A scene from "Goodfellas"
I'm not being a kiss ass or anything like that, but I've got to say that I have the coolest Father in law ever. And anyone who knows Rina's Dad can attest to the fact that what I'm saying is true. From the moment I met him (Rina and I weren't together yet), he was one of those guys that you felt you could sit down with and have a relaxed conversation over a couple of beers (If I drank beer, that is). The man is so cool, he refused to give out a speech during out wedding - what he did instead, was sing a song for us. A song whose music and lyrics, he wrote himself, when he was much younger, and he still remembered.
Pretty awesome, right? For the past couple of months, we've been visiting him every Sunday, and he prepares us some really good food. Usually awesome deep fried porky goodness that he knows I like (love, actually).
For his Birthday, Rina and I wanted to do something nice for him. So we decided to take him out for his Birthday. Rina asked me to think of places where we could go, and The Old Spaghetti House along Sumulong was the first place to pop into my head. Mainly because I remembered the food to be pretty good, and not to mention it was nearby. Since we would be a total of six dining, their very reasonable prices made it the most logical choice. So the big day came, and it was off to TOSH we went to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Ricky Barbero!
So it really is true.. Don only opens his eyes at Dampa.
Rina and I picked up Daddy Ricky, sister Chaikka and her boyfriend Don, and family friend Jherlyn, and made the short five minute drive up Sumulong Highway at around 3pm for a late lunch on a Sunday. Weird thing- Rina and I called up the day before to make reservations for six. The girl was nice enough, but it was more or less like..
Rina: Reservations for six Please at around 3pm.
TOSH Girl: Ok ma'am.
Rina: Ok na.
Richie: Umm.. She didn't ask for your name.
Rina: Oo nga' no? (picks up the phone again)
TOSH Girl defended herself by saying that at 3pm, they're usually not full anyway so she figured what are the chances of another table of 6 making a reservation. (weirdo)
The Old Spaghetti House in Sumulong is located right in front of the gate of my parent's Subdivision. The more prominent name you'll see on it though is "Grilla", but there IS a TOSH in the lower level. I was kinda irked when we arrived at the place, and saw that during the afternoons, they merge all customers of both restaurants into one area located at the Grilla section of the restaurant. Also, as a testament to the girl not knowing what she was talking about, the place was jam packed, although we did have a table of 6 waiting for us, but the place was a madhouse. No sorry, it looked like a beer house. So many people were drinking (at 3pm on a Sunday?!) and they were kinda unruly, I was really disappointed. This was not the quiet Sunday lunch I was hoping for.
I had a nice dinner there with Rina a long time ago. It was comfy and relaxed, and I enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. THAT was what I was looking for. When the girl was leading us to the table, I said, "Miss we made reservations for TOSH, not Grilla" She said, " Yes sir, but at this time of the day, we join everyone together in one common area." So I said, "We made reservations, meaning we called first, right? Why wasn't this mentioned over the phone? If I wanted to stay in Grilla, I would have made reservations for Grilla." I'm not sure of how I might have looked or of my tone (I wasn't rude, I swear), but she kinda looked at me wide eyed and said "Sir would you like to stay at TOSH instead". I was a bit surprised that it was that easy. I was even actually kinda tempted to tell her wave my hand and see if my saying "These are not the droids you are looking for" would work.
So thankfully, we left the madhouse that was Grilla and headed down to TOSH.
It's oh so quiet..
Walking into The Old Spaghetti House makes you feel like you're in the set of one of the Godfather films.It was a classy without being formal vibe, and you can imagine your entire clan enjoying a huge family style dinner there. To me, what was important.
I know I wanted some peace and quiet but this was ridiculous. The waiter took our orders, but after that, he excused himself and we never heard from him, until 20 minutes later. That's how long it took for him to bring the water. We were the only ones in the TOSH area, which was fine by me. The only problem was, we were the only ones in the TOSH area. Meaning, the waiter left us there, so no one was attending to us. I'm guessing since the Grilla section of the place was packed, they needed all the help they could get, but I don't think it was really proper for them to just leave us there right? It doesn't matter because it's still their responsibilty to attend to their TOSH customers.. Even if it was just us...
Because when you leave me alone in a place, strange things happen.
I was trying to look "menacing". Instead I look "constipated".
I wanted to trash the place. Of course, Rina didn't allow me. (spoilsport).
I convinced Don to do a little break dancing.
(I thought of doing this myself, but I realized the only thing I would "break" would be my spine)
Hey Don, I didn't know they still made "YC Bikini Briefs"!
The girls had a tea party with Rina as the hostess.
(She picked up the antique kettle from the decors hanging on the wall)
Rina made me climb the Eiffel Tower. I don't think it works though hehe.
And I orchestrated a little game of "Trip to Jerusalem" for the girls:
And I orchestrated a little game of "Trip to Jerusalem" for the girls:
I want nobody..
(If you'll notice the back, Don is the roving guard on lookout duty)
nobody but you.. *clap clap*
I want nobo- *music stops*
Aww Jherlyn.. sorry about that..but thank you for playing!
After all the goofing around, I was thankful that I had enough time to take a nap.
(The couch was so soft, I couldn't resist)
Finally, after thirty minutes, the first contact with the outside world was made..
I don't know what to say about this. blah blah blah salad. *yawn*
As an "Appetizer", everyone (except me) decided to get the Asian Chicken Salad (P130/P245) for sharing. Their small size was actually big enough for the five of them to get a few forkfuls each. It was enough to tide them over until the main courses arrived. It took them 30 minutes to bring the Salad, meaning I was quite nervous on how long it would take for the main courses. I can't comment on it because I didn't try it. The strong citric smell of it, (the dressing was a mixture of mango and orange) made me think it might be a little sour, but Rina said it wasn't that bad.
