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Posts Tagged ‘ribs

The opening of a Casa Verde branch in Manila seemed to be a very big thing, since The Boyfriend and I have been hearing good things about it from our friends. We both had no idea what that place was, and after doing some research, learned that it’s a very famous restaurant in Cebu. A lot of people are big fans of their Brian’s Ribs and since The Boyfriend is a big ribs fan, we made sure we visited the place before he left for Kuala Lumpur. Our one visit turned into two when his family decided to celebrate a birthday at the same venue, so this post will feature some of the items ordered during those two visits.

CASA VERDE_facade photo casaverdefacade_zps37214809.jpgCasa Verde on a weekday night, which was our first visit. There weren’t a lot of people when we arrived at 6 p.m., but a line was starting to form by 7 p.m.

CASA VERDE_Panama Orange Iced Tea photo panamaorangeicedtea_zpsf8673712.jpgThe Boyfriend ordered the refillable Panama Orange iced tea (Php75.00) during our first visit. I guess it was just okay, since I didn’t hear any positive or negative comments from him about this drink.

CASA VERDE_John's Mix photo johnsmix_zps57a3cb8f.jpgI decided to be a little more experimental and ordered a serving of John’s Mix (Php95.00). This was a mix of orange juice, pineapple juice, Sprite and grenadine. I found it to be too sweet for me to really enjoy it. I think I should have ordered something else instead.

 photo karlamari_zps03a8bfbc.jpgThe Boyfriend enjoys ordering starters whenever we eat out. He ordered a serving of Karlamari (Php148.00), which is Casa Verde’s take on the popular deep fried squid dish and is served with their own sweet & sour sauce. The sauce reminded us of the ones from fish and squid balls street vendors, so it was okay for us. Serving size was good for one to two persons, depending on how hungry you are.

CASA VERDE_Tricia ala Pobre photo Triciaalapobre_zpsaad42362.jpgThis really blurry shot was of their Tricia ala Pobre (Php195.00), which I had during our visit with The Boyfriend’s family. I know this isn’t exactly the best looking photo here, mainly because I was rushing to take a photo of it before anybody notices it. I wasn’t sure if everyone from The Boyfriend’s family is comfortable with the thought of me taking so much food photos. :p

Anyway, this dish consisted of grilled fish (dory, I believe), topped with fried garlic bits. It came with some vegetables on the side and a serving of what they referred to as ‘harvest rice’. Overall, it was a pretty satisfying dish. I found the grilled fish to be a bit too soft but the saltiness blended well with the buttered vegetables and rice.

CASA VERDE_The Big Bang photo TheBigBang_zps7f40d1ce.jpgDuring the time we were with his family, The Boyfriend was feeling adventurous and decided to order The Big Bang (Php438.00). It was a 9-inch burger bun filled with a generous meat patty, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cheese, and mayo. It also came with a side of fries. This huge burger was served on top of a wooden chopping board and was greeted by looks of amazement from our table.

The Boyfriend split half of the burger with his older brother, while the other half was sliced into smaller pieces for the other family members to try. Everyone seemed to agree that the patty was deliciously well-seasoned. The burger buns used were soft and airy, thus it was easily flattened by some so that it wasn’t too difficult to eat.

Casa Verde has an even bigger burger called The Mighty Ton (Php888.00). According to their menu, it’s a kilo’s worth of tenderloin stuffed into a 12-inch burger bun along with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms. It’s also served with a side of flavored fries. No, we didn’t get that one but noticed several tables order it.

CASA VERDE_Fish and Fries photo fishandfries_zps9a34e43c.jpgThe photo above shows the Fish & Fries (Php228.00), which I decided to try during our first visit. I split this dish with The Boyfriend. There wasn’t anything special about this, just your regular fried dory fillets and fries served with tartar sauce. An order consists of five pieces of battered dory.

CASA VERDE_Brian's Ribs photo briansribs_zps63f6d3ae.jpgOf course, we couldn’t forget to order the main reason why we trooped all the way to UP Town Center: the Brian’s Ribs (Php250.00). This was served with corn and carrots, and your choice of rice or mashed potatoes. The Boyfriend has heard good things about this grilled pork dish that he wanted us to try it out as soon as we could. At only Php250.00, this is already considered cheap in comparison to the other ribs The Boyfriend has devoured before from other establishments. We both found it to be pretty average, with some parts of the meat already dry. The sauce spread on the meat was also very sweet, so we no longer touched the extra which was provided.

