The first time I tasted the signature Gringo flame-grilled dishes, the Original Chicken, Southern Spice and Baby Back Ribs, I knew their distinct char-broiled goodness would become a local favorite. Together with their sauces, Lemon Herb and Hot and Spicy, and the sumptuous sidings, Gringo offers great value for their Mexican-Latin cuisine offering. From their first branch at SM North Edsa, they have since expanded to the Fort, Makati and now the newly opened branch at The Atrium, SM Megamall. The recent soft opening gave happyfoodies a chance to sample the other goodies in their menu.
An unassuming establishment at the ground floor of Exchange Regency Residence Hotel in Ortigas. Benassi Alimento E Caffe is easy to miss once you make a turn to the inner Jade road from Exchange Road in Ortigas. However, those who spot this humble dining space is in for a treat. Benassi is a family-run restaurant. Filipino-Italian owner Katia Benassi was born and raised in Italy and brought their beloved home-cooked Italian favorites in Manila.
Minetrone and bruschetta so good, they inspired and conspired to make people fall in love. Veteran photographer Mark Floro tells of a food tale both incredible and romantic — of how Linda so enamored him with her renditions of Minestrone and Bruschetta that he promptly married her.
The story piqued the curiosity of your Happyfoodies so much so that when we got the opportunity to visit Buon Giorno, Mark and Linda’s Italian restaurant in Ortigas, we knew we had to order what has smitten Mark.
Continuing from where we left off, our next stop at Robinson’s Veranda is Hyphy’s by Chef Bruce Lim. It’s one of the notable restaurants in the Veranda Row especially for its laid-back and casual feel. Hyphy’s serves dishes chef Bruce grew up with which are Filipino foods in San Francisco. The Cobb Salad (P260) is a good start with its finely-grilled chicken strips along with the vegetable salad. But the most memorable dish on the table was the Bangus Steak. The large de-boned milkfish was pan-fried evenly and that special sauce is nothing short of addicting. It quickly became the favorite on our table.
Honestly speaking, I’m more of a hole-in-the wall and hidden nook type of person when it comes to choosing eateries and try to steer clear of the malls as the food outlets there tend to be too commercial. But of course, there’s always room for exceptions especially if the establishment has something unique to offer. Besides, nothing beats the comfort and accessibility of malls. Robinson’s Galleria, which is like a neighbor to me being only a 15 minute-ride away from home, opened up their new Veranda section and we get to try their numerous restaurants in the row.