Brasas: Latin American Street Food at the Podium

Lynn and I rarely visit The Podium. While it’s a fine and dandy place, we just don’t have any real reason to visit it when there are tons of other malls near our homes. But I guess that will soon change as Lynn found this little restaurant called Brasas.

brasas_store_front

Fun fact: “brasa” is Spanish for hot coal. So Brasas seems to be the perfect name for a restaurant that serves Latin American street food.

Anyway, if you’re like us who don’t really know much about Latin American street food, worry not as Brasas’ menu isn’t that hard to figure out. It’s basically divided into three categories: platters, wraps, and sandwiches. Nothing too exotic. You’ll feel right at home once you get to see what goes with what.

Anyway, Lynn and I were starving when we arrived at Brasas so we both wanted something hefty to eat. While their wraps and sandwiches looked enticing, it seemed like only something with rice can satiate our hunger. So, meat platters!

Lynn ordered their beef platter (P220):

brasas_beef_rice_platter

And a cup of their house iced tea:

brasas_iced_tea

I had their chicken platter (P180):

brasas_chicken_rice_platter

And a glass of guarapo (sugar cane juice with mint and lime):

brasas_guarapo

Both were substantial meals accompanied with South American slaw, chimichurri sauce, and a fried plantain chip. There’s not a whole lot we can say about what we ate–except that we really loved what we had because the portions were adequate and the meat was tasty. Lynn especially liked the beef because it was very tender, wondering if she could possibly replicate its taste and tenderness. I was expecting more heat and spice from the food, but it was all very good.

We basically mopped up our plates, not leaving a single crumb uneaten–that’s how much we loved our meals. It definitely looks like Brasas will have us coming back to The Podium more frequently than usual. We can’t wait to try everything else on their menu.

SOFT OPENING REVIEW: BurgerBar

I first heard about BurgerBar from a friend who attended their “Private Sneak Eat” event. She took a pic of the burger she ate, and I was immediately interested because her picture was very promising. I’m picky about my burgers, but I had to see if this place offers burgers that taste as good as they look. So I dropped by at Tj’s house and invited him to go for a drive, not telling him that I was planning on heading over to Greenbelt 2 to sample BurgerBar at last. We had previously agreed to try the place at a later date, but I just couldn’t wait anymore. We rarely venture out to Makati, so our trip’s a bit of an adventure, and it’s a good thing we went on a Sunday. Traffic jams were nonexistent and we arrived at Greenbelt 2 in under an hour.

We thought it would take us a while to find the place, but it was pretty easy to spot it, as it’s just on the ground level. A woman by the entrance greeted us and told us that they were still on soft opening and couldn’t accept credit cards yet, then led us to our seats.

Inside, BurgerBar is casual as heck.

BurgerBar, Greenbelt 2

BurgerBar, Greenbelt 2

BurgerBar, Greenbelt 2

Enough about that, though. The burgers are the real star of the show. I ordered a cheeseburger (P195) and Tj had The Piggy (P245 for the single patty version), which had gloriously crispy bacon.

Burger Bar, Greenbelt 2, cheeseburger

Burger Bar, Greenbelt 2, The Piggy

I watched Tj’s reaction as he bit into The Piggy. As he was chewing quietly, I asked, “So. Rate it on a scale of 1 to 10.” He looked up and answered, “9”, which is incredibly high praise. I bit into my cheeseburger and I have to give it the same rating. The burgers would have been a perfect 10 if they were bigger. But I can’t say enough about how amazing the burgers are. The patties are freshly ground and really, really beefy. The entire creation is deliciously greasy, and I actually felt quite sad when I reached the end of burger.

We also ordered skinny fries and onion rings. The fries were all right, and the onion rings looked and smelled nice, although I personally would have liked plain batter rather than a spiced, flavored one; Tj said the batter reminded him of Oishi chips, somehow.

