the G (ghetto, not grub)? Perhaps that mythical barbecue spot somewhere in Mandaluyong (I’ve heard that there’s a tapsi place something there too that is just ahh-some). There’s also an SS (Slightly Skanky) establishment in the South (Las Pinas area) with ‘cue too…

    Back to Good Burger, I’ve only ever eaten at the branch on C5. Lives up to the name but I’m not sure if it’s still alive (and if the prices are the same as Maginhawa)…

  2. […] stage because there’s no star to forge them all together into a cohesive whole. When a much ghetto-er joint has better chicken burgers than you, and at a fraction of your price, you’ve got a big […]

  3. barcelona says:

    yes I have to agree. if Good Burger is your idea of ghetto grub, you’re not exactly desolate. yes they’re cheaper than most burger joints, but I wouldn’t consider them street eats either.

  4. Sam says:

    You didnt order the Silly Burger? Thats the best

  5. chuckie balbuena says:

    “They’ve got branches in Kapitolyo, Beacon Plaza, and along C5. However, all of those other outlets wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the success of the original Maginhawa store.”

    Errrr.. I think the C5 and Kapitolyo branches predated the Maginhawa branch by not-a-few years

  6. Doc Chris says:

    I am a vegetarian and was very disappointed with their veggie burger. It was a case of veggie meat with bad texture and no flavor which they try to hide under their sauces and cheese. I have treid A Lot of veggie burgers around town and this was the worst I have tried!

  7. Beatriz Forés says:

    Good Burgers is pretty darn good. For me, I usually get the Silly Burger. And in some cases, add-ons of bacon bits and mushrooms. I agree, it does make me make unintentional sex sounds. It’s that good peeps!

  8. Theo Musni says:

    “or a freshman block of kids who can only ever travel in packs.” THIS. Haha. I bet they’d never get this far tho in their freshman year. I’ve heard of Good Burgers but I’ve never been there yet. Thanks for writing a review about them!

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