Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's A Coca-Cola Wonderland!

It's not uncommon to taste dishes with a splash of Sprite or a hint of cola. Restaurant chefs use these carbonated drinks as marinade or as an ingredient for their specialties. Some might find it vaguely intriguing, others insanely weird. There are, of course, the curious type who find it rather unique and amusing. While sodas add flavor to certain types of dishes, we are more comfortable seeing it with ice inside a glass. The fact that we grew up in a country where Coca-Cola is predominant in every meal table proves this. But, if you really want to taste good food with cola in it, we suggest going to a food place at Tomas Morato.

Located at the second floor of Il Terrazzo is a diner known as The Real Thing. The name of the place might sound familiar, it being a former tagline of a popular cola brand. Yes, The Real Thing is what we would call a Coca-Cola wonderland. The place is full of Coke memorabilia and Coca-Cola items that every collector would want. From stuffed toys, to glasses, to Coca-Cola cans and miniature bottles, The Real Thing has all of these in display for customers to admire. If that doesn't make you awe in amazement, try looking at their menu. Most dishes here at The Real Thing is inspired by Coke or any product of the company. Where else would you see Eight O'Clock Chicken or Royal Tru-Orange Prokchop on the menu?

Prices here are average, but we would say that they're more of the affordable type, since the servings are quite large. If you enjoyed the physical structure of the place, then the food might just be the cherry on top.

Excited to see what we tried? Well, here goes:

Fountain Drinks, 39 php (per glass), 59 php (bottomless)

Glutton Guy: If I were you, I would go for the bottomless one. For a difference of 20 pesos, you can already enjoy an unlimited serving of Coke, Sprite, Sarsi, Nestea, Eight O'Clock or any Coca-Cola product of your choice. What's even better is that you aren't limited to just one drink. You could try Coke on your first glass, then Nestea for your second, then Sarsi on your third, and so on and so forth. You could even mix and match drinks! (I tried a mix of Sprite and Sarsi hahahaha you could go for something weirder though) Of course, the tastes wouldn't be that intriguing. But the fact that you could experiment with your drink makes it all worthwhile. : )

Glutton Girl: An unlimited serving of softdrinks is love. I most especially like Coke and Sarsi, so this is truly a must-try for me. I like the concept of changing and mixing drinks because it's not something that restaurants would usually offer. It's like what I do when I buy a Big Gulp at 7-Eleven. Restaurants would normally serve 'one-sided' bottomless drinks, i.e. bottomless Coke, bottomless Sprite, or bottomless iced tea. I gotta say, what better way to enjoy a Coca-Cola inspired meal at a Coca-Cola inspired place than having an unlimited serving of Coca-Cola products for your drink.

Sprite Potato Cheese Soup, 99 php

Glutton Guy: Of course, the 'Sprite' on the name made me curious that I decided to try it. In all honesty, I didn't taste the Sprite in the soup, not even a hint. It just tasted like normal potato soup.  It was delicious, however. It's creamy and it had the right amount of seasoning, something I require when I order soup. The bread that came with it was also good. It had that crunchy texture yet it wasn't difficult to eat. For 99 pesos, I'd say it's not that bad. : ) 

Ol' Fashion Spaghetti n' Meatballs, 199 php

Glutton Guy: This is The Real Thing's take on spaghetti. There really is nothing special about it, in my opinion. It's also one of the dishes of The Real Thing that has no cola or soda in it. It actually is a mix of the Pinoy sweet type and the sour Italian version. The good thing about it, though, is that the meatballs are huge and the serving size is quite big. I like spaghetti better when the pasta is really coated with sauce. It's really difficult when the dish is served with the spaghetti sauce on top. You would have the tedious task of mixing everything, and what's even worse is that it won't be sufficient to coat every pasta strand. Overall, The Real Thing's spaghetti and meatballs is just right for me. : )

Glutton Girl: There's nothing different about this pasta dish. It's not really that unique when compared to the likes of other spaghetti dishes from other restaurants. The saving grace of this dish would be the meatballs (which I enjoyed, by the way). They were perfectly cooked and weren't difficult to eat. The pasta was not too al dente but worked well with the spaghetti sauce. I would have wanted more cheese in the pasta though. Nevertheless, it was an okay pasta dish for my standards. But as I always say, it's the Italians who make good pasta.

Eight O'Clock Mango-Orange Fish Fillet, 249 php

Glutton Guy: I wasn't exactly thrilled to have an Eight O'Clock sauce for my fish fillet. The fish was really good, but I didn't quite feel the sauce. It was too sweet for me. It was more of a Mango-Orange concentrate. The fish by itself is more suitable for my taste. The mashed potatoes was also delicious. It wasn't starchy and it was really creamy thanks to the butter. You could actually opt for other siders (plain rice, criss cut fries, side salad, etc.). I just chose buttered mashed potatoes because I didn't want to eat rice. The mixed veggies were also good. They had a good taste and had a crunch that I really liked. I would order this again the next time I dine here, minus the Eight O'Clock sauce. : )

Ginger Sprite Tiger Prawns, 399 php

Glutton Girl: It's not the first time that I've heard of prawns with Sprite. The fact that I love prawns made me order this dish. Despite the fact that it's a bit more expensive as compared to other dishes, I really enjoyed this prawn dish. The prawns (well, they weren't exactly that big) weren't at all tough and were really good. Sadly, I couldn't taste the Sprite in the dish. But overall, it was a delicious seafood dish. I loved the mashed potatoes and the vegetables. They're perfect sides for the prawns. I had a little difficulty in eating the prawns, though, because I still had to remove them from their shell. Nevertheless, I was super satisfied with this dish.

The Real Thing Diner is one of those food places that sparks intrigue to every hungry individual who wants something different yet delicious. People might be new to the idea, but take it from us when we say that it's something worth trying. And so, in spite of all these, the main questions prevail: is cola a good add-on for your dishes? Will this process of adding sodas to your dishes exist for future generations, or is this another fad that might fade out pretty soon? Well, The Real Thing is probably an answer to these questions, and as long as it's there, food (with Coke) will be staying and will never be a disappointing one.

Here's how we rated The Real Thing:



(The Real Thing Diner is located at the 2nd floor of Il Terrazzo, 305 Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinan, Quezon City. It's on the farthest left when you go up the escalator of Il Terrazzo.)

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