Ever since my nine-year-old self sat down with my family to feast on burgers and fries at the 50’s Diner on Session Road in Baguio City, I’ve had a soft spot for diner food. A plate’s got all my favorite food groups (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), making it the ultimate comfort food. I’ve never met a diner I didn’t like, simply because I stick to the foods that diners excel at: burgers, fries, and milkshakes.
One of my friends from high school, Tin Isidro, opened a place called South Diner last December 5 with her husband Ginno and some business partners. Due to hectic schedules I wasn’t able to attend their soft opening, but tonight was the perfect time to bring together some of my friends for a girls’ dinner out.
I arrived earlier than Julia and Chok, the other two girls I was having dinner with, which was funny since I came from Pasig and had traveled all the way down south (anything south of BGC Taguig seems really far to me), while they were just within the area.
Right from the get-go, the huge retro-style sign grabbed my attention. The interiors also did not disappoint, with the cheery red-and-white upholstery, checkerboard flooring, and waiters and waitresses in uniform. The only thing missing was a jukebox, but Tin explained that a genuine vintage jukebox cost around P150,000 (yikes!).
Anyway, what I was really after was some food. An hour’s drive (without traffic) makes me a hungry diner.
The menu has several sections,and depending on your food mood you could be ordering breakfast (available all day), sandwiches, steaks & ribs, kiddie meals, and the usual suspects burgers & fries. For sweets, there are dessert selections, and different flavors of milkshake with a choice between regular or extra-thick texture.
Paying no heed to the growing spare tire around my midsection, I ordered my favorite diner combo.
It may not look like much, but diner food has always tasted better than it looks. This burger is their Philly Bacon Jack (P145), with bacon and Monterey Jack cheese over a real beef patty. I gotta tell you, that burger was incredibly filling. The beef patty was heavy, without extenders. Fries weren’t very greasy since they’d just come out of the fryer. In combination with a strawberry milkshake (P95), I was in heaven!
The food arrived within 10 minutes of when my order was taken. Because I hate allowing food to get cold, I finished it in about the same amount of time. Well, I had to leave a morsel of the burger on the plate because I was just too full!
But I wasn’t done with eating yet. When Julia finally arrived two hours later, she ordered one of South Diner’s best-sellers: the Porky Pig (P140). It’s two pork chops encased in batter, fried, and topped with applesauce, served with two fried eggs, mango salsa, and your choice of garlic rice, plain rice, or mashed potatoes. Despite the diner being nearly full, Julia’s dish arrived quickly.
Often I encounter pork chops that have been overcooked so that the meat inside is tough; the only thing that makes it palatable is the sauce. This pork chop dish, though, was unexpectedly moist and tender all the way through. The highlight for me though was the mashed potatoes, which were made with real potato and butter, slightly chunky. I’m drooling again now just thinking about it.
If you ever find yourself down in the BF Paranaque area, do check out South Diner for some great eats. Ü
South Diner is at 303 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque beside PureGold.