Inasmuch as food trips are fun, they can only be worthwhile as long as you have the financial resources. I mean, the joys of eating out are unlimited, but the content of my wallet isn’t. And with bills to pay, a future to invest in, dreams to fulfill, and plane tickets to book, eating out must take a backseat for most of the time. It’s not payday everyday – heck, it’s not payday every week – so it’s not like I can eat out as frequently as I want to.
But maybe I can.
Inspired by those fun guys over at Pepper.ph, I’m taking a page off their book and doing our own Ghetto Grub. So here’s Cheap Chow, wherein we explore the pleasures of budget eating and have our fill for around (or even less than) PHP 100.00 per head. Because, really, this is where the real fun starts, right?
For our initial foray, JM and I head over to Fatima to dine in one of the more popular cheap burger joints in Valenzuela City. It’s been making quite a buzz among the student population in this side of Metro Manila for quite a while now, and I’ve eaten here a couple of times before. But since I’ve never written about it, here goes.
Started by partners Ronald Ortigas and Nikki Bautista in the neighboring city of Malabon a few years back, Kalborger’s eventually made headways in Valenzuela City and won the hearts of the student population in the nearby Our Lady of Fatima University with its very affordable burgers. And the company claims to serve the biggest burgers in town. As in 9-inch-diameter big.
With screaming orange walls and cramped interiors, the eatery has a surprisingly homey feel that makes you want to linger. Which is good, considering that your order might take a while especially on weekday afternoons, when it can get really busy.
The menu itself is very limited, with the only options being the Beef Burger or the Chicken Burger. Your only other choices are size – regular (about the size of a Jollibee Regular Yum, PHP 40.00), super (about the size of a Jollibee Champ, PHP 65.00), or duper (the size of a paper plate, PHP 150.00).
The duper in particular is great value. It can be served in slices, and a one-third slice is about the same size as a super Kalborger burger. So if you’re sharing the whole burger with two other people, that’s like getting a Champ-sized burger for PHP 50.00.
Of course, at this price you don’t expect a Burgers & Brewskies, or even a Wendy’s, experience. But Kalborger’s burgers aren’t bad either. The buns are thicker than the ones in other burger street joints, and the patties are relatively more flavorful and larger. And with more lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, mayonnaise and mustard, their burgers are more filling.
Another thing going for Kalborger’s, at least for me, is that it’s open 24 hours. Considering my work schedule and its effect on my body clock, sometimes when I feel like having “lunch” in the middle of the night during the weekends, it’s a comfort knowing that a large, good burger is just a few blocks away.
Marulas, Valenzuela City
0917-8058321 / 0908-8124869 / 0943-3561885