When I was 8, we used to live along Mary Grace Street. Boy, was it difficult to direct people to my abode, with questions about my full name or who the heck this Mary Grace figure is in Philippine history. You see, before Mary Grace, we lived along Nicanor Ramirez Street, very tough and in-the-hood, so you can probably how people reacted to this shift to this grandma’s cookie world.
However I digress. The point I am trying to make is that through the decades, the name Mary Grace has become quite acceptable and mainstream, it even became the restaurant name of the eponymous owner Mary Grace.
I have never met the Mary Grace of Mary Grace Café, and I don’t suppose I will in the near future. However I am glad that while strolling along Serendra, getting near-death slave hungry and finding only 1k in my wallet (boo-hoo), I came across her joint.
Now this joint isn’t that crochet-filled niche that is preserved to grandma standards, it’s a quaint little place filled with homely trinkets and decor, a comfy vibe yet not scarily vintage. Best of all, it’s properly dimmed to accommodate chatty moms, mistresses and vampires (that’s where we fall).
The ladies in waiting (well that’s how they appeared to me) are accommodating, and the display of cakes is rather remarkably highlighted. The table set-up showcases letters written by previous customers, kids mainly who seemed to enjoy Mary Grace’s cooking over their mom’s Ragu creations. I wouldn’t blame them.
While I spied pizza in one corner, I opted for pasta, having seen every table with a bowl of something. I wanted one too! Plus with their magnanimous selection of pasta, from cream to tomato to oil based, the choice was already difficult on its own. There was the cream dory pasta that I was dying to have, but the something fishy happened and I ended up with the Spanish Sardines Pasta with Olives.
The pasta was a bit overcooked, but the serving made up for this minor peeve. The bread was chewy and properly toasted, Mary Grace should really start calling herself the Bread Queen. The sardines were generously spread, and the pesto just right and fresh. Every bite maintains that sardine-pesto edge that we don’t normally get for other restaurants that scrimp out on the seafood toppings.
Asking for chili and parmesan, I may have overdone the sprinkling part as my dish evolved into a hot and salty fish bowl, but it was delightful nevertheless. Truth be told, I do not really eat sardines, and so this first-time-fish-fiesta did well to educate my taste buds and finally have a tertiary fish option to tuna and salmon pasta.
The Classic Carbonara was creamy and flavorful, it seems that it warrants a second serving as well.
While Taguig denizens we are not, at least Mary Grace Café has her own joint at Trinoma. Not as homey and rather exposed to the shopping public, should I get that nagging craving for vongole, at least all it takes is a hop, not a flight.