June 2, 2009
Ristras, Mexican Grill
J. Abad Santos Street, San Juan
We decided to try this newly opened resto by Chef Robby Goco and partners called Ristas, Mexican Grill. Chef Robby is known for his creations like Cyma and Charlie's Grind & Grills. I've been hearing and reading raves about Ristas from fellow bloggers like Fran and Anton so even if Mexican food is not necessarily the healthier option after a round at the gym, we (against better judgement) followed our stomachs instead. Thanks to Philip (manager) for accommodating us and for being a gracious host. He told us which dishes were the ones to order.
Steak Burrito - The meat was really tender and was not stringy. The serving was really big and the burrito itself was jam-packed with other fixins. The initial thing I liked about the burrito was the fact that you could choose what you actually put inside your meal. Having control over your dish is a pretty good thing, since people are very particular with specific ingredients inside the burrito like beans and/or jalepeños.
The burrito was their best seller and now I know why. It was best I've ever tasted, even surpassing Zapatas. As I experienced every bite of my order, I thought to myself: At least, I don't need to go to Pampanga anymore to get some good Mexican food. Every bite seemed better and better, the burrito had so much complex and contrasting flavors. It was really an explosion of flavors in one dish.
Soft Tacos with (1) Chicken, (2) Carnitas, and (3) Barbacoa - The soft taco was amazing. The Carnitas (pork) and Barbacoa (beef) had pretty strong flavors compared to the mild Chicken. This may be the main reason why I liked the Chicken more because it absorbed the other ingredients from the taco instead of changing the dimension of the taco, overshadowing its overall flavor. Generally, it was a good sampling of the soft tacos and I wouldn't mind ordering it again. Next time I'm ordering ALL chicken! :)
I was really hoping to find some fish tacos though but unfortunately it wasn't part of the menu. Fish tacos are a classic in Mexico. Maybe they can have some here at Ristras next time, what do you think?
Albondigas Soup - Their version of a classic soup dish was very very good! It was very hearty and flavorful. The meatballs were amazing and excellently prepared. As I sampled the soup, I couldn't help but feel comfort from it. The timing was perfect. Nothing beats sipping on some warm and hearty soup on a cold and rainy night.
This new creation of Chef Robby is really sort of a Mexican taco/burrito bar that really requires no complex descriptions. It is as straightforward and direct as it sounds. Currently on their soft opening, the service is impeccable and the food great. Keeping it as straightforward and direct myself, Ristas definitely holds the record as the biggest, baddest, best burrito I've ever tasted!