It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon here in New York City and this got me craving for some Filipino cuisine once more. I was talking to Chef VeeJay Javier of Amazing Grace and he had told me to visit Baby’s Grill and Restaurant. Located at 68-28 Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, Queens and just a few steps away from the 69th street stop on the 7 train.
I met Chef VeeJay on the corner of the street and he was kind enough to bring me to the restaurant and introduce me to Chef Bernard Mamaid, the brain child behind this classic restaurant. Chef Bernard opened Baby’s Grill and Restaurant on 09/6/2014 and has never looked back since.
He hails from Nueva Ecija which is north of the capital and is known as the rice bowl of the Philippines along with corn and onion as their main agricultural products. As Chef Bernard and I spoke at the outdoor barrier of the restaurant he told me the difficulties that he encountered during the pandemic. Although his restaurant never closed, he really felt the struggle as the whole world practically closed and the streets and dining rooms were empty. He said that his main motivation was his wife and 2 children to make sure that under no circumstances the business would overcome this pandemic and come out on top.
It was so inspiring to hear Chef Bernard talk about his family and how he triumphed over this global crisis.
The first dish that he brought to us was his version of grilled chicken inasal which was bright gold in color and so fragrant. It was garnished with a lemon wedge that was hand carved and an apple that was decorated to mimic a swan. The dish was so beautiful that I almost did not want to eat it but I could not help but cut to the chicken and try this Bacolod classic. The meat was so juicy and the marinate had the right acidity to it which made me finish a full cup of garlic rice with it of course.
A second cup of garlic rice was in order while I ate the fish and by this time, I was already so full and happy The sizzling blue marlin steak was so good that I will be back with my family soon enough…