How long before you returned to a restaurant just to taste a dish again?
In the case of my friends and me, it was less than 30 days. And the restaurant? Gringo – Chicken, Ribs, and Friends. It was recommended to me by best friend and fellow WordPress blogger Pammy. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I pointed friends to the place because food just tastes better when with good company.
For the two times that we went there, friends ordered different things: Gringo Original Chicken, Chili Con Carne Fries, Chicken Soup, and Clam Chowder; sides: Mexican Rice, Garlic Rice, Mashed Potato, Roasted Eggplant, and Garlic Mushroom. Easily, they loved the chicken and its flavorful rub. The soups were wonderful starters and always served warm yet strangely – in our experience – after the main has been given to us. The sides though were a mix of hits and misses. We always had a pitcher of Tropical Lemonade, which never failed to impress us with awesomely refreshing coolness plus small ice cubes that melted oh so slowly.
As for me, I stuck with my usual: Gringo Southern Spice Chicken plus Buttered Corn, Fried Saba, or Steamed Saba. The particular chicken was also Pammy’s recommendation—she knew what I liked. I liked all of the sides that I ordered, but there was only one side dish that I loved: Smokey Beans. It was perfect with the nachos that came with every order of chicken, which wasn’t unusual. It also paired well with the saba, a savory-sweet surprise. And it was good with both viands of chicken.
What else could the beans pair with?
Take the carne from the fries and add it with the beans to the Mexican rice and my friend had a naked burrito in a bowl. My other friend mixed the beans with his mashed potatoes and the dish livened up. It also had the same effect on the eggplant, fries, and mushrooms. By then, we were amazed and claimed that it complemented every food we ordered. Well, not everything yet. I asked if it could work with clam chowder. Both of my friends sampled the combo and they agreed that it did. We were floored at how the side dish could be that good. It was just the taste that we did not expect—ang sarap na di mo inakala. That was an actual phrase I conjured and my friend wrote on the review that came with our receipt.
Oh, a plate of a quarter of a chicken plus two sides (usually saba) proved itself to be filling that I did not look for dessert, even though there is. So, until now, I have no idea what their desserts taste like.
Suffice to say, we love Gringo – Chicken, Ribs, and Friends. We’ll go there for the chicken and the lemonade, but we return for the inexplicably good beans.
Gringo – Chicken, Ribs, and Friends
Ground Floor, Mall of Asia Arena Parking Building, J.W Diokno Boulevard Corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex