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Friday, May 09, 2008

Grams Diner, ELJ Building, Quezon City

When construction on the 9501 ELJ building of ABS-CBN was completed around seven years ago, one thing that we employees looked forward to was the row of restaurants that would open along with it. There are a lot of restaurants near the office, but sometimes, you can just get too lazy to drive to eat out.

So, it was great to have places to eat right at the building. At that time, the three restaurants that you would encounter at the building's main entrance were Cibo, Starbucks, and Cork.

Cibo and Starbucks have withstood the test of time (thus far), but Cork has since folded up. In its place now stands Grams Diner. I remember that we featured this restaurant years ago on the now-defunct lifestyle show "F". At that time, Grams could only be found in Rockwell. It has expanded and now has four branches.

The restaurant serves "feel good comfort food" as their tagline says. It now is very popular among ABS-CBN diners, and is definitely busier than Cork was. I think it has survived because the prices are reasonable and its market is different from its neighbor Cibo. Numerous office meetings are held in the diner, because of its proximity to the TV station, and probably the bright fluorescent lights which can be useful in (some) meetings.

Because the diner is at the ground floor of the building I work in, it's easily the default place to go to when I want a quick uncomplicated meal. In fact I go there so often and I always order the same thing that sometimes the waiters already know what I will have. "Carrot and squash soup and fish steak?", they ask. I don't like being so predictable, but that's really what I have most of the time so they can't be blamed for knowing exactly what I want.

Carrot and Squash Soup

The carrot and squash soup is a steal at P55. I hope they don't raise their price because that is one selling point of this dish- it's cheap. I do like this soup though. I did notice that it has become a little watery of late, and that the soup fills less of the bowl than it has in the past.

Fish Steak

The fish steak is nothing really complicated. It's fish with sauce made mainly with sauteed minced garlic and soy sauce. The dish is pretty simple, but as their tagline says, it's comfort food. It's exactly the kind of dish that my mother would cook when she didn't have time for much fancy preparation.

Coffee Torte

When I need to have my sugar fix (which is pretty much each mealtime), I have their Coffee Torte, which I personally think is the best thing Grams Diner has to offer. (Although admittedly I've only tried around seven things on their menu.)

The taste of this dessert is quite close to one of my favorite desserts, which is Coffee Pie at Chateau 1771. Sometimes though, the Coffee Torte runs out, since they only have a few pieces available each day.

These things that I usually order are exactly what Grams touts them to be. Feel good comfort food. The Coffee Torte, particularly.

Grams Diner
The Loop, ELJCC Building
Sgt. Esguerra cor. Mother Ignacia
Quezon City
Tel. 412.2871

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