The food park craze has spread to the riverbanks of Marikina! There, you’ll find Montare Events Place and Food Hub, a 150-seating events place with eight unique food stalls by the garden. Montare is easily visible if you’re northbound from Mayor Gil Fernando Ave in Marikina City.
What I love about food parks is that there’s something to enjoy for everyone. And exactly that, a couple of friends-turned-partners put up 8 stalls serving pasta; steaks; deep-fried wings, fish, and shrimps; grilled everything; ribs; brick-oven pizzas; burgers; and food park quintessential milkshakes.
Montare Food Hub opens at three and closes at midnight, with live bands playing during the weekends. We visited on a lazy Sunday afternoon, early enough to avoid the influx of customers who, according to our host Karlo, start to pour in at six or seven. Without further ado, here is our top 5 list for Montare Food Hub. And as I always say, your taste is as good as mine, so feel free to try whatever catches your eye.
5. Peci’s Buffalo Wings
How do you like your buffalo wings? At Peci, you can choose to have your wings bathed in Classic, New Orleans, Garlic Parmesan, and Honey Barbecue sauce.
Peci’s Buffalo Wings (far) and Fish n’ Chips (near)
We tried their New Orleans Buffalo Wings, mildly tangy with a hint of wine. Very nice. If anything, I was looking for a bit of heat that day, so maybe adding Spicy Wings to the menu would be something very doable for Peci in the future. ;)
4. Caprizzo’s Aligue Pasta
What I love about Caprizzo’s pasta is its straightforward simplicity. There’s absolutely no unnecessary flair; just good pasta served straight up. This cannot be more evident than in their lovely Pomodoro and hearty Aligue Pasta.
The oil-based Aligue Pasta turns into a rich orange hue as the crab roe is stirred into the pasta. Add bits of roe and garlic and a slice of lemon on the side, and that’s all there is to this simple, practically home-cooked style pasta.
If you have kids with you, make sure you try Caprizzo’s baked spaghetti as well.
3. Tux Burger’s Golden Eye
I’m presuming that the owner of Tux Burger is a James Bond fan.
That said, Tux’s Golden Eye is a wild, wild burger with the beef patty and the bacon and the cheese and and the BBQ sauce and the cheese sauce (I mean, that’s just redundant AF!) and the tomato and lettuce sandwiched between a pandesal bun. Double patty? Upgrade to their Dr. Juicy for a 40-peso price differential.
Golden Eye: This burger is the works.
2. Top Slice’s Adobo Pizza
The truth is I’m not a fan of adobo. So when the lady from Top Slice told me that the Adobo Pizza was their bestseller, I thought to myself, “What kind of gimmickry is this!?” Turns out this pizza is well worth the hype.
The sunny-side up egg in the middle of the pizza is genius! Beyond the visual accent it gives the pizza, it’s the first thing you bite off your slice, and the full-bodied taste of the yolk lingers as you work your way towards the end of your pizza.
The Adobo Pizza is not just adobo. A healthy layering and sprinkling of cheese takes away the umay I usually associate with adobo. The meat is baked before thickened adobo sauce is drizzled on top of the pizza, so it isn’t ‘saucy’ as some might dread it to be. The Adobo Pizza tips its hat to a Filipino favorite without losing sight of what a good brick-oven pizza should be. For someone who isn’t an adobo lover, I like this adobo!
1. Heat Stroke Grill’s Grilled Scallops
Heat Stroke Grill (HSG) started out as a build-your-own-meal grill joint that lets you choose between Pork Belly Inasal and HSG Chicken for your meat, garlicky Jaun-Rice or sweet-and-spicy rice or plain white rice, and Chimichurri or Harissa or Teriyaki for your sauce. Very recently, they’ve added new items to their menu, and the one that we’re raving about is their Grilled Scallops.
These are deep-sea scallops hauled in from Roxas City. Remarkably sweeter and juicier than their shallow-water, cultured counterparts. Basted with a divine BBQ marinade, then grilled and served attached to their shell. Absolutely a must-try for seafood lovers.
Build your own meal: The HSG Chicken with Harissa sauce (left) works for me.
Other Things to Try at Montare
Here are the bestsellers from the remaining food stalls at Montare Food Hub.
Satisfy your craving for steaks at Bourgignon, Montare’s steak joint that offers beefy fix from tenderloin tips to the eponymous bourgignon. Pictured above is their porterhouse, but I heard that their tenderloin is their bestselling cut yet…
Rib Dibs’ Pork Ribs
Rib Dibs is all about pork ribs. Order for yourself or for a group of up to four people, and choose from a number of side dishes that they have to offer.
Sweet N’ Crushed S’mores (left) and Oreo Matcha (right) Milkshakes
Finally, Sweet N’ Crushed offers milkshakes for all ice cream shake lovers out there. This is the first time I’ve tried an Oreo Matcha milkshake and was happily surprised to taste the strong matcha green tea in the drink.
So there you have it. If you’re planning for your next food adventure, give Montare Food Hub a try. Check out Montare’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/montaremarikina) for food park schedule, directions, detailed food menu, announcements, etc. Once there, feel free to chat with Kaye, Karlo, and the stall owners on matters of national concern like who you think will win between Baron Geisler and Kiko Matos whatnot. ;)