Ribs and Bibs Cagayan de Oro
Red meat has not been in my grocery list for some time now. This is not to say, though, that we snub savory meat dishes on special occasions when they are served. Still, when I noticed that a new restaurant specializing in ribs opened in downtown Cagayan de Oro, I tried to be uninterested.
Then an invitation to try out RIBS AND BIBS came and I reconsidered my stand about red meat as I was curious what this diner-like outlet had to offer. Besides, it was another chance to meet up with my new blogger-friends.
Upon entering, I noticed how the interior was pleasantly designed. On the right side of the foyer hung photographs of old Cagayan showing historical glimpses of the old city. The diner's offerings are on a wall hanger on the other side of the foyer. More old photographs hung at the far end of the dining area and bric-a-bracs adorn ledges and nooks.
But the open kitchen was an interesting touch to the ambience. I just wish they'd improve the exhaust,though, as the smell of grilled food clung to our clothes long after we left the diner.
We were served their bestselling appetizer: crispy nachos slathered in beefy sauce topped with a cheesy dressing and mayonnaise.
As we munched on the nachos in between easy chatter, the main dish was served: falling-off-the-bones, tangy and sweet baby back ribs with creamy coleslaw and buttered vegetables on the side. I liked the coleslaw; it was not mushy. The cabbage and carrots still had the crunch that I look for in this side salad, with just the right amount of dressing.
There was also a platter of side dishes: sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potato and dips. I was trying to limit my serving and avoided helping myself to the side dishes. But looking at the mashed sweet potato, I thought it could use a more appealing presentation given that people are more familiar to the pale but creamy regular mashed potato that's usually served with gravy. I didn't get to taste the sweet potato fries, either, but having resorted to sweet potatoes as a more healthful snack lately, I gathered it tasted, as it should.
I was glad to note that Ribs & Bibs also serves pasta and we got to taste a house specialty - seafood pasta, my favorite! Tastefully presented in a wide-rimmed pasta dish, it had chunky bits of tomato, fat and juicy shrimp, tender cuts of squid, and plump mussels. The basil garnish made the dish look more appetizing. A couple of garlicky slices of baguette completed the dish. I must have been taking my time appreciating how the pasta was cooked al dente, as the next time Iooked the mussels were gone! Next time...
My husband, Gani, and our friend,Shiegfred, tagged along so I ordered two baskets of fried chicken and gravy and a serving of grilled chicken salad. Gani and Shiegfred liked the chicken because it was crispy and seasoned well that even the meat under the skin was tasty, unlike other fried chicken where the savory part was limited to the crispy exterior. I would have wanted the meat to be juicier.
The grilled chicken salad was as it should be - crispy lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber slices with a generous serving of grilled chicken slices topped with crumbled feta cheese, and served with a mayo-garlic dressing on the side.
Two slices of garlicky baguette made the dish a meal in itself. The chicken was not the usual pale, bland and grilled bits; it clearly was marinated in some soy, lemon, and a bit of sweetness (honey, perhaps?) given its rich brown color. Looks more appetizing this way.
Lunch was easy, casual and fun. Food was good, the company even better. We ordered coffee to cap the meal. I should have checked out the dessert list but then again, maybe it was a good thing I didn't. As the youngsters would say these days - diet pa more!
While the others were getting ready to leave, Gani took a photo of the function room. We might just try it out for one of our meetings.
Ribs & Bibs has a function room that can accommodate about 20 people and charges P 4,000 (consumable) for 4 hours' use.
Some points for the restaurateur to consider:
• The fried chicken could be juicier and served in less than 30 minutes.
• A wheelchair ramp at the entrance must be installed as required by the Building Code.
For reservation and inquiries, you can contact (088) 880 77 83 or 0917 309 9404. You can also contact them via the Ribs and Bibs Facebook Page.