I remember being heartbroken when the Pho24/Kitaro joint-resto across GMA 7 closed. It didn’t take long before a banner was put up, announcing the arrival of something “Cali,” complete with palm trees and other summer images. My officemates and I had no clue what was gonna take the place of Pho24 and Kitaro. We actually thought it was no longer going to be a restaurant. Based on the “Cali” and the images, we thought it’d be either a nail spa or a retail brand.

And then we got news it was going to be Caliburger, something we’ve never heard of, but instantly Googled.

We were actually invited to cover the opening and supply artistas for it. Of course, we were also there for the grub.

The burger was, well, okay. It wasn’t moan-inducing but it wasn’t bad.

I enjoyed the fries more, since it had cheese, what seemed like thousand island dressing, and onions on top of it. The chocolate milkshake was also just okay.

Not giving up on it, my officemates and I returned to sample their other stuff. I wasn’t that adventurous. I ordered the fries again, but went for a chicken patty instead of the beef one. Surprisingly, it was pretty good. The meat was fresh and it was just refreshing to taste a chicken patty that’s not breaded. It was tasty, too, even without breading.

It was a better burger choice, but I still wasn’t sold on Caliburger. However, I still didn’t give up on it.

On my next visit, the waitress recommended their BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger (P195), and I’m glad I listened to her because it’s really good. It’s so good that’s what I’ve been getting every time I’m in Caliburger. Yes, I’ve been frequenting the place.

And it’s not just coz of the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger. I am also in love with their onion rings (P50) because they have a very crunchy covering. It’s not the kind of breading that other food places use, but it works and they stay very crunchy for a long time.

They also have buffalo wings. I like them because they’re flavourful, thanks to a generous serving of sauce.

But what I’m really, really digging are their drinks. They have dalandan, pink lemonade, and cucumber. They’re all good (and pretty, as you can see), but cucumber is my favorite. Best part is they’re refillable.

So there, several reasons why I am returning to Caliburger. I am so glad I gave it a chance back when people were saying it’s trying hard In-N-Out (I’ve never tried In-N-Out so I wouldn’t know). Sure, their stuff are expensive but contrary to rumors, food isn’t bad. I actually like how they have been adding new offerings to their menu.

CaliBurger has a branch in Makati (4F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave.) and Timog (118 Timog Ave., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City)