Inside the Walled City of Intramuros, there is this restaurant known for their Filipino, Spanish, Italian food, the Ristorante delle Mitre, which is situated across the street from San Agustin Church. It was my mom with her high school friends, who planned this extended birthday celebration. I was merely the designated driver.
It was a weekday, but for some reason, as we walked in the restaurant, it was already high in activity. There were a lot of clientele already eating, enjoying their food and chatting away. We sat at a corner table near their beautifully decorated Christmas tree. My first impression was that it was like a church museum. There were different mitres inside glass, a mama Mary in one wall, angels above on the wall and under the Christmas tree, lots of wood, and even the tables with its paper table mat oozes with religion. Also there were a lot of religious people, like nuns and possibly lectors and priests eating there with family and friends. It was interesting.
We were handed the menu, and I had to smile. The menu contained the favourite food of Cardinals and Bishops, and there were a lot to choose from. According to the attendant taking our orders, the serving was for sharing. We decided that each one should order something they really liked.
I ordered Archbishop Carmelo DF Morelos’ Lengua. I haven’t eaten this in a long while. As the plate arrived, the serving was a bit small; but thankfully so, since my mom who has gout was not allowed to eat. I ate the super tender strips of pork tongue with the rich, creamy mushroom sauce together with my mom’s friends. I ate most of it though.
The other order was Father John Christian Young’s favourite Sinigang na Pork Ribs (or Tamarind Pork Ribs Stew). The serving looked huge in the serving bowl, but there were not many pork ribs. Actually only four pieces of meat since we were four all in all, and some vegetables with lots of sour stew were in the bowl, according to the nun we were with. Also, it was a bit sour according to one, but I liked the sourness of the stew.
Then there was Bishop Rodolfo Beltran’s Pinakbet (or stir fried vegetables). It was okay, but two of my eating companions was either allergic to it or has gout. There was a lot of left over, so we ended up taking out the rest.
Next and the best order, I thought was His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal’s Crispy Pata (or crispy pork leg). I love the crunchy skin and the tender meat. Everybody seemed to love it that the bones were totally divested of any meat and ligaments. It was like a pack of dogs went through it. It was that good.
And since this was an extended birthday celebration, the nun with us bought Bishop Deogracias Iniguez’ Pistachio Caramel Sansrival (cake made of layers of butter and meringue). We sang the Happy Birthday song and had pictures with the celebrant. After which, the cake was cut. My first bite was a bit chewy, which shouldn’t be the case. So maybe it was seating in the chiller for a while.
As we waited for our bill, with all three senior citizens 20 percent discount taken off, it was not that bad. It was actually very affordable and devoutly fair. It is not perfect, but Mitre is a restaurant with a lot of interesting dishes that I don’t mind going back for when in the Old Walled City.
Note: Ristorante delle Mitre is located at CBCP Building, 470 General Luna Street corner Real Street, Intramuros, Manila.