Bob's is technically located along Dela Rosa St., Corner C. Palanca St.. for all you nitpickers.
The Hot Babes at "Bobs"
I've been to Bacolod around three times in my entire life, and I enjoyed it very much, mainly because of the food. The first time I went, was around 1999 to take the La Salle Summer Workshop in exchange for OJT credits in Benilde. My girlfriend at that time would be there, as well as a few of my good friends, so I thought it would be a really fun experience to be a part of. One whole summer, in a one bedroom house with three girls and three guys? As expected, it had it's chaotic moments, but it was definitely one of the best summers of my life!
One of my fondest memories, was definitely the food. Whenever I hear something about Bacolod, a flood of memories come rushing back from my summer trip there, especially the food! We were a bunch of college students in a tiny house, with no kitchen equipment, so we had no choice but to eat out every single day, so I managed to go around to some really great places. I ate Sisig almost every other day in a little place near the school called "Taste Station" every other day - that is until I saw a rat around the area. Too bad because the Sisig was one of the best I've ever had (I'm picky about my sisig too, surprise surprise). I still dream of the Butterfly Spare Ribs from the restaurant, "Time Out" (I actually walked to it from my hotel a few years back, because I swore it was just around the corner. It wasn't.).
Another staple, and in fact, was the very first restaurant our group went to, fresh off the plane. It felt more like an American style diner, than it did a a restaurant in the province. As I glanced at the menu, I knew "Bob's" was going to be my best friend in this trip. And I was right.
Fast forward a ten years later, and as I was walking back to my office from a lunch run, I noticed the familiar logo plastered on the window of the building at the corner of Palanca and Dela Rosa. I don't remember what establishment was there before Bob's. Nor do I care. The bottom line was, Finally, Bob's was here in Manila.
And I wanted my Ribs.
It was only the "soft opening" and it was already pretty packed
The Palanca branch looks like a bit more modern than from what I remembered the Bacolod locations to be like, but of course, that sort of thing doesn't matter to me. It being new, the place was immaculately spotless, but cozy nonetheless. What I do love about Bob's here, is that I think they flew some of the crew members from Bacolod, in order to continue the same brand of hospitality that made their restaurant so loved after all these years. Pick anyone waiter, if he's from Bacolod, I can assure you, he's going to be more than happy to share you the stories of what life is like for him working in Bob's Bacolod, and how excited he is to be a part of bringing Bob's to Manila. It's that sheer love for the company that he's working for that I admired, and I believe is a reflection of good ownership. More than anything, these people are proud to be a part of the Bob's legacy.
But of course, I didn't come here for the story telling. I came for the food.
I went with Rina and her friend (my bespren) Lia, just before a day out, as my wife herself was intrigued about my story's of Bob's.
"Bah-be Bah-be Bah-be.. oh!"
Rina ordered Bob's Famous Sate Babe (pronounced "Bah-beh") (P145), something I ordered alot when I was in Bacolod. I really love this dish (more than Rina did, in fact) because the sate sauce has a great blend of peanut and sweetness that doesn't overpower the flavor of the meat. The only thing I would comment would be, I sense that (Although I could be wrong), that the meat is marinated in ingredients that include vinegar.. If they could just turn the amount used down a notch so flavor of the meat doesn't come out with a sour tinge (or maasim).. But it's still delicious nonetheless. Also, They need to take note of the last piece of meat on the stick.. the one with the big chunk of fat.. Twice I've ordered it, and twice it came out a little bit undercooked.. so I didn't eat it anymore (much to the delight of Rina). Bang for the buck though, this is the best thing you could order in Bob's. It's cheap, and really filling, and goes well with the Java Rice that it comes with. (I went with my buddy Joel and he was stuffed after one stick, and ended up taking the other stick home as a pasalubong to his wife, Joanne.. cheapskate hehe)
I want my baby back baby back baby back..
Though I was craving for the Sate Babe, I couldn't resist ordering their Baby Back Ribs with Onion Rings (P299), simply because during my college days, I always wanted to order this, but it was out of my price range. Now that I'm a working boy, I can afford a P300 meal. For its price, The ribs are really well worth it. I recently ate ribs at another, (supposedly) more upscale restaurant, and i was sorely disappointed with the amount of actual meat on the ribs. Bob's Ribs are so tender, they slide clean off the bone, the way you'd expect a more expensive place such as Tony Roma's would (maybe not exactly the same way, but pretty darn close). The only difference would be the sauce, as Bob's uses a more homemade type of BBQ sauce, that tastes like a mixture of ketchup, vinegar and sugar that gives the meat a sweet, tangy taste.
The bones are wrapped in a thick slab of meat, and trimmed with a reasonable amount of fat that would satisfy fat lovers (such as myself), and not gross people who look for leaner meats (also known as "weirdos"). It came with three delicious pieces of deep fried Onion Rings, which made me decide to order an entire plate of it next time. ("Dear Bob, If you're going to call the dish, "Baby Back Ribs with Onion Rings", you're going to need more than three Onion Rings. Otherwise, leave the "Onion Rings" out of the name of the dish, and let its presence on the plate be a pleasant surprise to the customer. Thanks - Richie)
Not a pretty sight
Lia, who eats like a bird, ordered the Chicken BBQ (P125). The presentation and plating of it wasn't really all that pretty, and it looked a bit dry. I'm not sure about how it tasted because I was so engrossed in my ribs, I forgot to ask Lia if I could have a bite. I'm not sure if they allowed her to select her chicken part either, but If that was me, I'd be raising hell if I didn't get a thigh hehe..
As I type this, my tummy is growling.
Despite their wide array of desserts, it's Bob's Strawberry Shortcake (P85) that seems to catch everyone's attention - including mine. When it comes to desserts, I'm more particular to fruit and cream based dishes, as opposed to chocolate.. and since this is ME we're talking about, I find that a little bit strange.
The Strawberry Shortcake has a delicious sponge cake base, and wonderful mix of cream and strawberries. Although the "Strawberry" part is more of a jam and syrup combination the taste of the fruit is unmistakable. As a lover of cream, i was impressed by the heap fulls loaded in between layers of the cake and dug in with reckless abandon. It was a cake that, just by looking at it, feels like a sugar rush, but honestly, they balance of sweetness was excellent.
You won't know where to start
I've been to Bob's three times in the past three weeks, and I've tried their Mango Pavlova (good but I can't eat so much mango) and their Blueberry Cheesecake (Not all that great, I suggest you try something else).
In fact, I'm seriously contemplating going there for lunch, If someone would go with me (I hate eating alone), because when I move offices, I'm pretty sure i'm going to be craving for the shortcake, and it would be a longer trek to go get me some.
During one of his stories, the waiter explained to me that this is actually the second branch in Manila, with the first being somewhere in Magallanes. Had I known about that earlier, I'm pretty sure I would've gotten my Bob's fix a whole lot earlier!