By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
August 13, 2014
NEW YORK – The absolute best burger in all of New York City is a Filipino burger.
Jeepney’s “Chori Burger” captured the hearts and stomachs of burger-obsessed New Yorkers, taking home this year’s Golden Burger trophy at the recent Time Out New York’s Battle of the Burger, held at South Street Seaport on Thursday.
The Filipino burger beat New York’s top 20 burgers like Burger Joint, Shake Shack, Five Guys, Donovan’s, Corner Bistro, Steak and Shake, among other burger biggies.
This year’s second best burger award went to Filipino-American chef Dale Talde’s Pork Slope burger.
Jeepney’s co-owner Nicole Ponseca says their big win only shows that Filipino food deserves a spot in the mainstream food scene.
“Winning that just wasn’t just claiming best burger – it was a win for anyone who wants our food to be recognized,” said Ponseca. “It was a win for any Filipino out there that wants us to be part of mainstream.”
Inspired by “chori burgers” of Boracay, Jeepney’s co-owner and executive chef Miguel Trinidad took it further by creating a Filipino-American version of the chori burger.
Instead of the full longganisa patties of Boracay, this award winning burger is made from half longanisa and half beef, topped with a Pinoy favorite, banana ketchup and atsara.
It comes with kamote fries, magi garlic aioli dip, and served on a jewish challah bun.
Executive chef Miguel Trinidad said, “It was a way of introducing longganisa to Americans who weren’t willing to try Filipino food. If they see it in, which is more familiar, then they’re willing to try it.”
Even first time Chori Burger tasters just can’t get enough of the explosion of flavors packed inside New York’s number one burger.
“Sometimes the burger is cool because of the toppings or so the cheese,” said Antoine Carbonnaux, one of the many that tried the burger. “I’m French obviously – it’s really the meat which is really well cooked, prepared with spice. I guess that’s why it’s so good.”
Ponseca says, while Team Jeepney went into the contest with the intention of making every burger excellent, one of their line cooks prayed extra hard for divine intervention, and blessed every single one of the 2,000 Chori Burgers served that night.
“He said every burger he made, he prayed to God,” said Ponseca. “He was like, ‘please let this one be the winner,’ and imagine, we had to serve like 2,000 people – so 2,000 burgers each were blessed.”
Team Jeepney’s Chori Burger will be competing nationally in the 2015 Battle of the Burger presented by Rachel Ray at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami, Florida in February.