Dining Out

Grilla Bar & Restaurant along Sumulong Highway

appetizers: onion rings and cheese sticks

Eating out was not among the plans last Friday. We went out to view some houses (we’re thinking of moving) and we planned to be home as soon as the sun went down when house viewing would be impossible. But Sam was insistent — they just finished their mid-term exams, didn’t they, so couldn’t they have some leisure OUTSIDE the house, and so on, and so forth. The situation was compounded by her sister’s whining that she was hungry and she wanted French fries.

We agreed to go to Cafe Lupe near the intersection of Sumulong and Marcos Highways. We drove down, turned right on the road where we knew Cafe Lupe was but couldn’t find it. We asked around and we were told that Cafe Lupe closed down some time ago. Oh my, bad.

Since the nearest decent restaurant was Grilla, we decided to turn back and up Sumulong Highway and have dinner at The Old Spaghetti House, a kind of restaurant within a restaurant since it is actually a part of Grilla Bar & Restaurant. We’ve been there before and enjoyed the food. In fact, I had a birthday party there once and we really liked the ambience of The Old Spaghetti House — cozy and quiet. The Old Spaghetti House has its own pasta-and-pizza menu but items from Grilla can be ordered and served there. And vice versa.

Since the girls did not relish the thought of wasting more time driving to look for some other restaurant, Grilla was it. For starters, we had onion rings and cheese sticks with chili dip. Both are excellent. I especially like the herbed crust of the onion rings. And although cheese sticks are cheese sticks, Grilla’s chili dip enhanced them wonderfully.

beef salpicao

Speedy ordered beef salpicao and was very happy with it. I tried one piece of beef but, with my mouth bursting with my fish fillets amandine, I really couldn’t make out any distinct flavor. I did notice, though, that the beef was tender and moist.

pork with mushrooms and cheese; baked macaroni

Sam couldn’t make up her mind about what she wanted and finally left me to decide for her. I chose pork with mushrooms and cheese served with garlic rice. She gave me a tablespoonful and the flavor of the mushrooms was nicely echoed in the sauce.

Alex had a serving of her addiction — baked macaroni — which was dominated by the distinct flavors and aroma of bell peppers.

fish fillets amandine

That’s my fish fillets amandine above, rather salty, but still good. It might have been even better though had they toasted the almonds before sprinkling them on the fish fillets. That way, the nutty aroma would have been more pronounced.

All in all, we were quite happy with our food. I told Speedy I could have my birthday party there again (am having my birthday this month) so we checked the menu after paying the bill. It’s a “safe” menu — there’s something for kids, for non-red meat eaters, seafood lovers and even for the very carnivorous. Unless I think of a more interesting place in the coming days, we’ll have to make reservations at Grilla soon. :)

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