With international burger chains opening local branches left and right, this year has been the year of burgers in Metro Manila. But while it’s exciting to hear burger joints from California, Canada, and, soon, from Hawaii grilling their way to the Philippines, the ridiculous prices at these restaurants make their sandwiches an occasional treat at best, and highway robbery at worst.
Which is what makes those burgers at The Snack Shack, an unassuming space in UP-Diliman, all the more special.
Fresh from our tapsilog lunch, JM and I decide that a post-meal snack is in order: a short walk from the the Shopping Mall is the burger joint in question, selling burgers and sausages at a fraction of the cost of those you’ll find in gourmet burger restaurants. We arrive at around 4 p.m. and there’s a substantial crowd in front of a modest black stall that sits in a grove of trees proximate to a street off the main campus road. Let’s just say, this is a store you’ll easily miss if you don’t know you’re looking for it.
The juicy beef patties are grilled upon ordering, which means you’ll have to wait for your burgers – of course, the longer the line, the longer your wait. But many satisfied customers insist that it’s worth the trouble.
JM and I step up and order a quarter pounder each.
After around 15 minutes it’s handed across the counter: a hulking, grilled, juicy patty with fresh lettuce, onions and tomato. The whole sandwich, dripping with canary-yellow mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise, has a taste similar to the Burger King Whopper. Despite having eaten just less than an hour ago, we finish our burgers in under five minutes.
But in our mind, we know we’ll be back. We can’t have enough of The Snack Shack’s burgers.
The Snack Shack
Roces St. cor. Laurel St.
UP-Diliman, Quezon City