Rastro The Powerplant, Rockwell
Opened : August 2002
Budget Per Person (without wine) : P 450 for food and cerveza (baby, that's less than $10!)
I never really ventured into that side of the Rockwell strip, except for last night's supposed reunion of sorts. But having to miss going to Seattle's Best and turning right instead was a pleasant surprise. There among the strip of al-fresco dining restos sits Rastro. On this night of bomb scares, it was the only place that was packed at 8:30 pm. That's still early if you eat dinner in Spain!
We start with the ambiance. Nothing close to a spanish tapas bar. Or the ones I saw in Barcelona. The place was your garden-variety Spanish resto. Even the background music was like Shakatak. Then Ed Quimson, the main man, gets to you and welcomes you, no, not you but the family behind you. And you're left with the guys in black to seat you.
The menu. I opened it and saw 101 varieties of mouth-watering pica-pica. The menu had inscriptions dedicating something to Doreen (Fernandez) or so. "Might be a menu to be given to her to review but she wasnt able to before she succumbed.", I said to myself. Actually all the menu, my two other officemates also carried the same.
We ordered Cuchi Frito (suckling pig at P 450, good for 1-2), and it was out of this world! I used all the zarsa (to the consternation of my companions) to enliven my rice, just like your karpintero would do. We also got Chuletas de Pollo el Ajillo (Chicken Strips) and then moved on to cerveza and homemade Spanish Sausage. So we did it wrong? We ate rice before the pica pica. Eh ano?! We were famished and we went straight to the real food and then stepped back to pica-pica. In Rastro, there are no rules like that!