Here at Geekend Gladiators, we are not only passionate about our comic books, TV shows, movies and video games, we are also insanely passionate about our food! In this edition of Geekend Destinations, Gladiator Gino goes on a solo food trip in this Cuban themed restaurant in Marikina called “Brad and Pit’s Ribshack”.
As with every Geekend Destination write-up, ratings are divided among five categories, with five points each and totaling 25 points, namely: food, ambiance, service, affordability, and level of geekiness.
Brad and Pit’s is first and foremost a ribshack that aims to satisfy cravings of meat lovers around the metro with their assortment of ribs, wings and sandwiches, as per their FB page.
So lets get down to business.
Truth is, when I stumbled upon this meat lovers haven the first thing that I really wanted to try out was not their ribs, but their cubano sandwich. I know, I know, it sounds like a cardinal sin not to try their ribs, after all they are a ribshack, but my main goal in this food trip was to try something odd from their menu that would make them stand out of all the other ribshacks. Hence, I went for the Cubano.
And was I ever right in my gut instinct (pun intended). The Cubano sandwich was all that I expected it to be. Brief background, I haven’t tried any Cubano anywhere, meaning this is my first time to eat this sandwich, and was only aware of its existence due to Jon Favreau’s movie Chef, but I digress. Anyway, the cubano was perfectly toasted as the bread was crunchy and perfect. The meat was also heavenly as the meat (pork) was stripped into tiny strands and laid inside the bun. The sauce/glaze was a perfect match and you could taste the Cuban/Mexican in it. The ham only accentuated the taste even more. Every ingredient worked well with each other to create a perfectly harmonious symphony of a sandwich. The slaw on the side also bode well with the whole ensemble, but the sandwich alone would suffice.
While I was waiting for the cubano, I munched on the beer battered fish and chips. Though not an expert on fish, I do believe it was dory. The beer battered coating on the fish was perfectly fried through and through. It was crispy, yet the fish itself remained moist and scrumptious. The honey mustard dip only enhanced the taste. The fries on the other hand, were your regular fries.
I ordered their milkshake as my drink of choice as I was craving for a milkshake that day. However, it was a little disappointing, as the milkshake had an odd aftertaste and was more clumpy rather than smooth.
The score: 3.75/5
From the exterior of the restaurant you wouldn’t suspect that this particular restaurant could easily transport you to a Cuban environment, but it did once you opened that door. With Cuban songs blaring in the background and the service crew sporting some Panama house, you get that feeling that somehow you were in Miami near South Beach sipping mai tais.
Inside the restaurant, small trinkets from various eras are displayed. From old TV sets, old Tonka toys, used bottles both old and new, old vinyl records hanging on the wall, and an old used pair of Chuck Taylors hanging in a hallway, just brings back some memories and a sense of pop culture history lessons. But the unique part about the place is the chalkboard paint interior, with some old adages written on them, both funny and profound.
The score: 4/5
The restaurant has the set-up where you are the one who approaches the counter and they take your order. The menu is posted overhead. Once they take your order you sit down and wait for your food to arrive. Simple as that. In a way it eliminates a lot of the service factor, but be that as it may, service still remains in the form of how long (or short) it takes for your food to arrive, and how it is served to you.
Fortunately for them, the service is relatively fast, or probably because I was busy taking photos and reading the lines on the wall. But the service was relatively fair as it took less than 10 to 15 minutes before food arrived. A plus on this was the fact that the service crew informed me before hand that the cubano I ordered would take longer to serve due to its preparation, therefore it programmed my expectation on how long before I get to eat, which was really not that long.
The only qualm I have with their service was the lack of utensils on hand and the amount of tissue paper, which was easily remedied by just asking for them. Overall, service was good.
The score: 4/5
If you are looking for a restaurant that serves great food and has that authentic ambiance, than you can’t go wrong with Brad and Pit’s when it comes to affordability.
Would you believe that the Cubano costs just around PhP100.00. Aside from that, the cost of food ranges from PhP100.00 (cubano) to PhP175.00 (beer battered fish and chips), for a regular meal. And if you are in the mood for some of their heavier meals, it would cost you around PhP300.00 to PhP750.00. Not bad when you think of it.
The score: 5/5
As stated earlier, the authentic Cuban feel is present in this restaurant, and for foodies out there who want that feeling and ambiance, this is the place for you. The famous statements of people like Albert Einstein on the wall just ups the geek factor in this restaurant scientist-style.
Music enthusiasts would also appreciate this restaurant, not only for the background music, but also for the vinyl records displayed in the store. Same goes for those bottle collectors and toy collectors.
The score: 3.75/5
Brad and Pit’s ribshack is a pleasant surprise for unassuming clientele. It perfectly translates that Southern American vibe in that small place in the form of great food, ambiance and affordability. It’s a perfect place to eat for people who are up for a new dining experience. And if you do visit, the Cubano is a must-try.
Brad and Pit’s Ribshack is located at: 116 Lilac St., SSS Village, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City, Philippines.
Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and Comic book reviewer. He is a lawyer in the making at day and a full-on geek by night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse. #AgeOfTheGeek