Saturday, April 24, 2010
Justin and I made a very wise parenting decision today. We analyzed the situation, debated the possible outcomes, and ultimately decided that taking the entire family to meet friends at the Sofitel buffet for brunch today would not be the smartest choice. Instead we drove to Ristra's Mexican Grill for burritos. Yes, the Sofitel is an amazing culinary experience, and yes, both Justin and I were salivating at the thought of all those choices weighing the cost ($100 for two adults) and our companions (two little girls under three years old) we ended up making the best decision. Ristra's is "Chipotle-lite". We were introduced to this Mexican joint a few months back by our good friends Kristi and Brian. Like everything else he does, Brian had put some research into this place so he could not only show us this little Mexican haven in Manila but also give us some facts about it's origination. Apparently, a Filipino American man who was living and working/attending college in the States decided to copy Chipotle back in his home country. Ristra's is the outcome. It's definitely modeled after Chipotle. They do a great job with the cilantro-lime rice, as well as the pulled pork, and add-ons like guacamole and pico de gallo. Plus they import Rogue Ale from Oregon! On the other hand the chicken leaves everything to be desired (spongey P.I. chicken) and the salsa tastes more like spaghetti sauce than salsa (so sad when it reaches your tongue and ultimately disappoints). That being said, it's the best Mexican we get here. The little dinning area has high chairs and we've never had a problem finding seating. The price is definitely right at about 300 pesos per burrito. In the end it doesn't matter if we are at the Sofitel or at Ristra's; it's always Mom who splits her food with both girls and eats the remnants herself after everyone has had their fill. Bella shoveled avocado, beans, and rice while Addie picked at her rice and munched on the chips (Bella's in a growth spurt while Addie has plateaued for a while). Both girls ate a total of 10 bites combined then in unison declared it was time to go home. Also as usual, I shoved the last mangled bites of my burrito in my mouth, wrapped up the second half to-go, grabbed our stuff and we hit the road (I call this the unintentional diet plan for Moms). As the three of us serenaded Arabella with "Old McDonald" on the ride home to calm her tears Justin and I concluded we had made the right choice for lunch today. Ristra's was just what we needed.