I remember my grandmother telling me stories about her grandmother preparing her some authentic Spanish dishes when she was young. We do have some Spanish lineage thus my grandmother experiencing some Spanish culture.
Unfortunately she was not able to pass down those recipes that was prepared to her when she was younger so I actually didn't know much about it.
Thankfully, I would be able to try some authentic Spanish food from Mateo's.
Mateo's is located just a couple of streets away from my house here in Quezon City.
Its a small quaint restaurant that has a very homey feel to it. It is quite small but has a warm feel to it that I am really at home to this restaurant.
Most of their restaurant specialties are based from recipes that were brought by the ancestor of one of the owners of the restaurant which is Mateo Del Castillo which the restaurant is also named after.
Mateo Del Castillo is Sir Miko's (one of the owners of Mateo's) Great-grandfather. According to Sir Miko when his Lolo Mateo was young, he used to have restaurants and boarding houses in Batangas in which one day he sold all of his investments to support the HUKBALAHAP or Hukbong Laban Sa Hapon during the Japanese invasion here in the Philippines.
I really like that even though Mateo Del Castillo was not originally a Filipino, he has the heart of one because of how much he wanted freedom for our countrymen at that time.
Okay enough trivia time. Here are some of their specialties.
These are called Senoritas. They are soft breads with some butter or margarine filling. They are really nice to have when its a little warm. This is great to have with coffee or hot tea.
I actually forgot what is the name of this exact dish but this has button mushrooms and they taste like they were cooked in an adobo style because of the garlic.
Tortilla Espanola. Its the classic tortilla with some cheese and I think there was Spinach in this. It als comes with 2 dips that actually really make the tortilla taste so much better.
Next is Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas. Just like its name, it is really creamy and I love the texture because of the mushroom and the spinach.
This is Caesar's Salad Supreme. I like the presentation but I feel that the serving is quite small. I like a hearty serving of salad sometime but this tastes great.
Binagongang Bagnet. I was quite intrigued with this because honestly I don't eat binagoongan or bagoong to be exact. I don't like the fishy smell of it but this one doesn't have that and the way the bagnet was added made the dish really awesome!
Mateo's Special Kare Kare. I love Kare Kare and I think Mateo's is my 2nd most favorite. Of course the first would be my mom's version so I placed Mateo's in the second place. The peanut sauce isn't overwhelming although if you taste it there is really a difference on what grade of peanut they used to make this dish.
Paella Negra. It was my first time to see this so I was really excited to try it out. It contains seafood which I also like. Compared to the original kind, I think the Paella Negra does have a different taste because of the rice.
Mateo's Spanish Paella - this is I think one of the dishes that really represent Mateo's. Its fresh and very simple but a very hearty dish to share with friends and family.
Mateo's also serve pasta dishes like their Spaghetti Alla Vongole and Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca. I would suggest you guys try these because the taste is just extraordinary and its quite flavorful.
And if you loves sweets, Mateo's also have an in house selection of pastries and sweet breads for everyone to enjoy.
One of the best I can recommend is their Blueberry Cheesecake and their Mateo's classic ensaymada which are both made in their restaurant.
Aside from the delicious food, they also offer classes if you want to hone your Spanish speaking skills and also some arts and craft classes like crochet workshop. The only thing is you have to pay about 850 PHP that includes 2 ball of yarns, a hook, handouts, Mateo's Houseblend Iced Tea, Spanish Quesadillas and a choice of Puttanesca or Chicken Pesto Penne this coming January 11 and 25. I got hooked in this class because once you start making your masterpiece its impossible to stop because it looks so cute!
One of the things you can also do at Mateo's is make your own Gingerbread house as well! This is especially great to make with kids! for a fee of 1,000PHP you get decors, the gingerbread house, and frosting you can use to design your own gingerbread house that you can bring home.
3. Spanish Saturdays - with a fee of Php 950.00 includes Handouts, Tapas, Paella, and a glass of red wine or sangria. (January 10 & 24; 3:30-6:00PM)
Lastly is their Spanish Saturdays this coming January 10 and 24. For a fee of 950PHP you get to learn Spanish and also it includes the handouts, tapas, paella, and a grass of red wine or sangria. I really had a great time in learning some new Spanish classes and I think I will come back for more for sure this January.
If you would like to try out Mateo's delectable treats you can visit Mateo's at 76 Malakas St. V.Luna Quezon City.