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Ristras, Mexican Burrito Heaven

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What do Cyma - Greek Restaurant, Charlie's - Grill and Grind and Ristras, Mexican Grill have in common? All of them have the culinary influence of Chef Rob Goco. Ristras, named after the arrangement of chile pepper pods when hung to dry or for decorative purposes, is the latest Mexican place that foodies are raving about. (Thanks to Maong for the tip. :) )

It is a burrito fast food joint that uses only fresh ingredients, which are slow-cooked. They pride themselves on not even owning a can opener in the restaurant. They also serve margaritas and Mexican/specialty beers.

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Ristras Mexican Grill Menu | Albondigas Soup, Chips & Nachos, Enchilada | Burrito, Fajita Burrito, Burrito Bowl, Tacos, Salad | with Chicken, Steak, Carnitas, Barbacoa, Vegetarian | Salsas, Drinks, Extras

 

Burrito (P290) is the specialty of the house and it can be served with the flour tortilla or in a bowl. You can customize the burrito fillings any which way you like. Use sauteed peppers and onions instead of beans, or have assorted kinds of meat. You have to order from the counter and choose your ingredients.

 

Here are some tips to help you create your own burrito:

 

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To start off, you need to decide...

 

Burrito in tortilla or in a bowl?

Cilantro-lime Rice or Chorizo Brown Rice?

Pinto or Vegetarian Black Beans?

Instead of Beans, Sauteed Pepper and Onions perhaps?

Red or Green Chili?

 

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Choice of Meat:

Chicken (marinated for hours in a jalapeno marinade, then grilled)

Steak (marinated for hours in chipotle adobo, then grilled)

Carnitas (naturally raised pork, seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, orange juice and freshly cracked black pepper, seared then braised for hours)

Barbacoa (shredded beef, slow-braised with chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic, and oregano)


I've tasted the Chicken, Steak and Barbacoa. All of them are good. By default, you will be asked to choose just one from the meat options but you can request to have a mix of meats.

 

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Other ingredients: Corn Salsa, Guacamole, Cheese, Sour Cream and Romaine Lettuce.


If you don't specify your sauce preference, they will put all the sauces.

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After they wrap the burrito, you can request to have it cut in half.

 

 

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Choice of Salsa:

Pico de Gallo - Salsa (mild)

Tomatillo Green - Chili Salsa (medium hot)

Tomato Red - Chili Salsa (hot)

Roasted Chili - Corn Salsa (medium)

 

 

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Burrito Bowl (P290).

The burrito is good for one hungry person and is a complete meal in itself.

 

 

 

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Feel free to pair Mexican Beers, Specialty Beers and Local Beers with your burrito.

 

 

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Syoti thinks it's yummy!

 

 

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Ristras just opened, so please be patient with the staff...

Ristras Mexican Grill
J. Abad Santos corner Lopez Jaena, San Juan
(From Wilson St., turn right on Alex III. Ristras is one block away from the corner.)

Check out Mexican Restos in Manila: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/mexican/ 

Live an Awesome Life,


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009.

blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com

mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)

email: anton@diaz.ph

 

 

 







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Anton, so glad you reviewed this place. My friend, Ton Gatmaitan, was just raving about it on Facebook. And I really didn't want to drive all the way to Zapata in Pampanga for Mexican food worth my calories.....

Exciting! This is going to be close to where my husband-to-be and I will live...:-)

Yeah, this one is a must try. Malayo lang nga nasa San Juan...

Looks promising! Concept is like Chipotle..my all-time fave Mexican fastfood resto. Hope they have something like burrito-bol. San Juan, here I come :)

unfortunately walang burrito-bol, maybe in the future... let me know what
you think about Ristras.

ANG AKING BAGONG PABURRITO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SAN JUAN here I come.
thanks for the tip, bro ",)

hi jinggoy!
hi erap!!!

ManilaBoy! You're so funny. You forgot to say hi to JV, the best mayor of San Juan.

Jenny, where's Chipotle?

Anton, ty for this post. I live in San Juan, pass Abad Santos all the time--like today, but I'm always driving so I don't look around.

I want to try this place!!! There is a serious dearth of decent Mexican (or even TexMex) restaurants in Manila. Can't wait to head over.

i love burritos! looks like worth checking out... the last burrito i was totally satisfied with came from a 2nd level kiosk near kameraworld at robinson's galleria 8-9 years ago when i was still in college... they had this green rice. i think big chill now occupies the spot. too bad! choice of beef or chicken only, and they are generous on the refried beans! used to have it for lunch while walking around after church. cheap, too! i think it was around Php35?

