THE HIGHLAND MAMA TRIES GERRY'S GRILL LEGARDA
Updated: Jan 18, 2020
If you are a sucker for Kare-Kare, then I bet you've been to Gerry's Grill one too many times. It has always been the place to be whenever you are in dire need of a quick fix for Filipino comfort food. As many would've put it, Gerry's Kare-Kare is love. It also helps that they usually present it in an aesthetically pleasing black clay pot or porcelain bowl. It adds over-all authenticity.
It's been over 20 years since Gerry's started serving classic dishes that definitely understands and catches the taste that Pinoys are into. The pleasant, home-cooked feel that Gerry's Grill offer, is what made them into one of the most frequented family restaurants in the country. Which is why it is not surprising that Gerry's opened it's third restaurant here in the City of Pines. We just can't get enough!
Gerry's Grill Legarda is the latest and biggest addition here in Baguio CIty. It proudly offers a 170 seating capacity. The Legarda branch also happens to be the only branch in Baguio which has a breakfast menu since it is conveniently located in the new, urban-chic, Travelite Hotel. Gerry's Grill Legarda has an auxiliary dining area which can readily cater to the overflow of customers from the main dining and at the same time, it can also be rented out for any kind of small event or functions.
The ambiance is quite consistent with that of SM and New Town branches. I couldn't shake the feeling of serenity that I undoubtedly felt while dining in their event's area. It's probably because of it's glass walls that seemingly invite the uninterrupted sunshine in. It has that certain effect of peacefulness.
Unlike my husband who is into satisfying his taste buds' crave for adventure, I've always been the predictable diner. Even though we usually hit various cafe's or restos around the city, I would repeatedly order the ones I have tried and thus comfortable with. However, when Gerry's Grill Legarda invited us for a gastronomic experience, I was not in the position to resist. I was encouraged to try some of the dishes that I haven't even paid attention to while scouring the menu. The head chef, sir Benjie, assured us that the dishes they will serve will absolutely be one for the books and they did not fail to deliver.
We were first served with their own take of the Japanese classic, Oriental Tuna Sashimi. This Asian-fusion appetizer is said to be making waves in the metro for quite some time now. I was a little reluctant at first, especially since the red pepper seeds were sprinkled around like garnish. I'm not really into burning my tongue, thank you very much. But much to my surprise, the kick was subtle and too gentle that to my fellow Igorots, this might not even register as spicy. The taste also gave me a whole new appreciation to Asian-fusion. The Oriental Tuna Sashimi is now listed under my new faves.
For the next stop, we were given plates of their best-sellers such as the crunchy Sisig, and the crowd-favorite Sinigang. Both of these dishes have already made it on the Highland Mama's top favorites and if you are to try them, you'll immediately know why. I also downed around 3 glasses of their ever-delicious Gerry's Iced Tea (I've been trying to recreate this refreshment at home but to no avail.)
As part of the main dish, we were also asked to sample their plate of Gerry's Grill Fried Chicken. I haven't really tried their fried chicken before since I've always leaned more into their grilled meats. Apparently, their recipe is such a big hit for their kid patrons and I get it. The breading was not too overwhelming but it does introduce a different hint of scrumptious flavor. Coupled with breaded potato wedges, this is definitely super kid-friendly. As a mom, I could see my Sofia eagerly enjoying a plateful of this.
I also asked sir Nicho, the branch manager, regarding their vegetables and he mentioned that as much as possible, they try to out-source their needed veggies from the local vendors. This may not always be the case(due to varying factors such as availability, etc) but it's nice to know that they do give back to our farmers as well.
The unexpected twist however came with the rice. Something that I haven't tried before, the Adobong Puso Rice, was brought over by the head chef himself. The rice was cleverly sauteed along with their Adobo, letting the juicy flavor simmer into the plain rice, before being strategically covered in Banana leaves to look like the "Puso ng Saging". Enclosing the rice with the banana leaf also lets the rice soak more into the the wonderful taste of Adobo, Fun isn't it? With much anticipation, we impatiently waited while chef Benjie sliced the "heart" open revealing the simmering rice with pork tidbits. I just got a whiff of it and it made me drool.
Last but never the least, we also got to taste their flavorful Buko Pandan. This dessert is so traditionally Filipino that we dove in without any reservations. And even though my jeans' waistband was already complaining, I still managed to finish my dessert down to the last drop. Just can't help it! It goes to show that no matter how many restos popped out or no matter how enticing these up and coming diners seem to be, when it comes to familiarity and Pinoy cuisine, you'd still rather be at Gerry's!
Ta-ta For Now!
The Highland Mama