New York on My Mind at Citizen Pub

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sometimes exploring your own neighborhood is an adventure in itself.

Those were the thoughts running through my head when I was browsing through a travel magazine that featured some bars in Manila. Then a picture caught my eye. Could it be? No way.

A New York brick building straight from the Lower East Side. 

Citizen Pub and Burger Bar FacadeA few minutes away from The Pearl Palace, right smack in the middle of Pasig City. The caption said Citizen Pub and Burger Bar. What a unique idea! I invited my photographer friend Chris to check the place out. He's from Florida and was in dire need of American comfort food. Inside was the real deal: dim lights, leather couches, exposed brick walls and a flat screen TV showing basketball game.

The facade of the building came straight out of an episode of How I Met Your Mother. For a bar, I was impressed at how wholesome the first floor looked. There were families having pizza, friends enjoying drinks and couples out on date night.

Home of the Crazy Burger

Citizen Pub and Burger Bar FoodWe quickly ordered burgers and a round of drinks. After a few bites, we  both agreed: the food was outstanding! Citizen pub is known for their Crazy Burger- deep fried beef patty with wasabi mayo and crab sticks. The restaurant's owner, Emil Perez shared the secret of their mouth-watering burgers: Australian beef that's freshly ground everyday. No frozen meat at this joint!

The search for the best french fries in Manila is over! Theirs had savory seasoning and wonderful texture. Warning: you'll find yourself craving a huge bag of their fries for days after.

The Beer Factor

Citizen Pub and Burger Bar DrinksChris, the connoisseur of beer,  thought their selection was pretty standard for a more "beer focused" place in Manila. They had all the usual suspects, like the San Mig products. But one thing that did get him excited: San Mig on Tap! He attests that it's so much crisper and tastier to drink from the keg!

First Class Service

We were most impressed by the service. There was a quick turnaround on drinks. They made sure we had everything we wanted. Chris had  some pretty high standards when it comes to service. He had been working in restaurants in the US for a few years. There was even a moment when he thought we were getting served by the owner himself! They were that good!

Meeting Emil

Citizen Pub and Burger Bar EmilThe second floor had a cozy, sports pub feel that it felt like Emil and his girlfriend were welcoming us into their home. Emil shared what had sparked the idea to create a bar in City Golf. He had been traveling in New York and wondered how he can transport some of the design ideas to Manila.

His vision was to create a classy pub for him and his friends to hang out. Eventually the idea evolved into opening a place with great American comfort food. He wanted repeat customers to enjoy not just the drinks but the dining experience as well.

The View from Up There

Citizen Pub and Burger Bar ViewEmil invited us to the 3rd floor roof deck which may well be my favorite part of Citizen Pub. It had a great view of the city where you can have an al fresco dining experience. I could easily imagine having a beer and a pizza on the rooftop as the brilliant summer sun faded in the horizon. I'll save that for the next visit!

If you make it out to Citizen Pub this weekend, do a couple of things for me: 1 Say hi to Emil 2 On the first floor, look down. That wooden floor is just beautiful!

Citizen Pub and Burger Bar is located at City Golf in Pasig. Check out their facebook page and follow them on Twitter: @citizenpubmnl.

All photo are credited to Chris Johns.

In search of more adventures,
Sole Sister Lois

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