To me, Tender Bob's is in the category of those dependable restaurants that you go to when you're at a stalemate with your wife on the question, "Where do you want to eat?". After ping ponging back and forth around five times with "Up to you" and "No, You", one mention of "Tender Bob's" and the discussion is over. And despite the fact that we made a deal to go to a restaurant we hadn't tried before, the mere fact that I put Tender Bob's option out there, renders that arrangement null and void. ("Sinabi mo na eh, di mo na pwede bawiin!")
It's hard to argue against Tender Bob's though. You go there, and you're assured of a darn good meal, and when you consider the wide array of USDA Approved cuts you have to choose from, the biggest problem isn't WHAT you want to order, but HOW you plan to fit everything you ordered into your stomach.
(Easy. Just make sure you have a big stomach. Duh.)
Too bad the pix are crappy.. This was almost three years ago when Rina and I had to go to SM North Edsa to pick up some ties for our wedding, and the only store which had the exact color Rina needed for our Groomsmen was located there. I hadn't even thought of food blogging yet, but since "The Block" had just opened at that time, we decided to check it out. There were a whole bunch of new restaurants to choose from, but like I had mentioned earlier, one mention of Tender Bob's and all logic got thrown out the window.
Tender Bobs has a comfortable feel to it - a restaurant where you don't have to worry about using the wrong fork with your salad or something like that. You feel right at home with the wooden interiors and the relaxing atmosphere. That being said, I immediately got to work the moment the onion rings arrived.
Piece of cake hehe.. Mmmm.... cake..
As you may have noticed with the first picture, their Onion Rings P140 has a unique presentation to it. The rings were fried to crunchy perfection, with the golden coating seasoned to complement the onion that had a deliciously sweet kick to it. The sour cream dip was the perfect companion for the onion rings, providing just enough flavor to ensure that the taste of the onion would not get overpowered.
The only picture Rina took. Gives us an excuse to go back.
When you go to a place that serves steaks and they serve it in two sizes that they named "Hungry" and "Starving", you know you're in a restaurant that really gets you. At any rate, I really couldn't decide what to order, so I asked the waitress, "Anong bagay sa akin?" (What would fit me?" for you non Tagalog speakers). She took a look at me and confidently answered, "The Short Plate, Sir". (I'm not sure if there was a subliminal meaning to what she said, but considering the ribs were "Short & Fat", it's hard to give her the benefit of the doubt.) Thankfully, she was right on the money in terms of my taste. I ended up (suspiciously) taking my waitresses' advice and ordered the Beef Belly Short Plate (P435). The short plate would definitely be one of my favorite parts of the cow to eat, mainly because it's fatty, while the actual meat is very soft. Sort of like a cows version of liempo. You can tear it up with your fork, with no knife needed. I liked how it was served on wooden slabs, for no other reason that it made it look really cool (sorta like you were in a tavern in a lord of the rings movie). The gravy wasn't anything fantastic, but luckily, the taste of the meat could stand on its own. Depending how selfish you are, I think the portioning is good enough for sharing. (Three slices for me and One slice for Rina is considered "sharing"
Rina's South Western Chicken (P315) was a baked quarter leg, than was basted in a sweet BBQ sauce. When torn apart, the Chicken was still juicy in the inside, and the skin had what seemed like an amazing honey glaze to it. I don't have the slightest clue what was "South Western" about it though. The only problem with it was the size, because I've seen bigger quarter legs at cheaper places. But then again, since I was just sharing with Rina, maybe it looked smaller than usual for me hehe. Oh and I didn't really care for the sides. They should've thrown in some mashed potatoes or given a bigger slice of the corn to be shredded instead of the buttered veggies, but that's just me.
Hydrogen, and Atomic ain't got nothing on this
I don't know why it never seems to be on the menu, but no meal in Tender Bobs is complete without ordering The Bomb! It's basically creamy scalloped potatoes baked in garlic and smothered in cheese, with a little added awesome just for good measure. I'm not sure how much it costs but i'm guessing around the P75-P100 neighborhood. The only drawback is since it's got lots of garlic in it, The Bomb really does a number on your breath, so if you order this while on a date, any points you feel you may have scored by taking her to Tender Bobs, you would lose the moment your date realizes you didn't bother to take breath mints.
This year I went with Rina and her old work friends to Meat Plus in Subic.. (which technically is Tender Bob's with a different name) and I got my Beef Belly on. And damn did I miss it. I want to go back to Tender Bob's very soon, because I heard they've got some new dishes, like the Angus Sisig.. which sounds totally awesome..
Fantastic food at very reasonable rates? Whats not to love about Tender Bob's?