We recently scoured Marikina and San Mateo for some yummy food stops. We discovered that the two cities are having some sort of a culinary revolution.
The first thing that pops up in your mind about Marikina is shoes, but the city is more than that now. There are new businesses and restaurants in the city that I did not see in the few times I went there with my friends sometime ago.
The city dog pound and municipal recycling area are now slowly being gentrified into a food alley, akin to Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City.
The nearby San Mateo City is also experiencing a boom. This was evident during our tour with SM, which has bustling malls in Marikina and San Mateo.
Industriya Marikina is a restaurant and events place that pays tribute to the rich and glorious past of Marikina.
The building was an old leather tannery. The proprietor himself is a Marikina native, and his family was at the forefront of the Marikina shoe industry in the 20th century.
The interior aesthetic is decidedly chic and modern, with a dash of industrial-theme accents.
The restaurant is filled with shoe-making machines, located tastefully in the restaurant where guests can marvel at the proud past of the Marikina shoe industry.
The cuisine is international, with Filipino, Italian, and American dishes on the menu. I was delighted with its Salmon Sinigang. The Club Industriya Sandwich is a must—grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato on whole wheat bread.
The Moussaka Pizza is a choice order, made of ground beef, grilled eggplant, mozzarella cheese, pomodoro sauce and fried basil.
Longganisa Arrabiata is a unique fusion of Filipino and Italian cuisine, the spiciness of the Arrabiata sauce blending with the garlicky flavor of the longganisa.
Industriya Marikina also serves USDA Rib Eye Steak, Pan Seared Tenderloin and Oven-baked Fish.
Binagoongang Bagnet is also a great choice, with Lengua Estofado and Industriya Fried Chicken.
After the heavy meal, we were impressed to discover that Industriya Marikina serves TWG Teas. The quaintly flavored tea is the perfect drink after that meal.
Jerzil’s Coffee Bean Shop
We made a fantastic discovery in E. Dela Paz Street, Marikina, right in front of the public market. The aroma of freshly roasted beans filled the air, even as the brisk afternoon wind was blowing all around us. Jerzil’s Coffee Bean Shop offers freshly roasted Arabica, Robusta, Barako, and Excelsa coffee beans.
The shop sources its beans from as far as Benguet in the Cordilleras.
The shop is small but charming in its own quaint way. There is no air-conditioning, just a simple shop where you can buy freshly roasted beans.
French Presses and drip coffee filters are also available. The increasing demand for quality and reasonably priced coffee is another sign that Marikina is a growing lifestyle market, where consumers are developing fine tastes.
Comedor by Miguel & Maria is on C. Buenviaje St. Sto Niño, Marikina. It’s at the end of a long street where the dog pound and municipal recycling center is located.
The strip is now filled with posh-looking restaurants. Comedor is one of them. The restaurant has panoramic glass windows that let in the natural light, creating a cozy, homey atmosphere.
The food is exceptional Filipino comfort fare. Try its Sizzling Kare-Kare, Sizzling Bulalo, and Bacon Liempo Strips. Its Crispy Lechon Salad is both healthy and an indulgence.
Its Pinoy Ribs and Lechon Sisig are a must, so is its Crispy Pork Sinigang. For dessert, try Bibingka ala Mode and Avotella Sorbetes or avocado ice cream mixed with crunchy Nutella granolas.
Grissini Ristorante is one of the few restaurants in the country that serves truly al dente pasta, and it is in Sto Niño, Marikina, the same row as Comedor.
The restaurant has stark white interiors. Its pasta is made daily in the kitchen, so it’s fresh.
Before the pastas, try the vast selection of antipasti. We tried its prosciutto de melone, and bruschetta brushed with garlic olive oil and tomato salsa.
Its crema de funghi soup is also a good choice.
We tried its Al Prosciutto pizza, Napoletana pizza, Al Funghi and Frutti di Mare pizza—all excellent.
The pasta is all al dente, with excellent toothy texture. We tried the Lasagna Al Ragu, Carbonara, Penne Salmon and Pasta Ala Vongole.
Its risotto di mare is a good choice as well.
For dessert, we had Tiramisu Cake (a must), French Macarons, Chocolate Caramel Cake and Malted Milk Cake. Italian Soda, and of course, coffee, was served with the dessert.
Fino Deli in Dao St. Marikina Heights, can fit right in with the posh and snazzy restaurants in Bonifacio Global City.
The wineshop is in a quiet Marikina Subdivision. It has modern interiors, with glass walls, black iron beams and wood accents.
The deli offers a unique selection of Romanian wines—red, white and rosé, which go well with the deli’s delicious selection—cold cuts and cheese platter, gambas and calamares.
The French onion soup and mushroom soup perfectly whets your appetite for the main courses of Tomahawk Pork Chop, Rib Eye Steak and Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill Mousse.
The pastas include Truffle Mushroom Pasta (highly recommended), Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chicken Pesto.
The restaurant’s ambiance is very conducive to enjoying wine—soft music, warm lighting, and excellent wine will make the hours go by, especially when spent with friends.
Fino Deli is a find right in the middle of Marikina. Wine connoisseurs in Marikina, here’s your new haunt.
Wiggly Penguin Cafe
The shop was packed when we arrived. San Mateo folk are apparently into frappuccino of many varieties.
The café has a prodigious array of fraps and coffee flavors. Try its nachos, French fries and buffalo wing selections.
Symbios Holistic and Wellness Center
After eating our way through Marikina and San Mateo, we sought a good respite—the Symbios Holistic and Wellness Center at Timberland, San Mateo.
The peace and quiet was relaxing. The remoteness of the wellness center was a welcome change to our city food trip.
The center is built around a mountain development in San Mateo. Various homeopathic wellness seminars are held in the Center.
Room and board are for those who wish to try the “silent retreats.”
The property is built around a slow-moving river, and the dining area is built on a creek. You can listen to the water flow underneath you while having your meal, a truly unique and relaxing experience. —CONTRIBUTED