Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pork Barbecue

Which Pork Barbecue reigns supreme?

Some of our contestants, front-view

Food Magazine Editor-In-Chief Micky Fenix posed this question to us, challenging us to our next horizontal tasting: pork barbecue. Our parameters:

1. Must be commercially available, meaning, ANYONE can buy it. It cannot be some home-made specialty that is only cooked as a favor to someone.
2. Barbecue must be bought and eaten the same day.
3. No sauce and no sidings except plain rice. The barbecue must be judged on its own merits.

Our horizontal tasters chose 8 of the most popular ready-to-buy pork bbq and blind tasted. Our contestants: Amber's, Floring's, Heavens, Aling Nene, Ineng's, 3 Sisters, Reyes, and a BBQ from a home-based enterprise. From our line-up, you can see we chose from a a wide range of available barbecue from different price points: From cheap (Amber's was the cheapest at P15+delivery charge) to pedigreed (Floring's is by Chef Florabel) to a home-business.

.....and after a quarter-turn, their side-view. This is the beauty contest of barbecues!

We met at the Old Swiss Inn Makati branch, where prior arrangements had been made. The sticks of BBQ would be brought directly to the kitchen, where the kitchen staff would remove the meat from the sticks (saving 1 stick for picture taking), arranged on numbered white platters, and be kept warm while waiting for the lineup to be completed. When all 8 were accounted for and plated, the waiters brought out the platters of meat and laid them out on one long table......

Pork far as the eye can see......

Food Magazine even sent their photographer and equipment to document this horizontal tasting. Read their full coverage (with better pictures) in their May issue!

The professionals at work......

....and the amateur, disturbing the professionals

Getting down to business, our hungry panel hunkered down. Long discussions about appearance vs. taste, value for money, convenience, etc. ensued. Some judges found raw pieces of meat....improperly cooked barbecue! Horrors!

The judges were strict, the contest was tight. Some barbecues just DIDN'T taste good without sauce. Some barbecues, inspite of their reputations, were surprisingly disappointing when tasted beside another lesser-known one. This was a true blind tasting. No one could recognize his favorite.

In the end, it was a unanimous and surprising decision: Heavens Barbecue had bested them all.

Heavens Barbecue has 6 branches:

The Zone
The Zone 7224 Malugay St cor. Buendia, Bel-Air
Telephone: (63 2) 894-3899, (63 2) 893-4715

BF Homes
Aguirre St. cor. Elizalde St., BF Homes
Telephone: (63 2) 659-2314, (63 2) 659-2315

Madison Square, Madison St. cor. Ortigas Ave., Greenhills
Telephone: (63 2) 726-0250, (63 2) 727-3206
Madison Square, E. Rodriguez Jr., Libis
Telephone: (63 2) 396-1198

Diego Silang
Petron C-5 cor. Diego Silang,
Telephone: (63 2) 986-0143

Savanna Commercial Center
Savanna Commercial Center , Vito Cruz Ext. Corner Pasong Tamo
Telephone: (63 2) 897-2575

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