Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mario's Restaurant Baguio...

Hi there, my loves!  How's Sunday treating you so far?  I woke up almost lunch time today and got a message from my Mom that they're at SM MOA. How I wish I'm with them right now.  


Anyways, for today, let me indulge you with some mouth-watering photos of some of the dishes we've tried from Mario's Restaurant in Baguio:

Mario's Restaurant 

The first restaurant was right in Session Road, and I can still remember where exactly it used to be. I was still attending college in SLU when the branch was caught on fire, or probably demolished to give way for its transfer at Upper Session Road where it is now located.  

It started with a couple's dream of having a restaurant of their own, and that dream was realized in the year 1971.  The restaurant started with traditional Spanish cuisines and now they also have Greek and other international cuisines.  They are also known for their steaks, tapas and their famous Ceasar Salad which is one of their specialties. 

My family attended an early morning mass at Manaoag in Pangasinan and thought of dropping by Baguio to have lunch.  Hahhaa, crazy no?  Imagine travelling another 2hrs just for lunch.  Haha!

We arrived there almost 1pm and the restaurant is having a buffet lunch.  We checked out what's included and since most of us aren't really into buffets (actually, I was the only one up for it) we decided to just go ala-carte.

Strawberry Shake, Php185

The best strawberry shake I've ever tasted.  It really does taste like strawberry, unlike with other that it's mostly milk.  Well, Baguio is the city of strawberries anyway.

Lemonade, Php98

Hmm, I wish it tastes more like natural lemons.  It does taste a bit more like powder, imho.  But still good.

Crispy Shrimps, Php210

This comes with a vinegar dip.  The crunchiness of the shrimps is just perfect and they taste surprisingly fresh despite the city not being known for seafood.

Surtido de Tapas, Php450

A sampler platter of spicy chicken wings, nilasing (drunken) shrimps, calamares and Spanish Chorizo. It comes with 3 different sauces: garlic vinegar, sofrito (garlic, onions, pepper and tomatoes) and alioli (garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolk)

I love everything on this plate except for the Chorizo which I find too salty.  But I guess that's how Chorizos are.  I am just not a fan of Chorizos and probably my family as well since this is the only thing that was left on the plate.

Pumpkin Soup, Php120

Whenever me and my family would go out to war, we always make sure there's soup. And I've noticed that we would never fail to order Pumpkin soup. This one's good, rich and you can really taste the pumpkin.  It doesn't taste instant, if there's such thing as instant pumpkin soup. 

French Onion Soup, Php190

This one's really thick and cheesy.  I never did like French Onion soup, but my mom and my sister adores it.  When I order soup, I don't expect it to have any solids.  Hahaha, I just find the topping of cheese and onion bits disturbing.

Steak and Thermidore, Php700

Stuffed tiger prawn and steak, my kind of meal.  I'm a crazy meat-eater but I wasn't in the mood for something huge that day but I still want to have a bit of steak.  You know how much  I love prawns so this one's perfect for me.  It's really good and tasty, even my Aunt who's our family cook agrees.  I really like what they did to the prawn, something different from what I would usually have in restos.

Baby Back Ribs, Php575

This one is served with Kamote fries and charbroiled corn, and special sauce over the ribs.  It's good, but not something I would go back to and order again. It's just so-so for me.  I'd rather have the baby back ribs at Racks.

Chicken and Marlin Duet, Php440

This one's for the more health-conscious.  I love the chicken served kebab-style, and the coconut-style sauce.  

Rack of Lamb, Php850

Charbroiled lamb served with portmint sauce, perfectly cooked and tender.  I'm not a fan of lamb, I just hate the after taste but it's my sister's favorite.  I tasted it and well, it does taste good but I would still prefer my pork or beef, even chicken over this one.  

Grilled Salmon, Php550

This one comes with orange bourbon sauce, which is new to us but we definitely loved. I love Salmon but sometimes, it gives off a malansa (fishy) taste so the sauce helped overcome that.  It has just the right amount of sourness and sweetness to it, that my Mom approves.  Yeah, knowing how health conscious my Mom is, this is hers.

Callos Madrilena, Php425

This is another favorite in the table.  I rarely eat callos, but because of this, I am looking forward to eating more versions of this dish.

Now, time for dessert:

Banoffee Pie, Php125

I hate bananas, plain or mixed with something else but this one's an exception.  The first time I had a Banoffee Pie was at Starbucks and it became an instant favorite of mine.  Make me choose between a decadent chocolate cake and this one, and I'll choose this every time.  It's not too sweet and the banana used is not too ripe.  I hate it when the banana's too soft.  Who would!? Okay, no pun intended.

New York Cheesecake, Php160

Just so-so.  But well, still good.  Probably I would've liked it better if it's served with either blueberry or  strawberry on top.

We were supposed to order the cake that Kris Aquino was raving about when she visited Mario's Restaurant in one of her show's episodes, but it wasn't available at that time.  Geesh, I can't even remember what it was.  But the waiter told us that it has been a huge hit since that episode.  Too bad for us.  

Overall, the dining experience at Mario's is good.  I love the homey feeling inside their restaurant, but I find it too noisy that day. Probably because there's a bday celebration happening right across our table and well, there's the Sunday lunch buffet too.  The food aren't cheap, and though some are worth the price (my steak + shrimp, tapas and shrimp) there are some that would either need additional serving or at least the price be lowered.  Well, that's just my point of view. It's not a place where you could dine every so often, but is definitely worth checking out if you are out on a date or would want to celebrate something special.  Be ready to shell at least a thousand bucks for two if you'd be there for lunch or dinner.  

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