Monday, September 23, 2013

Shakey's and Cagayan de Oro

There has been four incarnations of the Shakey's restaurant chain in the city this past 3 decades and I have visited all of them one or another. In that limited range of qualifications, I could say it is one of the more important metro Manila based stores that have established a brand identity here in Cagayan de 

The first attempt in the eighties was a bit of a bust, folding before it could took off. It opened in Pabayo Street, a short walk from my mom's bank on J.R. Borja Street. My dad took me there once when we fetched mom and waited there until she got off work. It was the second attempt in the early nineties when it became known as the go-to restaurant for casual dining and family celebrations. I should know, I worked a weekend there, when I was a lad in grade school for a school project. It was one of main draws for a new concept for the city at that time: a mini mall concept with a bowling alley as it's centerpiece.

The third Shakey's came at a time when the second branch at the Ororama Megacenter started to fall into a bit of neglect and protracted decline. A fire ended its misery but not Shakey's presence. The third branch in Limketkai Mall continued the tradition of its excellent thin crust pizza and other fare for families dining out.

The new Shakey's at Limketkai Center
This year, a free standing Shakey's restaurant opened a few months back while the third one still continued inside mall. The new branch was located outside the mall but still within the larger Limketkai commercial complex. I ate there twice already. Once for a Team 6 comrade's birthday celebration, and my most recent was a graduate school classmate's despidida. I have pictures and thoughts of the more recent meal here.

A despidida or a farewell to one of my grad school classmates who just got into her bank's officer training program. An event like, though generally sad, is a good reason to eat out. Shakey's carbonara happened to be her favorite, so we had that and garlic bread for our first course.

Carbonara Supereme

The Carbonara Supreme and its creamy cheese was okay. I'm not a really a fan of cream pasta though I used to love them. I prefer my pasta to be on the herby side. The Garlic Bread was excellent though. I wish I could make my garlic bread like it. I loved the garlicky butter spread spirinkled with bits of parsley on the crumb of the bread, which remained soft while its toasted outside. It's perfect. I could eat a whole basket all by myself.

Garlic Bread

The second main course was a basket of Chicken 'n' Mojos. The chicken was done fine, I have no complaints but it's the Mojos that's the true star of this course. Potato slice coated in batter and deep fried to perfection. I prefer the individual Mojos order because they come with different dips and not just the gravy that came with the chicken. Still, they taste great even without the dip and plain ketchup works fine too.

Chicken 'n' Mojos

The best reason to go to Shakey's was still their thin crust pizza. Their competitors have tried to imitate that crispy thin crust but they couldn't get it right. We had their Manager's Choice, and this is just how I imagine eating thin crust pizza would be. I've had this same flavor in all incarnations of Shakey's in Cagayan de Oro and biting into the slice brought back all those fond memories.

a large Manager's Choice thin crust pizza.

What's your fondest Shakey's memory?

Directions by Google Maps to the resaturant reviewed are here:

View Larger Map