I was actually prepared to give The Old Spaghetti House a scathing review because of how long it took for them to bring our meals, and for the inattentiveness of their staff. I wasn't able to exactly time it, but I would say around 45 minutes to an hour is a safe estimation of our wait time. Sorry, but that's too long. Although we were having alot of fun as a group, we were starving. We were eating a late lunch as it was, but it ended up becoming an early dinner. So when the waiter came in with the big tray of food, I was a little bit grumpy, and started thinking of all the incendiary comments I could make on this blog. But something funny happened. Two things, in fact.
The first being, the food was damn good.
Probably the most popular dish on the menu.
My Father in Law ordered The American Baked Spareribs with Java Rice (P185), upon my recommendation. This is actually my "Go-to" dish whenever I go to TOSH, and it hasn't failed me yet. Alot of my friends go for this as well, because the ribs are surprisingly tender, with the right amount of meat to fat (although I don't mind getting more fat hehe), while the sweet BBQ sauce is drizzled on top, just enough so that it doesn't overwhelm the meat. The Java rice is also a good compliment to the meal, although I don't get what's so "java" about it.
Rina still gets cravings for this
The moment I told Rina where I wanted to eat, she in turn knew exactly what she wanted. She absolutely adores their Golden Crusted Chicken, Ham and Cheese Crepe with Angel Hair Pomodoro (P175) The Chicken is really good, but expect a carbo overload, especially considering it's actually a crepe dipped in breadcrumbs and served with based and bread on the side. The thing is, when you get into your second bite, it won't matter, because you'll be hooked. The flavor of the ham kinda envelopes the tender chicken breast, further enhancing its taste. The whatever they used to coat it is darn good too. With or without the gravy, this is a definite must try. (Rina was so busy eating it, she wasn't able to take a picture of the inside of it)
When I uploaded it, the steak lost its detail. darn blogger.
I ordered the US Beef Bistro Steak with Parmesan Spaghetti (P235). Portioning wise, I was hoping for a little bit more, (but mainly because i'm matakaw) and I wasn't pleased with the bread at all. When I ordered it, The waiter asked me how I wanted my steak done, and I said medium well. Whenever I order something Well done, the kitchen tends to overcook it, so I decided to be more cautious. Much to my dismay, the steak laid out in front of me was almost black. I counted to ten once again, and decided to try it anyway,(since I actually wanted it well done in the first place) and guess what? It was awesome. The meat was still soft, and what looked like burnt ends were actually tasty char marks. I'm a fan of light pastas, pastas that don't use heavy sauces and tons of meat and other stuff. This was noodles fried in garlic and olive oil, and lightly dusted with Parmesan cheese.
Chaikka ordered the Seafood Marinara Pasta (P185). It's tomato and other seafood, so I didn't try it.
Jherlyn ordered the Swiss Mushroom Chicken with Creamed Fettucinne (P175) I wasn't able to try it myself, but it looked like something I would order in the future. She said it was really good.
Wants to be the Swiss Cheese chicken someday.
Despite the fact it looks like a cheaper version of the Swiss Mushroom Chicken, Don got the Pork fillet with mushroom and cheese (P160), because it was a (java) rice meal. (In one meal, the man can eat enough rice to feed an entire village in Ethiopia. In fact, I think he orders "Extra Rice" before actually ordering his main course) Don let me try it, and it was alright. I tasted more pork doused in gravy than anything else though.
Thin crust? Try Anorexic crust.
They had new "International Pizzas" that I wanted to try, so I asked Rina to choose. She chose the Shawarma pizza, which was actually a good choice. The crust was really thin, but it was quite meaty. The only thing I feel it might have lacked was the Garlic sauce of the Shawarma. Although it was actually a good pizza, I didn't see what was so "Shawarma-y" about it.
Colossal Choco Chip Cookie Ala Mode. Not for Sharing. At least, not for me it is.
For Dessert, we decided to share the Colossal Choco-Chip Cookie Ala mode. Bad idea. (Not the Colossal Choco-Chip Cookie Ala mode, but the "sharing" part). The cookie melted in your mouth with every bite, and the Vanilla ice cream was a good counter to the bitterness of the chocolate syrup and chips.
The celebrant with his dessert
We got my dad in law the Sugar Free Chocolate Mousse (P70), which he seemed to like. Of course, due to my principles, I refused to try it. (I'm against anything "Sugar free")
The second reason why I couldn't write a bad review about The Old Spaghetti house (Apart from their food being awesome) was because.. well.. during my nap time (see below), I placed my iTouch on the side, and accidentally left it there.
I only realized it was gone, at around 8 in the evening, and we were near our house already in Pasig. Chaikka and Don helped us out with the phone number, and Rina gave them a call. They said they would look for it, but no promises. Chai and Don, selflessly went back anyway, since they were nearer to the place (love you guys).
And lo and behold, the waiter found it, AND gave it back. In this day and age, it's quite rare to find people with that level of honesty. He could easily have said he didn't see it but they told the truth. That sort of character in an organization is a reflection of their establishment.
"There's a hero If you look inside your heart You don't have to be afraid Of what you are"
Waiter-From-The-Old-Spaghetti-House? Thank you, and you are my hero.
With great food and great prices? Yes I plan to go back, And no, i will not leave my iTouch ever again.
*I wish they didn't phase out their Kielbasa Sausage pasta meal, though. that was one of the best I've tried here in the Philippines.