I’ve been hearing about this burger joint located in Pangao for the past few months. Downtown Burgers has a cult following of people who travel all the way from the city proper so they can have what they’re claiming is the best burger they’ve had. Call it destiny or whatever. I met two of the owners, Karen and Paulo Litan, because their son goes to the same school as my daughter. We sort of invited ourselves because we’ve always wanted to try their burgers.
Unfortunately, we had to wait a couple of months because they’re in the process of moving from Pangao to Dayton Food Park along Ayala. It was worth the wait.
About Downtown Burgers
Downtown Burgers is a family-managed business owned by Angelo Perez, Katrina Perez, Karen Litan, Paulo Litan and Jefferson Litan. It started in the family’s garage in Pangao, taking inspiration from other successful restaurants that started in the garage. Downtown Burgers was years in the making, with each one of them having dreams of one day owning a restaurant.
While their loyal customers are more than willing to make the trip to Pangao, they’re now located in a more accessible location in the new food park along Ayala, Dayton Food Park. They’ve gone a long way from serving their burgers in their garage to serving them to hungry patrons in a place that’s more worthy of what they’re serving.
I like how they came up with their menu. According to them, a lot of trial and error was involved. That’s good. It shows passion and quest for perfection. Countless burger recipes were tried and tested and now, they’ve come up with what they feel is the perfect burger patty and the best complementary burger sauces.
SPOILER ALERT: I don’t believe in perfection because I believe that there’s always room for improvement, but I can imagine that they’re way up there.
About their Burgers
Their burgers are very affordable at Php 120 to Php 150 depending on the sauce. You’re getting 150 grams of all-beef patty that you can really smell the beef while the patty is being cooked. Your order will also come with a serving of homemade potato chips and iced tea. That’s a pretty good deal, if you ask me.
The burgers have the usual toppings of lettuce, onions, tomatoes and cucumber, but they’re not the stars of the show. The burger patty and the sauces are.
I love how beefy the patty is. It’s seasoned well which in my definition is there’s taste, but it doesn’t overpower the beefy goodness.
The owners take pride in their sauces. They’re fresh and homemade. You can choose from hot cocktail, French dressing (think Jolly Hotdog Classic dressing), barbecue, cheese and pesto.
We were given the chance to try the different sauces on their own. My personal faves are the pesto and the hot cocktail.
My wife is a cheeseburger fan and she wasn’t feeling adventurous so she chose their cheeseburger. It’s not your usual cheeseburger. The cheese sauce has 3 types of cheeses and fresh milk that cascades down the burger patty, so it’s a finger-licking delight.
I tried their bestseller which is the pesto burger. Yes, it uses pesto sauce on the burger. Weird, but it works. The pesto sauce doesn’t really overpower so even if you’re not really a fan of pesto sauce, I have a feeling that you’ll enjoy the pesto burger.
Overall, we highly-recommend their burgers. Every aspect of the burger is amazing. Heck, even the bun!
Their Other Offerings
I’ve been following their fan page and I know that their hot wings were not served every day in Pangao so they’re some sort of a special dish. Fortunately, they’re now a regular part of the menu together with other fried wings.
We got the garlic parmesan and hot wings. The wings are big and meaty. They’re crunchy but juicy. We liked the garlic parmesan but I liked the hot wings better with me being a fan of anything spicy. What I loved about their hot wings is they’re not the usual spicy Buffalo wings that are a bit sour. They’re also spiced just enough which means that you still get to enjoy the flavor of the wings.
The bucket of wings is priced at Php 120. You get 5 pieces of breaded chicken wings and you get to choose among garlic parmesan, teriyaki, hotwings style and honey barbecue sauces.
We also tried the pizzadilla which is basically an open-faced quesadilla that looks like a pizza. We tried both options – in tomato sauce and pesto sauce.
The tomato sauce one has ground beef. It’s like you’re eating pizza but you get to enjoy the toppings more because of the thinner crust.
We also tried the one with the pesto sauce. It has chicken instead of ground beef. Just like the pesto burger, they were able to make it work. It has an Italian-Mediterranean taste that’s adjusted to fit the Filipino palate.
I couldn’t decide which among the two my favorite is, so Downtown Burgers hack!
We know that we’ll be back, and Downtown Burgers will be a regular part of our “rotation” whenever we eat out. They also serve beer and pulutan so it’s also a good place to try if you’re with your friends. You can start with a dinner of a burger (or 2, we don’t judge) and maybe a bucket of wings. You can then order a pulutan and a bucket of beer to share with your friends.
Man, now I want to go back!
Address: Dayton Food Park along Ayala Highway (at the back near the parking lot)
Mobile Number: 0917 890 0302
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 5PM onwards