In most cases, we eat at a restaurant to try out something new. We’ll often never run out of food to taste with the number of different kinds of restaurants out there. However, there are times when we just want to eat home cooked Filipino food and in Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes we found comfort.
We learned of Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes from Instagram whereby they had been actively tagging our Instagram account. After some time, Mr. Dan of Gabe’s got in touch with us and invited us to visit their restaurant to sample some of their dishes. We didn’t hesitate to accept it as we read good reviews of them from our fellow foodies and food bloggers.
Although the restaurant is a bit difficult to find for first-timers and those who are unfamiliar of the area, don’t let it discourage you from trying it out. Somehow the food experience is better when a place is hidden and we have to find it, don’t you agree?
Anyway, we got there just fine with the right information. We utilized Waze, slowed down upon seeing the restaurants Hoy Panga and Nathaniel’s, and parked in the parking slot reserved for their customers. Finally, we went up the second floor of the YDG building.
When riding an Uber/Grab car or a taxi going to this place just take note that it’s near Hoy Panga and Nathaniel’s.
Interior & Ambiance
Upon entering, the first in the line of sight is the cashier counter with simple decor. What we loved was the beautiful wooden Gabe’s signage which was a perfect focal point.
The look and feel of the place were pretty much what they were aiming for.
It is really a simple place that feels right at home with positive quotes/ messages lining up the walls, hanging industrial lamps and simple dining furniture. We have to note though that the flooring could use some renovation to make it more visually pleasing.
On another side of the wall is a board that will certainly catch anyone’s attention as it is pinned with colorful papers that have the messages of satisfied customers.
To top it all off, there is a corner with what could be regarded as the best area in the entire restaurant. You’ll see some of the owner’s memorabilia used as decor. And there are board games and card games available for use while waiting for the food to be served. If playing is not your thing, perhaps simply lounging at their comfortable couch may suit your taste.
For active kids, you may opt to bring them in this play area. This is actually a play area for tenants, but guests of the tenants may use it as well.
Gabe, the eldest son of the owners and to who the restaurant was named after, was so sweet to show it to us.
As mentioned above, Gabe’s specialty is Filipino cuisine. But there is actually an emphasis on popular dishes from Malabon, the hometown of the owner’s wife, thereby making it a little beyond comfort food. I have to say that they are one of the most generous restaurant owners yet for letting us try most of the dishes from their menu. No worries, as mentioned in our policy, compensation, in this case, free food will never influence the content made in our blog post.
For the purposes of this post, we will be doing a closer look at some of the dishes that stole our attention and/or delighted us so much.
The LAING WITH DILIS, PHP 90 (or 1.86 USD) was actually the first dish they served and I became a fan immediately as soon as I got my hands on it. Where most of the Laing that I’ve tried so far are a sloppy mess thanks to the excessive use of coconut milk, their take may actually look dry at plain sight, but it’s actually not. It’s thick with the right amount of spiciness and the anchovies added to it gave it a little bit of saltiness that surprisingly made it one of the best Laing I’ve tried yet.
For those who are not a fan of this supposedly really spicy dish, you’ll find it to your enjoyment. The extra chili that must make it extra spicy wasn’t cut so you can adjust the level of spiciness.
Their LENGUA, PhP 250 (or 5.16 USD) was loved by everyone in our group. We couldn’t help ourselves from scooping again and again from the bowl. It’s because its beef tongue has the right amount of tenderness, the creamy sauce has a balanced flavor, and it contains mushrooms.
Their KARE-KARE, PHP 200 (or 4.12 USD) at first glance doesn’t look anything special. Generous amounts of beef tripe (or what is referred to in Filipino as tuwalya) and vegetables were submerged in the rich, thick peanut sauce. We deem it great to be paired with plain white rice.
It was at my first bite that I noticed something different with it than what I’m used to. It turns out, they not only used ground peanuts, they also used peanut butter to give it a sweeter taste. Me-An was reminded of her mom’s cooking as her mom uses peanut butter too.
If there’s one thing you should immediately order in Gabe’s though, it has to be their CRUNCHY PORK SISIG NI GABE, Ph 185 (or 3.81 USD). The pork was sizzled to perfection and retains its crispiness even after a long time. Besides the typical ingredients of a sisig, they even put mayonnaise and their special sauce on top, adding creaminess to it.
When everything is mixed together, the result is a delicious sisig dish. I and Me-An super loved it that if ever we crave for sisig we think Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes will be the first place to pop in our minds.
The HORSEYLOG, PhP 115 (or 2.37 USD) is something that I didn’t actually expect to be served in a restaurant such as Gabe’s. We were told that horse meat is a delicacy amongst the people from Malabon.
Trying it for the first time, I couldn’t actually describe the taste at first. It has the texture of the beef, but tastes different at the same time, like it’s a tad sweeter or maybe it’s because of the marinate. I didn’t taste the hint of gaminess, which it supposedly has, and I found it nice.
For those adventure seekers out there, you should try it so you can say you’ve also eaten a horse.
Ended things on a sweet note with two of Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes restaurant’s desserts.
We felt nostalgia as we ate their FRIED OREOS A LA MODE, PhP 100 (or 2.06 USD). It reminded us of Flaming Wings’ wicked oreos which we used to eat in college.
The dessert is basically Oreos dipped in pancake batter then fried. As you can see above, it is then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and strawberry syrup. The dessert isn’t a Filipino one, but this simple dessert will surely be a crowd favorite for kids and kids-at-heart.
VALENCIA A LA MALABON, PhP 80 (or 1.65 USD). It is essentially a banana fritter or what we call in Filipino as turon. The popular Filipino dessert was made more special with the addition of ube and monggo beans. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, the seemingly ordinary dish is extraordinary when eaten all together.
Fun fact: The name valencia is what those who live in Malabon call their bananas.
Other food items you may want to try are the following:
LONGSILOG, PhP 100 (or 2.06 USD)
BAKED RIBS, PhP 190 (or 3.92)
YUMMY LECHON KAWALI, PhP 160 (or 3.30 USD)
PANCIT MALABON, PhP 100 (or 2.06 USD)
CRAB SANDWICH, PhP 100 (or 2.06 USD)
Their delicious food is best paired with their freshly squeezed LEMONADE, PhP 65 (or 1.34 USD) or their house blended ICED TEA, PhP 60 (or 1.24 USD).
Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes is Reasonable
Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes is one of those don’t judge a book by its cover cases. Indeed, it’s a typical Filipino restaurant as it doesn’t offer the trending fusion dishes and they offer food you can eat at home. However, it’s the little things that they put in their food that turns a seemingly ordinary Filipino dish into something special while staying true to the original recipe of the dish. We then don’t lose the sense of familiarity that may remind us of our parents’ or grandparents’ cooking which some of us may already dearly miss.
Ultimately, their simplicity, their affordability, the good serving size, and the way their Filipino dishes are cooked make them truly worth a visit no matter where their location may be. We especially recommend Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes to those who don’t have time to cook anymore, those who have been away from home for some time, those who are just craving for comfort Filipino food, and to our foreign friends who wants to try Filipino food.
Gabe’s Homegrown Dishes
2nd Floor, 219 Katipunan Avenue, YDG Building, Blue Ridge, Quezon City, Philippines.
Operating Hours: Everyday from 10AM to 10PM.
Check their Instagram.