Route 55: Good Food Bringing a Dead Zone to Life
Legarda Road is a long road starting off at the Heritage Mansion and ending at the intersection of Marcos Highway/Ben Palispis Highway. When there are lots of shops, hotels, restaurants and other kinds of businesses in the first part of the road; the latter part is mainly a dead zone of sorts. Just to prove my point, a huge building that has never been finished stands in the vicinity as a marker. Passing by that section of Legarda at night, it even seems as though the street lights are dimmer and the air colder. *whoooo =b
With the opening of more businesses in the dead zone, this area of Legarda Road is slowly being brought to life. Speaking of restaurants; there was Chaya, then there was Sinamak and now, there’s Route 55. Coming from the highway, the Route 55 sign is a beacon to weary and hungry travelers. (If you’re coming from the other side of the road, just keep your eyes peeled, the restaurant is just after Pines View Hotel.)
Walking into the restaurant, I got a diner feel from colors of its walls. Red, black and yellow were used to make patterns that got me thinking about the Grand Prix. ”Ka-chow!” They also had a road design on the ceiling (simple but cool, I thought). The counter resembles a bar what with the bottled drinks stored on the shelf. It wasn’t cozy but it was a nice enough place to eat. *heee
Our attendant greeted us at the door. He gave me my pick of the tables and I choose the one by the window (not that there was a nice view – only a vacant lot overgrown with marapait but anyway =b). He then handed us the menu and told us about the best sellers in Route 55: ribs, sandwiches and burgers and wings. Scanning the menu, we were glad for his guidance because there were so many dishes to choose from.
Going with our (cute *hihi – he was a petite sort of guy with a petite voice to go with his stature and the Santa hat he was wearing made him look even more adorable. =D) attendant’s recommendation, Race chose the Route 55 ribs. One had the option of eating this with rice or with mash potatoes. Race got mash potatoes. And still there was another choice to be made of having it drenched with gravy or sour cream. Race got the sour cream topping. I was still having a hard time picking when I saw ravioli under the pasta category. (Ravioli, really, truly? Goodbye, Chef Boyardee!) For drinks, we got their cold blends, coffee butterscotch crunch and coffee mint crunch. (Brace yourself for the blender noise. It’s like some rowdy bunch started drag racing in Route 55 . *heehaha)
Our cold blends arrived at the table first. True to form, my drink was butterscotch-y. There wasn’t much of the crunch though but I didn’t mind, I got that from the small piece of peanut brittle stuck on the cream topping of the drink. I took a sip of Race’s drink too and was thoroughly impressed. It wasn’t that coffee flavored but then it wasn’t what I expected either. I like minty things (e.g. chocolate) and this just had a hint of mint in it. It’s not like what my brother would refer to as ‘like eating toothpaste’. He’d like this drink. ^^, It’s when you swallow that the mint flavor bursts in your mouth. It provided for a wonderful sensation and taste.
When the ravioli was being delivered to us, I almost squealed with delight at the sight of the plate. I was famished, you see, but when it was laid on the table, my bubble popped The plate was huge yes, but the part where the ravioli was, was small. (Cue cartoon sound effects of being disappointed/foiled – the one that goes “hwe hwe hhhwwwwwe”.) Race’s order was then brought to the table and it had an even bigger plate. (Diner looking digs, but fine dining plates/presentation…innnnteresting =D).
And so we started eating. Race said the ribs were perfectly cooked; tender meat – easy to clean away off the bones. The salad was okay (overshadowed by everything else on the plate). The mashed potatoes with sour cream was a smash! Getting a spoonful of it, I concur, it really is a smash! The potatoes and the sour cream, so happy together. \m/ For my ravioli, the shiitake mushroom flavor was stronger than the spinach flavor. However, it was creamy good and filling (taught me a lesson not to judge a dish by its presentation =b). I would’ve liked the pasta to have more cheese on it though, or maybe a little sprinkling of salt… that’s just me, uber flavors for Ms. Salty.
With Race having two meaty ribs on his plate, the mashed potatoes wasn’t enough so he got an extra order of that. (Yey! (“,)) We also ordered their panacotta shots for dessert. Having finished everything off of our (giant) plates, we attacked the dessert. The panacotta shots came in three flavors, pandan (I think that was), strawberry and coffee. The flavors were pretty mild and you have to roll the panacotta around in your mouth a bit to really taste it (namnamin!/savor it!). For the pandan flavored one, more so. I have to mention that I loved the sliver of fruit used as a topping for the pandan panacotta. I think that was pear and it was seared just a bit and so its natural sugars became a glaze, yum yum! Essentially, it was a great finish to a fabulously filling meal.
And so this section of Legarda Road is no longer a dead zone and it’s all because of great places like Route 55. X marks Route 55 for good food in Baguio. Find yourself on Legarda Road? Look alive and head on down to Route 55!
Service: Kudos for helpful and accommodating staff. At the end of our meal, our (adorable) attendant asked us what we thought. Comments and suggestions for improvement, he said. Nice! We had a good experience now, what more in the future? Route 55 by Hernan’s Kitchen is making its way to the top. \m/
55 Legarda Road
Baguio City, Philippines
*** This blog post is dedicated to Joanne. Thanks for asking me about this place. I was compelled to visit just to give you my take on it. (Ikaw sana kasama ko eh *harhar. Not to worry, we’ll go to the other place you asked me about. ^^,)
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