Nothing beats American comfort food, and when it comes to ribs and sandwiches, Rib City is the way to go. This tiny but friendly space is a gem hidden among the long line of restaurants in Maginhawa. We came with high expectations, as this place was actually among the highest rated restaurants of 2015.
Watch out for their store sign as you’re driving. From UP, Rib City is just past Frosted Desserts, before you reach Cool Beans Cafe. Once you see the sign pointing to Rib City, park your car and enter the alleyway to this entrance.
The setup is simple, casual, and straightforward, but a word of caution: prepare to eat beside boisterous college kids.
While Rib City specializes in ribs, they also have pasta, sandwiches, chicken, and a few interesting appetizers in their menu.
For starters, we had the Tangy Shrimp Salad, which is large enough to share. This salad is composed of fresh lettuce, carrots, cucumber, radish, shallots, and small (tiny!) pieces of shrimp. While the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, you can tell from one look that this salad needs a greater variety and a better balance of ingredients. The vinaigrette was bright and refreshing, though.
Some of their appetizers weren’t available that night, so we settled on Not Just Nachos. The crunchy nacho chips were served in a huge a platter, then generously topped with rib shreds, cheese sauce, and tomato salsa. Thank God we ended up ordering this one. Those bits of pulled pork make the best topping for nachos. Each strand is slathered with sweet barbecue sauce, which contrasts well with the tomato salsa.
As mentioned before, Rib City isn’t all about ribs. They also serve a mean Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. The sandwich has a good amount of beef inside, which is nicely coated with rich, cheesy sauce. Everything is held together by nice pieces of crusty bread. I wish the beef were juicier, but overall this was a pretty awesome sandwich.
The biggest surprise of the night was the Smoked Fish Linguini Pasta. We half-expected the smoked fish to be just a topping for the pasta, but we were pleased to learn that the fish had been mixed into the tomato sauce. That way, you get a nice, smoky flavor in each bite.
Rib City offers a few options for their ribs, but we went with Big City for the best value. This comes with three slabs of ribs and four sides. Each piece of meat was juicy, well-seasoned, and fall-off-the bone tender. Each piece also had a nice bit of fat for extra richness.
You can also request a spicier version of their signature barbecue sauce, but it would be wise to try the original if you’re a first-timer. Ask for hot sauce if you want to add a spicy and sour kick to your meat.
Aside from the ribs, which were definitely satisfying, I should also say that the garlic mushrooms were seasoned impeccably, with just the right amount of salt and garlic.
Overall, we were definitely pleased with our experience at Rib City. The prices are reasonable, the quality of the food is excellent, and the place itself has a fun, hip ambiance. They’ve also proven that they can offer more than just flavorful, tender ribs. We’d love to visit this place again.
Rib City has branches at 63 Maginhawa st. UP Village, Quezon City and at the Upper Ground Floor, Pioneer Highlands North, Pioneer cor. Madison Sts., Mandaluyong City.