You're welcome :)

Wow, marami pala talagang may gusto ng mexican sa Pilipinas. We badly need a
really good one that is decently priced...

Anton

wow, this looks amazing! can't wait to try it.

btw, syoti is so handsome! ;p

hhmmm..here's the tastiest recipe for the simpliest mexican food called carne asada{burrito wrapper or just w/brown o white plain rice}cut small cubes of beef meat{menudo size}put salt & lots & lots of ground peppers sa karne tapos iprito maige hanggang maging dark red pero huwag sunog tapos igisa sa bawang kasama ng lots & lots of onions cut into small tiny pieces smaller than meat cubes pero mas marami ang portion ng sibuyas kaysa sa portion ng karne tapos pag mapulang mapulang na yung sibuyas ihalo naman yung cut into small pieces like the lenght size of onion cuts na silantro-cilentro leaves na fresh in semi high heat pag medyo lanta looking na yung cilentro sa kaha-halo it means ready na yung 'carne asada' place in a round or oblong serving plate at ibalot individually sa wrapper to eat them or eat it as it is with brown rice or white rice

btw..yung cilantro kailangan ubusin iluto kasama sa carne asada yung boung isang tali na maliit para lalong masarap

same concept as chipotle's...

I have not eaten in Chipotle in the US... Thanks for the comment...

I can see that enough people have mentioned Chipotle, I wonder if the McDonald's franchise owners will see this and try to bring Chipotle in. Or can someone please consider bringing in a real taco truck (even a take on the korean taco truck would be great!)? Turn one of the jollyjeeps into a taco place would be fun!

Jalapeno in Ortigas Home Depot is both really good and affordable (half the price of ristras).

Oo nga, sana some entrepreneurs are reading this and run away with the idea
:)

hey! we're that couple you took a picture of.

would've been nice if you asked permission to take the photo. but hey it's all good, you can see it on our faces

Lester

galing mo talaga anton!! i live so near this resto and i havent tried it out yet :)

Hi Lester,

Glad to know you are cool with it. But you are right I should have asked
permission. I have this thing about taking candid shots when I do a blog
post.

Anton

Try it out Fran :) hehe, I like their concept and food :)

before pepper lunch arrived, there was pepper steak.
before krispy kreme came to the philippines, go-nuts donuts paved the way.
if this local version of chipotle does well, then it may signal mcdonald's to bring in the real deal.
either way, this resto is good news for burrito lovers like me.

i really liked chipotle in the US, so i gotta try this place.

thanks for posting blog! :D


"life is burrito-ful."

tried Ristras big disappointment. awful :P chips were stale, cheese was cornstarchy, meats were cold. red onions were starting to turn bad, soft taco wrapper too thick... failed every test. upside is it's cheap. 3 soft tacos was only 290 big servings. and big chunks of meat instead of usual puny servings, but in this case, it just doubles the displeasure bleaaach

I disagree with ECJ. On my last visit, I tried the Albondigas Soup, sarap with large meatballs. Twice na ako lunch dyan. Next visit, 9 layer naman. Ty for the post Anton.

Tried it, loved it, have been going back for more. I order the soft tacos all the time. For me, three times the pleasure. Yummmmmmm!

i disagree with ecj "best burrito in the country"

http://oliboycastro.blogspot.com/2009/06/burrito-heaven.html

Just got home from dinner at Ristras.

It's official. I am now a fan. I won't be able to get my burrito fix anywhere else. Not that I'm complaining :D One of the owners (I'm assuming) talked us through all the wonderful possibilities until we all decided. I had myself a burrito (half chicken, half steak, with EVERYTHING on it) swimming in their garlic sauce with a bit of the red spicy sauce.... siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh... After dinner found me shaking the hands of both the guy who helped us narrow down our choices earlier and the actual chef of Ristras. Geniuses, I swear. Next time, I'm getting one of their beers to wash down my burrito. I think I have a plan for tomorrow evening ;)

che....naninira ka lang eh! kumain kaya ako sa ristras 3x na.una kong nagustuhan yung pagiging friendly ng staff at yung burito nila...OMG! ang sasap talaga..kasi fresh lahat ng gamit na gulay at meat... isang malaking kalokohan din yang sinabi mo na dimo nagustuhan ang tacos nila...lier's go to hell!! DI NATUTULOG ANG DIYOS HOY!

Hey Anton!

Fran, Didi and me are heading out there tonight!

