Racks: Still the Best Ribs in Town?

American food was the theme for last month’s food trip with Kat -- and so for February she chose Racks in El Pueblo behind SM Megamall. You’d think the ribs were the reason why she picked this place -- on the contrary, she just followed an officemate’s advice that Racks serves a mud pie that was simply to die for. Craving for a cake in a ribs place … now that sounds weird, right? Well, if you’re a slave of sugar, the answer is NO.

Recalling some stressful events that transpired before going to Racks, I watched forlornly as families around me feasted on steaks and baby backs, gobbled on corns, and dumped hot sauce to their plates like lunatics. OK, I admit, that was just a fancy way of saying “my stomach growled terribly while I waited for Kat to arrive”. LOL!

    Check out the places we visited on January:

Racks is located at the El Pueblo food strip at the back of SM Megamall, a short walk from Mega and St. Francis Square. If you’re not familiar with the spot, it’s the one with the McDonald’s. (Side note: don’t hang out in the alfresco area of McDonald’s there—it smells awfully like sewage. I don’t know why.)

When Kat arrived, I told her I wouldn’t talk until we place an order. After waving at the waiter for like 3,549 times, he finally noticed and came to our table. At this point I was already so exhausted (we haven’t even dined yet) so we decided to take his recommendation, the Kansas-style Baby Back Ribs set: a full rack of ribs smothered with Kansas sauce, served with a house salad of apples, greens, and vinaigrette as well as 2 choices of side dishes. We picked the Mac and Cheese and plain rice, of course.

What the server lacked in speed, the cook made up for. Or did he? Barely five minutes had passed and the server came back with our orders. And guess what? The ribs weren’t hot. Not even warm! Did they really cook this thing? Or were we served someone else's rejected food?

I wanted to start a ruckus and be a total bitch but I was so famished already. Racks use frozen packs--just reheat and serve--so this was probably why. Despite disgusting thoughts involving recycling, food poisoning, and the like, I dug into the ribs and tried to convince Kat we would not die tonight.

The ribs were dry. Even from just looking at it, you’d know that. If not for the Kansas-style sauce, it wouldn’t have any flavor. Damn, what could’ve happened if we ordered the one without the sauce?

the saviors of the Kansas-style Ribs
I must admit though, that the meat was indeed very tender—practically melted in my mouth. Good thing the extra condiments saved it. And the Mac and Cheese, which was pretty decent, though I’d have to say Rub Ribs is still a better ribs place. And like, 4 times cheaper.

Kansas-style Baby Back Ribs set: P845 (w/ house salad + 2 sides)
From this disappointment sprung an urge to buy another dish—hopefully one that would redeem the night—so we hailed for the waiter, waited for another ten years, and asked for a half-order of Southwestern Fried Chicken. The chicken was moist and crispy, whereas the buttermilk biscuits that came with it were too salty (thanks to the honey’s presence). I still prefer Main Street’s rendition—even their chicken gravy was superb.
Half Order of Southwestern Chicken, P370 (4 pieces + buttermilk biscuits, honey and gravy)
Apparently, it was the Mississippi Mud Pie which could redeem the night. I perked up tremendously when I saw the plate of dessert approaching: a huge lava cake, topped with a tower of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, drizzled generously with chocolate, which practically flooded the cake. OMG!

Good heavens!
I’ve been on a lava cake taste test marathon for the past weeks, and I rank this Mud Pie as my #2 (stay tuned for my #1, to be featured in a future post). Holy f*ck!!! Racks’ version of the cake was a bit crunchy on the edges—crunchy and warm inside the mouth—and the gooey chocolate inside? Exquisite, with a sweetness that wasn’t cloying at all! Also, the cake was so big we had to order another scoop of ice cream. Damn!

Who would have guessed it was the dessert which would save the day? Whoever told Kat that Racks’ mud pie was worthy of a visit, he or she was right! Step forward and let me treat you to a lava cake at Racks—or to my #1 spot to have lava cake, perhaps (which shall remain unnamed in the meantime)?

Mississippi Mud Pie, P160
In spite of the ribs and chicken disappointment, Kat and I definitely had a good time—owing mainly to our selves, of course, to our amazing talent at entertaining each other, and to the incredibly noisy group whose uproar could be heard from the second floor (I could’ve sworn we were in 7107). Yes, Racks, this hurts (a bit), you’re not a huge part of our happiness—but thanks to you, I’d know where to get a nice dessert after sniffing on sewage from nearby McDo.

El Pueblo Complex, ADB Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
(02) 636-7468
Other branches: click here
Official Website: RacksPH
Facebook: RacksPHL
Twitter: @RacksPHL
Instagram: @RacksPHL

Where is your favorite ribs place? Post your suggestions in the comments section below!

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