Restaurant Review: The Must-Visit Beeffalo by HotRocks in Marikina



I like discovering out-of-the-way dining places that surprise customers with a combination of good ambiance and great food. Last weekend, hubby and I found one restaurant located at the end of a very (and I mean, very!) long road called Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina City.

photo borrowed from Beeffalo's Facebook page
Beeffalo by Hotrocks is an establishment owned by three individuals whose friendship goes way back before 2004 when they started operations of HotRocks in Autocamp (a car display center), then opened a branch in clubsixfifty Libis a year later. 

choose to dine inside or outside under twinkling lights
Although very popular with patrons, HotRocks closed in December 2012 after its last contract expired to give way to property development in the area. Beeffalo was born a year later, in October 2013, on an undeveloped parcel of land in Marikina that its General Manager, Louie Abad, felt would allow them to offer customers a more exciting experience.

Louie and Girlie Abad (left) and Caren Diaz (right)
Louie's wife, Girlie Cosio-Abad is Beeffalo's Executive Chef. This mom of five has a knack for what tastes good and incorporated her own family's special requests into developing the menu for the HotRocks concept and, eventually, Beeffalo. Caren Diaz, the couple's long-time friend, handles finance.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup - P65.00
So, what's on the menu? We started with two types of soup that both tasted great! I love the richness of the Roasted Pumpkin Soup and the lip-smacking goodness of the Seafood and Corn Chowder.

Seafood and Corn Chowder - P90.00
The Taco BBQ Salad (good for two) is also a winner! It was like eating the usual taco without the curved shell. The combination of lettuce, nachos, taco beef, salsa, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing gave this dish texture, colors, and flavors. 

Taco BBQ Salad - P275.00
The "beef" in Beeffalo's name refers to this restaurant's speciality -- grilled meat dishes. Let me say, with all the sincerity of a true-blue steak aficionado, that the Porterhouse Steak in this place is one of the best I've had in a long time! It has the savory smoky flavor that most steaks I've tried don't have. 

Porterhouse Steak - P385.00 for 250g and P650.00 for 450g
Beeffalo's steak is cooked perfectly, tastes really great, and can be cut and chewed easily. I am going back soon for another serving! This dish already comes with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetable salad so it's actually a complete meal in itself. Although I think I could finish two plates in one sitting.

Baby Back Ribs - P270.00 (Single)
Another Beeffalo best seller is the Baby Back Ribs with its tender and delicious meat that easily separates from the bone. Both single and full rack orders are served with Java Rice. Try them with HotRocks' house specialty Steak and BBQ Sauce then spell Y-U-M! 

Baby Back Ribs - P740.00 (Full)
I should also to mention that you have to give their Cucumber Lemonade a try because this refreshing drink goes really well with all of the dishes we've tasted so far. If you'd rather have wine or cocktails, don't fret because Beeffalo serves white and red wine, white zinfandel, and mojito.

Barbecue Platter (3 sticks each variant) - P185.00
Having seen photos of the Barbecue Platter in other friends' Instagram posts a couple of weeks ago made me crave for the grilled pork isaw, tenga, and bulaklak on sticks. I was not disappointed. Beeffalo successfully turned local street food into this fancy plate of tasty morsels. More java rice, please! 

Beeffalo Wings - P195.00
For the buffalo chicken lovers, you gotta try the Beeffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip. Half of the plate has pieces with a sweet and slightly spicy flavor while the other half, I was told, might get your tongue on fire. My hubby, with the Bicolano roots, ate those with gusto. I played safe and enjoyed the less spicy wings, which tasted great as well.

Margherita Biscuit Pizza - P145.00
I was actually quite full by this time but couldn't resist taking a slice of the Margherita Biscuit Pizza topped with fresh tomato and aromatic basil, one of my top favorite herbs. I like how the crunchy thin crust lets diners appreciate the full flavors of the toppings more than the bread part. 

Garlic Shrimp Pasta - P195.00
Oh, and I should not forget the Garlic Shrimp Pasta with its cream based sauce that has a rich garlic flavor. I only ate one forkful because I wanted to save some space in my tummy for dessert but it was enough to say that this dish is recommended to pasta lovers who prefer white sauce over red.

Brazo de Mercedes - P125.00
We completed our very satisfying meal with a cup of brewed coffee that went well with Beeffalo's heavenly Brazo de Mercedes and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. They were simply divine! 

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake - P165.00
Why Beeffalo? "We wanted a name that would roll off the tongue and hopefully provide good recall," shared Louie. "We want it to be a family place and dating destination. This restaurant reflects our personality. I guess that's why it works. The people who come over, they want the same things that we do. They just want to chill, have good food, then extended kwentuhan over coffee and dessert."

Happy diners
Actually, that is just what happened when we ate there! We didn't get to leave until way past 11PM because the swapping of stories with our new friends never seemed to end. We'd love to stay longer if only we didn't have to go home all the way to Alabang that night. 

Nachos with Spinach Dip - P135
As it was, we even had "one for the road" in the form of a plate of Nachos with a lovely spinach dip. Who would have thought that a great dining place like Beeffalo exists in what seems to be a dead end road past vacant lots filled with tall grasses? 

Omar, Beffalo's expert grill guy
"That's the magic of the place," affirmed Louie. "The ambiance is unique, it's like dining in the middle of nowhere. Of course, we have good food because you can't rely on ambiance alone." He added that they are very particular about what they serve. "We only include a dish in the menu when it agrees with our palate, when it lives up to our standards. [They're] nothing fancy really. We serve dishes the way we serve food in the house. The place is not pretentious, and our pricing is pretty reasonable," he illustrated. I agree on all points! 

Somebody enjoyed the red wine ...
Beeffalo is quite like a home away from home. It has quaint furnishings along with vintage appliances and bikes. "We wanted a roadhouse," revealed Louie. "That's why the design is like a patio; like a house converted to a restaurant."When you do get to visit, observe the structure and see how two trailer trucks were converted to create this unique place where you can dine on delicious food and enjoy good ambiance. And then tell your friends about it or bring them along next time you dine there. We will! 

… I rode the Vintage Vespa instead :)
Beeffalo is open from 11AM to 11PM from Sundays to Thursdays, and 11AM to 12MN on Fridays and Saturdays. It's exact address is Blk. 6, Lot 3, Gil Fernando Ave., Sto. Nino, Marikina City. Visit their website at www.beeffalo.com and like them on http://facebook.com/beeffalo.marikina.

   
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