Patties worthy of praise

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Friday, December 20, 2013

AN ATTEMPT to put out a whole paragraph as an article title has been unsuccessful, thus the one-liner. But truth be told, there’s a whole lot more going on here at Big Tom’s Charbroiled Burgers (Big Tom’s) than just fantastic and juicy quality patties—but let’s start talking about those first anyway.

For the record, this little food place along Juana Osmeña St., Cebu City, holds up each patty with high regard like a prized-trophy. Its patties are never stored frozen, are freshly ground daily and are made up of 100 percent sirloin beef. (To be exact, the burger patties are made up of the perfect 80:20 lean meat is to fat ratio).

“People say it’s like eating steak in a bun,” humbly shared proprietor Thomas Durano, the man behind the up-and-coming (if not, have-already-arrived) burger place here in the metro.

“I read a lot, and sometimes, I also end up doing the cooking for the family” he shared about how he came up with the concept for his business. It was fairly natural for Thomas, having spent a good portion of his younger years in the United States, to come up with a tasty western-inspired menu.

The man definitely knows how he wants his burgers. For a full-fledged veteran foodie like Thomas, it would be hard to skip the details when it comes to great sandwiches. “We grill everything here from bread to patty.”

Thomas explains that by not freezing the beef and grinding it just before an order is made, a lot of the natural flavor and juiciness is kept intact. The freshness is ensured and customers are handed a burger that’s definitely satisfying.

Here are the kinds of burgers to choose from: the Mash burger and the Mash cheeseburger deluxe—both in a class of their own as Thomas would like to put it. Then there is the Classic Cheeseburger; the Deluxe Cheeseburger: with sirloin beef patty topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, sliced pickle relish, slices of salad tomato, sautéed onions and house spread; the Jalapeño Kick, sort of like the deluxe cheeseburger with, you guessed it, jalapeño chili; the Deluxe Bacon Cheeseburger; the Egg & Bacon Cheeseburger; and the Chili Con Carne Cheeseburger. All these burgers are served with either 4 oz or 6oz patties. If one feels like skipping beef, there are choices like the Grilled Chicken Vinaigrette and Grilled Teriyaki Chicken (both of which one can request to be served in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun) and Spaghetti with Meatball.

But the burger to stomp all burgers? The Double Decker Cheeseburger as the name suggests doubles up on the patties. Order the 6 oz. patty times two, that’s a whopping 12 ounces of meat in your burger! (Remember that one pound consists of 16 ounces—weigh in the extras and the buns, this burger might come close to a pound).

Thomas has expressed that he doesn’t want to claim that Big Tom’s “have the best burgers in town.” Instead he has this simple request.

“When you’re hungry and you feel like eating a burger, just put [Big Tom’s] under one of your options. I’m not really out to compete with all the big burger brands. I just want to provide good burgers for everyone.”

Big Tom’s actually started March 2012 being a simple burger delivery brand. Thomas invested in a motorcycle and hired one cook for the business. What started then as a simple delivery venture, blossomed into a casual dining place.

“People started to call to dine in. We had our house garden open for diners,” Thomas recalled. Eventually the family decided to re-design the front area of their home and turn it into a restaurant. Big Tom’s started to invite customers for dine in just this year.

With the 2013 coming to a close, only time can tell if Big Tom’s Charbroiled Burgers could become the next big thing in burgers this coming year. Big Tom’s is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 21, 2013.


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