I'm a Mexican lover... the food not the virus :D

Have you tried Jalapeno in Ortigas Home Depot? It's pretty decent and reasonable price. Gotta have the same patience for the staff though coz they might take the wrong order or serve you with the wrong one.

BETWEEN BITES


I was really really disappointed with Chipotle in the States, now I know why their food wasn't too great, McDo lang pala may ari!

Qdoba (US) is waaay better, kaya lang konti lang branches, hard to find. Well, they don't have the cash of a big Corp. to back them up.

I hope Ristras would be better than Chipotle.

The big hurdle for anyone attempting to offer authentic Mexican food would be sourcing the ingredients at a cheap price, like if they use Magnolia Quickmelt....patay na!

finally i tried it!!! and i love it!! been there three times na! :)

http://www.frannywanny.com/2009/06/how-to-make-best-burrito-in-townthe.html

THanks for sharing Fran :) Sarap no! Thanks for sharing the link as well :)

Anton

Jane,

Thanks for the tip on Jalapeno, sige I'll check that out soon :) I heard you
had a great time daw. Post your blog post link about Ristras ...

Anton

Hi Guys,

To those near diliman/sikatuna area you can also try Mexican Express. Similar as Miggy's.
You will love the burritos, nacho grande, flautas at cheap price. Enjoy!!!

http://food.clickthecity.com/b/tt20972

Yup, the concept seems like Chipotle Mexican Grill's which was my super favorite when we used to live in Chicago. I looooove burritos (just had a Mexicali meal yesterday!) and I can't wait to go to Ristras! I hope they will open a branch in the South! =)

thanks for this review -- so near to our place and i've been meaning to try it out, but hubby is not too wild with Tex-Mex food, so maybe i'll just have one to-go!
by the way, send my regards to Rache, we're old classmates :)

"burrito bol" is the burrito served in the bowl.

Hi Anton!

Ristras was superbly yummy! I’m glad that it’s just within Fran and I’s neighborhood.

http://www.janedchua.com/2009/06/18/ristras/

Been there twice the past 2 weeks and going again next week with a different group.

Thanks for sharing!

BETWEEN BITES
http://www.janedchua.com

anybody know their telephone number? :)

Speaking of new age mexican restos...my cuurent craze is Jalapeno in Ortigas Home Depot. Food is not only cheap but the quality is taste is top notch! Truly a must try!

My first thought when I saw the pics is something many have commented here: "It's like Chipotle!" in the US. I've been thinking about their food for a while now, so glad Ristras is now open with that similar setup. Interesting it also has the chef of Cyma and Charlie's Grind & Grill. These 3 restos are definitely on my "restos to go to ASAP and again and again" list. Thanks for sharing!

This spot offers one of the best tasting burritos I've tasted in the Philippines! It is like Chipotle but not quite there yet (you know what I mean?). I noticed during my first and only visit that the servers had a difficult time wrapping the burrito. If I remember correctly based from the several burrito places I've been to in the US, then the servers should steam the tortilla with the cheese so that the other ingredients will stick to the wrapper which then would make it easier to wrap. The owners and/or consultant may want to take a look at this. Practice also makes it better.

But overall, I loved their steak burrito salad bowl. I'll definitely come back... =)

Cheers!!!

Anton,
try mo rin sa resto namin The Lime Leaf Thai BBQ located in Madison Square Pioneer cor Sheridan St. Madaluyong

The closest thing to a California style taqueria in the Philippines. I hear they're expanding soon. Hopefully wannabe Mexican restaurants like Mexicali and Tia Maria will step up to the plate and learn how Mexican food is supposed to taste. Competition is always good to keep quality high but for now no where comes close to competing with Ristras!

Thanks for this comment! Time to go back and get my mexican fix :)

Just got home from Ristras AGAIN! :) Finally had my cam with me.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=89481&id=526314164&l=87965387ee

Time to satiate your inner Mexican ;)

Hi Kayenne,

The kiosk you are referring to was called Baja Fresh of California. I was the one behind it and i formulated the recipes from extensive research. The only thing i remember selling at P35 was the taco. The burritos were around 45 to 65 bucks if i remember right. The green rice was made of parsley and garlic. Unfortunately we had to close it down because of many reasons, one reason was because it was a sideline and me and my partners were too preoccupied with our day jobs. It was very heartwarming and flattering to read your comment and there is talk to revive it but there is just too much competition and I am to busy cooking in a makati restaurant now. Please log on to my blog and leave your email address. I'm planning to serve those same burritos for private parties.

