Specialty burger joints offering more than the usual beef patty, cheese and tomato have been around for years. The early ones drew diners with their assorted spreads and sauces, including blue cheese and caramelized onions.
A few months ago, 8Cuts Burger Blends, an offshoot of BurgerBar at Greenbelt 2, opened its first branch to good reviews. Unlike other “artisanal” burger places, 8Cuts gives its customers the freedom to choose the type of beef patty for their burger. A diagram of a cow on the menu shows exactly where each cut of beef comes from.
Diners can also opt for a blend of different cuts. The open-style kitchen allows customers to see how their burgers are put together.
“We grind and blend our own beef patties for our burgers in-house daily. The most important aspect of a burger is the beef. Once you get that right, everything else follows,” said Abba Napa, co-founder and owner of 8Cuts.
They seem to be doing something right. Aside from opening branches at Greenbelt, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa and UP Town Center within months of each other, a fifth one at Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, has followed suit.
“In the beginning, customers mostly spoke about the specialty burgers and our different toppings and sauces. Now the conversation has shifted to the quality of our burgers and, more important, the quality of our beef patties,” Napa said.
The specialty (or tribute) burgers at 8Cuts are literally an homage to different popular burger combinations, such as bacon burgers, blue cheese burgers and barbecue burgers.
Thick, juicy, filling
On a recent visit to the Megamall branch, we opted for a basic cheeseburger with a choice of two sauces. I can’t recall which sauce I ended up getting, but the burger was thick, juicy and filling.
Unlike the double patties that can be a bit problematic—there is the very real chance of getting burger juices down your sleeves—the single patty is good enough and more manageable. And please, put down the fork and knife; the best way to eat a burger is to hold the whole thing up and take a bite—this way you might get transported to a simpler time, when calories didn’t count and milkshakes were good for you.
“I think our target market is anyone who loves burgers and who grew up eating them… basically kids and kids at heart,” Napa said.
“Nostalgia and substance are at the forefront of what we do and stand for. We don’t lean toward sensationalized creations or fad ingredients. We just do the best renditions of burgers and lush shakes,” she added.
The milkshakes are made mainly with ice cream, but the two side orders my companion and I really enjoyed were crispy onion rings coated in light batter, and 8Cuts’ version of the traditional trifle.
The latter is served in tiny, individual mason jars and consists of layers of sponge cake, berries and cream. It doesn’t look like much, but once you get all layers on a fork, you get a perfect bite of dessert.