I guess it is only natural that sometimes we are the harshest judges when it comes to our own ethnic cuisine. I tried to visit Tribu Grill with an open mind, but I had high expectations of their crispy pata due to all the positive reviews. My husband and I brought our non-Filipino friend, who has only had Filipino food a few times.
*fried Daing na bangus (milk fish) - couldn't get enough of this. Perfectly fried. I've had bangus that was under-fried, and over-fried, and bland, but this version was tasty. Golden on the outside but still moist inside. And from me, I'm usually not a bangus fan so this is high praise!
*pork BBQ - we were asked if we wanted this chopped and said yes. I like it better in this presentation, because it is easier to eat than on a stick. I also liked the BBQ sauce, which was perfectly balanced to my taste, not too sweet and not too sour. However my husband prefers Gerry's version.
*frozen Brazo de Mercedes - definitely a modern twist & not the traditional, but delicious! A layer of graham cracker crust, a layer of vanilla ice cream, followed by a layer of frozen custard and finally the merangue on top, drizzled with lemon sauce. Next time I'm not sharing!
*crispy pata... maybe it was all the hype. Maybe they needed to change the oil. It could have been crispier. But I'm not saying it was bad. I'll give it another chance one day. It was a generous portion.
*garlic rice - sinagag is one of my favorite foods. Tribu's version was just a little bland.
*service. Although the generally the attitude was super friendly and courteous, our spiced calamari order was completely forgotten. All our entrees arrived and no calamari. We inquired, and were told that the calamari had "fallen"...Uhh, wouldn't you just drop another batch? But when we asked, as an answer they asked us if we still wanted it. Nah. They still included it on our bill, and I had to talk to 2 different servers to get it removed (remember? it fell? we never got it...)
In summary, Tribu Grill is good (and better than other Filipino places I've tried, like Kuya's - I don't like Kuya's). My parents say we still have to try Patio Filipino, up the street from Tribu. I also do like Luneta, but my husband's hands-down favorite is still Gerry's Grill in Union City. I'll keep eating.