Burritos, Beers and Babes, the tagline on their banner said. It can’t get any more straightforward that that. Opened just in January, this rather unassuming restaurant is located at the ground floor of the Onael buiding, one with an interestingly designed façade sticking out like a sore thumb among the more dated structures, along “that backstreet near Chong Hua.”
We stepped from the searing summer sun into the cool, dimly-lit interiors. Going for non-campy Mexican with repurposed furniture –bar stools, chairs and décor out of pallet racks, and their “babes”– upcycled plastic mannequin torsos painted in a variety of designs, they scored major points with the top chick, Mother Earth.
Still in soft operations, the menu already boasted of several food items including a wide selection of drinks. Cutting quite an imposing figure behind the bar in all eight months of her pregnancy, the ‘Babe’s Momma Babe, owner Amanda, helpfully walked us through. Keeping it simple for starters, we ordered the Mex standard of nachos, burritos and beer.
Juls Supreme Nachos, their best seller, came crowned with homemade tortilla chips on a blend of cheeses , caramelized onions, tomatoes and lettuce. Upgrade options for the more carnivorous was in the addition of regular or spicy ground beef or chicken. The chips were decidedly unseasoned allowing a perfect base for the rest of the ingredients–the freshness of the vegetables cutting through the decadent cheese sauce.
The Super Burrito with Grilled Chicken filling was the biggest I’ve seen among local Tex-Mex joints and for a surprisingly reasonable price. Generous slices of grilled chicken on a bed of Spanish rice doused in Red Salsa, Cheese and Sour Cream with Refried Beans, fresh diced onions and cilantro all wrapped in a twelve-inch blanket of Homemade Flour Tortilla. We were let in on the secret of the addition of non-traditional spices on top of the earthy flavors of turmeric in the rice which added to its fragrance and taste. Having split the flavorful and extremely stuffed order between two, we found ourselves well-stuffed, as well.
Our hostess fueled the meal with endless engagement and with a selection of music she wrote and performed herself playing in the background. It’s not hard to forget time in this little laid-back hideout. They do get packed on weekend nights and host special events, too. As they have more in store to explore, it’s definitely a “hasta la vista” for me . . . babe-y.
Burrito Babes is open from 1PM-1AM every day at the ground floor of the Onael Building (across Capitol Tourist Inn/beside Hotel Stella), Don Gil Garcia Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City.
Credits to Amanda Aworuwa / Burrito Babes for the photos.