We conclude this three-part saga with fiery wings, a gargantuan burger and a steak that almost ended my struggle against leftovers.
This is it.
I was told by Ian Palabyab, Marketing Director for Katsu, Scarlet and Craft, to save this for last. He told me this with a grin as if to warn me to prepare for what could be one of my most daunting food experiences ever. Challenge accepted.
We get to Craft Pub & Grill early, around dinnertime. I walk in and see the interior that is for a most part made of wood, a stage set up for a band, chalkboards on the walls, no-frills chairs, tables and seats and of course a well-stocked bar. This was straight up. This place meant business and business is food and drink. Ian and Chef Benny greet us and right off the bat ask us how we like our wings. I was going to say mild but Chef Benny tells us to go atomic. Okay. Chef’s choice. Bring it on.
While waiting, Ian tells us that the concept for Craft is more like a frat house. There’s no room for subtlety here. It’s steak, burgers, pizza and the like, and the portions are huge. There’s enough liquor to last if you’re ever holed up in there during the zombie apocalypse, and the beer selection is staggering.
The Tasting Corner
They’ve got your usual local and imported beers so no problem there, but the point of interest here is their Craft Beer Selection—boutique beer imported from independent breweries in the states. I am Frank the Tank and I just cried tears of joy.
Atomic Buffalo Style Wings
Chef Benny comes out with the fiery red atomic Buffalo Style Wings (P185 - 6 pcs, available in Mild, Medium and Atomic). It’s crazy hot, but it comes with a bleu cheese dip with carrot and celery sticks to cut the heat if it gets to be too much. It’s awesome with beer and if you ever find yourself a little more inebriated than usual, take a bite of these wings and it’s like “reset. you’re good for another round.” Plus come on, they’re wings. Who doesn’t like wings?
Gordon Biersch Beers: Marzen & Hefeweizen
The beers they set us up with match perfectly with these spicy chicken treats. The Marzen (P195), if it could talk, would be like: “Come on, take a swig. You like that, huh? Nice and strong. You good, bro? You need another one? Yeeeah you do! Hey there, chief! Another round of brewskis!” The Hefeweizen (P195) on the other hand is more like: “You want a beer? Cool. Here, have some chicken. Another swig? Sure, dude. I knew you’d come back for more.” Good times. High fives all around.
The Sesame Wings (P185 - 6pcs) are more your Pinoy-style chicken wings. It’s got that savory soy flavor hit with a slightly sweet taste and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Also perfect with beer or rice—or beer and rice. Just have the wings there. Beer and rice alone sounds so wrong.
The Craft Burger
I have this feeling that The Craft Burger (P375) was invented by artisans and masons from all over the world who spoke but one language and then one day, one of them slipped and toppled the whole burger, and all of the people working on it started speaking different languages and could no longer understand each other. Maybe. We’ll never know. In any case, The Craft Burger is made of a half-pound US Angus beef patty blanketed with melted cheddar and a horseradish sauce topped with 2 donut sized crispy onion rings. Don’t use the fork and knife, people, you’re in a frat house. Place the sesame bun on top and compress. Okay, maybe cut it in half and eat it with your hands. You got some cheese on your shirt? Suck it up. Grab another beer.
You’d think we’d be full after that. You’d think. We were ready for one last course. Chef Benny asked us how we like our steak. We said medium-rare. Okay then. Here we go.
This is the 500g Rib-Eye Steak (P1,495). I’ll give you time for it to sink in.
Okay, cool. This colossal chunk of beef is perfectly cooked. Cutting into it I was humming Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. It was that glorious. The smell was wonderful and the taste. Man, the taste. The right amount of fat on meat this good, you’re sure to utter expletives when you taste this for yourself. We got this with buttered vegetables and mashed potatoes but you can also get it with fries. But man, that steak…
As we sit picking on the last few fries, our bellies full and content, Ian tells us to come back because aside from the food, they regularly have nights when bands play. No hip hop. No electronica. You’ve got Scarlet and Amber for that. Rock bands. So yeah, burgers, steaks, beer and rock ‘n’ roll(maybe a bit of metal?). I’m definitely coming back.
This was an epic journey and my hunger was defeated. It’s time to close this chapter and move on elsewhere. And if I owned a motorbike, I would be riding off into the night right about now, but unfortunately I don’t. So instead, I get into my relatively fuel efficient car and head on home.