Posted by: backpackersescapades | September 20, 2009

Bloc Dinner at Cocina Juan

It was a long while since our bloc’s last bloc dinner and so, we planned to have another one but unfortunately, we had no time to plan it. But since Gail was about to go abroad we decided to have our bloc dinner before he leaves our country. We decided to try Cocina Juan located at 100 Maginhawa St. Teacher’s Village in Quezon City.

Tanja, Ruel and Joms and I met up at TriNoma and from there, we took a cab going to Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village. There, we met up with Gail. I read the place at various blogs and the reviews were good so we decided to try it out.

The place was small and not that noticeable at one glance. They have a big tarpaulin outside with the restaurant’s name on it. As you go inside, they have some seats outside as well in the inside. The inside part is air conditioned. It was quite different from the look I saw in the blogs but I guess they are renovating it. On the side is the grill area and kitchen where they cook the food and also a small reception area. The place is also an art gallery but we didn’t get a chance to look at those artworks that night. We settled on a large table inside as they gave us the menu.

Cocina Juan features the flavors of Central America since the owner have traveled to that place and decided to put up a restaurant which features the dishes Central America. Reviews from other blogs were great and we were excited to have a taste of their food.

We ordered Tuna and Fresh Greens, Carne Asada (seasoned beef) Burrito, Cerdo Vientre Chimichurri, Chicken Chimichuri Cheese and Cocina Juan’s Pesto Pasta.

They said that it would take a while for our food to come so they will serve us complementary Nachos for appetizers. We waited for a while but instead of the promised Nachos, our Tuna and Fresh Greens arrived. At first we thought that it was the complementary appetizer but realized that it was already what we ordered. It was made of lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cucumber mixed with tuna and some dressing and topped with a lot of cheese and paprika. The tuna was obviously the canned ones you could buy at groceries. It was also served with some tortilla chips on the side. It is a bit salty but the greens and the tortilla chip complements it. It was a bit watery as you get to the bottom of the plate. I assume that the veggies were per washed and was not drained fully before mixing it in. It was difficult to get the pieces soaked in water and dressing mixture. We shared the plate which has generous amount of serving. We quickly finished it and again waited some more for our food to arrive.

Tuna and Fresh Greens

Tuna and Fresh Greens

Cocina Juan’s Pesto Pasta came nest. It was a plate of pasta mixed with pesto and topped with Parmesan cheese. It has 2 pieces of garlic bread on the side. It was typical pesto pasta and the serving was just enough for one person. It was quite small for the large plate it was served on. Also, the sauce was not that green compared to other pesto pasta we’ve tried before but generally it was fine. The taste was good and the bread is good together with the pasta.

Cocina Juan's Pesto Pasta

Cocina Juan's Pesto Pasta

Credo Vinete Chimichuri was served next. It was grilled pork with lots of Jalapenos on top sided with soft tortillas and chimichuri. The pork was cut thinly but still it was a bit tough. It has a smokey taste and it was a good combination together with the chimichuri. The Jalapenos was really spicy and we didn’t dare to taste it. The dish was just average but the chimichuri is what makes it unique.

Credo Vinete Chimichuri

Credo Vinete Chimichuri

The Carne Asada Burrito was served next. The burrito was stuffed with a lot of rice, corn, meat and beans all wrapped in soft tortilla and it was really belly filling. The whole burrito was topped with sour cream sauce and drizzled with paprika. You can taste beans and rice in each mouth full. The only thing that disappointed me was the few meat that I have tasted. I was expecting bits of meat in every bite but majority of what I tasted was beans. It was good though and there is plenty of rice in it. It was almost impossible to finish the whole stuff by a single person but we get to share the dish so it wasn’t a problem.

Carne Asada Burrito

Carne Asada Burrito

The Chicken Chimichuri Cheese came last. It was grilled chicken with cheese and chimichuri sauce on top sided with a cup of rice. I get to taste the chicken with the cheese sauce and chimichuri and it was good. It was a nice combination. You only have to wait long for this since they will cook the food upon ordering.

Chicken Chimichuri Cheese

Chicken Chimichuri Cheese

We enjoyed the food there and was satisfied since it was all belly filling. There were a few people that night and the one sitting across our table seems like the owner since they were viewing different reviews of the place in their laptop. Overall the place was nice and cozy and perfect for barkada gathering. The food was also good and is affordable.

We went to Ayala Techno Hub after to have some coffee in Figaro and relax for a bit. It was a nice night and I am sure everyone enjoyed it.

*Note: Gail didn’t go abroad, he stayed in the country after getting a job here.


  1. gusto ko bumalik . . . . hahaha . . .

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