Reviews

We Tried Everything in Maginhawa’s STREAT and Here’s Our Verdict

April 19, 2015

A steady stream of chatter greets you at the entrance of Maginhawa’s latest food park, StrEAT, yet another addition to the famous Quezon City “eat street.” There is no doubt that the mother-daughter duo behind StrEAT is well balanced. Everything from the witty name and the layout, to the laid-back atmosphere is a testament to the fact that Kitty del Castillo, co-founder of Starr’s Famous Shakes, and her daughter Cheska del Castillo, marketing planner and graphic designer, have concocted a creative and entrepreneurial space smack dab in the middle of Maginhawa. Located in UP Village, the relatively new food park boasts of 11 establishments. The functioning kitchens, catering to a variety of cuisines, come in all sorts: some in the form of spruced-up storage containers, others in the form of artsy food trucks. These quirky food-on-wheels, aside from being unconventionally innovative, are also practical. Word on the street is that StrEAT (see what I did there?) has their food trucks on rotation, which would explain why Mio Gelati’s truck was MIA upon our visit. The upside is that you can look forward to new offerings every once in a while. The cozy food hub proves to be a good hangout spot for barkadas late into the a.m., with its smorgasbord of dining choices; or maybe even a casual date place with a special someone, what with the relaxed ambience and cool open air, all under the romantic blanket of the night sky. You should definitely get there early though, or pray that you’re lucky, because the limited seats fill up fast. So we did the dirty business of trying everything in StrEAT, and came up with our verdicts:

1. G.R.EAT Burger Truck

Great Burger

The bright red truck definitely grabs attention, even in the dim light coming from the yellow bulbs strung all over the place. The design, printed in bold yellow and black, although eye-catching, is not confusing. Same goes for the menu, a pleasantly straightforward list of burgers and side dishes. The Chili burger (PHP 200), one of their bestsellers, is a deliciously hot mess worth the price— a sensational quarter pounder beef patty swathed between a pillowy toasted butter bun along with lettuce and tomato, all doused with just the right amount of special sauce and signature chili. If you’re wondering whether or not the G.R.EAT Burger Truck lives up to its name… it absolutely does. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 4/5

2. Crazy Chef

Crazy Chef

The only establishment on StrEAT with its offerings laid out in a buffet-like manner, Crazy Chef’s food truck offers buffalo wings, kwek kwek, isaw, and other familiar fare. Upon inquiry, the server recommended the buffalo wings. We ordered buffalo wings in spicy, and a bagnet meal, both of which amounted to a total of around PHP 200. The Ilocano deep-fried pork belly was something of a letdown, nothing out of the ordinary— but the spicy buffalo wings, tinged a crazy shade of orange, is sure to leave your lips and mouth flaming hot. Though the prices and food are average, any new customer might be daunted by their lack of a visible menu and the overwhelming amount of promo posters stuck on their truck. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 2/5

3. Magpie Café

Magpie

The coffee house is one of the most creatively designed establishments in the lot. A big black box with glass on all sides, it is one of the two establishments with air-conditioned interior seating. White marker doodles and messages scribbled on the glass by customers add to the charm of the establishment. Magpie Café offers hand-brewed coffee in support of local coffee plantation. Their fragrantly brewed beans are fresh from Benguet, a contrast to their desserts, which come with a Korean twist. Innovative and vibrant, their desserts are far from the usual coffee house offerings. We tried their Espresso (PHP 90), a tiny shot glass of caffeine, and their bestselling Nokcha Love Bingsoo (PHP 150), mounds of creamy green tea ice cream covered with chocolate atop a heap of shaved ice. It’s a good place to just chill when the outside is getting too noisy for you.     Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 5/5

4. Grape Escape

Grape Escape

If classy wine seems out of place for you in a gimmicky food park like StrEAT, Grape Escape will agree and then proceed to convince you that it doesn’t matter. The menu has all the potentials of an affordable European dine in a casual environment. Once you look past the exterior: a cooling mist spray, grapes hanging from above, smoothly varnished wooden tables— you’ll discover the menu to be an agreeable array of pizzas and pastas. Per our server’s recommendation, we had the Aglio Olio (PHP 178) with a glass of white Chardonnay (PHP 175). The wine was crisp and fresh, indeed a good match for the thin spaghetti strands soaked in garlicky oil and topped with a pile of shaved Parmesan. For those of you who are on a budget below PHP 500 but still want something fancy to impress your date with, Grape Escape is the one for you. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 5/5

