Here and now, when the market is saturated with fast food burgers, I don’t mind paying a premium for luxury burgers. Just when I abandoned the chase for the best burger in Laoag, Chef Jackie de la Cruz, winner of the first Ilocos Norte Coof-Off Challenge, organized by the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office a couple of years back, and owner of Giannis (recently adjudged among the best places to eat in Ilocos by a TV show), invites us to try out what he calls “burger tay lang.”
Earning his culinary education at the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA), Chef Jackie will eat at hole in the wall carinderias, but when it comes to steaks and burgers, he wants to pick his own beef and cook it in his own style. He knows too well the family’s weakness for burgers and vice versa. We chanced upon each other at Brothers once and dined there together a number of times, so I can reveal it is easy traveling with him.
‘Coz I respect his creativity, and more than that, I am a true friend, I won’t spill his secret ingredients. I’m not going to hype up his creation either. But, YES, it is possible to pre-order his grilled all-beef-patty hamburgers. Giannis caters, btw.