I must admit, it's been years since I've been to Tony Roma's. The first time I went was in the late 90's, when I visited the beautiful island of Hawaii with my cousin Raffy, and he made sure Tony Roma's was one of our first stops. He wasn't just raving about the ribs, but the Onion Loaf as well, which featured the wonderful sweetness of the Maui Onion.
The last time I went was in 2010, for the Second year Wedding Anniversary of Rina and I, and I hadn't started my blog yet, so our photos were only courtesy of Rina's iPhone 3.
The quality of Tony Roma's food, particularly their ribs, has been known throughout the world for its excellence. Let's face it, you don't open roughly 260 restaurants in 27 countries because you suck, right?
The knock on Tony Roma's, however, seems to be the price range. Though it is admittedly on the pricier side, the restaurant Famous for their ribs has developed a special promotion that will open people's eyes and join Tony Roma's Ribvolution!
Since my last visit in 2010, Tony Roma's has expanded to two more branches.. One in Alabang, and earlier this year, they opened one in The Fort Strip that spans two floors.
Tony Roma's The Fort branch maintains the same rustic ambiance as its predecessors, albeit with touches of the contemporary.
Our meals began with a pair of salads that I decided to skip, because I was saving stomach space for the Ribs.
The Sonoma Salad (P425 Half/675 Full) consists of Mixed Greens tossed with thin slices of green apple, pecans, dried cranberries, Crumbled bits of bleu cheese, red wine vinaigrette, and your choice of grilled or fried chicken.
If you're looking for an Asian flair to go with your greens, then try the Thai Peanut Salad (P375 Half/ P545 Full). A mix of Romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers, tossed with a spicy peanut dressing, and topped with grilled chicken breast.
I was ecstatic to get started on the appetizers. Gazing at the menu for so long, I couldn't choose just one. Thankfully, we Tony Roma's has a Appetizer Sampler (P675) that gives you a taste of some of their best selling starters. The sampler includes Tony Roma's spicy Fire Wings, delicious Potato Skins, and classic favorite, Mozarella Sticks that go perfectly with the Bleu Cheese dip, sour cream dip, and marinara sauce, respectively.
Another appetizer platter they brought out was the Roma Sampler (P1,125). This featured Tony Roma's Signature Half Onion Loaf, which was wonderfully crunchy as it was deep fried and enveloped in its delicious battered, which gives way to the lightly sweet onion.
The heat on Spicy BBQ Boneless Bites is definitely a tongue tingler, while the Spinach Artichoke Dip had a nice creaminess that made me forget for a moment that I was eating veggies.. Perfect with the nachos!
Seafood lovers would undoubtedly enjoy the Mixed Seafood Flat Bread (P475). The thin, crisp, flat bread is filled with a medley of seafood toppings, such as bits of shrimp, Cream Dory fish, Squid Rings, then sprinkled with a bit of Anchovy oil, and red peppers, before being topped with gooey mozzarella cheese.
The toppings on the pizza are so overloaded, you'll be hard pressed to find a blank spot on the entire flat bread!
The Steak and Wild Mushroom Flat Bread was exactly what a meat lover (me) was looking for. The crisp flat bread smeared a in creamy horseradish sauce, then topped with thin slices of juicy all natural beef tenderloin strips. Rounding out the rest of the toppings are wild mushrooms, red peppers, and chives. The flat bread is then topped with tasty Havarti cheese, and sprinkled with crumbled bits of bleu cheese for a unique twist.
I won't lie to you, the Starters were excellent, but I was there for one reason, and one reason alone.. The Ribs.
From the onset, I knew what I wanted, and that was the Carolina Honeys (P685 Half/ P888 Regular/ P1,175 Full). This is my absolute favorite flavor among Tony Roma's impressive lineup of Ribs. The Carolina Honeys has the perfect marriage of sweet meeting savory, then making sweet love down by the fire.
The ribs are coated in a sauce that has a mellow blend of Honey and molasses.. I say mellow because the sweetness is absolutely perfect, never becoming too overwhelming.
This is the ribs that made me come back the next day.
