Written by Kevin Choa / Photography by Paolo Pareno
Who doesn’t like fast food? It’s cheap, quick, and easy to eat on the go. There are several problems with this, though. Sometimes, the portions are too small for a raging hunger. Sometimes, it merely serves as a last resort because every other option is too far to go to for lunch hour or is simply cheap enough to soothe an aching wallet. Add the growing number of health problems and horror stories to the list and it’s pretty clear why relying on fast food everyday isn’t a good idea.
Enter FoodBowl, a quiet and humble gem of an eatery located at the heart of Marikina. It has almost everything you’d want in fast food, plus more: quick service, various takeout and delivery options, and that irresistible feeling of chowing down on seemingly endless heaps of sinangag (garlic fried rice) with one hand while doing other important things with the other. There’s just nothing FoodBowl doesn’t have; tasty toppings, affordable prices, hearty servings, and a casual vibe – they’ve got it all.
There would be no FoodBowl without their signature bowls of budbod, a local take on garlic fried rice from Tanay, Rizal. Each bowl starts off with more than a few heaping scoops of sinangag, and is then layered with your choice of toppings, your choices ranging from crispy fried fish fillets to rich and heart-stopping pork sisig before being topped off with green onions.
Fish Fillet Bowl (P78)
Crispy Sisig Bowl (P78)
What sets these bowls apart is that everything is made fresh and stays fresh. Nothing ever comes out pre-cooked or pre-made. Every bowl will always look and taste exactly the same as the previous one that came out. Now that’s something no fast food joint can ever claim, right?
Every single bowl starts off with the freshest ingredients and everything made to order…
…and ends like this, every single time. This is their signature Supreme Bowl (P88).
Each of the eight bowls on offer can feed even the hungriest of stomachs. For those feeling extra peckish, the Supreme Bowl (pictured above) with beef tapa, scrambled eggs, lechon kawali, and lumpiang Shanghai on top of a large helping of sinangag will fill up even the most famished of eaters.
FoodBowl is not a one-trick pony, though. While their signature bowls are clearly the big winners in the battle for lunchtime supremacy, their dinner offers keep the same qualities that make them heavy favorites after work. Dishes like kare-kare, pork con pakbet (pinakbet), chicken inasal, sizzling tofu sisig, and their rather massive BulaLORD (beef bulalo) all make their entrance at the dinner table. Even with the larger portions, the same standards and quality of each dish served remain the same.
Kare-Kare (Baka at Tuwalya) – P248
Pork Con Pakbet (Pinakbet) – P148
Sizzling Tofu Sisig (P118)
To sweeten the deal, FoodBowl’s ingenuity comes on full display with its specialty dessert: turon con leche flan.
Turon con Leche Flan (P48)
It’s exactly what it sounds like: leche flan wrapped around lumpia wrapper and then deep-fried before being coated around in chocolate sauce. This might sound crazy, but trust me: there’s nothing crazy about food when it tastes great. The crunch of the wrapper along with the chewiness of the leche flan is a palate-pleasing combination when combined with the chocolate.
Let’s be honest here. A key reason why we love or rely on fast food so much is its affordability. Having said that, FoodBowl goes the extra mile and puts a lot of other fast food chains to shame.
Each of its signature bowls cost 88 pesos or less, while no single item on its menu exceeds 250.
Forget the 50-peso meals that will probably only last until merienda; instead, go here and enjoy a hulking bowl of rice that will last until dinner or maybe even the rest of the day. There’s probably no other fast food joint that can match the same level of quality at the same or lower prices.
Hungry to find out more of their secrets? Visit FoodBowl and try it yourself!
458 J.P. Rizal Street, Barangay Santo Niño, Marikina
(02) 795 7353 / 0905 287 3766