To say that the evening traffic in Makati is a horror story would be a serious understatement. For the past few weeks, my commute home has run for over two hours as opposed to the hour and a half it used to take. If I get out of work at around 6:15 or 6:30, chances are that I won’t get home any earlier than 8:30 PM because the traffic is bad and, thanks to those idiots over at the MMDA and their harebrained traffic management schemes that change almost every other day, buses heading south are few, far in between, and every single one that does pass through is packed fuller than a tin of sardines.
In which case, all I can do is linger in the city a bit longer than usual, just till the crowds thin out and more buses start rolling on the roads. Lingering, however, calls for a proper dinner before the ride home. Fortunately, a recent discovery in Makati’s Salcedo Village got me a meal that was more than decent; in fact, it was pretty gosh-darned good!
I ♥ Backyard BBQ shares space with Bento Box, one of my favorite Japanese restaurants, along Leviste St. As its name so obviously suggests, it specializes in just about everything fresh off a grill – quite fitting for a chain that got its start feeding the beach-going crowds in Boracay.
You could get a decent steak meal here for just under P 300.00. Don’t expect fine dining, though; this is bare-bones comfort food. (The kitschy decor consisting of quirky road signs and inflatable oars ought to be a dead giveaway.) No frills, no fancy foie gras-enhanced concoctions, no truffles chocolate or otherwise: they prepare meat on the grill, lump it up on superheated cast-iron platters, and serve it with crunchy onion rings, fried eggs, and soy-garlic rice.
The sirloin steak platter shown above was good: the beef was buttery, tender enough to cut with the edge of a spoon, and seasoned so well that the little tub of gravy on the side seems unnecessary. (It does, however, make an excellent dip for the crisp, crunchy onion rings that come with the dish.) It goes well with the savory flavor of the rice and the egg makes it a rich, almost decadent meal. I take issue with the dish of mixed vegetables, though: while served hot, these were swimming in butter (literally!) and were a touch too stodgy, seeing how potatoes were used instead of jicama or chayote.
Nevertheless, it was a filling, deeply satisfying meal that put a little heart back into me along with a bit more stamina with which to face the long road home.