Experience Bacólod in Bob’s Makati

Bob’s Restaurant has been with Bacólod since 1965 and is the immortal icon of how tasty Negrénse versions of food can be. Oftentimes, the original branch of Bob’s in front of Riverside Hospital is the scene of family reunions especially those from overseas savoring their all time favorites like Bob’s Big Boy Burger, Sate Babe or Spareribs. In fact, apart from Chicken Inasal from Manokan Country, this would be one of the places Negrénse in the diaspora like me would miss. Don’t you know that this Bacólod icon is already in Makati City, well inside Ayala Center?

The present location of Bob’s Makati is in De La Rosa St. in between C. Palace and Gil Sts. just adjacent to Paseo de Roxas, not far from Greenbelt One and Asian Institute of Management. I love the place it is situated for the area is not the usual hustle and bustle and cosmopolitan Ayala Center Makati with lots more trees and a laid-back attitude. In fact, I must have been lost in the first turn is I could’ve gone there faster than I did. Here’s a piece of advice: Take the elevated walkway from Landmark Makati and walk all the way towards the very end of the walkway. For those who hate walking, I remind you that walking is good for the health and the length of walking from Landmark to Bob’s is a good exercise. Right after you step down, you’ll never fail to see the lovely façade of Bob’s. Walking after eating at Bob’s is also helpful to burn off those added calories from eating there.

Since my family members have not arrived yet for my aunt’s advance birthday celebration, I went around Washington Sycip Park. About Washington Sycip Park? That is for my very next article on my Makati musings. My lagawan was not that far since in a few minutes I was able to go back there but only to find out that I must have spent too much time in the Park for when I came back, all my family members are there. I was greeted by the cheerful employees of Bob’s Makati when I entered. Did I not mention that the majority of employees here are from Bacólod? The experience is like stepping back to my hometown. When I entered the restaurant, I felt a feeling of awe on how lovely it is.

I cannot help but look up on these ball lightings adorning the ceiling and giving off a beautiful sight. Swear, I was actually looking up for a few seconds before I settled in to my assigned seat. The relief it is of my family members that I arrived so that we could order our food. Even the menu is to the exact detail of the one in Bacólod and the design is lovely. It has a feel of those expensive restaurants you go to, only with the historic character. Bob’s was once named Big Boy Bob’s and so they must’ve paid for the rights with their namesake in Michigan. Ever since 1980’s, Bob’s dropped the Big Boy from it’s name since the locals refer to it as simply Bob’s well, except the burger which still has the name. My mom told us that right after she would give birth to me and my siblings, she would always order Bob’s Big Boy Burger which she would for days. I guess giving birth must really be that tiring. For one, I had a hard time deciding on what to order since I miss everything in the menu including the cakes that adorn the side of the counter.

Since I am neither hungry nor full, I ordered what I always order from Bob’s: Big Boy Burger. Yes, the controversial burger that made the Sicangcos pay for the naming rights but ended up having a burger tastier than the Michigan namesake, according to my friends who have eaten at both at least. There are other food items on the menu like the ever famous sate babe, spareribs and your classical grilled items. Not all grilled items are cooked equal for the one with Bob’s has the Bacólod touch which is known for healthy and sophisticated innovations with the food. I tried ordering Bogsbrew but the waiters said that it is out of stock. Either they have been out of stock because they were all sold out in the Negros Trade Fair, the stocks were stuck in Bacólod because of the demand during Masskara Festival or people simply buy a lot of Bogsbrew when they visit Bob’s Makati. Maybe, its a next time around for Bogsbrew and another blog entry for that matter. They also serve breakfast as well which I plan to try one of these days.

It was good that the waiters in Bob’s are from my hometown for we were able to have a chat with them at how is their life in Bob’s. There used to be a Bob’s Restaurant in Paseo de Magallanes but they opened the one in De La Rosa St. just in time for the eventual transfer of the branch. That was a good move since this street, no matter how long the walk would take, is more accessible to Paseo de Magallanes. It was good that I was able to talk to an employee of CaB (shortened form of Café Bobs) from Kapitolyo  at the Negros Trade Fair that the branch transfered to De La Rosa Street. Bob’s Makati in De La Rosa Street has been in their place for over a year now. Their manager and waiters have all been trained in Bob’s branches back in Bacólod. No wonder why the hospitality is  the same, a warm Negrénse hospitality that I can feel when I am in Bacólod.

This might look like your usual burger but you are quite mistaken on that thought. There goes your bread which is not actually soggy but crispy enough for you to slice. My problem with other burgers I have tastes is that I can’t seem to slice them properly without spilling the contents on the plate or on the table. This must be good bread that they are using, the patties are actually juicy and tender, just as I like it. I can slice the patties pull well but they are not too soft with the cheese not too big but neither too thin. Put a few tomato ketchup or hot shot right there and its a perfect treat but don’t get me wrong, the burger itself is already tasty. No wonder my mom likes to eat this when she gave birth to us siblings. It is absolutely reinvigorating and comfortably good. A meal is not complete without your drinks, right? So I ordered the famed fruit punch as well.

Bob’s fruit punch is not your boring foodcart version of the drink with mostly liquid and a few fruits floating or sunk. The fruit punch is actually chunky with the glass filled with fruits. I do have an impression that this is not even a drink but fruit salad minus the cream plus the fruit juice much to my delight. They provided me with a long spoon to scoop out the fruit which I did enjoyably. Notice the white stuff floating on top? Guess what, that is ubod or coconut core where your leaves would coconut leaves would grow from. Ubod actually breaks the monotone of sweetness in the fruit punch but gives you a neutral taste that reduces “sum-od” or umay in Tagalog. Tropical fruit chunks like watermelon, young grated coconut and pineapples are placed fresh as well. What a perfect way to bring down that Big Boy Burger with this, right?

Bob’s Weekday Store Hours are from 7am to 9pm, perfect for those working folks living or working nearby. If you are the person who values a serene place to eat that is classy but cheap, this would be your cup of tea. Not only that, there are also cakes and pastries available for you here to match with your cup of afternoon coffee. Not only will you enjoy your meal but also the kindess and hospitality of the crew. By the way, Bob’s also delivers food so call (632) 310-2627 if you want to enjoy Bacólod treats in the comfort of your office table or right at your home. Hit the streets guys  and don’t forget to try Bob’s, a pride of Bacólod.


About Mark Mayo - Magallanes

MARK MAYO - MAGALLANES – blogger by passion, cook by hobby, student by life, theater actor by fate, writer by work, and Christian by grace. Part Filipino, Chinese and Spanish by blood, he is proudly 100% Negrénse. His love for his home Island of Negros, heritage and lifestyle has led him to write much about it and full-time, all-time. View all posts by Mark Mayo - Magallanes

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