5. Bricks and Copper

Bricks & Copper

The tiny Turkish stall is an indication of how its main store in Mandaluyong hit it off. Despite having a limited menu compared to its main branch, the offerings comprising of kebabs, shawarmas, and pitas encapsulate Turkish cuisine. However, their prices are a bit expensive for a filling Mediterranean meal in the metro. The Iskender Kebab (PHP 250) we had— soft and juicy chunks of beef and lamb covered with aromatic spices atop a bed of softened pita bread drowning in tomato sauce— comes with plain yoghurt, a hallmark condiment of Turkic fare. Bricks and Copper also offers shisha for PHP 150, complete with an array of different flavors to smoke, definitely something that stands out in the food park. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 3.5/5

6. Me Love You Long Time

loveuthai

A testament to the culinary diversity that is StrEAT Food Park, Me Love You Long Time branched out from Z Compound in Malingap to StrEAT. It has a hip, offbeat design and although the name is a mouthful to say, it’s a place you should hit up if you want Southeast Asian cuisine. There’s laksa, pad thai, satay, pho, and so much more. We gave the Rendang (PHP 159) a try, and the Indonesian meat dish did not disappoint. An initial bite of the beef topped with leeks and peppers, subtly sweetened and spiced with lemongrass, ginger, and garlic, will reveal tender meat, and the spicy aftertaste will leave you wanting more. Me Love You Long Time seems to have a lot of unique desserts, but unfortunately, they were out of stock. The colorful dishes and reasonable prices are definitely something worth coming back for. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 5/5

7. Saucy Food MNL

Saucy

Despite having a nondescript exterior, at a uniform price of PHP 95 for any combination of fish, pork, or chicken with teriyaki, cheesy garlic, tomato BBQ, aioli kewpie, or savory Kackalacky sauce, Saucy Food MNL might seem worth a try at first. We tried their bestseller, the beer-battered fish paired with the aioli kewpie sauce. Once it arrived, we actually did a double take at the irony of the sauce-less dish coming from a restaurant that boasts saucy food. The only redeeming quality of the dish was that the fish was tenderly succulent. However, if you don’t want to pay PHP 95 for a huge bowl of rice with a few chunks of sauce-less viand, you might want to reconsider. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 2/5

8. Endless Summer Café

Endless Summer

The Endless Summer Café, with its wooden plank sign, beach-house inspired façade, and affordable beach-food-filled menu, reminds us of Jonah’s, the Bora favorite. Their sizzling hot tapsilogs, sisigs, and buffalo wings are the Yang to the Yin that are the ice-cold “Summer Smoothies” they offer. We had a plate of the recommended Garlic Chicken (PHP 98), a truly garlicky and crispy chicken dish, with a bottle of refreshingly sweet Choco Banana Speculoos (PHP 128). All that’s missing is some sand on the floor and it’ll feel like we’re right at the beach.

Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 4/5

9. The Lost Bread

Lost Bread

On its soft opening, The Lost Bread, with their imaginative milkshakes and French toasts, is the perfect dessert-stop after all the food at StrEAT. The whole establishment is painted a fresh white, with a pop of red for the door. It’s too bad that the interior is cut in half by a tall counter, and a long table with a few stools inhibits half of what is left of the remaining space. The narrow space doesn’t daunt customers though; people willingly line up at the door, waiting for the server, who is now doubling as a bouncer, to let them inside. We had the Carnival (PHP 99), a vanilla cake shake with caramel syrup topped with crunchy caramel popcorn and a huge, fluffy, spun-on-the-spot serving of cotton candy. We also tried the Fruit Loose (PHP 120), part of the 18+, liquor-infused milkshake collection. The fruit loops-flavor blended with the milkshake and vodka made for a very interesting drink. If not for the limited menu and space, as well as the long wait, The Lost Bread would definitely garner a 5/5. Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 4/5

10. Soul Food Truck

Soulfood

Hidden beneath the funky and colorful design of the blue Soul Food Truck is a menu dedicated to Southern comfort food, like corn dogs and fried steak. Per the server’s recommendation, we had The Soul Steak (PHP 190), one of the priciest items on the menu. Trying to consume the tough sirloin tips made from New Zealand Angus beef was like chewing expensive rubber. One could even say that the buttery Cajun corn that came with it was better for the stomach. We also had the Deep Fried Cheese Balls (PHP 70), three round balls of deep-fried batter-covered melted cheese, to be dipped into a strawberry-cinnamon sauce. Though the salty cheese goes exceptionally well against the sweet sauce, be warned that the fatty cheese balls are not for those on a diet.

Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 2/5

11. Mexikombi

Mexikombi

The Mexikombi food truck is exactly what it sounds like: an assortment of definitive Mexican food— burritos, tacos, and nachos— served from a red Volkswagen Kombi. We had their bestseller, the regular Half-beef, Half-chicken Burrito (PHP 160). One bite into the burrito fills the mouth with the colorful ingredients jam-packed inside the 10” floury tortilla: Mexican rice, diced tomato salsa, roasted bell pepper jalapeños, refined beans, grated cheese, lettuce, and of course, the meat. The regular burrito is filling enough as it is, but they also offer Grande-sized burritos, upsized by 2”, going for PHP 200. If you want Mexican food in StrEAT, Mexikombi is your best bet.

