Fifth-Time's the Charm at Frank and Charles

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Every day, slowly but surely, the need to go to the Metro for some decent, other-than-the-plebeian-fastfood grubs is waning. I have recently talked about this quaint, artsy place in Taytay, and now here's another reason to be one happy Rizaleño gastronome.


Another foodscape in my hometown's neighboring town of Taytay is Frank and Charles. This relatively new addition to the list of fastfood-alternatives in Rizal serves - you guessed it - burgers. And fries. And chicken meals. And beers. And a pair of desserts.

In any event, the first time I've been to Frank and Charles was after Dennis and I watched the awesome sequel of How to Train Your Dragon (Hooray, Valka!). The second time, we had takeouts. Third time, I went with my Ate Ingrid. And most recently with my Super Twin, NJ. All mentioned encounters were not chronicled. But isn't the mere fact that I have been in this place numerous times already says a lot about its quality?

Rhetorical question aside, Kapatid Nikki and I, after almost eight months of not seeing each other in the flesh, finally got together yesterday, August 30, and we'd chosen Frank and Charles to be the venue for this momentous occasion.

So, after five visits to this burger place, this, here, is my formal review.

THE PLACE
Frank and Charles is located in a not-so-easily-spotted place, several strides from the main road and a few paces from the San Juan baranggay hall.


Red letter cut-outs that read FRANK AND CHARLES - glaringly so, I should note - and the glass walls plus the predominantly white exterior seem to call out to every one to turn their heads, sparking curiosity.

A poster of the store's flagship Mighty Tower challenge sticks out as if it were the hooked nose of Frank and Charles' face.

Walking through the door, you'll find the cashier/counter to your left. The menu boards conspicuous and beautifully lined.


Inside, red wooden tables and strewn of pillows cased in what I assume is cheesecloth fill most of the area. The interior is mostly white. Because a huge portion of the walls is glass, light comes through abundantly during the day. I love the resulting ambiance. It's very chill, modern in a sense that it echoes the floor plans of eco-friendly establishments from a documentary I've recently watched.



Overhead, rows of headlights coalesce with the pristine white ceiling. This, I think, gives off the effect of an artist's studio or a gallery for modern art.

I really love Frank and Charles' color palette - the classic red and white. Unlike Zark's, which brings to mind the taverns and pubs I see in movies, the former is versatile in its organization - chill enough for barkadas, families, and couples alike. There is also a self-service beverage station, adjacent to a table for utensils and condiment.

Hurrah to whoever was in-charge of the store plan.

I have one teeny issue with the place, though, and it has something to do with the ventilation. I wish the AC would be turned up during high noon and before the sun sets. It tends to get a little stuffy.

THE FOOD
I will list down all the dishes that I have tried during my five visits, starting with:

Cheesy Mushroom Melt (Php115 for ala carte; Php165 with fries and a beverage


When you ask the people at Frank and Charles, they'll tell you that their best seller is this burger. I thought it was just a ruse to get diners to buy the most expensive burger (excluding the Mighty Tower) on the menu. Hehehe.

It has mushroom slices, lettuce, melted cheese, and a secret sauce. Kinda mysterious but I don't remember how the sauce tastes like.

Well, I do like this burger and seriously have nothing bad to say about it. Notwithstanding the crew branding this their best seller, this is not my favorite dish.

Hawaiian Aloha (Php95 ala carte; Php145 with fries and a beverage)

With lettuce, onions, a barbecue sauce, and the mark of the aloha - a pineapple slice, this one's a real good burger. Even more amazing than Jolibee's Amazing Aloha. And cheaper too. (It's true, I checked).

Hollandaise Benedict (Php110 ala carte; Php160 with fries and a beverage)

A spin on the American breakfast dish Eggs Benedict, this burger, right here, is my ultimate favorite. I so love the hollandaise sauce. It's so good that I don't even mind the onions.

