Great Chow in Tanay: Ponkee’s Cafe

Just a little past the commercial area of the Sampaloc-Tanay Road and Marcos Highway in Tanay, Rizal is this dainty little eatery that serves a lot of delicious native dishes at very affordable prices!

It’s a great stop for a hearty breakfast or lunch after a long trail run on the mountain trails of Tanay. The place is rather small, a typical hole-in-the-wall neighborhood “carinderia” but the food is fantastic, like having lunch in a fancy restaurant with prices 3x cheaper! The food? Mucho sabroso!

It’s a bit cramped inside with three, 3-person tables at the most and 2 tables outside that you might find it hard to get a seat during their peak hours of lunch and merienda.

Having skipped lunch while me and running buddy Jun were still at it on the trails, we were invited by Alvin Balderama, Race Director of the PIMCO trail run races and arrived at this eatery at about 3pm, starving like a pack of wolves that we were ready to devour anything that was available.

That afternoon, they were preparing their merienda special for the day–home-made grilled hamburgers which were thick, juicy and sinfully tangy with a kick! It was so delicious that we had 2 orders each!

 

We also tried their baby back ribs which were thick and tender, marinated just right and juicy to the bones! You can just feel the tender pork had been simmering on the grill for a long time as the marinated sauces had soaked into the layers of the pork belly. It’s juiciness created a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness to the pork and showered the meat with rich barbecue flavor.

Baby back ribs

We also had a sample of their marinated chicken barbecue which was rich in sauce and with good amount of black pepper to give your taste buds a kick.

Their prices? Look at their menu below:

Cheap and delicious food

The place is presently being frequented by bikers, motorcycle riders and now runners who are ever-present running along the National Highway and of course, the trails.

If you’re in the area after finishing your trail runs or long road bikes to energize and replenish your bodies with delicious food, i highly recommend dropping by this place. You won’t regret it!

Ponkees is located near the intersection of Sampaloc-Tanay Road and Marcos Road, near the Flying V Gas Station. From the Sierra Madre Resort, drive past the Pranjetto Hills Resort and after 2.5 kms, turn right to Sampaloc-Tanay Road. The eatery is less than a kilometer on your left.