I don’t often chase food porn: there’s far too much of it, and I have far too little time. I made an exception for the Chori Burger at Jeepney, featured last week in The Times by foodcurated’s Liza de Guia.
Jeepney claims to be the world’s only Filipino gastropub. Exactly what passes for a gastropub these days is anyone’s guess, but it’s Filipino, beyond a doubt, a casual place that looks like a dive bar with a serious kitchen. You can feast on fertilized duck eggs, pig snouts, beef blood, and head-on prawns, along with less adventurous fare, like pork shoulder, lamb shank, and roasted chicken.
But it was the burger ($17) that brought me here:
The chef, Miguel Trinidad, creates a patty with beef and longanisa, a cured pork sausage. He tops it with banana ketchup (a condiment that finds its way into many dishes here). Both sides of the challah bun are drizzled with a kewpie aioli (soy sauce, garlic, and other spices).
In the Times video, the chef explains that the burger is not traditional in the Philippines, but Americans imported it during the occupation, and it’s now found in many places there, though usually with a White Castle-sized patty. In this interpretation, the burger has the heft that New Yorkers expect.
The server leaves you with three napkins, and you’ll need them, but it’s well worth it for this spicy, messy masterpiece. Finish it off with satisfying fries made from kamote, the Filipino equivalent of the sweet potato.
I assume the burger is fairly new, as Pete Wells did not mention it in an improbable two-star review a year ago. I don’t know when or if I’ll make it back to try more of the menu. For burger hounds, that alone is enough to make Jeepney a destination.
Jeepney (201 First Avenue between 12th & 13th Streets, East Village)