Of course, you can't go wrong with the dish that helped put Tony Roma's on the map... The Original Baby Back Ribs (P685 Half/ P888 Regular/ P1,175 Full). This has a blend of Smokey and Tangy flavors that will take your taste buds for a wonderful ride.
I was hesitant to try Tony Romas's Red Hots (P685 Half/ P888 Regular/ P1,175 Full), because I was worried I couldn't handle the heat. Imagine, this- the ribs were basted in a blend of Chili Pepper, Black Pepper, crushed Red Peppers, Chipotle Peppers and Tabasco Sauce. Doesn't that sound like more than enough spiciness to scorch the Earth?
As of late, however, I've found myself becoming more and more bold when it comes to spicy food (Not to mention I was really hungry), so I decided to give it a try.
And I'm glad I did, because, although it definitely has a spicy kick, it was still manageable. You can still appreciate the flavor of the ribs and the sweet and spicy notes of the sauce that is generously brushed on the meat. I would suggest getting the coleslaw with this, as the creaminess matches the spiciness really well.
Nonetheless, the Carolina Honey's , in my opinion is still my favorite.
Regardless of the variant of ribs you choose at Tony Roma's, you can be rest assured that the meat is so tender, it will tear cleanly off the bone, and is packed with loads of flavor that simply explodes in your mouth.
For Dessert, we tried the Apple Crisp (P360) which was made with Tangy Johnathan apples (which when I first saw it on the menu, I thought it said, "Tiny Johnson apples.. Aaaaaanyway..), that was baked in a delicious crumb topping that adds a bit of texture to the dessert. The dish is then topped with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and a drizzling of caramel sauce, which helped with the tartness of the apples.
When I saw the Skillet Cookie Sundae (P400) on the menu, I knew that I was going to order if it if anyone else didn't. Who could resist a giant chocolate chip cookie topped with a scoop of luscious Vanilla Ice Cream and a dousing of thin Chocolate Fudge?
This was my favorite dish of the lot, but I feel it would have been even better if the cookie was a little bit softer, as compared to the crispiness it had.
The Chocolate Avalanche (P390) is something Chocolate lovers would not want to miss. A warm Molten Chocolate Cake, sandwiched between scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream, and drizzled with Chocolate fudge and sprinkled with crumbled Oreo Cookies.
The Chocolate Brownie Sundae (P360) is a Chocolate brownie served with a scoop of Vanilla Ice cream, swimming in a bed of whipped cream, with chocolate fudge and crumbled Oreo cookies.
It was during our sumptuous lunch that we discovered the awesomeness that is Tony Roma's Ribvolution Card! The card may be purchased for only P1,000, but it gives you a value much more than that!
First off, the owner of the Ribvolution card is automatically given a 20% Discount every time he or she dines in Tony Roma's!
The Ribvolution Card also gives the owner a set of vouchers that you can use on your next visits! The vouchers include A free Half Slab of Ribs, a P500 cash voucher, A free burger or sandwich, a free starter, and even a free dish!!
The day after getting my Ribvolution card, I marched back to Tony Roma's with Rina and Rain and used my "Welcome Treat" voucher to get my Carolina Honeys fix.
For Rain, we got the Carolina Honey Wings (P395) which Rina ended up devouring. The sweet sauce worked perfectly with the wings as well!
My favorite from the appetizer platter was undoubtedly the Potato Skins (P275). A plump baked potato has its contents scooped out, then loaded with generous heapings of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and topped with crumbled bacon.
During my first return to Tony Roma's, we had the lovely Model-Actress Wendy Valdez join us for lunch, who happens to be a dear friend of Jane Chua of Between Bites. Wendy turned out to be a really nice, down to Earth person, and we look forward to her joining our future food trips! How she manages to stay sexy whilst downing those ribs is beyond me though hehe.
The gloves are off and the bibs are on.. We are ready for War!!
TONY ROMA'S DISCOUNT VOUCHER!!!!
(Tell 'em The Pickiest Eater sent ya ;) )
Tony Roma's has more promos, such as Children eating for free, and GC sales, so please check out their FB Page for more updates!
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