Whenever you find yourself in the Banilad-Talamban area, keep a lookout for a giant Woody (yes, that cowboy character from that movie) lurking on the side of the road. Once you find him, never forget his location! He is a sign of good times and great food.
The Ranch is a cowboy-themed restaurant/meat shop located just after the BTC flyover (Talamban side). Once you get past the flyover, look to the right until you see Giant Woody happily fronting the entrance to the restaurant. You can’t miss him! Once you step in The Ranch, you’ll be distracted by the quaint atmosphere and vintage, Western-style decoration long enough for your food to be served. And if your timing is right, your whole Western experience is rounded up with country music playing overhead!
Now, the food is a whole different story. Admittedly, their menu may not look like much, but you’re in for a surprise. (Tip: Don’t even think about eating here unless your stomach is 80-100% empty because their servings are ginormous.) Basically, whatever you order is sure to look good, look big, and taste even better. I’ve eaten here more than a dozen times and tried different meals, but I’ve never been disappointed. Most of the time, though, I stick to my usual favorites: burger steak, chicken marsala, lemon fish, and apple pie.
Their burger steak meal is a whopper. It comes in a plate full of gravy with a side of vegetables. The meat itself is a solid hunk of ground beef that has the right amount of juice and grittiness to it and most likely tastes better than the best you’ve ever had. The gravy is absolutely addicting with its light buttery taste. If you ever run out, don’t be shy because you can always ask for more.
The chicken marsala is a tender chicken filet with a gravy-like, wine-based sauce, string mushrooms, and a side of vegetables. The filet is HUGE (they serve by weight) and has a hint of wine and sweetness to it. While the burger steak is rugged and wild, the chicken marsala is sweet and sophisticated in flavor. You can’t do wrong by ordering both!
On to the apple pie. If you hate apple pie, you will love this one. If you already love apple pie, you will marry this one. It’s a slice of sweet, cinnamon-y goodness bursting with giant chunks of apples, oozing with flavor, and with just the right amount of a chewy, chunky, buttery crust. Unlike the other apple pies I’ve tried, it’s moist and literally dripping out of its crust. I can live months on this pie alone.
So if you’re ever in the Banilad or Talamban area (or even if you’re not!), head over to The Ranch. You’ll be blown away by their food (don’t be afraid to try something I didn’t mention because they’re all good) and the ambiance. They also have an outdoor dining area where you can hang out and drink with your friends. They even have several cowboy hats that you and your barkada can borrow for humorous photo-ops! You definitely won’t be sorry dining there. Just don’t forget to go with an empty stomach!