There were a few things I was looking forward to on my trip to Boracay. Obviously, I was looking forward to lounging around on the beach and taking a dip in the water. But I was also looking forward to the food. And by food, I don’t mean the longgaburger. I mean Mañana, the Mexican restaurant.
I love Mexican food and, unfortunately, it’s not really that easy to find in Manila (Taco Bell doesn’t count and there are only a few branches anyway). The most popular Mexican chain in the metro doesn’t really satisfy my palate and is expensive to boot. I’ve heard good things about Ristra’s and TJ’s (and I plan to try both soon), but neither are easily accessible to me. So, with only a short walk from my hotel to the restaurant, the reasonable prices, the spectacular views from the dining area and of course, the great food, Mañana is Mexican food heaven for me.
And it looks pretty good, too. From the outside, the façade is bright and eye-catching but not tacky. And inside, they stuck to the Mexican theme. The table cloth and upholstery on the chairs are made of the striped fabric you associate with Mexican ponchos. You’d think that that would clash with the wooden furniture and the main wall that’s painted Pepto-Bismol pink with orange accents. But surprisingly, it works. It’s fun and vibrant, never garish. Even the waitresses’ off-shouldered, ruffled uniforms-slash-costumes are cute.
But enough about pink walls and ruffled dresses. Let’s get to the food, yes?
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill nachos. Mañana’s Nachos with Beef and Cheese may not look like much compared to the usual fare with salsa, bland beef and orange Cheez Wiz, but they pack a lot of flavor. The star of the show is the beef: salty, smoky and just really, really yummy. This, with a little (or a lot) of their pico de gallo and Mañana’s very own hot sauce (not from a bottle!) gets me clapping my hands in delight.
In fact, Mañana’s pico de gallo and the various other dips (I was so busy eating I couldn’t be bothered to ask what they were) are so good, that they take even with their plain nachos or totopos to the next level. And rather than go on and on about how yummy the dips make the nachos, I’ll just tell you this: for a single order of plain nachos, my cousins and I ordered THREE refills of the dips.
We didn’t fill up with the nachos, of course, as there were other Mexican treats to be had. We had the chicken fajitas, and as with the beef of the nachos, the chicken was really flavorful and perfectly spiced. We had tacos as well and they were really yummy, too.
But the best thing on the menu for me would be the burritos. We had both the chicken and the beef combination platter and both were absolutely delicious. They’re a little pricey at ₱360 for two burritos (but you can order per piece) but they’re really heavy and filling and that’s still cheaper than Mexicali in Manila. Plus, unlike Mexicali, there was no rice or refried beans filler in the burrito (I don’t like rice in my burrito).
As with the nachos, the fajitas and the tacos, the meat (both the chicken and the beef) make the meal. I know that I’ve used the word “flavorful” a lot in this post, but I really can’t find a better way to describe the meat that Mañana uses in their dishes. Both the beef and the chicken in the burritos have a bit of heat and have a smoky quality to them and a lot of spices my palate is not sophisticated enough to identify. Add that to the cheese, lettuce, the onions and the juice from the meat in the burrito and I’m practically drooling.
I love this restaurant so much I actually ate there twice over a four day period. And so Mañana gives me one more reason to want to go back to Boracay ASAP, as if I didn’t have enough reasons already.
Mañana is located at Station 1, Boracay, beside Starbucks and at the main road behind the hotels, beside the basketball court (but why go there when you can eat beachside?). Budget for ₱250-350 per person, more if you want margaritas or any other alcoholic beverage.