Wednesday, January 13, 2016

First Bite: Big D's Smokehouse

My uncle couldn’t stop raving about this ribs place in Eastwood and told us that he’ll treat us there on his birthday. Confident about his choice, he scheduled the last Sunday of the Christmas break to be his birthday celebration at Big D’s Smokehouse.
Hello, Big D’s Smokehouse.
We arrived a bit too early in Eastwood and ended up waiting for 20 minutes outside for the restaurant to open. 
I was a bit hesitant to dine here as the place didn’t exactly get a lot of good reviews online. Some said that the ribs were dry while others were disappointed with every single dish they ordered. But it’s free so… game!

My uncle wanted to order The Big Feast which includes a plate of nachos, two servings of onion rings, 2 pasta plates of your choice, 2 orders of chicken fingers, 3 full slabs of ribs, 4 side dishes, 5 cups of rice and a sizzling plate of pulled pork for PHP2,999. I did the math and if you choose all the most expensive pasta and sides, you manage to save about PHP200 or have that sizzling pulled pork for free. (I guess it wasn’t that bad if you do not want to think of what to order anymore.) We also ordered a plate of Hush Puppies (PHP175) as additional appetizer.
First served was the platter of nachos and it looks so oily. The tortilla chips were thin and crisp which I enjoyed. But I would have liked it more if the beef topping was juicy. The one we got was dry and the cheese wasn’t as creamy or gooey as I wanted it to be.
Onion rings were served next and it’s your usual crisp onion rings with garlic ranch dip. Nothing much to talk about.
Hush Puppies soon followed and it was a crowd favorite. The combination of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan cheese created a delightful and crisp cheese ball! It also had the right level of tart. But what I loved most about this dish is that every bite is promised with an ooze of the heavenly cheese combination. 
The smooth and creamy melted cheese with the crunchy batter was divine. I also enjoyed it with the garlic ranch dip.
The chicken fingers (PHP190) looked so… thin. Taste-wise, it was a bit bland and dry. We had to put a generous amount of honey mustard for it to be more palatable. At least it was crisp.

For pasta, we opted to get Chicken Pesto Pasta (PHP210) and Tomato Cream Pasta (PHP180).
When the plates were served, the first thing that came to mind was that it looked pale. And true enough, both dishes failed in the plating and taste departments. Both lacked taste despite the fairly generous amount of sauce. In fact, the pesto pasta was very wet with its sauce. But the sauces did not deliver the flavor it was meant to give the diners. I was very disappointed with these two.
Soon, the sides and full slab ribs arrived.

The sides’ serving size is very small though reasonable given its price range of PHP50-60. It was nothing out of the ordinary.
The mac and cheese was indeed cheesy but it was the watered-down type of sauce instead of thick and creamy. (I noticed that it’s hard to find a restaurant that serves good mac and cheese here in Manila.)
The mashed potato was average too. Mushy and topped with gravy, it’s hard to mess that one. I wasn’t able to try the coleslaw but they finished it so I guess it was okay too. The fries were quite good and reminds me of potato wedges of KFC.
The full slab ribs are about a foot long and it was smothered with sweet and mildly spicy ribs sauce. The meat was very tender and it was effortless to cut the ribs.
It was a good slab of ribs but the sauce was a bit too overpowering as I was eating it without rice and just a few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes. I guess it would have been more delightful with a cup of rice. But it’s the start of 2016 so I still have the “New Year, New Me” mentality which I know I’ll eventually forget in a couple of days (or hours if I spot an ice cream store). 
Last served was the sizzling pulled pork (PHP175) and it tasted just like the ribs only it was shredded and placed in a sizzling plate. Again, the taste was a bit too overwhelming to be eaten alone.
Overall, it was a good meal. The sides and pasta were forgettable but the ribs were pretty good and reasonably priced. I’d order it again with rice on the side.

Big D’s Smokehouse is located at 2nd Floor, Eastwood City Walk 2, Eastwood, Quezon City. It is across Caffe Bene and on top of Zark’s Burger. 

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