Three hours of grueling bus ride is more than enough for one’s stomach to grumble in protest, especially if you haven’t had proper breakfast yet. I hope you’ll forgive me if my first post at the historic Taal Town is about a restaurant.
The day was a scorcher as we took shelter at Don Juan BBQ’s cool interiors after being directed here by some of the locals.
Don Juan looks like a typical Filipino house on the outside; painted in warm white, it has a pitched roof with capiz (mother of pearls) windows circling the whole structure. The place seems to be emulating the old houses which Taal is known for.
We seated ourselves near one of the windows and checked out their menu (not for ventilation as the place is air-conditioned). As expected, they serve mostly Filipino dishes with some leanings to barbecued fares. They have a separate section for Taal specialties and they have longanisa (Filipino sausage), yay!
It’s a no brainer that I’d be ordering their Taal longanisa, it’s gonna be the first time I’d get to try them out.
After much chaos, everyone’s finally done with their orders. Good thing the staff was very accommodating; we were quite the rowdy bunch. Waiting time was not that long and our food arrived one by one sooner than was expected.
We ordered their Batangas bulalo (Php290.00) for the gang (we were nine in the group) and it was enough if only as an additional soup (note that it is not refillable, unlike most bulalo joints).
It was not as good as the other bulalo I’ve tried though. There were hardly any bone marrow (heck I can’t even remember if there was even a bone) with a few pieces of beef swimming around the bowl, I guess this was purely soup and the marrow was only for flavor. I don’t really eat bone marrow so it was fine with me, but those who dig this stuff might really be disappointed.
I was excited with my Taal longanisa (Php88.00) since it is the garlic type that I so love. It also, however, fell short of my expectations. I’m not sure if Taal’s longanisa is really full of cubed fats but theirs definitely has a lot which is actually not my thing. The meat was also a bit on the hard side, so minus points again.
I also tried out some of my friend’s fare (those that were within my reach, haha). The Ihaw-Ihaw Chicken Pecho (Php75.00) and BBQ Combo (Php85.00) were too tough for my liking, they may have been overcooked.
For desserts, we ordered their turon (banana fritters) with ice cream (Php35.00) which, unfortunately, they ran out of stock. They were able to give us one serving though so we were able to check it out.
They were sized like longish lumpiang shanghai (fried mini spring rolls) and had none of the crusty sugar that is distinct to turon. A scoop of ice cream is plopped on top. It was average tasting, nothing to really write home about. Serving size was okay though for its price.
Our lunch at Don Juan BBQ was very average and was almost bordering on disappointing. The place looks decent enough and the staff was very polite, hopefully they can improve their dishes for a more enjoyable dining experience.
Don Juan BBQ
Address: F. Agoncillo St. (right beside the market), Taal, Batangas
Contact Number: (0922) 803-8855 | (043) 302-2486