Growing up in the late 70’s in Manila, the only hamburger place to go to was Tropical Hut. And it was the best!
Jollibee, Wendy’s and McDonalds came in the 80’s. But even if these giant fast food chains surpassed Tropical Hut in terms of sales, and visibility, I still believe that the best hamburger in terms of taste is from Tropical Hut! Not to mention their macaroni salad.
I could still remember my father bringing home the Tropical Hut Hamburger wrapped in aluminum foil. It was always a welcome treat. Imagine a burger that’s so big I would need both hands to hold it. The juice from the freshly cooked patty dripping onto my fingers. The freshly sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced pickles, mayonnaise, and ketsup (orig. catsup) all make for an almost 3-inch high sandwich.
Tropical Hut restaurants were few. The only two I can remember were the ones at the corner of Ortigas and EDSA, and at Cubao just near the former COD. I don’t know if these are still operating.
Before leaving for Toronto in 2011, I know that there are three other branches, one in Riverbank, one in Concepcion, Marikina, and another in Q Plaza just across Sta. Lucia. My wife and I often brought our children there not only because they were close to where we lived but also because the burgers still taste like real beef, and not the starchy, flat , bland burgers of the other fast food joints.
My father enjoyed the burgers so much that he taught me how to make burgers. Simple and straight-forward!
- 1 kl. Ground beef
- 1 white onion, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
Putting it together:
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Make the patty. Get a handful of burger mix, roll into a ball and flatten.
3. Place the burger patty on the grill. Cook for three minutes on each side.
Serve the hambuger the way you want to. You can have your regular burger in a bun with relish. You can serve it on a plate with coleslaw, rice and grilled onion. It’s all up to you.
The original recipe of my father includes egg and a bit of corn starch so that the burger patty will not break apart. The egg burns and I don’t like the starchy texture so I removed these two ingredients from my father’s recipe. And I don’t think he would mind.