This entry is now more than a week late, nevertheless, it is still a great way to talk about a place in Tagaytay that undoubtedly evokes a lot of memories. Though the flavors might not be as fresh as the day or at least the first few days after eating in Tagaytay’s Memory Lane. It is still worth reminiscing and writing about this unique restaurant just a little bit off from the main road of Manila’s weekend getaway city.
Seeing the restaurant’s edifice for the first time evokes a lot of strong memories of my childhood. Not because I spent my entire life outside of the Philippines (which I certainly did not, homegrown boy here) but rather the almost surreal-like quality of a typical southern house. The vast porch with the tables, chairs and the benches reminiscent of a typical American plantation and the almost-perceptible southern drawl and comfort. In a nutshell, the building where Memory Lane resides is a beautiful, southern house that is comely, cool and very much inviting. Little did I know that there would be more surprises inside the house.
If the blues and the various shades of springtime colors aren’t inviting enough, Memory Lane takes its visitors a literal trip down memory lane. Old 1950’s Americana (with a complete I Love Lucy short) and witty signs dot the wall; the scenery was evocative of a typical Norman Rockwell painting–captivating.
More than just its quirky items and bric-a-brac, Memory Lane stays true to the image it exudes, which is the southern food that I see or read in many of the books and films that I have watched. Sitting down just before the lunch hour, Tricia and her family ordered an interesting array of food: potato salad and wedges drenched in cheese and bacon, sinigang na lechon, southern style fried chicken with baby potatoes, and baby back ribs.
When our food arrived (this of course took some time, around a 20-30 minute wait), I dug into the restaurant’s deliciously good smelling and colorful sinigang with lechon (kawali) strips floating around. The soup wasn’t bad, just a bit on the near creamy side, which was a bit weird and the taste was something to get accustomed to.
I followed this with their crispy fried chicken, their chicken looked like it was dip into a vat of crisco and fried to golden perfection. Despite their chicken looking very Jollibee-like, I was disappointed with its taste. The chicken had more batter than meat and the spices did not do any justice to it. So much for enjoying, what could have probably been my first, chicken cooked in the southern style.
The piece de resistance of the entire meal was the arrival of the baby back ribs, unannounced and glistening with barbecue glaze, the ribs were alluring and if manners weren’t issue I would have dug into the meal sans fork and knife. The meat was so tender and soft it practically slid off the bone without any effort at all. Smothered in rib sauce, the sauce/dip the ribs were accompanied with stood beside the dish neglected and forgotten, because there was no need to dip the ribs in sauce. I have ate a lot of ribs before (Racks, Rub, the ribs at T. Sam’s place) and the ribs in Memory Lane were certainly one of the best I have tasted (behind the following: Rub and T. Sam’s).
If you find yourself in the hills of Tagaytay city with a hungry stomach and all of the high-brow places are full: Antonio’s and Antonio’s Breakfast, then maybe a slight detour and a little trip along the un-trodden path and into the southern comfort of Memory Lane might be a breathe of fresh air. The restaurant is a sight in itself with its cute design and its colorful collection of Americana, but the ribs are something to try-out and are worth waiting for.
Memory Lane can be found at Magallanes Drive. Tagaytay City, Cavite.
They can be reached at 0917 – 8581950
They can be reached at 0917 – 8581950