Spicy Volcano Rush (Php100 ala carte; Php150 with fries and a beverage)
Photo to follow

Just the name of this burger makes me all sweaty and hot. As a Bicolana, I love how shockingly spicy it is. Seriously, it's spicy. However, it's too spicy that I can't taste the delicious beef patty and all its other components. The spiciness numbed out my tongue. But hey, what's life without a zinger, yes?

Barbecue Buffalo Wings (Php170 6 pcs; Php270 1 dz)
Photo from Frank and Charles' Facebook Page
A more-than-decent set of buffalo wings, this one is. Although not as good as Cafe Lidia's, the barbecue buffalo wings is an acceptable alternative, especially when you're in no mood to drive or commute all the way to Marikina.

I also had the Mid-Spicy Original Wings (Php150 6 pcs; Php250 1 dz) but I don't like its brand of spiciness.

I must add that the wings tend to get dry and unevenly coated. I also sometimes get pieces with some of its meat already gone. :(

Shirley's Garlic Chicken (Php85 1 pc; Php125 2 pcs)

Kapatid Nikki, during our date, had this dish and I was able to fork a sliver of it. I love the garlic sauce. This is one example of a garlic chicken that works, at least for me (as I am not a fan of garlic).

The Chocolate Rocket (Php95)

A delectable chocolate smoothie topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. This is perfect to mellow out the savory tastes of the burgers and the chicken wings. I also like how this dessert does not melt easily.

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I really like the burgers. The beef patties are very juicy yet not at all greasy. (Come to think of it, the Frank and Charles Original is the only burger I haven't tried. Well, next time.)

You also have the option of upgrading your beverages to a refillable one, although I'd forgotten how much you'd have to add. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate refillable soda for Php65.

Also, as of writing, Frank and Charles, for a limited time, is serving crinkle fries with their burgers. (Notice the different sets of fries in the pictures?) I hope they will retain this version of their fries as I prefer it over the regular ones.

Their menu has also expanded to include a lettuce wrap option for burgers and a Salisbury streak rice meal. Furthermore, their Facebook page also teases of an ice cream cone and a sausage dish. I'm excited!

THE SERVICE

Let's start with the take-out.

The only canned soda they had was Pepsi, which automatically goes with everything when not for dine-in. I wish we'd have more choices for take-away refreshments. Furthermore, I suggest that they put a foil or a layer of something between the dish and the box. The moisture and the juices from the food inadvertently seep out and render the box and the paper bag that carries it flimsy and close-to-tatters. Aside from those, we're good.

As for the dine-in service, I'm very impressed. Each member of the crew is very polite and accommodating and always has a smile on. The positive vibes they give off contribute greatly to the general atmosphere of the place.

BOTTOMLINE
Great comfort food at very reasonable prices? Impressive service? Feel-good ambiance? Frank and Charles has them all! Two thumbs up!

HOW TO GET THERE
From Cubao Jeepney Terminal near Farmer's Market, ride a jeepney bound for Angono or Binangonan. Tell the driver to drop you off at Puregold Taytay. There is a tricycle terminal and a pedicab terminal beside this grocery store. Tell the drivers you're going to Frank and Charles. Most of them know the place.

From Angono, ride a jeepney bound for either Taytay, Sta. Lucia Hi-way, or Cubao LRT. Then get off at Puregold Taytay. Ride a tricycle or a pedicab and tell the driver you're bound for Frank and Charles.
(c) Frank and Charles

OTHER DETAILS
Address: Tanchoco Avenue Taytay, Rizal
Business Hours: Monday to Sunday - 12PM - 10PM

Contact number: (02) 584 9509
Email: frankandcharlesph@yahoo.com
Facebook page: facebook.com/FrankAndCharlesPh

Parking: Street

Services: Dine-in, Take-out, Walk-in, Outdoor seating

Modes of Payment: Cash, Visa, Mastercard

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Cheers to the next adventure!

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