Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MAN UP AT MAD MARKS!




            I've been curious about what exactly it is about the Kapitolyo area that just made it suddenly boom with some very interesting "Hole In The Wall" restaurants. Ever since Charlie's Grind and Grill exploded unto the burger scene, an eclectic selection of food choices have popped up in the area, making it somewhat of a food lover's Mecca. 


        Though Kapitolyo is actually quite near my place, I've never gotten a chance to go to any of their restaurants just yet.. Something I knew I had to rectify right away. I actually made a list of the restaurants in that area that I wanted to try, and ranking high on the list was Mad Mark's.  





             Be careful when driving down Kapitolyo because there's a 
 good chance you might miss the sign. It's actually just a few steps away from Charlie's Grind & Grill. One of the followers of my Facebook page by the name of Paul Elijah Candelaria was adamant that Mad Mark's was something that I HAD to try and was right up the alley of my blog. 


         As I would find out later on, he was exactly right. 
               

        Though the floor area isn't exactly sprawling, Mad Mark's won't give you the impression that it's a "Hole in The Wall" place either. The place had a simple, clean yet industrial feel to it. The service staff was very courteous and helpful, and embodied "Service with a Smile", despite some glitches in the system (which I'll get into a bit later). 


THE FOOD
                 



           Mad Mark's Herb Parmesan Fries are pretty awesome. The potatoes were cooked to crispy perfection, and were topped with generous heapings of parmesan cheese mixed with some herbs. You can order this as an appetizer (P160), but if you get this as a sandwich, you can choose to get it as an add on, and you only have to add an additional P50 bucks. And they weren't exactly stingy with the portion size of it, either.  
     
ENTREES


             I came to Mad Mark's wanting to order their "11oz Bootstrap Steak" (P260) For Rina and I, since it was announced in their Facebook page that it's good for sharing. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, (I'll get more into it later) because they ran out of "Bootstrap Sauce" and could only offer me the "11oz Cream Mushroom Steak" (P270).  
       
           Unfortunately, I didn't like it. First of all, the slab was an odd cut, but I could live with that. I could even deal with the strange texture it had. The part that I couldn't forgive, was the meat lacking any semblance of seasoning, and the mushroom sauce being just as bland.  


        I'd skip this the next time. 


     I didn't take my disappointment with their steak too hard because that's not what I was there for.


      When you talk about Mad Mark's, you talk about their sandwiches, and as I have professed in my Sandwicheese post a couple of weeks back, I am a self-proclaimed Sandwich aficionado.

      Just as Chuck's Deli doesn't claim to have Sandwiches (They have SLABwiches), Mad Mark's doesn't serve mere sandwiches.. they serve MAN SANDWICHES. 



      And no visit to Mad Mark's would be complete without ordering the sandwich that is the ultimate personification of that theme...

      "THE Man Sandwich" (P290)


        This wasn't so much a sandwich as it was a "Battleship" in the form of bread. With all due respect to women and children, they should tread cautiously when attempting to take down this behemoth of a sandwich. 


            Just as I did with Sandwicheese and Chuck's Deli, I hit the Jackpot when I discovered Mad Mark's sandwiches! This place REALLY gets me in terms of what flavors and ingredients I like in my sandwich (NO tomato, cucumbers or pickles.. EVER!)!! 


          Ok let's start from the very beginning, which according to Julie Andrews, is a very good place to start (and she knows her stuff)...




           The Bread: I'm not 100% sure what bread they use at Mad Mark's but     with the light dusting of white speckles on the top of the bun and the texture of the crust, I'm assuming it was a Sour Dough Roll. I've always said that a good sandwich or burger begins and sometimes even ends with the bread.. And in THE Man Sandwiches' case, we were off to a great start. The bread was soft and moist, and was the perfect bed for the medley of ingredients that were to go into the Sandwich. 


               The Supporting Cast: Obviously I'm not a veggie guy, and I believe they have no place in a sandwich, with the singular exception of caramelized onions. And guess what? This has em'. It does have lettuce and Green Peppers as well, but truth be told, I've always found those vegetables to be "safe". Meaning if you chop it up and throw it into a meal, it doesn't ruin a dish, like pickles are cucumbers does for me. On the strength of those two being excluded from the list of ingredients alone, I know this Mark dude and I can be friends some day. 


          The cheeses in the Man Sandwich were supposed to be mozzarella and Pepper Jack, but truth be told, I only found the mozzarella, which was melted beautifully unto the top of the grilled meats, leaving bits of delicious burnt bits on its exterior. 


           According to the menu, there's also some Mushroom Au Jus mixed in, but it could have been absorbed by the meats or the bread, so it wasn't very noticeable. 


          The Meats: The Man Sandwich has two types of meats in it.. Thin Strips of Angus Beef, and grilled chicken. Between the two, it is the Angus Beef that plays the starring role. 


      Think of the meats as the 80's band "Wham", and the Beef is George Michael, while the Grilled Chicken is..the other member of "Wham" that's always in the background that isn't George Michael. 


