Monday, November 26, 2012

Avoid the Burgers at Texas Joe's

I went out for dinner recently at Texas Joe’s, which is my favorite restaurant in Subic. Rather than getting the ribs, I opted for the Bubba Burger.
I asked for the burger to be cooked “well done”. Since I have long experience ordering at restaurants in the Philippines, I repeated the request a few times. When she read back my order and didn’t say “well done”, I repeated it again and said: “could you ask the chef yourself to make sure it is well done.”
When the waitress brought my iced tea, I followed up: Did you let the chef know the burger should be well done. The waitress responded: “Oh yes sir! Well done sir!”
When the burger came, I went through my usual ritual. I have done this dozens of times in restaurants throughout the Philippines. While the waitress watched, I took a knife and neatly cut my burger in half to check if it was properly cooked. Of course, it was not. It never is at a restaurant in the Philippines. It was cooked medium, not bloody but deep pink.
For some reason, cooks in the Philippines are adamant about not cooking burgers well done. I guess they feel that it is not the proper way to eat a burger, that a burger should be juicy. A well done burger is generally dry. Whatever the thinking, it is true throughout the country. Order a burger well done and when you get it, cut it in half and it will be somewhere between pink and bloody.
I just looked at the Texas Joe’s waitress pitifully after cutting my undercooked burger in half. She responded: “Yes sir, that is well done.” I didn’t protest, or send the burger back, I just quietly ate half my undercooked burger and tossed out the rest. In addition, the burger meat had some bone chips in it. It looks like they are buying the cheap beef they sell at Royal.
Hello Chefs in the PI.  This is what a well done burger looks like.
On the bright side, my son ordered the ribs and they were good as they always are at Texas Joe’s. He gave me half his ribs and I enjoyed those. We’ll keep eating at Texas Joe’s, but we won’t be ordering the burger!


  1. a thousand pardons O all knowing one, for over cooking your burger...what a disaster....first, well done meat tastes like shoe leather...real men order rare/medium rare...second, its obviously both possible and a lot easier to put a bit more fire on it, if its none done enough to your specifications, than it is to change a burger ordered rare that comes over cooked...third I can't believe you would post such unimportant drivel and fourth even worse that I would respond...

  2. Hello,

    My name is Paul, owner of Texas Joe's. I'm sorry to hear about your less than optimum experience with your burger here at our restaurant.

    I did some checking and discovered the details of the incident, and have identified your server. She is one of our new gals (no excuse) and Gilbert has conducted re-training with her and the cooks.

    I am curious, however, and perhaps you can give me a call at the restaurant (252-3189). Gilbert says you come here frequently and usually order burgers, sometimes for take out. Was this incident an isolated case, or in the past for all of your other burger orders were they similarly undercooked?

    The reason I ask is because we do NOT offer burgers cooked medium or rare. Only well-done, and each cook has a $50 instant read thermometer to ensure that meat temperature is 160 degrees before removing from the char-broiler.

    In any event, thank you again for your comment and please come see us again for a "properly" cooked hamburger.


    PS- we get our ground beef special order at SM (not Royal). This is the first I have heard of any problem with bone chips in the meat. We will look into that immediately. We have had bad luck with every other ground beef supplier that we have tried and have finally settled on SM since they opened up here locally. We are sourcing a meat grinder though. We want to grind our own beef and will be doing so very soon.

  3. Maybe next time you get a bad burger you could take a picture of said burger so that we could see what a "bad" burger looks like.


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