By Stella A. Estremera
Goin' Places

MY FRIENDS and I have come to the conclusion that restaurant owners have this mission to drive Dabawenyos to kingdom come in collective glee over food and more food as yet another eat-all-you-can restaurant opened.

Ranch and Reef is the latest restaurant to open along the row that now houses Coffee Cat, Nonki Japanese Restaurant, and Let's Crab Eat. It features steaks and shrimp tempura, all you can eat.

I first tried it with just Imee as the rest of the kit and caboodle are somewhere out there, the farthest of whom is Deng who received a text message asking about where we ate liempo, when she was in the midst of the flurry of a live show in Belfast.

"Liempo???"

That liempo has since been featured here and so we proceed with steaks.

It was heavenly. Rich in fat, too.

And even on the second time I went there to try the place anew, this time with buddy Carlos, I didn't have enough space left for much dessert. The small piece of blueberry cheesecake I got a taste of, however, was just the way I like it. Not too sweet and very creamy. But that was just a square inch.

There are two types of steaks, very tender and cooked just right, there's schublig, there's shrimp tempura, and then there's baked lasagna. I was so fixated with the steak and schublig, I can't say much about the lasagna and tempura.

But for the price you are payinng (P399 for dinner and a bit cheaper for lunch), it just doesn't make sense if you gorge on anything else but real tender medium rare US certified Angus beef, or does it?

It's sinful though as the slices come all marbled, just the way we like it and the perfect slices to clog up your arteries (joke!).

There's a lesson I learned though in the two straight nights I was there. If the place is not filled up as it was when we were there, choose your table with the aircon in mind.

On the first night, Imee and I occupied a table quite far from the cold blast the aircon gives off and so I enjoyed the meal in the slow chomp-chomp I do when I am relishing a meal.

On the second night, however, the place was filled up and the only available table for two was in an area directly hit by the blast.

It was fun at first, what with the Davao heat. But like all marbeled beef, the fatty areas would just as quickly turn to eeky lard. I realized that as I chomped on one mouthful piece of beef lard. Ugh.

Carlos would text me the day after saying he went back to partake of the steaks some more, this time choosing his table well.

That said, I hope there will not be a race as to who gets the areas away from the aircon blast...

I forgot. Ranch and Reef also has a salad bar. Suffice it to say, I never made it there as I got stuck on the steak and schublig part.