Sunday, June 5, 2011

Casa Marcos the Rebirth


My parents, especially my father loved the old Casa Marcos in Roxas Boulevard.  When it closed down in 2000 they were really sad.  They have very fond memories of this restaurant.  Apart from the great food, they loved the exceptional service of the wait staff, especially Mang George the waiter.  I remember that whenever I was fortunate enough to tag along with my parents, Mang George always had a friendly smile and greeted us at the entrance.  He would then lead us to our table, and immediately serve us their famous hot pandesal and butter.  Then he would inform my Dad if his favorites were available, take our order, then come back with the Casa Marcos' special iced tea.

So when I learned that Casa Marcos has re-opened in Taguig we had to check it out. Dad was looking forward to because it has been over a decade since he had  his favorites - almejas, prawns thermidore, adobong baboy damo, usa, callos and of course the pandesal. I thought that the new Casa was located in McKinley hill when we did not find it there.  I searched for the correct address in ClickTheCity.com. The new Casa is located in Burgos Circle, Taguig. 

We arrived lunch time, and since it was still early there was no crowd yet.  We were happy to see that Dad's favorites were still on the menu.  For appetizers we ordered almejas, Dad and 1st Brother ordered sopa de mariscos.  For their main courses they ordered adobong baboy, usa, and tenderlion tips. Dad was trying to convince me to order my old favorite prawns thermidore but since I had a heavy breakfast all I ordered was Caesar Salad. And I was hoping to load up on the free hot pandesal, just like when I was a little girl. 

While waiting for the food to be served we were exchanging stories about the old Casa Marcos, the table across us was doing the same.  I guess everyone was nostalgic about the old Casa Marcos, and was anticipating that the new one would live up to it's name. 

I have to apologize for the quality of the following photos.  I could not do any styling because my parents don't fully grasp the concept of blogging and why I need to take pictures of the food.  So I had to take these shots in haste. 

Almejas and hot pandesal
When the almejas and the hot pandesal arrived our first reaction was that of surprise because both have shrunk in size.  1st Brother was the first one to say "Di ba mas malaki itong mga ito noon?"  In the old Casa Marcos the clams used for the almejas were huge and succulent.  The clams in the new Casa are very small, we were quite disappointed.  And the pandesal too were tiny bite-sized pieces.  We were used to large hot toasted pandesal in the old Casa. 


Still delicious but wish the clams were bigger.  Since the clams are now tiny they tend to dry up, while in the old Casa since they used huge clams it remained succulent and juicy to the bite. 


Sopa de Mariscos (Creamy Seafood Bouillabaisse in Light Tomato Soup)
Only Dad and 1st Brother ordered this soup.  1st Brother liked it however Dad was not able to finish his, so he passed it over to me.  I don't remember having this soup in the old Casa.  I found the soup to be just ok.  It tasted like tomato sauce used for pasta dishes, but if you like to tomato soup this should satisfy you.

Caesar Salad
The Caesar Salad had too much cheese and the dressing was too thick for my preference.

Add caption
Mom ordered this usa dish, which I can't recall what it was called, I refer to it as Bambi's Mom.  My Mom liked the dish very much.  But when we got home she told me that she just said that so as not to upset Dad further. She found the dish to be too sour.

Adobong Baboy Damo
Dad was excited to eat this dish, however he was very disappointed.  He told us that it tasted very different from that of the old Casa's recipe.  He said that the dish had too much pepper, it was overpowering.  He only took two bites.  1st Brother offered to share with Dad his order of tenderloin tips, this Dad found ok and was able to finish the tips. 

Overall I have to say that our experience with the new Casa was quite disappointing.  The food was okay  however it could not compare to the Old Casa Marcos.  The food then was rich in flavor and the quality was exceptional.  I guess our lunch can be compared to the build-up one feels when meeting up with an old flame whom you imagine to still look the same as the last time you saw them many years ago.  Only to finally see them and discover that they have changed so much over the years, and you just don't feel the same way about them anymore.

