You need not circle the globe just to satisfy your delicate palate, savor these foodies right here in the metro. Maybe you’re thinking of high prices for quality food – Nope, not true!
Fret not, there are hole-in-the-walls offering culinary gourmet at affordable prices that will raise the eyebrows of Michelin chefs Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, et al. These dot Metro-Manila serving delectable dishes from Asia, Middle-East, the Americas, to good ol’ Filipino and anything in-between, with rich and memorable taste that won’t hurt your pocket. Of course, it lacks the luster of an extravagant ambiance and the names of known chefs but the food is good.
Don’t you believe me? Check out this list and share your experiences afterward.
Mang Raul’s Grill
Hours: 2:30 PM to 9:00 PM, closed every Monday
Address: CRM Avenue, near Holy Family Parish, Las Piñas City
Contact number: phone calls are not entertained
A friend offered me a pork barbecue, it left a taste that I craved. Wanting to have more, I and my buddy scooted over to the source, Mang Raul’s Grill.
The dingy place is not recommended for those in a rush or choosy, a long queue will greet you and you have to get a number before you can be served. The hand-written menu is posted on the wall, customers look like they’d be at home at Starbucks. Mind you just the smell of the grill will make your wait worthwhile, Pinoy street food at its finest.
Our number came up, we ordered 4 barbecue skewers, 3 hotdogs, 3 isaws (pork intestine), and lots of rice that costs us about $4. Our first bite led to another until the plates were left empty. I wanted to order more barbecue but my full tummy won’t allow it. Looking back, the taste that I was after was in the marinated sauce and the way they grill.
Vina Trang Cuisine
Hours: 9 AM to 11 PM (Monday to Sunday)
Address: 8836 Rooftop, Sampaloc St., San Antonio Village, Makati City
Contact number: 0995-1781676
Let’s move over to Vina Trang for some authentic Vietnamese food, by the way, the owners are Vietnamese. Bad news for liquor drinkers they don’t serve alcohol and there’s no table booking. A couple will spend about $10 for a complete meal, not bad.
There is no rehash of the elements used in their food; patties, sausages, sauces are always freshly prepared; they make their own bread. They live true to their promise of high-quality, newly cooked, and authentic Vietnamese food. You must try their pho, rice noodles with soup, herbs, veggies, pork or chicken or beef. A hit among the patrons are the spring rolls either fresh or fried. Gulp your food with their delicious serving of iced coffee.
Hours: 9:30 AM to 12 MN (Monday to Sunday)
Address: 79-A Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City
Contact number: 02-4341416
Italian food is rich and textural with a bevy of flavors, the home of spaghetti and pizza. The traditional Italian flavors are so intense that you don’t need anything when the dish is cooked.
A budget of about $8 will have a couple covered for a wonderful meal at Friuli Trattoria. Pizza lovers keep coming back for their top-selling items like “The Fromaggi,” 2 layers of mozzarella and cheddar with a sprinkling of blue cheese; “Spiced Romano,” aged Romano cheese combined with mushroom, ground beef, and spices; “Margherita,” a vegetarian’s favorite, herbs, and garlic are smothered with mozzarella, cheese, and tomatoes. Pair these with Mushroom or Spaghetti Carbonara and you’re on your way to a truly Italian feast – Bon Appétit.
Drive-by Taco Shop
Hours: 4 PM to 11 PM, closed on Monday
Address: 167 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
Contact number: 0917-8033663
Satisfy your Mexican cravings for about $7 for 2 persons at Drive-by Taco Shop. The place is a little cramp with a seating capacity of 12. Enjoy dishes like nachos, tacos, chili con carne, burritos, enchilada and other Mexican favorites. Try something original concocted by the owners, taco tortilla and mango muscovado cheesecake which are a hit among patrons. We guarantee that you’ll be hooked on these super delicious and fresh Mexican fares.
Hours: 11 AM to 12 MN (Monday to Sunday)
Address: 4/F Uptown Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Contact number: 0917-5543825
A chicken lover’s heaven, Birdhouse serves deep fried chicken cooked with different spices to give it a twist. A customer can enjoy a chicken meal at a pocket-friendly price of about $6. Your choice of a chicken or tenders along with a side order and sauce. Try their salted egg lava sandwich paired with mac and cheese on the side, you’ll be yearning for more.
Ramon Lee’s Panciteria
Hours: 10 AM to 9 PM (Monday to Sunday)
Address: 538-540 Ronquillo Street, Santa Cruz, Manila City
Contact number: 02-7330642
Tucked away in the streets of Manila is Ramon Lee’s Panciteria, an 88-year old restaurant that withstood the test of time. Savor authentic Chinese cuisine at a remarkable price of $ 12 for a couple and a filled doggie bag after the sumptuous meal.
Ask Filipino elders about Ramon Lee’s Panciteria and they will give you a smile as they recount their fond memories of the place. The specialty of the house is their famous fried chicken and more delicious food from the menu that will satisfy your taste. Add pancit canton, noodles mixed with vegetables and meat; lumpia shanghai, fried spring rolls; camaron rebosado, fried stuffed shrimp; fried rice and you’ll relive the way elders enjoyed their food years back.
Eating is one of the simplest pleasures in life that we can’t get enough of. Good food need not be pricey you just have to know where to find it. Happy Eats!