          The meatiness of the Angus Beef just shines through, and totally overwhelms any flavor the chicken was trying to bring to the table. I get the feeling that this wouldn't be far off from what The Lumberjack (P295), the beef only version of THE Man Sandwich, would taste like. 
    
          When you bring them all these wonderful components together, it makes for one magnificent sandwich. Pardon me.. One magnificent MAN Sandwich.



DESSERTS




             Apart from their Man Sandwiches, Mad Mark's is also known for its home made ice creams. I tried two flavors, "The Cavendish Chip", which is Banana with chocolate chips, and the "Madagascar Half Baked" (P68 for one scoop).




          Rina loved the Cavendish chip, and when I noticed her going through it at a rapid pace, I knew one scoop of ice cream wouldn't be enough for the two of us, so I went to get another one, By the time I got back to the table, Lo and behold, the ice cream was gone, and she had her beautiful eyes on the cup I was holding. I don't really taste the banana on this one, but nevertheless, I thought it was quite tasty. 


          The half baked madagascar was also ok, however I was expecting something creamier, given the fact that they used vanilla bean. However, I can say that they were not at all stingy with the cookie dough bits that they used. 


      All in all though, this was a great effort, however they are still a few notches below Merry Moo and Sebastian's. 


IN RETROSPECT

Mad Mark's got the Baby Rain stamp of approval! 

            Mad Mark's has something awesome going on here, and judging from the empty wooden slabs from the tables all around us, their Man Sandwiches knock it out of the park. Though I didn't enjoy the steak I ordered, I don't believe it's something they can't improve on. 


        Something that they need to work on immediately, is their inventory. Apart from the Bootstrap sauce being unavailable, this was the first time I went to a sandwich place and they told me they had run out of Mayonnaise - a sandwich stop staple. They also were out of any form of sodas.


     Also, the nice lady who took my order, had to go up to me around 10 minutes after I ordered, to tell me that they were out of the Bootstrap steak (and from the looks of it, she had to tell the guy in the table beside me too, who didn't take the news as well as I did), although they did give me that scoop of Cavendish Chip as their way of apologizing. 


      It's also hard to get upset at their staff because they are genuinely sincere and you can see their effort in wanting to give you the best dining experience possible, but the circumstances were just not ideal.


         Another note: Since they're a "hole in the wall", Its possible their kitchen is a bit too small to run their operations. Given the numerous components of the Man Sandwich, I'm assuming that they cooked it in parts, instead of all together at the same time. I think it could be possible that they cooked the beef first instead of last, and had it sitting there for awhile, because I noticed that there were some bits of fat that was on the verge of getting hard ("Sebo"). It's a good thing though, that to me, flavor is the most important part of my dining experience, and THE Man Sandwich had that department nailed. 


       Over all, Mad Mark's, just like many restaurants has room for a few improvements, but the awesomeness of their sandwiches far outweigh any negative comment I may have.


       My next target is to try their "Mariner" Sandwich and "East Meets West" Pasta! 



        Andrew Ridgley!! That's the guy's name from Wham!!

25 comments:

  1. This is so near Poco Deli! :) Woah, I have to go back to Kapitolyo.haha. :)

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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    1. This time I'll be with you guys na.. hopefully! hehe

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  2. my sis lives in Kapitolyo....i now have no excuse to visit. Side trip to this place! :)

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  3. no excuse NOT to visit, that is.. :)

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    1. Haha I got what ya meant! Rina and I will go with u!

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  4. After eating at Charlie's, this is defo my next stop in Kapitolyo. That giant sandwich oozing with cheese is really tempting. :D

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  5. I'm not sure if you heard about Bite Club along Katipunan, but they have good burgers as well. :))

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    Replies
    1. The last time I was there was way before my blogging days though! I loved the Burgerella!

      Thanks for the tip, Cez! :)

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  6. ... and those sandwiches made me drool now!

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  7. I don't think I have been to this area yet D:
    But I do love hole-in-the-wall places. Hope to come here soon! Those sandwiches look delish. Here's to hoping that my friends are up for an adventure. Haha

    www.foodiefromthemetro.com

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    Replies
    1. My goal this year is to go to the more hole in the wall places instead of the usual mainstream.. but once in awhile a mainstream one pops up and I can't resist hehe

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  8. I eat like a man sometimes (erhm, most of the time pala), so I guess I could wolf down that Man Sandwich you are talking about. It's quite far from my place, though, so maybe when I'm around the area. :)

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    1. You sound like my kind of girl, Edelweiza! This could be the start of a beautiful friendship! haha! :D

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  9. I've only been to Kapitolyo once, but I'll make sure to return again soon and try Mad Mark's. I'm not a sandwich kind of gal, but THE Man Sandwich looks super delish! :D

    www.thepurpledoll.net

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    1. Lemme know what ya think of it Sumi :)

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  10. That sandwich just looks awesome!! A must try, the next time I'm near Kapitolyo. :)

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  11. Love this post! Makes me want to go to Mad Mark's now! :)

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    1. share your post here when you do, Food Scout! ;)

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  12. I love their Mariner Sandwich! You gotta try it! :)

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    Replies
    1. That's next one my list, Aubrey! :D

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