Ozark Diner: “Grinnin’ like a possum eatin’ a sweet tater.”
Howdy, y’all! Ready to … … read about our Ozark Diner experiences? (Rightie-o, it’s two visits so far because it appears I’m super excited about Southern dishes. Maybe that’s because I want to taste true blue shrimp and grits so bad; darn you, The Taste! Or … maybe it’s because I know I’m getting it authentic from Chef Kevin who hails from Arkansas and balikbayan, Sir Albert. \m/)
As I have mentioned before, meeting like-minded (and like-tummied) people through this blog is such a huge bonus and this doesn’t just mean people who like to eat but people who love to make good food for these gourmands; so much so that they’ve turned their passion and skill into a business.
Table for Two at Ozark
As soon as I heard about Ozark Diner, my brother and I came ’round the mountain to Bakakeng where we got a taste of Nashville fried chicken, hoppin’ John, biscuits, a packed hamburger with delicious, delicious fries from the diner’s soft opening menu. In contrast to what I like, the flavors of our orders were pretty mild. Takes a lot of getting used to I guess but then I got a bite of my brother’s hamburger with a startlingly spicy pickle. Interesting sensation that was that while eating my biscuits topped with hoppin’ John (more on that later), I thought of asking if they sold the pickles by the bottle too. =D
For dessert, I was hoping to get a piece of the chef’s famous beer cheesecake (one of the special desserts served at the Manila Polo Club, guys) but since it wasn’t available that day due to ‘Murphy’s Law’ cream cheese (there when you don’t need it, unavailable when you do *heeharhar), I went for apple pie. When it was delivered to the table at the end of the meal, my sibling and I just had a forkful each of this pie loaded with juicy apple slices. Ohh, my, sooo fulll. We got this to go with another slice for my foodie loved ones to sample.
Joyeux Anniversaire a la New Orleans (A Private Dining Setup)
And so we have returned! P3 (yey, together again) +5 started with a wide selection of the diner’s beverages. The shakes were truly cooling; just what we needed for a warm summer evening. The iced tea was another mildly flavored thing but we, especially my niece who dislikes the strongly flavored and sickly sweet teas of the mainstream, all appreciated how real the tea tasted.
For our first course, we spread rillette, chicken galantine, and mustard on brioche that the Chef and his crew baked. (They bake all of their breads here. Yes, even the sesame bun used for the hamburger.) Topped with a pickled vegetable or two, this made for zingy appetizing bites. Man, that galantine, an instant fave! ^^,
Once every morsel of the first course was gone, we got our second plate: Eggy fluffy pudding with small shrimps (think a sprinkling of okoy) that made Race think about palabok (I wonder why *teehee) . It came with creole salsa and a bigger (adult?) shrimp that we seasoned with a squeeze of lemon.
… and more buttery crumbly biscuits that I hesitated to touch as I was now familiar with their tummy filling qualities. =)
I did zone in on the black eyed peas which was cooked slowly with smoked ham hock. It reminded me of a regular viand we had at home when my grandmother took charge of the day’s menu. Come to me tender pieces of meat with jelly-like fat. *drooling like Homer Simpson
By this time, a few of us were already getting worried about eating more. We wanted to keep on gorging ourselves in the delectable plates that the Chef had planned for us but we started feeling like our stomachs were about to explode. We bravely soldiered on – such is the challenge of writing about food and places where to eat in Baguio; you’re welcome, my foodie friends. *hihi
For our third course, we each got a hunk of grilled pork that came with two sides, the back and the front. =)) I’m pulling your leg; sides were a delightfully creamy mashed potato and a mix of cabbage shreds and apple slivers. That was sort of an acquired taste because apart from a seasoning I couldn’t quite place, the cooked apple also threw me. Definitely, something new for most Filipino palates. (I liked it. ~That was my sister speaking.) It was the pork chop that kept all of us munching on despite our impending fullness; masterfully cooked, tender and tasty.
Drum roll for the dessert! Yes, it’s beer cheesecake! Rich, cheesy and to me, the beer tasted like burnt caramel, Y-U-M. Now I know how I want my beer/alcoholic beverage … in cheesecake please! (“,)
The Morning After
For breakfast today are Ozark’s sticky gooey cinnamon rolls that were squishy, soft and dee-lish on the inside.
Sweet and gluey, the way you want it for your cinnamon buns? Et voila, extra cups of syrup. There you go. *drizzle, drizzle
X marks Ozark Diner for good food in Baguio. As per the advice of Sir Daniel when we asked him about which bottle of wine to pair with food, he said, we should keep drinking/eating to find out what we like and not be afraid to try new things … especially since Chef Kevin and Sir Albert have brought this dining experience to us. We don’t have to endure a 14 hour flight to the US to try something new and authentically Southern American. Their food is in the City of Pines for the taking, COME and GET IT! *dinner bell rings
Ahh, we’re as full as ticks on a fat dog. \m/
Food: and for my new cheesecake favorite, ***MSG free food! (food offerings are free of monosodium glutamate – as per menu/restaurant staff member. Please ALWAYS CONFIRM with your attendant/server/waiter to be on the safe side. ^^,)
UPDATE 09/20/2014: After an x number of visits to the diner (many times, with Chef Kevin indulging me with my taste testing requests – making me my own sili labuyo cheesecake, smoking ribs in the oven and preparing a shrimp and grits special, etc.), Ozark has to be filed under the ‘Comfort in the Familiar, X’s favorites’ category.
Bareng Drive corner Bakakeng Road
(Attached below is a screen shot of the diner’s location from Google Maps for your reference. Behind SLU. Once you reach the bottom of the street where you see the school’s track oval, there’s a little road going left and up. Watch out for the deceptively simple structure with a red door beside the monolithic Arc student accommodation.)
Baguio City, Philippines
0947 445 0873
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Search for Good Baguio Food
X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
Its (prosaic =b) contents are meant to help with the question “san tayo?”/where do we go? in relation to eating out in Baguio, to ENCOURAGE EXPLORING (eatsploring) and TRYING NEW THINGS offered in the City of Pines.
By all means, eat where you want to eat and eat what you want to eat. May you have a great experience with all the places you visit and may all the restaurants you go to deserve a ton of treasure chests! (“,)
(Also, if you have any second thoughts about a certain place you arrive at, please DON'T LET THIS BLOG BE THE REASON YOU ARE FORCED into ending up anywhere. If the restaurant doesn’t have what you want, please FEEL FREE TO WALK AWAY.)
Who Picks Up the Tab? ^^,
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