MANILA -- It is way past dinner time on a hot Wednesday night but people are tirelessly lining up in this small eatery in Quezon City. And for good reason: the increasingly popular HB Pares, a bulalo and beef pares combo.
Pares or sweet soy beef stew is a common offering in almost every corner in Manila. Bulalo, meanwhile, refers to the bone marrow of a beef shank, traditionally cooked in a clear broth of the same name.
The two are known Filipino favorites which makes the pairing sensible. But even though bulalo pares isn’t exactly a new invention, the version from Shorthorn Pares is a refreshing surprise.
It must be luck that the owners decided to open along Shorthorn Street in Quezon City. Naming it after their location, which incidentally refers to its main product offering, certainly helped its branding. Its tagline “Your Neighborhood Pares” is equally effective, making the eatery feel close to home.
But barely a month since its launch, Shorthorn Pares is already making waves beyond its locality in Project 8. It’s going viral among foodies online who readily brave Manila traffic for a chance to eat at their store.
Located close to the northern end of EDSA, Shorthorn Pares offers the usual carinderia staples like lugaw, mami and tokwa’t baboy.
But its real star is the HB Pares, a dish that is certainly not for the faint of heart. Aptly called “High Blood Pares,” the bulalo beef stew pairing is notoriously good on both photos and real life. For only P150, customers can enjoy a beautiful and generous helping of beef marrow, served from the bone shank cut across in half. That is paired with the sweet and savory braised beef dish and a whole set of clear soup, garlic rice and homemade chili sauce.
A warning though for enthusiasts who are looking to try their specialty: set your expectations that it may easily sell out. Long queues will also greet you at the open air store, though the owners would happily accommodate you in their makeshift dining extension, their actually home driveway just around the corner.
But like they say, all good things come to those who wait. So just bring a little patience on your visit. After all, as its reviews say, the HB Pares is worth the hype.