Beeffalo by Hotrocks in Marikina: Rediscovering an Old Favorite Restaurant

There’s a reason why Marikina is a popular destination among food lovers. Its neighborhood is home to an interesting mix of establishments offering a gratifying dining experience to hungry customers near and far.

A popular fixture in the Marikina dining scene is Beeffalo By HotRocks, a charming restaurant that’s been around since 2013 and has become a favorite place for a hearty meal of ribs, steaks, pizzas and other everyday American comfort food that warm the soul. The unassuming restaurant was recently refurbished showcasing a more streamlined look but still retains its unique charm that comes from the rustic interiors evoking a refreshing sense of randomness and simplicity. 

Owners Louie and Girlie Abad and their good friend Caren Diaz manage Beeffalo and can often be seen hanging out in the restaurant chatting up guests. 

Lighting up the grill

Beeffalo was an offshoot of Louie and his partners’ first food venture simply named HotRocks, a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint with branches in Pasig and Libis. When the restaurants closed, they were determined to give the business another try but at a different location. 

In October 2013, the owners opened Beeffalo by HotRocks along a quiet road on Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina City. Admittedly, the new address wasn’t exactly the most desirable location to open a food business since it had less foot traffic and was surrounded by vacant lots. But Louie is partial to places that are out-of-the-way, those that you have to deliberately search for and feel gratified once you’ve found them because the effort would be worth the trip. Besides, the lot where the restaurant would be built on had all the qualities Louie wanted: homey, airy and surrounded by lots of greenery.

Word of mouth about the restaurant’s delicious yet affordable cuisine and the high recall of the HotRocks name soon spread in Marikina and people started coming in. Customers who have been to the place were also leaving positive reviews in online sites.

“It was a risky move at first but it all turned out great!” Louie enthused. 

What was once a lonely strip along Gil Fernando is now a busy road that leads to this often-frequented food destination. Beeffalo is a go-to place of families, couples, groups and office workers looking for a nice place to enjoy good food.

It has also become quite the novelty in the neighborhood with its rustic style décor aesthetically juxtaposed on the walls and floor. Vintage objects such as an old safe, typewriter, telephone and sewing machine give the place character. The walls are splashed with green accents to bring the garden vibe inside. Outside are a vintage bike and an old motorcycle among plants, trees and ambient lights.

“When we updated Beeffalo’s look recently, we agreed that we will maintain the charm and the atmosphere that made our restaurant a well-loved one from the beginning,” Louie explained. “We didn’t want to lose the ‘magic’ or the ‘allure’ of the place.” 

Evenings are quite special here. Beeffalo turns magical at night but the best spot in the house has got to be the al fresco area where tables and benches are casually splayed and customers can come-as-they-are for a laidback dinner. 

Simply flavorsome

Beeffalo by HotRocks features dishes that are all original recipes of the owners, prepared by Chef Girlie. “We are very particular about what we serve. We include a certain dish only if it passes our personal standards. Everything is made with a lot of love,” Louie said.

Come here for some of the most flavorful meat dishes in the metro including its house specialty, Baby Back Ribs, slathered in a sticky barbeque sauce, its exceptionally moist and tender meat just falls off the bone. Tasty Java rice accompanies an order of this divine dish. 

The restaurant is also proud of its steaks, one of the items from its former Hot Rocks menu. High quality meat doesn’t need much prepping to make it tasty hence the steaks are seasoned with just salt and pepper to highlight their natural flavor. Porterhouse and T-bone are very popular among customers and come with fresh vegetable salad and mashed potatoes made from scratch everyday. 

Other items on the menu are the Beeffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip, Barbeque Platter (a medley of Isaw, Tenga, and Bulaklak), Roasted Pumpkin or Broccoli Cheese Soups, Taco BBQ Salad and the very popular Margherita and Three Cheese Biscuit Pizzas with a heavenly thin crust. 

For something different, try the Sizzling Beef Ribs in Tamarind Gravy, a gourmet take on the classic Filipino Sinigang.

Desserts include scrumptious cakes and artisan ice cream.

Whether it’s your first or third time at Beeffalo by HotRocks, a visit to this old favorite haunt in Marikina never disappoints.

Beeffalo by HotRocks is open Sundays to Thursdays (11am to 11 pm and Fridays and Saturdays (11am to 12mn). For inquiries, call Beeffalo Marikina 0939 -1130772; and Beeffalo’s Antipolo branch (5341160).

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