Our verdict (based on design, food, and value for money): 3/5

Have you tried StrEAT yet? Do you agree with our verdicts? What’s your favorite restaurant in the park? Tell us below!

Lexine Uy SEE AUTHOR Lexine Uy

Lexine Uy is an English Literature major who whiles away her time reading novels and searching for cookie recipes online to go with her tea. She invites her friends out to eat and then makes them wait, embarrassing them while she stands up and attempts to capture the food for her Instagram. The easiest way to win her friendship is through dim sum, vintage Hong Kong films, and by going shopping with her. Dislikes diets and double chins.

24 comments in this post SHOW

24 responses to “We Tried Everything in Maginhawa’s STREAT and Here’s Our Verdict”

  1. Cheska Streat says:

    Hello Pepper.ph! Many thanks for the review. Your comments are much appreciated. We’ll definitely improve for your next visit to Streat. More power! 🙂

  2. guest says:

    I’ve been there. Interesting place. Good concept in food convenience. Went there with my pregnant wife and we had to leave due to the smoking crowd at the time of our visit. Some stores were about to close then so some staff at the cashier were already unapproachable or indifferent to our inquiries as my wife put it. I would say this is a good place for adults, especially for those coming from work and want to have a “release” from stress, the smoking and drinking crowd. I would be cautious with children and delicate individuals.

  3. Melody Buendia says:

    Always a fan of G.R.EAT Burger Truck if you want your greasy cheesy fix. Maginhawa is a stretch for good diverse grub. hooray!

  4. Celina Tria says:

    Loved the Chicken Pandan, Pad Thai and Thai Milk Tea from Me Love You Long Time 🙂

  5. Maria Cecilia Pasco Cano says:

    Hi! How to get to Maginhawa Street from Quezon Ave. via public transport? Thank you

    • Guest says:

      Ride any public utility vehicle bound for Fairview or UP. Get off at PhilCoa and take a tricycle to Maginhawa. Maginhawa is a long street so the driver might ask you where exactly in Maginhawa you want to go.

  6. erwann says:

    di masarap

  7. secretwalangclue says:

    isnt this in Malingap?

  8. Lsd says:

    Bad trip lang dito since malapit siya sa kanto lumala ang trapik. Araw gabi trapik n lagi sa maginhawa. Dapat coordinated with the barangay ang flow ng trafic. Tsaka d porket nilaparan ang kalye ay gawing parkingan na. Siguro i block na to motorized vehicle ang intersection dun sa may mini stop. Entry points n lng frm philcoa and anonas ext.

  9. Raymundo Roel says:

    Why does pepper.ph keep deleting comments that doesnt agree with them?

    • Pamela Cortez says:

      Hi Raymundo! Let me know where they’ve been deleted, because I can still see them, maybe you need to refresh your browser? Let me know!

  10. Ayliya says:

    Disagree on Great Burger. (Had the bacon one) The meat pattie itself is almost tasteless, not seasoned well. It’s like they relied on the cheese, tomato, and sauce for the taste. Disappointing. Anyone looking for a great burger at the same price point (less actually) in Maginhawa area should just head to Snack Shack in Sikatuna or UP Shopping Center.

    Had some cheesy fries something (I forgot the name) from Soul Truck and they were too salty 🙁 Was unable to eat more than half of it.

    Might try Grape Escape or Endless Summer should we want to try strEAT again (rather than just going to our fave places in Teacher Village).

  11. grimsnap says:

    Service at Me Love You Long Time was pretty atrocious. We waited over 30 minutes for a single serving of Tom yum. The chicken satay, which they seemed to have forgotten I ordered, followed a few minutes later. During the wait, other customers, some of whom arrived after us, received their food. I made several follow-ups (at first I was friendly; later I was merely polite). Instead of addressing my concerns directly, the server would crack unfunny jokes, some of which were directed at the kitchen crew.

    I’m not a demanding customer. I thought, perhaps they were on soft-opening, or that the staff was having a rough night. We all have bad nights. But the server’s cavalier attitude towards customer service turned me off.

  12. baj says:

    We tried mexikombi and i think they deserve at least 4 stars. I shared the grande burrito (beef/chicken) with my friend and it was very filling. The home made hot sauce and garlic sauce is so legit! Id recommend them to anyone. 5 stars for me

  13. Bimby says:

    what’s the store hours (i don’t know how else to phrase it) for streat?

  14. Camotee says:

    Most of them are overpriced and nothing extraordinary.

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