Ghetto Grub: Jerry’s ParesDecember 19, 2018
- Nico GocoWords
If you ask five people where they think the best pares is, chances are you’ll get five different answers. After all, we each have our own favorite dealers who cater to our pares addiction. While Jerry’s, this week’s ghetto grub entry, does feature our beloved beef-in-a-bowl, I won’t make any claims that their’s is the best in the land.
But it is pretty damn good.
Jerry’s is a small, no-frills eatery in Makati. They have a wide range of dishes to offer, but the menu holds no surprises. The usual silogs, fried chicken, and lechon kawali can be found here. The stars of this roadside show, however, are their three artery-clogging dishes: pares, dinakdakan, and bulalo.
The pares is their bestseller. I’ve seen taxi drivers fill up the place as early as nine AM, all of them having ordered pares and rice. At thirty-five pesos, it is one of the cheapest items on the menu. If you still find that a bit steep, you can have pares and mami combo for only twenty-five pesos.
The meat is more cartilage than actual beef, but that doesn’t detract from the experience. Each spoonful yields a firm, sticky bite, the result of hours of cooking. The sauce is more savory than sweet, but it sticks to the traditional flavors of pares by using plenty of star anise. The result is a meaty and filling sauce with a subtle licorice undertone.
The dinakdakan is an Ilocano dish that makes good use of the less sexy parts of the pig (i.e. the yummy stuff some may have second thoughts about eating.) Here at Jerry’s, they use ears, the skin, as well as actual meaty cuts, all mixed with mayonnaise, ginger, and onions. It is a tangy and creamy dish that serves double duty as the pulutan of choice for many diners.
If you’re looking for something to help you drive the rainy day blues away, Jerry’s bulalo is sure to cheer you up. Each bowl is filled with generous servings of meat still attached to the bones. You won’t find any marrow here, though, as that part of the bone is used to flavor the broth. But you do get to savor its richness as the bowl is filled to the brim with the soup. It’s offered at sixty pesos, but from the portions they give, the price is well worth it.
Jerry’s won’t win any awards for being the best in any of their dishes, but they serve good food at even better prices. What more could you for from this quaint little hole-in-the-wall?
Do you like your pares with mami or with rice? Are you on cholesterol medication too from eating too much hearty food? Let us know in the comments!
Jerry’s “The Original”
Located at J.P. Rizal Extension, Barangay East Rembo, Makati City
Open all day, every day.