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!