There’s a reason why most Filipinos rarely ever eat beef. For one thing, they aren’t at all that fond of the taste; indeed, they find it gamey compared to the sweetness of pork. For another, it’s still more expensive compared to other meats so most people tend to shy away from it.
But for those of us who love the hearty meatiness of beef, even the cheapest stake shacks or mall stalls offer reasonably-priced bovine fixes – and they actually aren’t half bad.
Steak Escape, a fixture in many department store and mall food courts, offers a porterhouse steak plate for a reasonable P 120.00 (US$ 2.83 at today’s rate). It comes sizzling on a cast-iron hot plate, smothered with gravy and paired with buttered veg and garlic rice.
Interestingly, one expects food court steaks to be tougher than leather. This one was unusually tender (I could cut it with the edge of my spoon!), almost meltingly so. It was, still, tough in the spots closest to the bone. The gravy was a touch salty and the buttered peas, corn, and carrots bland, but this was quite a tasty, belly-warming meal.