In early October, after a long, yet uneventful day at work, I came home to my wife in tears. You can imagine the panic I felt when I saw her crying, and not knowing the cause of her sadness. (In case you were wondering, its because I was worried something terrible had happened to a loved one.. NOT because I was worried I got caught doing something =P)
My first instinct was to look for Baby Rain. I breathed a sigh of relief to find my little munchkin happily playing in her crib. I asked Rina what happened, and she showed me the greeting card in her hand.
It was a greeting card for Baby Rain. In fact, it was her first Birthday card EVER. And it was from Rina's 80 year old Grandmother that lives all by herself in La Union, who has never met her Great Granddaughter yet. Rina is very close to her "Lalo", as she calls her, and had been hankering for us to visit her for quite sometime, but we could never make the schedules work.
Seeing her in tears told me that this was one trip that we could no longer put off. Besides, Rain was old enough to handle long road trips. So we planned it with Rina's sister, Chaikka, and her boyfriend, "Beautiful Eyes" Don, to go visit La Union (which is Spanish for.. umm.. "The Union") during the All Saint's Day Long weekend.
Once the plan was set, I asked readers on The Pickiest Eater Facebook Page for their suggestions on where to eat for my very first post from San Fernando, La Union.
The most popular answer was "Midway Grill".
Midway Grill was indeed the most popular suggestion, but I did a little research, and there was a whole slew of intriguing places to check out in La Union. What really turned the tide for me, was reading the blog entry of my friends at En Route, about their visit to Midway Grill. I trust the taste of this dynamic duo explicitly, and Ray was confident that I'd enjoy their food.
Midway Grill is located at Northgate Square, Carlatan, San Fernando, La Union. For the life of me, I couldn't tell you how to get there, but all I can say is just keep driving straight, and you're bound to find it. For the interiors, it was clear that they were going for a 50's Diner Feel, and the checkered flooring helped enhance that.
We had a heavy breakfast so we didn't have lunch until Servers were attentive and very knowledgeable about the menu, seeming to know exactly what every dish was. Also, food was served in a reasonable amount of time.
Don was intrigued by the Ultimate Omellette (P175), which was rather surprising, especially since his love for rice is legendary, and this came with two slices of toasted bread (sliced in half) and a hash brown. Of course I should have figured that Don had every intention of eating this with rice.
The three egg omellette, stuffed with mushrooms, ham, bacon, red and green peppers, diced tomatoes, and topped with cheese. I found the "topped with cheese part" a little lazy. This was literally raw slices of quickmelt cheese, that were placed on top of the egg, with no cooking done to it whatsoever. I guess they were hoping that the heat of the egg would melt it and it would somehow cover the omellette in a blanket of melted cheese. But it didn't happen.
Don placed the cheese slices inside the omellette.. where it should have been in the first place, and the results were heavenly. Imagine if the cheese was cooked in the egg? What a novel idea!
I think the hash browns could have used another thirty seconds in the deep fryer as well, because the center portion was a bit on the pale side. Although it was a delicious tasting Hashbrown.
I'll be honest with you.. It was a good omellette. But unless it's in a breakfast buffet, (and rarely even then) I never order Omellettes in restaurants. Why? Because I believe that, given the right ingredients, its something you could make at home. And after eating some the eggs that Rina's Lalo prepared for breakfast the day before (Ginisa.. the best), any other egg would be pathetic by comparison.
(That's how good Lalo's eggs were. It ruined every other egg dish for me)
(That's how good Lalo's eggs were. It ruined every other egg dish for me)
I am a big fan of Shanghai Fried Rice, so when I saw they served it in En Route's entry, I knew that I'd be ordering this.. even if the dish I ordered already cam with rice. But one scoop into it, and I knew I made the right choice.
There was something amazing about the rice, which I can't exactly put my finger on. it had a butteriness to it that gave it a distinct creaminess. Not to mentioned it wasn't overloaded with peas. I think I could've eaten this alone without a main course, and still have given Midway a glowing review.
I haven't tried everything on Midway's menu yet, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better value for money dish, than what Rina ordered, which was the Beef Brisket Rice meal (P89).
For P89 bucks, you're given a decent sized portion of tender beef, bathed in a lightly sweet oriental sauce. I found it rather surprising that Rina found it a tad salty.. which is strange because I didn't, and her tolerance for salt is remarkable. (The woman puts salt in her pizza).
Like the omellette, another thing I don't order in restaurants, is any form of grilled fish. Because again, whether you eat it in a restaurant or at home, there's a good chance that it would taste just the same. Chaikka, however, after a few meals in La Union that shifted her body's cholesterol levels, decided to go "healthy" a bit, and order the Grilled Blue Marlin (P179).
Although the fish was grilled nicely, It lacked a little bit of flavor. I believe It would have helped the dish immensely if it had a lemon butter dipping sauce. After her first few bites, and especially after she saw my order, she said, "I think I ordered the wrong thing".
And after a quick glance at this beauty, you can understand why.
This is the crown Jewel of Midway Grill.. Their Baby Back Ribs (P199). During my hour long stay here, they must have whipped out around 7 or 8 of these plates for their customers.. even if they had to wait 20 minutes for it! (But in fairness to Midway, they would usually get it out of the kitchen in 15 mins, max)
The flavor had the nice balance between sweetness and tanginess, while the meat was incredibly tender. I was a bit baffled that it was so easy to slice through.. something not easy to achieve in 20 minutes.
The meat tore cleanly off the bone. See the picture above? I didn't bite that or use my hands in any way. I got my fork and knife, and peeled the meat off. It came off with no resistance whatsoever, it could very well have thought I was a Borg.
(Who here understood the Star Trek Reference?)
Perhaps the only thing I would suggest, is that Midway gives Extra BBQ sauce on the side, for purposes of dipping the meat. Funnily enough, it was only after I took this shot, and stared at the lovely bones, did I hear another customer ask for sauce, making me realize I should have done the same thing. Dangit.
On the whole, we had an amazing time at Midway Grill. We were actually contemplating going back again the next day to add to this post, but we ended up not waking up in time hehe.. But we would definitely be returning here on our next visit to La Union!
Beautiful eyes, Don!
P.S. Forgive me if the quality isn't of the usual standards.. We forgot to bring our Nikon, so I had to use my Galaxy SII.. Which I think still did an admirable job :)
MIDWAY GRILL MENU