Sunday, January 11, 2009

Faustinos on Timog

Late find or new find, I cannot decide for I don’t know yet! But down at the southeastern corner of Quezon City’s Timog Ave., cor. Sct. Torillo is a place called Faustino’s Sizzler Bar & Grill that either we saw or just came to our consciousness for the first time. Its such a nice cozy place anyway, amidst the frenzied night places in the area. A different place, I must say, probably a cut above the rest as there is nothing similar to it in the said location. A friend and I happened by, one late Saturday evening after some bit of roaming in the city of Manila.

How did we stumble upon Faustino’s? We were on the way home and decided to go for a nightcap. But we just came from noisy party places so we were determined to find a more sober joint – if ever we could find one on the said strip. Cruising the length of Timog Ave. from Quezon Ave., we both thought we should have veered right on T. Morato as surely there are bars/restaurants that fit our desired atmosphere. But we were already past the rotunda, so we just continued driving onwards laughing that we could even end up at that gay bar called Chicos hehe. Then we saw Faustino’s. Primary ‘attraction’ was ‘available parking space’ at the corner just beside it. Second, there were outside tables under umbrella-type kiosks, well-lit corner and big trees adorned with a ‘conglomeration’ of yellow lights inside capiz-shell balls. So we dug in!

SanMigLight (of course) plus MarlLights, and we were happily watching vehicles and people that went by. People watching of some sort hehe. Nice cozy music from inside the bar that we can hear outside as the fitted the area with speakers. Quality sound system, so we agreed. Repertoire was more on the romantic jazzy standards on piano, guitar or sax, solo or all three instruments together. We initially thought those were recorded cuts but when a voice came on greeting everyone a good evening and started singing “Misty” we became more interested. We asked a waitress what band was playing and the reply was, they were the owner and some friends just jamming the night way. Whoa! You guessed it, enter us to the main restaurant area to view of the expert sound-makers!

Romantic. That’s our initial description of Faustino’s interiors. This one is really a cut above the rest. Meaning? The restaurant is not jammed with small tables and chairs to greedily ‘accommodate’ more than the capacity as what you would see in many joints along the Timog strip. At Faustino’s, it is even a formal set-up you’d be afraid to bring your rowdy-when-drunk college buddies. Ah, our table outside was glass-topped by the way. But inside… each table (usually good for 4) is neatly covered by two layers of cloth. Yep, two layers. First, the usual crisp white linen, and second, a similar fabric with flowery prints to blend well with the rest of the interiors. That’s not yet all as they are topped by a plate of clear glass cut to the exact fit of each table.

There are lights, a lot of them actually, but to keep with the ambience, everything aside from the spotlight to the mini-stage is dimmed and each table are candle-lit! And not just any haphazard way like you see in many restaurant and resorts where candles are dunked into drinking glasses or little jars the easily darken with soot. Candle-holders here are nice brownish thick glass crystal trays that will surely down a mugger or two if a commotion perchance ensues hehe. And them jars even have their own individual doilies (or is that called place mat?) in the same color and material as the throw pillows.

Throw pillows? What is this a sala? Ah near the piano and the mini-stage, there is some kind of a lounge-type sitting area where the glass table is low (coffee table) and the seats are two-seater sofas made of wicker. A nice nook for small groups to hang around. Ah, I think there is a similar set-up by the glass-door entrance. Yes, there are throw pillows in those areas. But not to be outshone too, are the tables beside the big glass windows. Nice that you can see the outside world from those tables.

The walls are of course dotted with framed paintings, the Christmas lights and decors still there (its just January c’mon) and the wall behind the mini-stage has a big floor-to-ceiling painting of a little girl picking fruits in garden with a tree-lined foot path. Hey, even the ceiling is not bare! I think those golden balls, twigs and branches surrounded by a lot of little lights are part of their Christmas d├ęcor and it looks quite tasteful.

The menu items are not exorbitant as they are just about the same price range as everything you get from that karaoke bar next door hehe. Yes, there's a karaoke bar next door. I liked the sizzling gambas and the sizzling Hungarian sausage. But the fried itik - its a kind of duck - is just delectably deeelicious! They even have rare to find beers. And yes, the bar list is quite impressive not to mention choices of juices and shakes for the non-alcoholics hehe.

The music was real good, even if those dudes were just in a fit of friendly ‘jamming’. Actually, we learned that piano, sax and guitar are all regulars in this place. But the owner who sings well anyway, was around for dinner and drinks so he gamely meddled in the otherwise regular “set” of the musicians – to our added delight. His wife just busied herself helping out the bar and waitstaff though we think she is also musically inclined. And there was another guest, the owners’ lovely daughter who professed those kinds of songs and musical genre are not her league but she gamely belted numbers either solo or with her father.

After their jamming and antics on that stage, father and daughter went out as the girl was actually going to perform at another bar in the area that was trying her talent out for a probable regular gig.

Nice place.


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