|Tombstone, photo taken from Zark's FB page|
|my exact reaction|
Needless to say, I had to eat at Zark's!
Zark's is located right across De La Salle University. Too bad it was not around back when I was still a student there. My then-active metabolism would have enabled me to pig out everyday while maintaining my skinny frame.
This review is for our two visits to Zark's. Sorry for the pale, oversaturated pictures. Those ones were taken using my old cellphone.
This is not a place for vegans and other health/figure-conscious folks. Zark's Burgers serves greasy slabs of meat and is not apologetic about it. This is the place to go to when you want to escape your calorie-counting friends who only eat the "right" kind of fats.
The burgers are big and there are tons of choices available (29 kinds of burger last time I checked). I couldn't even graduate to the "Major League" burgers because even the "Minor League" burgers are big and filling. Yes they are greasy, but not the gross kind of greasy. The fries are thick, with the skin on - exactly how I wanted my fries. The veggies are fresh and crisp. The nachos have generous cheese sauce and bacon bits and the salsa is good.
|American All-Star: classic American cheeseburger|
|Three-Pointer: burger with three kinds of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, and cheese sauce)|
served with lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onions
|Ultimate Burger: 1/4 pound burger with cheese sauce on a bed of fresh veggies |
and topped with sauteed mushroom and bacon
|Unfortunately, bf couldn't remember the name of this burger that he ordered|
The food is very affordable. A good thing, since most of the customers are students from nearby schools. The majority of the burgers are priced below P200, even the major league ones, and the smallest burger is already a quarterpounder. We just had to add P20 for hand-cut potato chips or fries and iced tea. We sort of regretted buying a separate order of French fries, since the ones that came with the burgers were already more than enough. I think you get a better deal here than in more popular fastfood joints. More bang for the buck indeed.
The cost of our food:
American All-Star - P140 (with fries and iced tea)
Ultimate Burger - P150 (with fries and iced tea)
Three-Pointer - P145 (with fries and iced tea)
Fries - P50
Nachos Galore - P85
Additional Lemon Dip - P15
Zark's also got this Jawbreaker challenge. Their Jawbreaker is a triple cheeseburger with Spam, egg, and cheese sauce. If you finish it within 5mins, you don't have to pay! So if you're a fast eater with a huge appetite, you get to leave this place feeling really full, for free.
Zark's Burgers is a smallish, modest diner. It has an easy, relaxed ambiance though. I was urged to just grab my burger with my bare hands, without worrying that other people might find that unladylike. During our two visits, there was also a sort of positive communal feeling. Customers in different tables didn't know one another but we could openly stare and smile at Jawbreaker challengers, commenting about their progress while silently cheering them on, without the challengers feeling annoyed or self-conscious. In other places, that would have probably been met with dagger looks.
One other thing that I like about Zark's is the humor. They poke fun at vegans as well as themselves. Some of their quotable quotes online:
- We don't fucking care about the calories jabronie
- Life without bacon is a life not worth living.
- Greasiest burger in Manila. lol
- I love vegans. lol
- We are the most overrated burger joint in the Metro! haha. Overhyped. :))
During our first visit late last year, they also had these shirts up on display:
|Loved that "Vegans suck!" t-shirt|
There is also a Hall of Fame, featuring customers who were able to finish a Tombstone within 10 minutes. Bf and I wondered why there was not a single girl there. Were the ladies really not up to the challenge, or were there successful ones but did not want to ruin their feminine, colegiala image? It would be awesome to see a girl in the Hall of Fame!
Clean. I was worried that smoke would fill the dining area since the resto was just small, but nope, no smoke at all.
We got terrific service on both our visits, even though we used a voucher on the second one. The staff were polite, accommodating, and cheerful. In fact, they were a lot warmer and friendlier than staff in more pricey restaurants we'd tried.
2/F Archer's Nook Bldg.
Taft Avenue, Manila (in front of DLSU-Manila)