Episode 46: Much ado about Jollibee’s Ultimate Burger Steak

“Glorified Salisbury steak” was how one of my coworkers described the Ultimate Burger Steak, Jollibee’s latest offering, as they went out for dinner the other night. The others at work have also tried this combo meal, and they thought it was good and worth every peso.

I’ve never seen the commercials for the Ultimate Burger Steak, but hearing about it piqued my interest. By this time, though, I have shunned fastfood and shifted to food cooked through healthier methods. Okay, so I still eat pork and beef from time to time, but not in a fastfood setting. But I digress.

My curiosity got the better of me, so that night after work, I drove to a nearby Jollibee branch, and ordered an Ultimate Burger Steak for dinner.

Fifteen hungry minutes later, my Ultimate Burger Steak arrived, freshly cooked. Just as I thought, it looked like a Salisbury steak.

By the way, did you know that the Salisbury steak was once prescribed for weight loss?

Dr. James Henry Salisbury introduced the Salisbury steak – ground beef flavored with onion and seasoning – in 1888. It was eaten three times a day along with water as part of a low-carbohydrate diet. That’s because Salisbury believed beef helps prevent many physical ailments. He added that humans should eat more meat to stay healthy.

Nowadays Salisbury steak is not exactly considered as health food, but it’s popular in the US (served with gravy, mashed potatoes, or noodles), Japan (widely used in boxed lunches), UK, Hawaii, and Russia. After all, it’s cheap but filling, served hot as a complete meal.

But back to the Ultimate Burger Steak. It’s basically a Champ (1/3 pound) patty on a bed of French fries, and served with rice and a fried egg. It somehow reminded me of the Hawaiian loco moco, which is, as I found out after a quick refresher course, essentially the same thing.

My notion of Salisbury steak being a low-carb meal got Rider Kick-ed into oblivion, thanks to the fries and rice combo. But the patty? It was excellent. The patty was juicy, well-seasoned and bursting with flavor. The gravy was tasty, and the egg (not salted) and fries mellowed it down, creating a balanced mix of flavors.

For a moment, I got worried whether eating heavy stuff like this would be bad for me. After all, I’m on the lookout for food with too much sodium and preservatives. Gout and hypertension, remember? All that flew off the window as I finished my burger steak.

In the end, I broke my oath to avoid fastfood and ate at Jollibee, sacrificing my gas allowance and kidneys in the process. I regret nothing, though. Call it a glorified Salisbury steak all you want, but the Ultimate Burger Steak was worth trying. It was simple but satisfying and delicious. Maybe I’ll have one once in a while, whenever I feel like taking a break from healthy food.

Now that I think about it, I wonder how a Salisbury steak tastes like when steamed.

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