Overall, we agreed that Casa Verde was okay, but didn’t exactly live up to all the hype. We haven’t been to the original branch in Cebu, so we couldn’t say if the dishes we had tasted any different from the ones there. We have to give credit to the notably HUGE items offered in the restaurant, like The Big Bang and The Mighty Ton. They even have a very tall glass of chocolate milkshake called the Milky Way (Php345.00), which is definitely meant for sharing. One of The Boyfriend’s nephews ordered that but I wasn’t able to take a photo of it. It was so big, it was even served with five straws. Yep, five. I looked at it, tried to calculate how much sugar was in there and all I can think was how crazy strange it was! A lot of other tables ordered that too, so I guess it’s another one of those popular Casa Verde items.

If you feel like trying their ribs, burgers and/or milkshakes, visit them at the 2nd floor of the UP Town Center, along Katipunan in Q.C. Make sure to arrive early because this restaurant isn’t very big and gets full pretty quickly. There’s also usually a long line of hungry people waiting outside during peak hours. 🙂

Another Sunday just passed; that means my family and I were out and about again, looking for the next family favorite when it comes to weekend dinners. For this week, we dined somewhere near our place.

CAJUN_logo

Cajun Red Rock  has been along the Retiro / N.S. Amoranto street for quite some time. If I remember correctly, we’ve eaten there before, but they still had a different name. I don’t recall my dining experience back then, so this visit was a good way of refreshing my memory.

CAJUN_tower o' sesame rings

The meal started out pretty decent enough. We were all amazed with how big a serving of Tower o’ Sesame Rings was. The presentation was beautiful, in my opinion. There were three sauces that came along with the onion rings: sesame cream, honey mustard and Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce. This one tasted good for the first few bites, but we quickly got tired of it. My brother commented that the breading was too thick and when the rings became cold, the breading proved to be difficult to eat. We didn’t get to finish everything and decided to bring the leftovers home.

CAJUN_NY Fish and Chips

For Dad’s main dish, he ordered the New York Fish & Chips with the sauces on the side. It’s deep fried cream dory fillet, topped with Parmesan cheese, and served with honey mustard sauce and another with vinegar as its base. The main dishes had two side dishes of your choice included; Dad chose fries and mixed vegetables. Just a couple of minutes into eating the main dishes and we knew that Dad didn’t like his food. The sauces were all sweet (and since Dad is diabetic, it’s a big no-no for him) and the fish was bland despite having Parmesan cheese on it.

CAJUN_bourbon ribs

Mom is the type of person who likes eating BBQ ribs a lot, so she was set on ordering a serving for herself during this meal. Her main dish was the Cajun Bourbon Ribs, served with (diced) hashbrown potatoes and sweet potato mojos. She said the ribs were okay, but that the sauce was a bit too sweet. My brother and I were also able to take a small bite, and we both agreed that Cajun’s ribs weren’t tender. An epic fail, I believe.

CAJUN_green iced tea

Mom was also the only one who ordered a drink. She chose the Green Iced Tea, which she found to be too sweet for her liking. My mom has a VERY sweet tooth, so if she started saying that something was “too sweet”, then there must something wrong with the item.

CAJUN_mustard peppered chicken

For my main dish, I decided to go with their Mustard Peppered Grilled Chicken, served with saffron rice and mixed vegetables (I gave Mom the saffron rice since she wanted to have it with her ribs).  The mixed vegetables were okay; they were buttery enough and the vegetables I got still had a bit of crunch to it. The chicken, though, was a bit of a let-down. The chicken was cooked pretty well, but I couldn’t taste any distinct flavor in the sauce. The mustard was probably just used to give the sauce a bit of yellowish tint and I couldn’t  taste the pepper. I really think eating at World Chicken is way better than eating this from Cajun.

CAJUN_chicken marsala

My older brother chose the Chicken Marsala, with a serving of corn country style rice and country potatoes. He had the same verdict with his chicken: cooked well, but the sauce didn’t really taste like anything special (it was just sweet). The rice wasn’t mind-blowing either, but the cheese sauce on the potatoes was something that garnered a few decent points.

I think it’s pretty obvious that my family didn’t find this place to be a winner (and I think I now know why I don’t recall much about this place). What made the entire experience more unsatisfactory was this branch’s wait staff. Their servers (and kitchen staff) had a habit of walking around the dining area and talking with each other very loudly; it’s like they don’t have any customers!

One of them, a big male server, was the worst. He would be at the other end of the restaurant and then holler at his colleagues so that the others can bring forks, knives, or whatever was being requested by the customers – and this did not happen just once. What was more disappointing was how their branch manager tolerated all of this by joking around with his staff, obviously ignoring the fact that they were already destroying the image of the restaurant. My entire family was upset by this.

I’m hoping that Cajun’s other branches serve better food and have better staff. However, I don’t think I’ll be interested in trying to check if their other branches are indeed better than the one along Retiro.

** Cajun has branches at the following locations: Robinson’s Galleria, SM Megamall and along Retiro in Quezon City.


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