Where to Eat in Bacolod: Bob’s North Drive

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Someone mentioned that they liked my food reviews of Bacolod, a city fast cementing a foodie reputation in the Philippines. So here I am writing one about an old institution called Bob’s along North Drive (I think it’s now called BS Aquino Drive), in front of Riverside Medical Center.

Anyone who has lived in Bacolod knows Bob’s. It’s located in the center of things and has always been around ever since I could remember.

Some of my food-related childhood memories involve riding in a white car (my dad usually picked white) with my family late at night for a drive-in meal.

We would be in our pajamas and would not need to get out of the car. Back then, the parking lot of what was known as Bob’s Big Boy (with matching mascot that looked like the Bob’s Big Boy in the US) was huge, and they served food near the car windows on metal tables.

One of my favorites up to this day is still the siopao (steamed bun). Bob’s version has ubod (palm heart) in it and is served with a sweet sauce. While it is similar in look and some composition to the typical siopao in the Philippines, it is unique because it uses ubod.

My dad would have the steak sandwich. And we would order rounds of the buko (coconut) shake.

Bob’s classic menu is featured on their paper placemats pictured above.

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I ordered the steak sandwich today.

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And also had the fruit punch, which I try to have whenever I’m here.

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Other things to order: Any of the hamburgers and cheeseburgers, criss cut fries if they have it available, fried or fresh lumpia, and have a go at the Mongolian barbeque eat-all-you can bar as well. But one of the classics is sate babi with rice.

Having lived in Indonesia for a long time, I know that this sate babi does not hold a candle to the original. But this is what I ate as a kid and though I know and appreciate what the real deal actually tastes like, the memory of this particular kind of sate babi brings me back to meals with loved ones, to meals with friends, to high school.

My memories of Bob’s also include the sad ones as well. The hospital is right in front, and whenever we had a family member confined there, we ordered Bob’s as a treat.

Have to mention that the waiters at Bob’s have been around for ages. Some of them have probably been around since I was a kid. Their service is friendly and prompt and they make you feel right at home.

There are/have been other branches of Bob’s, but the main branch has stood the test of time. I think no visit to Bacolod is complete unless you have a meal at this institution.

Am planning to do more Bacolod restaurant reviews. Do like this one or better yet drop me a note in the comments section if you want to read more.

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