But I CAN’T WAIT to go back to BurgerBar, and I already have my eye on the 4-Cheese Chuck, while Tj is thinking of getting their falafel burger. Good thing that my birthday’s coming up very soon–guess where I’m planning to have my birthday dinner?

BurgerBar
Address: Ground floor, Greenbelt 2, Makati City
Phone: 625-2792
Mobile: 0917-5399661
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BurgerBarPH

SOFT OPENING REVIEW: GrandMomma’s Kitchen

My mother and I went to Il Terrazzo yesterday with the intention to have late lunch at Banapple on the second floor. But on our way, we spotted an attractive little place with a countryish look, right next to Jack’s Loft. The place is called GrandMomma’s Kitchen, and they’re so new that they only opened December 14. The thing about visiting a restaurant while it’s still on soft opening is that you need to manage your expectations. You can’t expect everything to be perfect yet, and the place has yet to hit its stride. The servers would still be a bit nervous and overwhelmed, but you can be sure that they’re doing their best to attend to your needs and ensure that they have your orders down exactly.

Anyway, the interior of GrandMomma’s Kitchen is simple but cozy, with all the usual elements that evoke “country-style kitchen”: wooden walls quirky accessories, tables made out of distressed wood, the works.

GrandMomma's Kitchen, Il Terrazzo, interior

My mother ordered the Old-Fashioned Pork Chop and Applesauce (P255), and I decided to get GrandMomma’s Roast Beef and Mushroom Gravy (P410), choosing country biscuits (it was served with honey) as my side. I just have to say that I’m really glad to find a place that serves biscuits, because there aren’t enough of them here.

GrandMomma's Kitchen, Il Terrazzo, Old-Fashioned Pork Chop and Applesauce

GrandMomma's Kitchen, Il Terrazzo, GrandMomma's Roast Beef and Mushroom Gravy

My mother found the pork chop and the applesauce tasty, although she said she would have liked the meat to be a bit more tender. My roast beef, on the other hand, was good, although I was stunned at all the globs of fat that came with it; I arranged the meat so the fat isn’t too visible in the picture. Perhaps next time I’ll ask if they can make it without so much fat; I needed to strip away the fat before I can get at the meat. Also, the gravy lacked mushrooms, and gravy hounds might think that the amount is insufficient given the available meat. All in all, it amounted to a pretty good meal.

We’ll definitely come back to GrandMomma’s Kitchen after some time to see how much they’ve improved, but what I saw today was nice, pleasing, and satisfying, so I can only expect them to get even better. I’m really looking forward to trying their Tomato Basil Soup and any of their sandwiches.

Bistro Ravioli

Tj and I hung out at SM Mall of Asia last week for a change because we haven’t been there in months. As always, we had no idea where to eat, and so, we resorted to that time-honored method of selecting a restaurant: “There, we can eat there, pwede na yan, let’s just go in, I’m hungry!” And that’s how we ended up in Bistro Ravioli. Italian food, ravioli, decent prices, we figured that nothing could go wrong.

And we were right.

Bistro Ravioli, SM Mall of Asia

We ordered Spinach and Feta Cheese Ravioli with Pesto Sauce and Italian Sausage Ravioli in Romesco Sauce (both P220). And because we’re bottomless pits, we tried out their Margherita pizza as well (price forgotten).

Bistro Ravioli, Spinach and Feta Cheese Ravioli

Bistro Ravioli, Italian Sausage Ravioli

Bistro Ravioli, Margherita pizza

The ravioli tasted nice, although they’re a bit flatter than ravioli should generally be, but we weren’t complaining cause our orders were pretty good. The pizza was delightful as well, although it might have been nicer if it were a wee bit crunchier. For dessert, we had the panna cotta with strawberry (P110), which was nothing special, although I think it would have been greatly improved had they used fresh strawberries.

The dismal dessert notwithstanding, we were happy with our food and would definitely go back for more of their ravioli.