04/24/2015

Your friendly neighborhood: P. Burgos

by  Jonty Cruz
Art by Elle Shivers
Photo by Artu Nepomuceno
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The last couple of decades pretty much gave Burgos a bad rap. It became known as Makati’s most notorious area where people would be almost ashamed to be seen. Parents wouldn’t be caught dead allowing their kids to go to Burgos. The bars surrounding it looked like cheap knockoffs of foreign establishments. It was the last place anyone would think of searching for a simple and casual place to chill and hang. Today, though, P. Burgos is seeing an upswing and some much-anticipated change.

El Chupacabra

El Chupacabra is located at 5782 Felipe St. cor. Polaris St. Poblacion, Makati City. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @elchupacabraph.

P. Burgos’ reinvention arguably started with the opening of El Chupacabra, the restaurant that serves the best sisig tacos in all of Metro Manila. The place became popular to a crowd that rarely went to Burgos to spend more than a few hours. Chupacabra established itself as the casual hangout at a not-so-casual area of the city and brought in a new group of customers who once had second thoughts about Makati’s Red Light District. Located in a small part of a quaint street, it almost feels like our version of a local village pub where people can just sit back and spend the good part of the night simply hanging out.

Tambai

Tambai is located at 5779 Felipe Street,
Poblacion, Makati. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @tambai_snackhouse.

Speaking of hanging out, just a few steps away from El Chupacabra is a relatively new joint called Tambai. It takes the best of what El Chupacabra made famous and added another great barkada spot in Burgos. Tambai specializes in yakitoris, a more refined take on our local Bar-B-Q sticks, for lack of a better term. It’s a no nonsense place reminiscent of a friend’s front yard with the seats actually located on the road. It’s unapologetically casual and inspiringly low-key.  Tambai is a very welcome addition to Felipe Street and this reinvention of Burgos.

Senor Pollo

Senor Pollo is located at 109 Carlos Palanca Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @senorpollo.

Photo from Señor Pollo’s official Facebook page

A couple of streets down from Felipe, you’ll find El Chupacabra’s sister restaurant, Senor Pollo. Originally found in the Tomas Morato area, Pollo feels like it’s finally home in Burgos. As the name suggests, Senor Pollo serves up Latin-style roast chicken, probably the best in Manila. Almost every night, Pollo is packed with young and old craving quality poultry and even some roasted pork as they binge on beers or cocktails. The restaurant looks a little more furnished than Chupacabra, even more family-friendly than edgy, hole-in-the-wall. Still, Senor Pollo remains just as simple and authentic as any of the new restaurants popping up in this burgeoning Burgos area.

P. Burgos is going through its gentrifications. Once a place where people would go to experience a little danger, where sleazy foreign backpackers tried the local flavors, its now a hangout spot where the everyday yuppie, creative type, and college kid can go grab drinks, without worrying about anti-bacterial disinfectants.

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