Familiar and comfortable dining

AS DAVAO City progresses into an economic and investment hub, its arts and culture including the foodie landscape has also grown.

Everywhere you wish to dine with a friend or with family, you can almost always find that specific cuisine you’re craving for at the moment. But despite the improving rich, colorful foodie culture present, sometimes what Dabawenyos consistently come home to is the simple Filipino meals and snacks amid the complicated growing food selections in the city.

If you’ve ever been to F. Torres St. corner Jacinto Ext., chances are you have encountered Cotabato EMS Pasta & Roll’s, more popular with their red flower logo with an “EMS” written on the center.

Their food selection of spaghetti, Pinoy sweets, pancit, and other rice meals will make you remember the places your parents used to bring you to for afternoon snacks after school.

We had dinner there Wednesday night. Unlike other fusion restaurants, ordering at EMS Pasta & Rolls was easier because the choices are familiar, nostalgic. We ordered chixboy (pork and chicken barbecue), and the T-bone sizzling steak. The chixboy meal is always a welcome combination for a culture that celebrates grilled food so much.

The T-bone sizzling steak, on the other hand, went beyond the expections. For its price of less than P200 it’s safe to be considered ‘sulit’, worth your money. The gravy wasn’t too overwhelmingly thick, just right to complement the meat, which was not at all difficult to chew unlike the other ‘steaks’ I have encountered in the past.

Ending the dinner with their impeccably sweet brazo de mercedes is a recommended decision. Although they have different Pinoy sweets and pastries as chocolate cake, kakanin, halo-halo, and buko pandan, we opted for something less sweet and yet would satisfy our craving for a dessert.

EMS is only one of the many restaurants in Davao City that had survived the ever changing food landscape in the city - possibly because they offer homey and comfortable meals. Sometimes this is exactly how we wanted it, just how our mothers and grandmothers cook it for us.


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