I'll admit. If not for my knowledge of Agave Mexican Cantina's promo for Bottomless Margarita (ooh la la!) for only P295, I wouldn't have thought of dragging my friends along to its newest branch at SM North Edsa's Sky Garden.
As far as I recall, Agave has always been "that resto near Fish & Co. at the Shang" and I never once bothered to stop and dine there. With 'Mexican Cantina' in its name and samba music booming from the radio, I though I need not inspect any deeper. Well, a taco is a taco right?
That realization -- a pleasant discovery, even -- came only after the supposed day of bottomless margarita ended up becoming a fiesta.
Because it was too early for happy hour that afternoon and too late for coffee, me and my friends deemed it safe for us to try the bottomless margarita along with some of Agave's light dishes.
Naturally, we ordered nachos for some instant pica-pica. Since there were five of us that time, the Nacho Grande (P350) tagged as "Perfect for sharing!" in the menu immediately appealed to us.
What was brought to our table though was crazy. I've never seen nachos more grande!
'The Mount Nachos' is a more apropos name. It was a whole heap of corn nachos with its peak as high as my bottomless iced tea. Guacamole, jalapenos, beef and cheese abound. Each of the ingredients is carefully tucked in every available cranny of the mount of chips. Taste-wise, it seems just adequate and palatable. Anyway, I don't think nachos can taste more complex than how it is regularly presented, so I have no qualms on the quality of the flavors. Crisp chips? Check. Fresh and flavorful beef? Check. Lotsa cheese? Check. Mount Nachos gets our vote.
After consuming much of it in between several glasses of margarita and many horrible break-up stories, my girlfriends and I decided to have our dinner there.
Agave's menu marks several specialties and new offerings so we decided to stick with them.
The Chipotle Pork Sisig (P 195) intrigued us, so we decided to order one of that. Sisig, the salty, mushy and very oily kind as we know, is native to Pampanga, so a Mexican take left us wondering. Jalapeno spicy sisig? That would be wow-worthy!
However, we thought wrongly of the Chipotle Sisig. Apart from it having chunkier meat and onions, and red bell peppers scattered all over, this version tasted not much different from our regular sisig. Save for some hint of the Mexican spices peppered all over it, expect the dish to taste how sisig should taste like. At least, it's a pretty decent dish. If you're seeking the greasy yumminess of the good old sisig, order this.
The Yucatan Skewers (P315) was ordered next, after my friend recommended how good their Mexican red rice is.
Three sticks of pork cubes with onions and tomatoes sandwiched in between are served with the praised tomato rice. The rice looked enough for one person. The skewered pork on the other hand looked enough to be shared.
Expect a little struggle when forking the pork out of the stick. I immediately said 'uh-oh' after exerting a tad more effort pulling the pork. This left me a little hesitant to taste the meat, but to my surprise, it wasn't tough at all when I took a bite. It was rather juicy, exuding flavors even until you reach the cube's core. I also had to agree with my friend after tasting the red rice. Those who love the sweet and tangy appeal of tomatoes will sure love how they were perfectly incorporated into the delicate and almost mushy rice.
Because the Yucatan Skewers weren't enough for all of us (and we were still surprisingly hungry), we ordered two more dishes: Salmon a la Verarcuz (P355) and the Agave Baby Back Ribs (Half Slab P495, Full Slab P785). I know. That's really odd for a small group of fit girls.
I would say outright that I liked the fairly thick slab of Salmon a la Vera Cruz. It was very light, in contrast to the bold flavors of the pork dishes we had earlier. A friend found it a little too salty to her liking but the rest of us gave it two thumbs up. Eating the salmon the same time with the herbed rice would do the trick if you also happen to find it a little too salty.
If the previous dishes weren't enough to get us to the point of surrender, the Agave Baby Back Ribs definitely did.
The sight alone of a slab that huge, with fries and Mexican rice on the side, sure did make us drool. After agreeing on the partitions, we almost simultaneously sliced off our shares. Everyone commented on how easy it was to cut. Its claim on being fall-off-the-bone had been verified by the five of us.
I can't claim it to be the best I've tasted, but it really did surprise me with its tenderness. More unique sauce and stricter trimming of the fat part might make me rethink its rank for my list of the best Baby Back Ribs. But to how it is now, I'd say I'd give it an above par rating.
Even with ribs and the rest of the dishes we enjoyed, the night wouldn't be as perfect if not for the exceptionally good Agave Fried Ice Cream (P175) which we picked as our dessert.
I can't remember exactly how many margaritas we've consumed that night but I can remember that the P295 price tag was sulit. Apart from enjoying the drinks in the good company of my friends, I've once and for all discovered the untold treats and bargains in Agave. With the more than satisfied experience I've had with our fiesta-like dinner, I'm now most likely to stop and inquire as I pass by any of the three branches of Agave, and perhaps surprise myself with more of their offerings and promos. And okay, yes, more margaritas.