I was relieved to finally reach the Beeffalo By Hotrocks Restaurant at Sto. Nino, Marikina last night after the horrendous traffic along Aurora Boulevard which almost came to a standstill. What was supposed to be a 25 minuted drive took me about 2.5 hours to negotiate.
Beeffalo is located a kilometer away from the Marikina Sports Complex and it’s behind the Blue Wave at Marquinton Mall. With no directional signages nor even small billboards to direct diners to this food sanctuary, the place has become a veritable best kept secret of Marikina. Their baby back ribs, porterhouse steak and delectable desserts are some of the reasons why people as far as Alabang, Bulacan and Laguna would suddenly appear at their doorsteps armed only with their google maps and memorized verbal instructions given to them by people they’ve asked along the route.
Arriving at the Beeffalo way past our appointed time for our scheduled dinner, i saw long lines of cars parked in front of this resto, with lights glistening from inside. And this place is serious! Originally intended as a small eatery, the edifice is actually made up of container vans refurbished in the style of the old american roadhouses and is filled with retro design features: vintage television set; an antique sewing machine, a rotary dial telephone, 50’s bicycles and an old original Vespa scooter, many of them donated or lent by friends.
The look is certainly distinctive but the effect is homey, where families and friends can gather together and enjoy watching their food being grilled in the barbecue pit located at one corner of the entrance. The smell of barbecue smoke was enticing while the sight of meats being grilled was mouth watering!
The house-like ambiance was packed with customers and walking past peoples’ plates, i knew i was going to have another gastronomical experience.
The main attraction though is the menu, loosely styled on American cuisine with steaks (T-bone and Porterhouse with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetable salad added), baby back ribs, (tender and succulent) buffalo chicken wings (very hot or sweet n spicy) and even thin-crust biscuit pizzas (all fresh ingredients). Of course, there’s also the all-time Filipino favorite like “inihaw na liempo” and street food barbecue like isaw, tenga and bulaklak!
Our Porterhouse was exemplary, thin but soft. But be careful when ordering the buffalo wings– the original style is really, really hot! We particularly like the endlessly refilled cucumber lemonade but we were offered wine as well, carefully selected by co-owner and Executive Chef, Girlie Cosio-Abad who has them shipped from California.
The portions are large and generous so ideally, it is best to have 3 or more people as it’s more a “family style” dining and you get lots of extras.
Queues are common specially during week-ends. Fridays and Saturdays are almost full to the brim! They also accept bookings for special occasions.
Adding to the delight of discovering this new digs is that Beeffalo’s General Manager and Chef Girlie’s husband, Louie Abad is a long distance runner and is currently training for his first ever 42k marathon under The Bull Runner’s TBR Dream Marathon this coming February, 2015. He would walk from table to table or give instructions to his service staff then would sit again on our table asking tips on all things running. One unanimous advice we gave him— quit smoking!
Louie has been in the restaurant business for more than 8 years so he’s comfortable holding court specially if you want to talk with him about food but obviously, all he’s thinking now is how he would finish his first marathon with 3 months to go and with very little training!
I’ll now gloat on the food we had last night and trying to sample all had me so full and bloated!