JOHNNY STEAMS: Yankee Steamed Burger with Peanut Butter, Crispy Bacon and Oozing Mozzarella Cheese (OAP)

(This feature was published in and Mercato Centrale last April 9, 2013; Photo from Johnny Steams)

A fast-food bestseller, the burger is almost always present in diners and comfort food joints. In fact, the simple hamburger can be found in many street corners in the country. Even if the Philippines is an Asian country, locals have come to love this Western favorite as well. There are different kinds of burgers out there that range from the ordinary to the more gourmet. But have you ever tried a steamed burger?

It is not your average burger as it is cooked in a custom-made steamer that contains small trays, which hold either an individual hamburger or a chunk of cheese to be melted. In this cooking process, the meat is scooped onto a sesame seed bun and then the melted cheese is poured over the meat. Customary toppings are added after that. Steamed burgers are a healthier alternative because of its cooking method.

If there’s one place you should try a steamed burger, it is Johnny Steams in Midnight Mercato.

Proprietor John Mark Ongsiaco started this business because his family has been into the food business for more than 50 years already. “Since I already have the foundation for the industry, I took advantage of creating my own business,” shares John. “Our burgers are steamed, have less fat, less grease, but still juicy without compromising the taste and beefy-ness of the burger.”

Johnny Steams has been around since November 2010 and has been offering variants like JM’s Burger (regular steamed burger) and the Chili Cheese Burger (with homemade chili, jalapenos and mozzarella cheese). The must-try though is the Yankee Burger with add-ons like peanut butter, crispy bacon and oozing mozzarella cheese. Another bestseller is the Bacon Mushroom Melt. I agree, anything tastes better with bacon!

John is happy to share that some of his customers are already steamed-burger converts. “We continue to innovate and expand our menu. We also listen to our customers and feedback to know what they’re looking for. Quality is always our first priority.” This young entrepreneur had a day job before but is now full-time in the business. He does everything himself—from the inventory, to the marketing, quality control, and even manning the stall.

Who knows? Next time you visit the midnight market, you just might catch him behind the grill—er, steamer.

Email: [email protected]

Available at Midnight Mercato:

Address: Corner of 34th & 8th avenue (near MC Home Depot), BGC Taguig
Mobile number: (+63 917) 840-1152
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Operating hours: Every Friday and Saturday, 10pm-3am