One thing in common that the new Casa has with the old one is the good service.  The wait staff, especially Jose, I believe is his name, was very attentive and friendly.  Mang George would have been very proud of that. 

17 comments:

Jill said...

Awwww. For someone who was used to the "old" Casa Marcos, I think I get your sentiments. Maybe if I also tried the old one, I would also have expectations. :)

jigs javier said...

I guess it would be too good to be true to find the new Casa Marcos on Burgos Circle would be as wonderful and special as the original Casa Marcos, of which I too had fond and delicious memories. I sort of remember Mang George too. After reading your blog, I'm not sure I want to go now to this new one — I don't want it to spoil my happy memories of the original Casa Marcos.

Eileen said...

Hi Jigs, did not want to discourage anyone with my post. Try it out maybe your experience will be better, and you can add to your happy memories :)

Cecille said...

I have a lunch appointment in casa Marcos this coming Tuesday, precisely for the pan de sal. I'm having thoughts about going there now...

I like your comparison of the new Casa Marcos to an old flame... it's always like that when they revive things, places, movies - the new one pales in comparison.

I have fond memories of the olf Casa Marcos both in Roxas Blvd (with my parents) and in Valencia St. (as a grown up).

Eileen said...

Hi Cecille. I hope that your appointment goes well. I encourage you to still go there, your experience might be better than ours :)

Anonymous said...

While reading the comments, it seems we all had something in common--happy memories of Casa Marcos. My dad would alternately bring us to Casa Marcos at Dewey Blvd. (now Roxas Blvd) or to Alba's at Florida Street (if I recall the street correctly). For me, heaven was succulent almejas with hot pan de sal at Casa Marcos or thick Sopa de Mariscos at Alba's.

We shall be bringing our children and apos to Casa Marcos this weekend and although I do not have high expectations (because one always goes away disappointed), it is enough to relive those days when there were no fast foods, so we had the good fortune of knowing what really good food is all about.

Eileen said...

To Anonymous, yes really happy memories and excellent food, that is what Casa Marcos meant for their old customers. Hope your visit with your kids and apos will create more happy family memories :)

Gayle said...

I guess having the same "name" is not a guarantee that they'll be serving same tasting dishes. I'm not familiar with Casa Marcos but since my family loves dining out, we already accepted the fact that different branches offer different tastes......more of psychological thing so we won't be frustrated, hihi!

Sarah Olayvar said...

I've never been to any part of Luzon except the NAIA Airport.:) As I look into some of your post, it just made me missed a lot of good Filipino dishes. Like in this post, I miss pan de sal so much! Will try to practice baking one so i could have them during breakfast or anytime of the day.:)

Lizzie said...

I love clams and I wish to visit Casa Marcos, too!

Matsumoto said...

For a restaurant with such reputation I would also hurry up taking photos and eat instead...changing times, changing cooks may be a problem - flavor changes...oh my!

Joanna said...

Great metaphor on past love and your past with Casa Marcos.

I hope they will improve, and be able to replicate the gourmet experience that the old Casa Marcos was able to give to their patrons.

Is there a way of writing Casa Marcos feedbacks? I'm sure they will be gracious since one has good motives - helping them improve.

Before I end, I have to share that I giggled in the part where you wrote about having to hastily do the photographing of the food. It's the same with me but it's with my daughters! They understand about blogging, only they have little patience (most of the time) with me taking pictures of our food in restaurants (or at home!) before we could finally eat. :D

Algene said...

I also apologize when I don't get a chance to take beautiful shots of the foods served on our table especially when my fellow foodies want to dine immediately after the meals are served. LOL

Mitchteryosa said...

I feel your sentiments. It's really disappointing.

Badet said...

This is the first time I heard of Casa Marcos. But I feel sad that the new restaurant wasn't able to deliver and continue the same good food of old Casa Marcos.

Sumi Go said...

I haven't heard of Casa Marcos, but I can sympathize. There are some restos bf and I love where the quality of food had already changed. Not really bad, but not as good as they used to be.

Donna Jane Marcuap said...

I love the Almejas and the hot pandesal for breakfast. Almejas sounds unique and delicious :)

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