I have to admit, “Mad Mark’s” offers one of the best-tasting steaks and ice creams in the Metro. But would I be going back soon? I don’t think so.
East Capitol Drive (aka Kapitolyo) is a haven for must-try restaurants and hole-in-the-wall food shops, similar to how Maginhawa Street at UP Teacher’s Village at Diliman is a heaven for those who wanted to go on a food-trip. Among those tucked along Kapitolyo is the small but popular Mad Mark’s Creamery and Good Eats, taking pride in their “Made-from-scratch” ice creams and “Man-sized” sandwiches.
We visited Mad Mark’s twice this month – the first time was to finally try their much talked-about ice creams, and the second one was because our first try left us craving for more. On our first visit, my buddy started with the basics and had their Signature Steak. My attention on the other hand, was caught by something on the lower left side of the menu – “THE” Man Sandwich. Just thinking about it gives my testosterones a boost!
The Signature Sandwich is charbroiled USDA Beef – made more flavourful by the Mad Mark’s House sauce and comes with 2 side dishes (we had potato salad and buttered corn). As their menu promised, the meat was indeed tender, and the house sauce gave the meat a nice, flavourful “kick”. It was served to us medium-well, just like how we wanted it to be. The generous servings of buttered corn (it was easy to tell that these were grated fresh from the cob because the grains are still together in clumps) and creamy potato salad complemented and completed the dish.
|Signature Steak – Healthy (150g) at Php195; Regular (200g) at Php240; Feast (300g) at Php 290;
I let out an involuntary “Wow!” when my order came out. One look and you’ll know how “THE” Man Sandwich got its name – it’s HUGE and intimidating, boasting lavish amounts of grilled chicken and angus beef, made more flavourful by homemade cheese sauce and crispy veggies. Slicing it up is one way to eat it, but those who are brave enough to chomp on it (like I did) are definitely in for a mouthful.
|“THE” Man Sandwhich – Php 360.00
We would have wanted to try the rest of their specialties, but our tummies have reached their limits so we decided to just come back for more – with a Kapitolyo Foodtrip already in mind.
Unfortunately, our second visit wasn’t exactly a happy trip like the first one.
It was a Wednesday night, and I was the most excited in our group to have my steak and ice cream. By the time we got to the counter to get our orders, the line behind us was already starting to get longer, but given that the ladies who were taking our orders didn’t seem to worry about accommodating everyone, we went ahead and ordered what made us drool the most from the menu.
Now here was the problem – no tables were vacant by the time we finished ordering, so we have to wait. This is okay since the area is obviously small but the thing is everyone who had tables have just started eating, so it may take a long time before we get seats. The ladies kept on taking orders from new customers – and nobody even bothered to tell them that it may take some time for them to get seated.
To be honest, I was starting to get irate. They should have at least kept a waiting list, just like decent restaurants do whenever the place is full. They kept on taking orders without considering if the customers they accept would be properly accommodated. They told us they reserved one table for us, but turns out it was also reserved for someone else. Nobody from the resto even bothered to settle the confusion of reservation in spite of our pleas, good thing the other party volunteered to give us the space.
Our orders arrived even before we had tables and seats. Because of this, we ended up having cold meals for dinner – and I’m not talking about the ice cream.
We half-heartedly ate our Hotlanta and Steak Salad.
Hotlanta is fried chicken fillet cooked Southern style – spiced up with creole seasoning and comes with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. It had a smokey taste with a spicy hint, thanks to the southern creole seasoning whose taste stands-out in every bite. Even the mashed potatoes had a spicy aftertaste, and the coleslaw had some hint of cilantro. Or maybe it was curry? I’m pretty sure the whole dish would have tasted better if only it was still warm when served to us and the cream sauce not solidified.
|Hotlanta – Php 170.00
Because I’m pretentious like that, I was the one who had the Steak Salad. The meat was tasty and tender, but then again it was already cold so I didn’t enjoy it as much as my first steak there. The salad though was really good – it was crisp and I enjoyed the vinaigrette and sesame oil dressing.
|I haven’t even started but my dish is already a mess! This definitely wasn’t made with love. Steak Salad – Php 190.00
Now to the ice creams. I lalaLOVED them! And with a reasonable price too at Php 70.00 per scoop.
They are on of the best I have tried. I was able to try four flavours: The Half Baked Madagascar, Javan Hot Chocolate, Sumatra Strong Brew, and Walnut Cinnamon.
My personal favourite was the Sumatra Strong Brew, having a real coffee taste with brownies surprising you on some bites. The Half-baked Madagascar was also good, tasting of a combination of vanilla and cookie dough. The Javan Hot Chocolate is basically dark chocolate flavoured, with a stronger bitter taste. The Walnut Cinnamon was really more of milky variety than either walnut or cinnamon – having only small bits of walnut in a pool of creamy dairy.
|Sumatra Strong Brew
|Javan Hot Chocolate
I will be honest with this one and tell you that the food is really good. The steaks are flavourful and the ice creams are one of the best I’ve tried. But then again, when dining in a restaurant, customer service is just as important as the quality of the food. The food was good but I couldn’t say the same for the whole experience.
PS. Mad Mark’s already has a branch in Glorietta 5, Makati City. Maybe this branch would be more spacious and more accommodating.