Craving for that hard-to-find Cherry Cola and Dr. Pepper Cherry?
You can get them in the restaurant with the largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia in Marikina. And guess what, they also serve the best cheeseburger in town!
Putting all these elements together into one equation, I win an instant date with my brother.
It’s yet another Sunday, just a week after visiting Some Kind of Wonderful Cafe in Marikina. (Yes, the start of my Marikina food trip addiction.) But this time I’m on a date with my brother on a very hot and humid day, but the weather can’t dampen our food adventurer spirit.
With the help of Google Map and some blogs, my brother and I find ourselves walking aimlessly along the same street as the Shoe Museum. The humble sign of Dee Coffee House (hey, another food trip!) looms in the distance and walk towards it, constantly looking left and right for any sign of Mama Chit’s. Just a few more steps forward, the screaming red and yellow colors of their sign hollers at us.
The interiors are as crazy, or wait… even crazier than their store sign! With checkered tiles, an overhead string of empty soda cans and bright colored walls plastered with 60′s, 70′s and 80′s pop icons, it’s nostalgia fever once again.
The coffee house is jammed up with vintage items. Walking inside this place feels like I’m entering inside a giant time capsule!
Black and white photographs of old Manila frame the retro paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, providing a stark contrast of colors. I stare into these photos and attempt to capture the glory days of Manila in my imagination. Images of kalesa, wide roads and long A-line skirts fill my mind. Oh how I wish I could travel back in time, even for just an hour. I think I would fall head over heels in love with Manila!
In Mama Chit’s, vintage is not only classy; it’s also quirky!
The restaurant showcases a rotary phone, a broken down slot machine, some random degraded skull, old pharmaceutical advertisements and wacky plated signage. Many of which are hard stained with dust and rust, adding even more charm to the place.
But at the heart of this hole-in-the-wall diner is their Coca-Cola memorabilia. They take pride in owning the largest collection in the city, instantly visible with their bleeding red interiors.
The owners sure are Coca-Cola addicts! They have Coca-Cola umbrellas, lunch boxes, old glass bottles, table displays, tissue holder, table cloth, photos of Coca-Cola events, Coca-Cola clocks, mugs, cups, and those adorable miniature bottles. Gosh, even their refrigerator and chiller are wrapped in Coca-Cola!
The wacky atmosphere keeps us googly-eyed as we await our orders. Distraction is the name of the game! I go crazy, clicking away with my camera, while my brother, being the techie that he is, instantly checks-in at Foursquare. After all, it’s too great a find not to share immediately! But he finds the need to whip out his smartphone again as soon as our orders arrive.
These gorgeous golden Mojos stir our appetites with their soft and tender texture. Perfectly seasoned yet barely greasy, Mama Chit’s Mojos are heaven sent to the oily food averse. I reckon, these must be baked and not fried. If there is one thing I must comment on, it’s that I wish they come with blue cheese dip instead, but I guess the tomato catsup will do for now.
But never mind that because here come the big *ss burgers!
Wow oh wow, what did we just order?
My brother looks at me and whispers, “This is so huge! How do we eat this?”
Initially, I pick up the knife and try piercing through the burger, making a colossal mess. Skip that thought. I try to pick up the burger with one hand, but its size demands a firm grip with both my hands.
I feel my heart beat faster as the scent of its juicy meat and stingy onions tickle my nose. I clear my mind and prepare all my senses before I dive right in for one huge bite.
I pierce through the soft bread, then the crackling lettuce and into the juicy red meat. I dive back in for another bite and an even bigger sound fills the room.
I feel the sweet sting of the onion in my second bite, adding such an intense flavor to the burger. On my third, fourth and fifth bites, the sharp flavor of the onion is still so powerful. How is that possible?
I open up my burger and voila, it’s one whole slice of onion inside the burger. Yes, it’s not just a ring. It’s one whole slice of onion! Wow, they sure are generous with their vegetables.
The onions get too stingy at some point, so thank God for those slices of tomato and cucumber! Maybe I should have tomatoes on the side too just to further tame down the sting. But don’t get me wrong, these onions tear me up, but I’m loving every second of it.
Together with the juiciest and tastiest beef patty, a slice of cheese, and their mayonnaise and catsup combination, I declare this the best cheeseburger I’ve ever had. A cheeseburger with the perfect balance of flavors minus the grease – definitely, a dream come true for me!
I enjoy my visit in Mama Chit’s so much that I drive my parents to the same place, just 3 days after my Sundate (Sunday + date) with my brother. Take note, driving is very stressful for me but this is worth the stress!
This time, my dad orders the cheeseburger, while my mom and I have their Ham Sandwich and Spam Burger, respectively. For the first five minutes, I just watch my dad bite into his burger, seeking for his approval with my best cheeseburger declaration. He soon notices the much needed attention coming from my direction and he gives me a thumbs up right before taking another bite. Horay!
I see another generous slice of onion peeking through the slices of bread in my mom’s sandwich. She seems to love her order but I think she’s more in love with the restaurant’s display. As for me, my Spam Burger is a no-brainer. Seriously, how can you go wrong with Spam? Everybody loves Spam! Although I think I know how to make this burger even better – caramelized onions! Yum.
So after two consecutive dates in Mama Chit’s, I still can’t stop raving about their cheeseburger and I sense that RJ’s starting to get curious.
Another date in Mama Chit’s brewing?
Maybe. Well honestly, I don’t mind.More Info on Mama Chit’s Coffee House: Address: 278 JP Rizal Street, San Roque, Marikina City Landmark: Across Shoe Museum, near Our Lady of the Abandoned Church Transportation: Take the Kalumpang jeep and ask them to drop you off at the Shoe Museum Contact: (02) 646-8547 Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10AM-9PM Menu: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 Budget: Php150/head Payment Method: Cash Attire: Casual Parking: In front of the store, very limited Wifi: None Other Marikina Restaurants: Food Trip in Marikina: Travel Back to the 80′s with Some Kind of Wonderful Cafe