don merto

i've passed by Casa Escaño (bed and breakfast) a number of times and i've always been curious about don merto, the restaurant.

i haven't heard any particular news about the place except for the fact that they offer buffets on certain days of the week. great if you're not a hindu and you have a craving for the buffet special: beef.

more interesting to me was the fact that a friend of mine is named after the grand patriarch of the Escaño clan, Don Mamerto Escaño.

running out of restaurant options, i asked mamerts for recommendation from don mertos and it was a bit of a surprise (and a tad disappointing) when he answered "burgers".

i am not really a burger person.

then he recommended "steak". fair enough, the place is known for steaks. except that again, it is not really high on my list.

armed with my camera, i drove to don mertos after sunday church services with ron to grab lunch. the other friends were all occupied that sunday. darn. was hoping there'd be more of us so i get to take pictures of their food.

there aren't much choices in the menu, but they do have the standard steaks, baby rack ribs, appetizers and castillan dishes that had me salivating with the thought of having lengua or callos.

then i got to the burgers section and finally understood why mamerts recommended THE burger.

for the record, don mertos serves possibly the BIGGEST burgers in Cebu City. at half a pound, it dwarfs the quarter pounder of mc donalds or even the 1/3rd pounder of jollibee.

served with a mound of fries and coleslaw, one serving is enough to cause the next great heart attack.

thoughts ran through my head of how i can possibly grab a bite without having a moustache of mustard, lettuce and pickles garnish my face.

ron made a try and almost ended with a lock jaw.

he ended up setting it down on the plate and cutting it up into smaller pieces. burger salad, anyone?

i wanted to order the callos or lengua but was intrigued by the chicken dish described as flakes of chicken wrapped in homemade flat egg noodle pastry and cooked in cream, layered with bechamel sauce and baked until the bechamel sauce start to turn brown.

fancy description but sadly, it was a tad boring, flat and tasteless. hearty serving? yes. but it's like eating calories without the gustatory satisfaction. probably the same effect if it was pureed and injected intravenously.

if the chicken was bland, the grilled aubergine in pesto as appetizer tasted like it was marinated in the dead sea. can you spell SALTY? i barely tasted the pesto. visual presentation? A+ but then again food is rarely used as a treatment for sore eyes. i found a better use for the aubergine by using it as a filler for the bread and tempered the flavor with butter.

that doesn't mean that i won't be coming back. there are still willing victims to be had. errr... i was referring to the lengua and callos. last night i visited with cousins and ordered burgers - a major hit that had everyone loosening their blouses and belts just a bit after the feeding program. think about it, you literally gain half a pound after the meal - back to the dungeons.


Barefoot Lady said…
PMS-ing are we?
Cacho said…
yup. every once in a while. and that is why i never accept invitation by restaurants to come and sample the food. i prefer to pay for my meals so i can honestly share what i really feel. besides, this is a hobby ha ha ha.

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