Congested roads, expected long lines at the ATM, jam-packed bars/restaurants and excited yuppies are the usual Friday night phenomena. Here in Manila, people usually get together for dinner and drinks to celebrate the end of another stressful week and to welcome the promising weekend ahead. Some go to fancy places while others go to laidback ones. As for me, I prefer the latter more, especially when I'm not in the mood to read difficult dish names or dress up. And so one promising night, my friends decided to bring me to Makati City's Central BBQ Boy Grill.
I have been hearing a lot of good things about Central- cheap eats, delicious grubs, good alcoholic mixes and laidback atmosphere. It's the kind of place you can always go to where people don't care much about whatever fashion trend you're wearing. It's the kind of place where everyone just wants to have a good time. In Makati City alone, they already have 2 branches: there's one in Malugay, dubbed as Makati 1, and there's one beside Cash & Carry, dubbed as Makati 2. Since we're near the Pasong Tamo area, we opted for Makati 1.
The moment we stepped inside, the place was bustling with people. Waiters were everywhere- serving plateful of food, serving pitchers of mixed drinks, carrying buckets of beer. Standing near the entrance and on almost every corner were the heavy-built bouncers, making sure that no brawl will ever happen in the establishment. We all know how it is when people get drunk. As soon as we reached the table given to us, I immediately scanned the menu. Since my friends frequent Central, they did most of the ordering. We got some potato wedges, a couple sticks of grilled chicken ass, grilled hotdogs and other finger food items. Of course, we ordered their famous Bad Trip- a mix of vodka, white rum, gin and juice. We're not aiming to get drunk so we just ordered one pitcher.
It took quite some time, more or less about 20 minutes, for our orders to be served. And when they finally arrived, we knew it was game time!
Cheesy Potato- PHP150.00
Buttman (Grilled Chicken Ass)- PHP25.00/stick and Hotdog ni Boy (Grilled hotdog)- PHP30.00
Chicken Tenders- PHP95.00
Chicharon Bulaklak- PHP115.00
My favorite amongst the items we ordered was the Cheesy Potato! The lightly-coated potato wedges were crispy on the outside but moist on the inside. The melted cheese and sour cream added more flavor to the dish. Diced tomatoes and green chillis gave that balance and kick. The moment I tasted the potatoes, I instantly knew that this dish is going to be a staple in all my orders in Central whenever I come visit. As for the grilled varieties, I most especially loved the hotdog. The hotdog is nothing special because everyone can easily buy it in the supermarket. But the secret is the sauce. The sweet, tangy and mildly spicy basting plus the smoky aroma from the grilling process created that distinct flavor that can't easily be replicated at home. The Chicharon Bulaklak, which are deep-fried mesenteries/linings of the pig's intestines, was also a good bar chow. Bad Trip might be the name of the drink we ordered but it didn't bring us any feelings of displeasure. It was like drinking a cold juice with a hint of sweetness, sourness and bitterness. The first few shots will make you feel like you're only quenching a thirst- no kick, no heat. But as you take one shot after another, you'll soon feel the rise in body temperature and lightheadedness brought about by the effects of alcohol. More pitchers and more shots will soon make everyone at the table behave, in one way or the other, like primates. Now that's a pure indication of a successful drinking session!
All in all, we had an awesome time. Aside from the cheap and good eats, we also enjoyed the pop/club music blaring from the speakers. So the next time you want to just chill and have a good time, head over to Central. There's always one nearest you.