UPDATE: RITOS BULALO MOVED FROM THIS LOCATION TO ENGINEERS HILL HERE’S THE MAP TO RITOS BULALO’S New LOCATION
There are two things you can do in Baguio City on a rainy day. One, you could stay at home and cook a hot meal or two you go to a restaurant that serves your favorite hot meal. Nothing beats a hot “pinikpikan” on a rainy day, but this time its more about reminiscing the good old days. You see, in Baguio City there was this restaurant where you could eat bulalo in large portions. Bulalo is a beef stew that is made from beef shanks and marrow bones, boiled so long that the meat and the cartilage almost separate from the bones. Way back thirteen years ago i got the chance to taste what i can call the best Bulalo in Baguio City, not only because of its hefty portions but also because of the simple fact that it is delicious. That restaurant was called Ritos, it was formerly located within the LTO compound at Engineers Hill until they transferred or opened a new branch along Marcos Highway. Years have passed and i found out that they closed down, just like the other good restaurants in Baguio City. Until one day i heard that one branch of Ritos was kept open so when I got the chance I headed out to look for the last remaining Rito’s Bulalohan.
The Search For Ritos in Baguio City
Apparently the remaining Ritos restaurant is difficult to locate if you do not look hard enough. But to spare you the trouble, it is located at the Baguio Chamber of Commerce and Industry area. It is actually beside the building, you cannot see it if you just stay at the gate area since it is kinda covered with plants and tents to protect the cafe from the rain. It is not the same Ritos restaurant with the classy tables and chairs and the huge space. It now looks like a simple carinderia or a small cafe.
The Ritos Bulalo
I looked beyond the physical appearance of the cafe because let’s face it, this is a restaurant that served amazing food. Looking at their menu printed on a tarp, i saw a familiar dish. You see, they serve two kinds of bulalo, the one without the vegetables and the one with vegetables. Aside from the obvious difference on the dish there is also a price difference, the bulalo served with veggies is at 180 pesos while the one without the veggies is at 120 pesos. Now, they serve this in a large bowl, but their present version is slightly smaller but hey it fed three hungry adults. As for the taste? When i had the first sip of that soup i felt like Igor in the movie Ratatouille, it brought me back in time when i first tasted their bulalo thirteen years ago, now if that’s not consistency, i don’t know what is.
Well the search for the Ritos Bulalo is over, and of course i hope to return and eat there again one of these days. Sure, their new place doesn’t seem like the old ritos but what is our measure of a restaurant? The food of course, having been consistent on how they make their bulalo gives them a huge star in my books.