For someone who loves food, I consider myself lucky to reside near Marikina. Aside from being the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, Marikina City also became known as one of the foodie destinations in the country today. Most restaurants and food stops in the city have plenty to offer that you simply can’t resist coming back for more. One such restaurant is Beeffalo by Hotrocks, a charming restaurant known for hearty American comfort food like steaks, pizza, and ribs.
Beeffalo by Hotrocks is located along Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina City. It wasn’t an ideal location for a restaurant but they were able to draw diners through positive reviews and word of mouth. In fact, my friend Jen Aspacio recommended that I visit this restaurant back in 2014. During that time there wasn’t much traffic in the area giving it a remote feel, but that didn’t stop customers from coming to the restaurant. It actually became one of my favorite restaurants after our first visit and we have been coming back for countless times already. I even wanted to hold the reception for my baby’s christening at Beeffalo but they were already fully booked for that day. Somehow that didn’t surprise me. After all what would you expect from a restaurant with great tasting food and affordable prices.
Last October, I came back to Beeffalo by HotRocks in Marikina with my mom, daughter, and some bloggers. I noticed that there was more activity in the area with several new restaurants that cropped up nearby. But, I was happy to note that there are still plenty of diners in Beeffalo despite the competition. There were also some renovations done in the restaurant. It recently got a new and more streamlined look while keeping its unique rustic charm. For me, this was another pleasant development for Beeffalo. One of the owners, Louie Abad, had a little chat with us and shared their Beeffalo story while we were waiting to be served. Here are some of the interesting points in their story.
Beeffalo was an offshoot of Louie and his partners’ first food venture simply named HotRocks, a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint with branches in Pasig and Libis.
In October 2013, the owners opened Beeffalo by HotRocks along a quiet road on Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina City. What was once a lonely strip along Gil Fernando is now a busy road that leads to this often-frequented food destination. Beeffalo is a go-to place of families, couples, groups and office workers looking for a nice place to enjoy good food.
It has also become quite the novelty in the neighborhood with its rustic style décor aesthetically juxtaposed on the walls and floor. Vintage objects such as an old safe, typewriter, telephone and sewing machine give the place character.
“When we updated Beeffalo’s look recently, we agreed that we will maintain the charm and the atmosphere that made our restaurant a well-loved one from the beginning,” Sir Louie explained. “We didn’t want to lose the ‘magic’ or the ‘allure’ of the place.”
As interesting as their story is, the food becomes harder to resist by the minute. For starters, we were served with a Barbecue Platter (Php 195) consisting of pork isaw, tenga, and bulaklak. These are popular street food in the country but I am not keen on eating them. However, I was able to bring myself to try the tenga and it was good.
One of my favorite dishes in Beeffalo by HotRocks is the Baby Back Ribs. I just love their big serving of tender and juicy meat. It is priced at Php765 only which makes it a real value for money meal.
A blogger friend recommended the Sizzling Beef Ribs with Tamarind Gravy (Php330). This is their version of a deconstructed beef sinigang. It has grilled beef ribs placed in a sizzling plate of Sinigang sauce and vegetables usually found in Sinigang like radish, tomato, etc. This dish brings extra texture in the beef and a char-grilled flavor to the classic Filipino Sinigang. I really love this version of Sinigang, definitely a must try!
Beeffalo by HotRocks features dishes that are all original recipes of the owners, prepared by Chef Girlie. “We are very particular about what we serve. We include a certain dish only if it passes our personal standards. Everything is made with a lot of love,” Louie said.
The restaurant is also proud of its steaks, one of the items from its former Hot Rocks menu. High quality meat doesn’t need much prepping to make it tasty hence the steaks are seasoned with just salt and pepper to highlight their natural flavor. Porterhouse and T-bone are very popular among customers and come with fresh vegetable salad and mashed potatoes made from scratch everyday.
Other items on the menu are the Beeffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip, Roasted Pumpkin or Broccoli Cheese Soups, Taco BBQ Salad and the very popular Margherita and Three Cheese Biscuit Pizzas with a heavenly thin crust.
For our dessert, we had Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (Php165), Turtle Pie (Php 165), Banana Creme Brulee (Php 145), and Coffee Jelly Creme Brulee (Php 65). But we couldn’t just stop at pastries, we had to try the humongous Jar of Monkeys (Php 145). It is a 3-scoop ice cream bucket filled with bananas, crushed pineapple, nuts, mini mallows, and chocolate and strawberry syrup.
It was a very filling dinner that we all enjoyed. I couldn’t get over the Sizzling Beef Ribs with Tamarind Gravy and wished my husband was also there to try it. So we decided to come back for another visit but this time with my husband around. After a few days, our plan was fulfilled. My husband got to try the beef ribs and enjoyed it. I couldn’t help but notice that they were more kid-friendly this time compared to our last visit. During our previous visit, my daughter had to sit on my lap most of the time because the high chair that they provided didn’t have straps. I was afraid that my daughter would fall from the chair so I kept her on my lap instead. This time the high chair had straps to secure my daughter and a cow bouncy hopper to entertain her as we wait for the food.
So far, I only have good things to say about Beeffalo by HotRocks in Marikina. They have consistently served good food at affordable prices and continued to improve through the years. This simply means that they can expect more visits from me in the future.
Beeffalo by HotRocks is open Sundays to Thursdays (11am to 11 pm and Fridays and Saturdays (11am to 12mn). For inquiries, call Beeffalo Marikina 0939 -1130772; and Beeffalo’s Antipolo branch (5341160)