Thanks for sharing the link Ava :)

anton

tried it last Fri...had the beef burrito. It was very good, and they didn't scrimp on the ingredients at all (for 290 dapat lang). However, I noticed the position of the cashier is so not hygienic for the assorted condiments laid out.
Since it was pay as you order, customers and the cashier passed the money (payment and change) over the condiments, and while I was waiting for my order, the cashier kept on sneezing into her hands while standing over the food. And she was just beside the crew who was "assembling" my order. Calling Ristras, please have covers made for the different compartments wherein the diffent food items are kept.

i liked it for the first 1 minute, then it was all downhill from there.

the presentation of the burrito was great, as the growing mound of ingredients made me anxious to grab it and eat it as is. when i got to taste it, i was overwhelmed with all the flavors in my mouth. i liked it. after about 2 more bites though, the only truly mexican thing i could taste were the beans. the steak was better off with garlic rice or some other starch. it went from hero to zero in a minute. even the salsa was too sour, tasted like it had those kalamansi concentrates. i know mexican dishes are meant to be a little messy when eaten, but this was way over the top. that said, i didn't even bother finishing the other half.

i also tried the tacos.... not ordering that again. tasted like a fusion of some sort (corned beef tacos? i dunno...). the 2nd one was too soggy by the time i was ready to eat it, which wasn't that long anyway. my friend had the fajitas. he thought too that it was great, and i was thinking i ordered the wrong thing. then all of a sudden, about halfway through, he stopped eating and he wanted it taken away. no explanations, he just didn't like it anymore. i didn't ask why, it happened that way with me too.

i also don't know why someone commented that ristras was how mexican food should taste, that nothing comes close to competing with it, and started bashing tia marias and i think mexicali... they are way better, in my (and my friend's) opinion. even chillywilly's was much better. of all the mexican restos i've tried, i doubt i'll ever go back to ristras. also, i thought i read somewhere that all their ingredients are fresh and they were saying something about not even having a can opener. did you guys not see the cans of tomatillo, jalapeno, etc. displayed there behind the counter?

bottomline, too much hype. i wanted to like it considering i live near the place, but i don't think i'll ever go back. last note, i hate the plastics.

oh, by the way. prices are waaaaaay too much.

Hi Karlo / Joel

Taste and Flavour are subjective. It is apparent that your taste buds are not aligned with that of Ristras. May I suggest that instead of bashing Ristras, just go to places which your taste buds are more aligned to, like maybe Tia Maria and Pancake house. Moreover, price wise, people do pay the price of the burrito with a smile, so i guess you dont fit into this particular market.
Lastly my friends, if you cant say anything nice, please dont post it here. Be more postive.

hi mulato

as you know, this is a public forum and people are entitled to put in their comments. if you are the owner of ristras, don't worry. it looks like you have a lot of fans anyway. but do bear in mind that there are others who find your food not that great. and don't go cutting and pasting my comments if you have nothing better to do.

to all the fans of ristras thank you thank you thank you. you guys are are awesome! anyway to those who did not like it... ill make it my mission in life to satisfy you. it's these comments that make us perfect our craft. i agree taste is subjective, what may taste great to us may not appeal to you. that's all good. bottom line is we will continue to bring out the freshest mexican food we can possibly do. we just added new items in our menu. Chimichangas, burrito al pastor, taco truck tacos, and baja style fish tacos. we also have an option to wet your burrito, chimichanga (top them off with tomatillo sauce or roja sauce the cover with cheese). absolutly delicious. thanks anton for everything more power!!!

hey anton,
i've read about this place from Men's Health Ph just a couple of days ago, i really wanna try it because im a big fan of burritos(mexicali's is the one on top so far) but im lost because i have no idea how to get to this place coming from robinsons, any suggestions?

From Robinsons, go to Greenhills and turn left sa Wilson. go all the way and turn right sa may Alex III -- this is before you hit P. Guevarra. Ristras should be on your right side.


Anton

Hi, Anton!

Was trying to catch up reading your posts that I've missed when I came across this one (I know, I missed a lot! LOL!). Would you be kind enough to give me driving directions if I am coming from Makati? Would really appreciate it, medyo mahina ako sa directions! LOL! I have to agree with some of the people who said that they have the same concept as Chipotle in the US, I so love that place! I have to check Ristras out!

Love your blog! Keep up the great work! :)

If you are coming from Makati, Apple... go via Edsa and turn left going into the Greenhills ramp/ overpass. Go straight and turn left again in Wilson. Go straight until you hit Alex III and turn right there. 

