More than just really good waffles at Country Waffles Greenhills

- Bea Ledesma () - August 4, 2005 - 12:00am
Few things can rival really good waffles, but on a steaming hot day at lunch hour, a hearty steak with mashed potatoes and a cool glass of watermelon and pineapple juice do more than trump the breakfast of champions – it’s good ol’ country cooking at its best. Country Waffles on Annapolis Street, Greenhills, that rustic, homestead-style restaurant that would look more comfortable somewhere in Ohio, has moved forward from the breakfast menu and iced tea served in syrup jars that have made them famous. This American nostalgic restaurant is modernizing its menu to meet the needs of the lunch and dinner crowd.
Fine Americana Flavors
The rib eye steak, made from high-quality imported beef, comes char-grilled to perfection, according to your tastes. Mine, done medium rare, was brown outside, complete with grill marks, but lovely and pink on the inside. Paired with creamy mashed potatoes and a side of buttered vegetables, this meal was large enough to feed two. The gravy, possibly the chef’s best-kept secret, "was made from a red-wine base," says dining supervisor Mar Tandoc, which explained the surprising depth and quality of this normally forgotten condiment. It brought out just the right sweetness and mellow grilled taste of the meat, which was flavorful and tender, a good sign that the beef comes from a good source – something the people behind Country Waffles take very seriously.

"We source for fresh produce regularly," explains purchasing manager and vice president Von Samson. "It’s important that we find the best vegetables, the best beef and poultry, so that the flavors are consistently good."

The entrée menu includes savory pork chop paired with an apple gravy sauce, a crowd-pleaser, according to Mar. "Filipinos love the sweetness of the apple sauce, and the pork chop is perfect for lunch." Two pieces of pork are layered over rice flavored with bell peppers, with a side of buttered vegetables. There are baby back ribs, cooked until the meat falls off the bone, slathered in its signature marinade. For those watching their figure, there’s salmon paired with a cream sauce and a bit of lemon zest for tang, placed over steamed rice and surrounded with bell peppers and zucchini, then garnished with parsley.

Pasta, a new section in the revamped menu, includes a spicy alfredo sauce poured over linguini and seafood. The spices can be adjusted according to personal preference. Simply tell your server you like it mild, and then a mild dash of pepper and chili powder creates an easy-on-the-tongue background heat. It’s one of Country Waffle’s best-sellers.

Dessert, also a new menu addition, has been enlarged slowly. The mud pie, made of layers of creamy rich chocolate drizzled with caramel and nuts, is the latest addition. Some of the waffles, particularly those topped with ice cream, can be considered more a dessert or snack and can be enjoyed any time of the day. There’s a banana and chocolate waffle, with sliced bananas strategically placed over the waffle, topped with scoops of chocolate ice cream and whipped cream. But the piece de resistance is Uncle’s Jebs’ waffles, named after one of the restaurant’s in-house characters – there are a whole slew of them, including one appropriately named Aunt Martha – which are marvels in decadence. This four-layered waffle is stacked one sweet layer after another, beginning with waffle, then a generous scoop of vanilla, followed by waffle, then chocolate ice cream, then another waffle, then whipped cream, Oreo cookie granules and a bright red cherry. It’s advisable to order this delectable dessert for two or more, because the serving size is more than generous. Once the chocolate and vanilla ice cream melt into the crisp, thick waffle, there’s nothing better than breaking the waffle up and wiping the plate clean of the gooey chocolate goodness.

"Our waffles are very special," adds restaurant manager Jacqueline Yap. "While other restaurants make theirs thin and crisp, ours are crisp on the outside but thick with an almost pancake-like consistency on the inside, so you get these really hearty bites."

There’s no doubt that anyone who orders his waffles for breakfast will be getting a meal that can last for maybe a whole day. But there are other things available on the menu for breakfast. "We’ll be including an omelet bar, where you can have your eggs done any way you like, with whatever topping you want," says Jacqueline.

Buttered toast with eggs and grilled herbed tomatoes are available for those who want to start the day light. For others, there’s tapa cooked with eggs and garlic rice. "We even have Angus tapa, made from real Angus beef," says Von. "I’ve seen some restaurants charge an astronomically low price for their Angus beef, and I have to wonder, ‘How can real Angus beef cost that little?’ Maybe it’s not the real thing. At Country Waffles, you can be assured that you’re getting the highest quality, always the real thing."

The homespun-like ambience of the restaurant, from the faux hearth that decorates the main entrance to the servers’ friendly smiles, makes it perfect for families. The food here is kid-friendly. No need to force-feed a crying toddler those designer Chinese delicacies. Instead, the lovingly-rendered hearty meals will have you, and your child, coming back for more. And when you’re too full from the abundantly large meals, what next? Well, there’s some Pictionary for you to play with until the next hunger pangs hit.
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Country Waffles is at 12 Annapolis St., Northeast Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. For inquiries and reservations, call 726-8734 and 726-8733.
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