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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Perfect Burger is finally out at Teddy's Bigger Burgers

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers was launched last August 23, 2014 at Greenbelt 3, Makati, but before that, there was a bloggers's invite on August 20, and I was lucky enough to get inside and  met the Hawaii-based founders Ted Tsakiris and Rich Stula. The owners flew from Hawaii with their kitchen crew, to serve the media the best of what Teddy's has been cooking back in their hometown.  The restaurant's interior has a homey retro feel from chairs to tables to posters. Its like you are eating from your parents place. It feels like home. The place could cater to 100 persons, inside and outside the venue.

The host told  to make our order at the counter, anything our heart's desire. Then, if we like to have an upgrade we are free to do so. Since the aroma of juicy beef has been emanating from the kitchen, I have nothing on my mind but a piece of their burger.

I lined up and order for Kailua burger, because the owner Ted Tsakiris suggested that I could try that for a first timer together with the peanut butter shake. The best combination in the house.  Its been 3 months since my last milkshake, I gave my peanut butter shake 2 thumbs up for the texture, taste and cup size.  My order was served and it was "drooled" worthy.

Kailua Burger with fries

My Peanut Butter shake

The first time I took a bite of my Kailua burger, its lip smacking, melt in the mouth taste just blew me away, maybe its the Teriyaki sauce that made it special, or the 100% juicy, burger premium beef patty,  or the potato bun that enveloped the patty and sauces, or the peanut butter shake. I couldnt distinguish, but this is by far the best burger that I have tasted, hands down. I agree with the owner that this is the Ferrari of burgers, quoting that other burgers only come close as Toyota.

Ted Tsakiris, co-founder of Teddy’s USA, clues us in on Teddy’s secret of success.

“Teddy’s is built from the burger, borne out of a passion for burgers. With gourmet burger restaurants on the rise across the metro, and Filipino foodies clamoring for burgers that go beyond fastfood, we’re looking forward to giving the Filipinos a taste of Teddy’s and what makes it a cut above the rest,’’Tsakiris says.

Ted Tsakiris and my choice of burger

Teddy's Bigger Burgers co-founder Rich Stula and staff

Since its inception in 1998, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers has opened in 11 locations in Hawaii, and recently on US mainland in Washington and Iowa, with stores soon to open in California and Texas. The Philippines marks Teddy’s 2nd international location, following Japan.

Tsakiris believes it is their patty that makes customers come back for more. “If you have a good quality patty, you don’t really need expensive extras like foiegras or truffle oil on your burger,” he states.

“We use a formula of 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This is ideal for burgers because it does not need extenders but retains its shape. Most of all, it makes for a juicy patty,” adds Habawel.

The patties have zero preservatives and are not injected with flavors. And because the patty is charbroiled, extra fat drips down instead of the patty swimming in grease.

Burger sizes also set Teddy’s apart, with “Big,” “Bigger,” and “Biggest” patties.
“Size definitely matters at Teddy’s,” Habawel notes. “Our burgers are bigger than the average burger. We start at 5 oz (Big) – that’s already a 1/3 pounder – and go on to 7 oz (Bigger) and 9 oz (Biggest) for our Original single patties, and our Monster Doubles (double patty sandwiches) go up to 10 oz, 14 oz, and 18 oz.”

Teddy’s Original Burgers are topped with a signature ‘Special Sauce,’ the burger joint’s own sweet and tangy creation.

“It’s not your usual thousand island dressing. The sauce is yellow, but it doesn’t have any mustard; it is actually an aioli that goes perfectly with our burgers,” Habawel explains. “The recipe, of course, is a company secret.”

Teddy’s Teri Burger, meanwhile, is basted with a sweet teriyaki sauce – a traditional recipe made from scratch -- while the Western Burger is topped with barbecue sauce.

All sandwiches come with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions, but diners have the option to customize their burgers with a variety of toppings, including bacon, blue cheese, jalapeƱos, onion rings, and pastrami, among others.

Because all burgers are made to order, customers can also opt to reduce or remove seasoning, and use lettuce instead of bread as buns.


The crowning glory of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers is the potato bun, specially made for Teddy’s. This aspect proved to be quite challenging for the Philippine team.

“Bread has a short shelf life, so we had to source this locally,” Habawel recalls.”Getting the bun right is important to Ted and Rich, so it took us 30 trials – I had to keep sending the buns to them in the US until they approved it.”

Golden in color, the potato buns are soft and delicate in texture, with a slightly sweet note that brings out the savory, smoky flavor of the burger.


To complement the burgers, Teddy’s sides include extra crispy fries and tots with a variety of sauces (cheese and garlic butter), and beer-battered onion rings.
Teddy’s is also known for super thick milk shakes, in flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, peanut butter, rootbeer, dreamsicle or pineapple.
 “Our shakes are 90% ice cream and 10% milk. Unlike other shakes that are watered down with ice, our shakes have a very rich taste,” assures Habawel.


While the core of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers menu is the original menu from Hawaii, there are some additions that have been made specifically for the Philippine market.

“We have the Tiki Wings, and Chicken Tenders,” states Habawel. “We also have the Loco Moco, a famous drive-in food in Hawaii, which is basically a burger patty served top of rice with gravy and fried egg.”

Because of the locations for Teddy’s in the Philippines, the burger joint will soon be serving alcoholic beverages.

“Hawaii doesn’t have alcoholic drinks on their menu, but since we’re opening in malls with restaurants that offer alcoholic beverages, we’ll be offering both imported and local beers as well as some cocktails that were crafted specifically for Teddy’s,” adds Habawel.

From now until September 3, 2014, mall patrons at the Greenbelt Mall also have the chance to win a free burger from Teddy’s by taking a burger selfie with either the Teddy’s Bigger Burgers store board up or Teddy’s Bigger Burger standees around the mall. Participants must upload their photos on Facebook or Instagram account with the hashtag #teddysburgersph. The first 100 entries will win a free 5oz Teddy’s Original Burger.

For complete promo mechanics, and more information about Teddy’s Bigger Burgers PH, visit the official Facebook Page (


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