By J & C (the tell-it-as-it-is food critics)
Ed’s Note: Food Finds is a review segment by our contributors — Metro Manila-based entrepreneurs, J & C.
Voucher Used: None
Number of Diners: 2
Ever since we discovered it around 10 years ago, this barbeque place has already moved twice, yet all three locations have the same carinderia atmosphere. The current spot is way more spacious and well-lit than the first two, but is still very hot and dry despite its attempt to properly duct the smoke coming out from its custom-made charcoal grill. The current place can accommodate more diners, so unlike the days of the first two locations, customers no longer have to wait for a table to be seated.
What We Ordered:
Pork Barbecue @ PhP24 / stick
These sticks of porky goodness are the ultimate reason we keep coming back to this eatery. During our more than fifty visits to this place, we never fail to order them. The sweet and savory marinade along with the wonderful smoky flavor makes these barbeque very good and irresistible; and each bite is so “tenderfully” juicy that whether you take a mouthful directly from the stick or you try to cut the pieces first with your spoon and fork is no problem at all. Even if the serving size has somewhat dwindled over the years, a stick or two or three or four or five or six (we actually lost count of our record) will make a lovely pair with 1 or 2 cups of steaming white rice.
TIP 1: Danny-Licious barbecue + Danny-Licious sawsawan = a match made in porky heaven. The in-house sweet and not so sour vinegar-based sawsawan has a few bits of onion and bird’s eye chili that altogether complements the barbecue so well.
TIP 2: This place always serves its barbecues freshly grilled, so prepare yourselves for a little wait. Those extra minutes are well worth it though, because the fresh ones are clearly more Danny-licious. Not to worry if you plan to take some home, because they are still very good… plus it gives you the chance to add more onions to the sawsawan!
Bicol Express @ PhP60
This is J’s personal favorite. He always eats an order of this with a full cup of rice, while waiting for the barbecues to cook. This pork dish stewed in coconut milk is the perfect saucy starter to your meal. The thick coconut sauce, which is on the sweet side, when added with a few dabs of patis, and spread over hot plain rice is pure satisfaction. C however thinks this dish is more like the general ginataang baboy than the more specific Bicol express. And since C has had 2 or 3 better carinderia versions of ginataang baboy, this dish’s final rating ended up with just 4 stars.
Ensaladang Talong @ PhP35
Any grilled protein is always better when eaten with a side of achara or in this case, a supposedly sweet-and-sour ensaladang talong. This version is all sweet and no sour though, which is quite sad because everything else is perfect – the slightly char-flavored eggplant is prepared well; and the diced onions and tomatoes make the salad very fresh.
Despite the poor ventilation and the not so clean environment, we still give this place a full five stars. Every meal at Danny-Licious always leave us with full bellies, ear-to-ear smiles, and satisfying meat sweats all over our faces.
This place can quickly become jam-packed during rush hours. With only one or two servers-cum-dishwashers available at multitasking from taking orders, to serving food, to computing bills, to looking for change for a PhP500 or PhP1000 bill payment and more, one needs to be ready to stretch those arms and clear that throat to call their attention.
If you use the carinderia standard, then this place is not cheap. But if you consider this place as an alternative to your fast food or low-to-mid-range casual diners, then you’ve found your food nirvana. At PhP120 per person, you’re already giving yourself a treat!
Until we find a place with superior pork barbecues, this will always be one of our choicest affordable comfort food destinations. This kind of spot-on Filipino cooking skill is what will keep every local diner going back for more and every foreign one for at least one try.
Location: 176 C Kalantiaw St., Project 4, Quezon City
Contact No.: +63946-370-9990
Hours: Mon-Sat @ 10am-9/10pm [Sun – optional (sometimes open, sometimes closed)]