Friday, March 9, 2018.
An esteemed client of mine, coincidentally the namesake of my best friend Carlo Calma Lorenzana, invited me along with Aila Joson, my Administrative Manager at the Career Purveyors, to check out the finishing touches of his brand new project situated in the heart of Makati City.
I’d been staffing Carlo for the greater part of the last four years. I know him well. How we have become good friends from a mere client-supplier relationship is a whole different story.
My platonic love for this fellow simply cannot disguise my admiration for his demeanor, professionalism and more importantly, his foresight.
Neatly embedded on the ground floor of a high rise building along San Agustin st., in Salcedo Village, Makati City Bar Pintxos – Tapas y Mas may not be very easy to find. Apparently, this may have been done intentionally. The original outlet in the Alabang area had that signature. Hide and go seek.
Pretty hard to locate, but worth searching for!
It’s small, yet beautifully colorful inside.
The high ceiling is hardly noticeable as the walls are embellished with hand painted Basque inspired murals.
Playful and a real feast for the eyes.
You need to be freaking blind as a nocturnal animal in broad daylight to miss the art work!
It just really jumps at you.
The place was hot as purgatory.
It was dusty, and stinky as vile stench could ever be.
The fresh paint and varnish reeked all over the place. It entered my nosetrils, and went straight out of my ears! (figuratively of course) I mean…really, that bad!
Aila and I were dying to get the hell out of there!
As soon as Carlo arrived, he and I exchanged a few pleasantries. Shortly after, my driver, Cornelio, drove us to the second outlet, also his first joint venture with erstwhile client, friend and partner, Bobby Tenchavez with the original Bar Pintxos – Tapas y Mas group.
There, I was treated to some superb pintxos. I really preferred to wash them down with a robust glass of Rioja, but owing to the heat, Miguel, Carlo & Bar Pintxos – Tapas y Mas GM Mr. Randy Libre offered me ice-cold Pilsner Urquell instead.
The second outlet located in a strikingly similar obscure location at The Fort, BGC CATAPULTED THE BRAND INTO THE LOCAL CULINARY ALL-STAR LEAGUE!
Much of this success could be easily attributed to the members of the new core team.
I’ll tell you this: The ‘power of the pen’ is mighty.
But “the word of mouth” kicks the pen straight on the nib, knocking the hell out of it, till it breaks it into bits and pieces….coil, ink sac and all! Therefore, there is nothing quite as convincing as a testimony.
It gathers steam and collectively passes on that heat to others faster than anything man has ever written!
This may well be the secret formula. That hide and go seek game is played, over and over till the obscurity of the location no longer matters.
If you want it, you’ll find it!
Miguel Vecin grew up in Barcelona, Spain where he went to school from his elementary days all the way to College.
Having grown up there, he loved the country style cuisine from the Basque region close to the border of France. Rustic, simple, fresh and flavorful.
This defined his style.
His foray into the glamorous world of upscale casual bar and dining scene started back in 2004 when he decided to bring in authentic Spanish spices.
Shortly after, he started to produce authentic Spanish sausages. That was the beginning of greater things to come.
My appetite whetted as Miguel began to describe his menu in the smallest details.
I cannot, in conscience speak highly, moreover, strongly endorse a product that falls short of excellent. Everything I had that day was immeasurably good to the last bite.
That’s a fact.
There are three Spanish things, that we here in Manila are fortunate enough to have with us.
They are as follows: 1) A nicely aged Manchego semi-curado, 2) a big, earthy bottle of Rioja at room temp. and 3) BAR PINTXOS – y MAS!
Bar Pintxos – Tapas y Mas #3 San Agustin st., Salcedo Village, Makati.
It hasn’t opened yet, but it’s already caught flames!
Can’t wait for #4!