Comforting and familiar flavors, lovingly preserved for over half a century, continue to be favorites among loyal diners at Casa Marcos. Classic, timeless dishes from a bygone era brought back with that distinct Casa Marcos touch.
At Casa Marcos, you can still enjoy these same dishes, the signature Heritage Recipes, and many other old favorites. I've always returned to Casa Marcos for their classic gambas and almejas with a few rounds of beer (see my previous post here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2012/01/bringing-back-good-times-at-casa-marcos.html), and one late afternoon, it was time to go back to sample real classics in a nostalgic culinary trip back in time...
Since 1945, Casa Marcos has been serving traditional Spanish and Filipino cuisine to loyal diners. Marcos de Guisasola, a Spanish national, first opened the restaurant that bears his name along Roxas Boulevard. Among the first of many regular customers was Ben del Rosario, and the two immediately struck a close friendship.
When Marcos de Guisasola returned to Spain, Ben del Rosario took over to continue the business in the late fifties. Through the years, Casa Marcos has become famous for its authentic Spanish Gambas, Paella, and Steak ala Pobre with crisp garlic bits and other comforting classics to generations of loyal patrons. The restaurant remained with the family of the late Ben del Rosario, with the third generation managing the day-to-day operations. The classic dishes still remain on the menu, continuing the legacy of Marcos de Guisasola and Ben del Rosario. Casa Marcos's signature dinner rolls, miniature versions of their classic pandesal baked in traditional wood-fired brick ovens, start your experience at Casa Marcos. Fresh from the oven, the dinner rolls are perfect with a dab of butter.
Tenderloin Tips (P 320), sliced tenderloin tips with roasted garlic in olive oil, served with thick cut fries and green beans. The savory and tender beef is rich with flavor, as the olive oil and garlic add more layers of comforting flavors. Best as is, or with garlic fried rice, or better yet, with an ice cold beer. I fondly remember my dad enjoying this dish with a beer on late afternoon weekends at the original branch along Roxas Boulevard, savoring each piece of tender beef with garlic, followed by a gentle sip of beer. And after all these years, the familiar flavors of this dish still bring me back to those happier times.
Kalderetang Usa (P 525), a slow-cooked stew with lean yet tender chunks of venison in a rich tomato sauce with bell peppers and potatoes. Long before processed meat took over our freezers, the previous generation enjoyed big game meats. Casa Marcos continues this tradition with its Kaderetang Usa, with venison stewed in a rich brown sauce. Lean and tender, the flavors are pure and clean, without any gamey flavor.
Callos (P 365), the classic Spanish dish with tripe, chorizo, and garbanzos slow cooked for hours in a rich and thick sauce. A childhood favorite, this dish still remains at the top of my list every time I visit Casa Marcos. The soft and tender beef tripe almost melt in your mouth, with a rich and comforting sauce, as the peppers add a subtle layer of sweet notes. Paired with the signature dinner rolls of Casa Marcos, or with rice, this dish always brings me back to happier times.
Wild game returns with two more classic dishes from Casa Marcos, Snipes (P 275), native quail prepared in the traditional adobo style, stewed with vinegar and pepper for that rich sauce...
...and Tapang Baboy Damo (P 395), crisp, fried strips of lean wild boar, served with french fries and green beans. Best with some garlic fried rice and the classic Marcos Sauce, a blend of olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices. Traditional flavors with a nostalgic and familiar note, and still bestsellers at Casa Marcos after all these years.
For the loyal diners of Casa Marcos, it's comforting to know that Casa Marcos continues to serve these Heritage Recipes, offering diners a unique taste of the past. And Casa Marcos remains in good hands, with Muffin Galvez (L), the third generation running the business and Mang Buddy (R), who's been with Casa Marcos since 1981, always ready to serve you.
Casa Marcos is located at Ortigas Home Depot, Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City or call 470-3637 for inquiries.
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