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Independence Day Disappointment, Garage 88-Makati

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Last week I became enthralled with Vietnamese food and started experimenting with all sorts of exotic flavors and combinations with charred ginger and Chinese spices. Then Wednesday rolls around. Holy shit it’s the 4th of July! I can’t eat Vietnamese on the 4th because that means the commies win.

I panicked. I needed to find some red meat and cold beer to reaffirm my patriotism and only a burger would do. I heard about Garage 88 from a few different sources and had been meaning to check it out. This was the time.

The patio is a pretty cool place to hang out for drinks

We found a seat on the patio which overlooks the Fort. We settled on a few things from the menu. We were a little intrigued by the sisig-esque appetizer called Mighty Hog’s Head. Sold. A couple burgers and some beer and we were ready.

The service was a little confused. They dropped off our appetizer with no plates. We ordered two beers, they bring one. At one point they brought a half glass of water. Did he get thirsty on the way?


The appetizer was OK. The flavor was fine but it would have been ten times better if they just served sisig instead of trying to reinvent something that’s already good.

Served in a room temperature ceramic dish this quickly cooled and did not sizzle

Then the burgers arrived. I had the Bacon Mushroom Chili Burger. Again the flavor was OK but by my count there were five major things wrong with this burger.

Count the fries!

1. The bread sucked. Bread is the most important part of any sandwich.

2. The hamburger patty was dwarfed by the bread. At the end you’re stuck with a big piece of bread without any burger.

3. Canned mushrooms. There are high quality and inexpensive local mushrooms available here. If you still use canned mushrooms you’re just lazy.

4. Cheez Whiz. Cheese should be real, and should not spelled with a ‘z’.

5. Seven French fries. I shit you not, I counted. You could take one look at me and tell that I will not be happy served seven fucking French fries.

So Garage 88 was a swing and a miss. I would go back for beers and once properly lubricated, I would probably order another Whiz-Burger. But I sure as hell won’t do it sober.

Burgers are such a simple thing and I truly don’t understand why so many places screw them up. Keep it simple and use good ingredients. But anyway, I regress. On this 4th of July the commies won.


  1. Vince says:

    If you haven’t tried Elbert’s Steak Room’s Bone Marrow Burger, I think now is that time.

    • Jeremy says:

      We agree :)

      • Matt says:

        If you have not yet, check out Charlie’s Grind at the corner of Ortigas & Santolan Rd in the N Greenhills area. Best burger, BY FAR, that I have found in the country. You have the option of local beef or Augus. Same with their cheesesteak sandwich.

  2. Stacy says:

    Tried their 12 wheeler burger and didn’t like it but their fish and chips is one of the best I’ve tried.

  3. Katrina says:

    Been there once because Midnight Mercato was so full that we couldn’t even drive towards it, and came to the same conclusion as you did — not bad for a few (or more) beers, but don’t come hungry. We did manage to have a good enough time that our “quick, mid-week dinner of a burger and a beer” turned into “let’s head to Malate for more drinks, and screw work tomorrow!”

  4. ifoodtrip says:

    The Chef’s Burger (Truffled Bone Marrow filled) at Elbert’s:

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