Monday, May 30, 2011
BILF: Burger I'd Love to F...
This is definitely not one of my proudest moments. Maybe my parents shouldn’t even read this entry. But, there is just no other way to describe it.
They call it the Chef’s Burger at Elbert’s Steak Room. My friends and I have since dubbed it “Sex in a Bun”.
After it seduced me upon seeing it on Spot.Ph’s Top 10 list of Manila’s best gourmet burgers (on the top spot, no less), I knew I just had to have it. It didn’t take a lot of convincing for my equally-carnivorous friends (Mrs. G-Ro, Morx and Cookie Goddess- who has had it before, but just had to have another round), and so the day was set. The deal with this burger is that it is only offered during lunch, and you have to call at least two days ahead. So, among the four of us, we decided to order two Chef’s Burgers, and we will order two more dishes from the menu.
Let’s get it on.
We were seated on a nice table by the window, the tinted pane just letting enough sunlight in to bathe us in a warm glow. The dining room had the essentials you would expect from a steak place- beautiful wooden floors, light ochre walls, crisp white table cloths, hushed music emanating from space-agey Philippe Starck speakers. It felt plush without being flamboyant, masculine without being butch. Sexy.
Since the others were not having wine, I just ordered a glass of Argento Malbec 2010 from Mendoza, Argentina (Note: Above is a photo of the wine, with a very alluring Cookie Goddess). Tita Irene gave us three bottles (one for each of us sisters) of this wine one Christmas, although an earlier vintage, naturally. Since then it has become one of my favorite go-to wines which pairs perfectly with grilled meats. Upon first swig, the 2010 seemed a bit thin and overtly-acidic. It is quite young after all, so I thought maybe I should just leave it be for a few minutes.
The salads came- every meat lover’s purgatory before the ascent to rapture. The fresh greens were joined by a few slivers of red peppers, white onions and pert cherry tomatoes. A light sesame dressing coats and flavors the salad perfectly.
Then comes what I jokingly called our “first course”- a shared order of Prime Rib, English Cut. The three thin slices of prime rib were divided into three plates, each having a reasonable dollop of truffle mashed potato and a cherry tomato garnish. This came with the usual condiments of horseradish cream and jus. If I did not have another meat dish coming I would have been perfectly happy with this one. The meat was perfectly medium-rare- soft, moist, gloriously-enhanced by the flavorful jus. If I must nitpick, I would have preferred a little bit more kick from the horseradish. But, that’s just my personal preference.
Finally, the dish that had us panting like wild cats arrived- the Chef’s Burger. Hand-chopped Angus beef blended with- pass the tissue- little bits of brined bone marrow, adorned simply with lettuce, tomatoes and caramelized onions, in a crackled, freshly-baked bun. Accompanying this sex bomb of a burger is a healthy helping of fries cooked in duck fat and a blue cheese dipping sauce. Upon first bite, you don’t immediately get the bone marrow. What hits you primarily is the meaty, full-bodied taste of premium American beef. And then, that heady richness (“unctuous”, Morx offers) you get from glorious fat creeps up to your taste buds and moves you to gently close your eyes, moaning in pure pleasure. We look at each other meaningfully, saying things that our fathers would not approve of. It didn’t bother us that Elbert was a few feet away having a meeting with what I suspected to be a Lichaytoo brother. We could not help ourselves. And the wine? It has opened up beautifully by then- velvety and mouth-coating, vivacious and buck-wild. A worthy companion to the burger, no doubt.
I was so immersed in devouring my burger that I was not able to try Cookie Goddess' equally- freakable Open-faced Roast Beef Sandwich. Someday I will have my way with that sandwich, I just know it.
Wasted and satisfied, it was almost a sin to continue on to dessert. But, then again, we were thinking: Why stop now? Besides, the desserts came with the meal, and we were served one of each to share- Chocolate Mousse, Marble Cheesecake, Mango Pannacota and Chocolate Cake. They were quite enjoyable- especially the Chocolate Mousse- and more so with some excellent Lavazza coffee.
Finally, after our "dirty deed", we do our “Walk of Shame” to Cookie Goddess’ car as Morx and I share a cigarette. The only thing missing at that point is French music in the background and runny mascara.
Elbert’s Steak Room
3/F Sagitarius Bldg. III
H.V. Dela Costa St.
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (632) 339 3363