DAVAO DETAILS: Food

While writing the last post, I realized my gift of gab turned into constant, endless, incomprehensible babble… again. I shrugged, held off on editing and rewriting to be much more politically correct, socially relevant and sensitive. Anyway, here’s part 2.

Food

I recommend taking a spoon and fork combo towards Wild Safari Grill and Ranch and Reef. They’re sister companies nestled in the same commercial arcade complex along Torres St. They’re pretty hard to miss, especially with Wild Safari having a giant billboard visible from Basilan, I suppose.

Wild Safari Grill is a cheaper alternative to Ranch and Reef but is the only one offering unlimited drinks, ice cream and halo-halo. They have a grill station with their signature Mongolian Barbeque and chicken livers and gizzards (yum!) and other dishes too. However, I don’t remember filling up on anything else other than the sweet and slightly sticky lumpiang shanghai-wannabe on the grill station – that was good. And the halo-halo, I admit – I went for 2.5 bowls of the damn thing. The silky smooth, melts in your halo-halo ube is just irresistible.

If you want something on the “posher” side – switch over to Ranch and Reef – a playful take of a name for Surf and Turf. Their signature dishes are all their roasts – all US certified cuts and all roasted to perfection. Now, I’m not much of a caveman when it comes to that so I gravitated towards their other signature thing – the desserts. I swear, their spread is very impressive and I wasn’t shy at all. The fruits, fine – they were cute. The salads – alright they were good too. But the real stars of the show were the itty bitty little things in thin wax paper cups – the blueberry cheesecake, that thing that was sort of like a smore, that other thing  that shaped like a ball. All good – all great.

While I was there, I was able to check out Davao Blogger, Olan of Olanology’s photo post on Facebook about Pepper and Peppers. He posted the most mouth-watering photo of a bagnet (an Ilocos dish) in a Davao restaurant. That same day I saw the photo post, I went to a convenience store along Jacinto road, just off of Torres, and lo and behold, right behind the convenience store, was Pepper and Peppers – it was nestled towards the back of the complex (As of publication, Pepper and Peppers just opened up their new location next to the Phoenix Gas Station at the end of Torres St.). So I took a quickie lunch trip there – but I held off on the bagnet and took to a still-drool worthy serving of caveman meat.

For something a little on the “wild side,” come over to Riverwalk Grill (pathetic snickering here on the even more pathetic pun). If you’re in Davao to take the obligatory Eden Park and Crocodile Farm tour itinerary or you’re just in the mood to chow on some exotic animals – then head on over to the back of the Croc Farm and indulge in meats other than your regular cow, chicken or pig. Their exotic menu houses awesome creatures in equally intriguing dishes: crocodile sisig (my favorite), ostrich steak (gets kind of chewy once it gets cold), ostrich egg omelet, deer something and stingray something – I shamelessly forgot and lazily will not look through my notes. Slight note though, it’s al fresco dining, so better to go on nights with a hefty slathering of bug spray before you go.

I also got to try Coco’s on my first night there and Mr. and Mrs. treated me to a good dinner after not being able to wake up to pick me up at the airport – yes, that’s the 2nd time I brought that up. Other than the pizza, I forgot what other food we ordered because I didn’t bring my camera that night. But I do remember that everything was good. I think we had chicken. Something was spicy, was it the pizza? Coco’s is along Torres too, in front of the Davao Convention Center – I’d recommend it, totally. But it’s one of those TGIFriday’s sort of menu with pizza, chicken, ribs and roasts and chops and sizzling plates of everything. Wait… no erase that, no sizzling plates.

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