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This Guadalajara restaurant has raised Mexico’s burger and craft beer game

August 24, 2016
The maple burger is the jewel in the Pig's Pearls' crown. All photos by Ulises Ruíz Basurto.

The maple burger is the jewel in the Pig’s Pearls’ crown. All photos by Ulises Ruíz Basurto.

Like most visitors, when I first moved to Mexico in 2009 I was endlessly fascinated by the diversity, the complexity, and the incredibly bold flavors of the local cuisine. But after a few months away from home, you sometimes just want a nice meaty burger and a crisp pint of ale. That proved hard to find, with most places merely offering thin, tasteless patties with plastic cheese squares in overly sweet or crumbly buns, alongside bottles of commercial lager. Mexico’s burger game was lacking.

Two years later I found salvation in a former bookshop on a quiet street corner in Guadalajara’s trendy Americana neighborhood. Sensing an opportunity to broaden the city’s culinary horizons, Carlos Barba and his cousin Oscar “Iguano” Martín had just opened their own burger joint and crammed six or seven tables into this tiny space. It was called Pig’s Pearls and they served the best burgers I’d ever tried. They were also among the city’s first advocates of Mexico’s nascent craft beer scene.

The restaurant was so popular it soon expanded to a converted warehouse.

The restaurant was so popular it soon expanded to a converted warehouse.

Now celebrating it’s fifth anniversary, Pig’s Pearls has established itself as a local institution and helped usher in a gourmet burger boom. It constantly flits between first and fifth in TripAdvisor’s ranking of the top 816 restaurants in Guadalajara and was recently named the city’s best burger joint in a survey of 21 chefs, critics, and food bloggers…

Click here to read this piece in full at Munchies. 

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