The concept is the same as this resto in the states that i really like, most of the branches are in the east coast though.

Chipotle
http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/food_menu

i am one of those mexican food addicts. i have tried chipotle in the US and its soooo good. their burrito is so huge for me to finish....i've been looking for a nice mexican restaurant here in manila. will definitely make time to try ristras. thanks for the information anton.

My fiance and I just dined at Ristras and I have to be honest that I was disappointed. Maybe it was the high expectations since it came with a lot of recommendations.

We had the carnitas quesadilla (since the burrito looked to heavy for a 3PM snack) and it was like eating a salad. We barely tasted the meat and cheese.

Its been quite sometime since this resto opened and it would be great to ask old timers if they noticed any changes in the size of the meat per serving.

That said, Im such a huge mexican addict that I just need to come back to try the steak burrito. Till next time!

Anton.I would really love to try Ristras Mexican Grill. The steak and barbacao burrito with chorizo brown rice look so appetizing. I also want to try their chimichangga. Theres only one problem. We always get lost in the long and winding road of San Juan.Better start looking for the place when there's still light or we'll never gonna find it

Does anyone know when the new branch of Ristras will open in McKinley Hills? Seems like it's taking forever.

Yes, Ive been wondering about it too.... walang masarap na resto sa Mckinley hill...

chipotle is a chain of mexican fast food in the u.s. the owner made sure that the ingredients are fresh and the meat came from animals raised properly. A big difference from the other fastfood chain in the u.s.

Hey, I was going to say Chipotle too :) Even the prices are similar. $6 in Chipotle and P290 in Ristras.

I'll be dragging my husband and try their version of the barbacoa soon. Yum, yum!

Just want to share my experience at Ristras. It was my second time eating there today and I'm not going back there again. Maybe it's just an isolated case but the first time I was there I ordered the chicken enchilada it was way expensive for its serving size and they served it burnt. Disappointed, but still determined to comeback to try their wet burrito. I invited my sister to eat there today and when we still can’t decide what to order (we’re the only customer on the line), this “server” (I’m also assuming was the chef who is a guy by the way) gave us an attitude. He treated us like we’re ignorant and he rudely prepared our order. We don’t want to make a scene so we just let it slide. The food was okay but we did not appreciate it because of what he did to us. Hope that this will not happen to anyone.

Ristras is coming to the fort! Saw their sign already at the Fairways Tower. Too bad the parking there is small. But happy I can finally try this.

My comment is 3 months old already and haven't taken the time to go to San Juan, so Im glad it's near enough to try!

Hi Anton. My friends and I went to the newest branch at the Fort last Sat. We were all disappointed because THEY HAVE NO MENU....SERVICE IS SO BAD :( NO CONDIMENTS AVAILABLE , my friend asked for salt and pepper because the steak that was served to her fajitas tasted so bland :( i think the owner should try to check this branch or else a lot of customers would be disappointed like we've experienced. I don't think paying PhP 340. @ for burrito, fajitas and quesidilla were worth and the worst tamarind iced tea for PhP 125@ wheew..

I have been to Ristras (Greenhills) twice. So far, I have never encountered any issue during those visits. Though at times it will take time before customers find seats. Overall, I think Ristras is a should-be-recommended place to eat at.

Just a month ago, I took their Godzilla Burrito Challenge! I almost made it. Haha! That was one hell of a Godzilla, to quote someone who commented about it. :))

Hmmmm, I will be the judge of that. I come from the American South West, I have been raised on Mexican food, California (born and raised), Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and even Alaska. I would love to try and I'm looking forward to doing just that. There is a difference between Spanish and Mexican food, including the different regions. I have yet to find anything that resembles what I remember from the USA here in the Philippines. I would be your chef if you would pay me enough, but, I know you can't. God Bless

E

Food was just ok (Ristras San Juan) but what ticked me off was this waitress wearing a yellow shirt and a pair of boots. She was extremely rude and was like in a hurry to get rid of us. I asked for a margarita but she said they ran out because they were already closing. And she said it to me in such a manner that would really make a costumer upset. So why accept costumers if they were already closing right? We were there for the first time so we didn't know the system of "ordering" so we were asking whats good etc. etc. but she was very unaccommodating and was literally frowning while answering to our quieries. To top it all, they were out of guacamole and beef! Better inform the staff there to be more pleasant to the costumers next time. I was very disappointed.

yummy food but poor service

I heard Ristras was good but found Orale! (Fort Square, BGC) muy delicioso!

Anton, have you checked out Orale! lately?

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