Plantation Bay’s Route 66 Diner

RibEye steak

EFREN P. Belarmino (fondly called Mr. B) is probably the longest serving Filipino General Manager of Plantation Bay Resort& Spa, which is located at the tip of Marigondon in the Island of Mactan.

The resort offers one of the largest privately owned waterways in the world and boasts of luxurious rooms and suites with colonial plantation architecture set inclusters around fresh and salt water man-made lagoons on 11 hectares of secluded grounds.

Every detailed concept of the resort, including names and themes of restaurants and facilities are ideas of owner/ stakeholder Manny Cuenco Gonzalez who got the inspiration from Hollywood movies: Mogambo Springs Spa, Kilimanjaro Kafe with sci-fi inspired Alien Abductions Ice Cream parlor and cocktail, Fiji Restaurant, Palermo Café-Bar and his latest Route 66, a retro-American diner with all-day breakfast and comfort food.

Efren and I are longtime friends and we trace our respective hotel careers spanning two decades.

Heis also a “kababayan” from Laguna so we bonded easily.

Banana Explosion

Efren belongs to a rare breed of Filipino hoteliers whose exceptional management style is coupled with his brand of humor.

With excitement, he invited me to visit the resort to introduce the latest dining outlet, Route 66.

Route 66 used to be the main highway connecting Eastern United States with California.

Here, roadside diners provided travelers with inexpensive and varied food to motorists, usually fried and grilled.

It is quintessentially American and the earliest diners used rail cars with archetypal exteriors.

In the 1970s, diners were superseded by fast food but are still maintained in Northeast and Midwest states.

Manny Gonzalez addresses this sentimental longing for the past with the Route 66 Diner, replete with a railcar exterior look and classic interiors with black and white checkered floor tiles, red and white upholstered seats and old Hollywood and iconic ads framed photos complemented by oldies but goodies music

Assistant General Manager Colleen Barcelona, PR Associate Sandra Patalinghug joined Efren and me for lunch at Route 66.

I was welcomed with a flute of Mr. B’s cocktail,a blend of tequila, strawberry and peach syrup.

Assistant F & B Manager Noven Aurelio took our orders after going through the menu that serves all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner—mostly classic American dishes.

I felt nostalgic when I saw A & W root beer on the beverage menu.I eagerly requested for “Brown Cow”, a root beer float made with vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate ice cream.

Coca-Cola, an iconic drink in diners, is also honored with “Cocacolada”, made with coke, vanilla ice cream and dark rum.

We started with Eggs Benedict, the traditional American breakfast or brunch with perfectly poached eggs on toast (in lieu of English muffins) coated with hollandaise sauce served delicately crisp hash browns.

The Powerhouse Burger

This iconic breakfast was named after New York stock broker, Semuel Benedict, who in 1894 wandered into Waldorf Hotel hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover and ordered buttered toast, poached egg, bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.

The Powerhouse Burger was classic —6 ounce of ground chuck-eye beef topped with cheese, sunny side egg and potato fries.

The Plantation Pork Ribs was fall-off-the-rib tender smothered with American
BBQ sauce.

The Banana Explosion, a reinvention ofthe classic Banana Split Sundae by Executive Sous Chef Lee Matthew Ramas has a base of coconut cream cake, mocha cake and chocolicious cake drowned in strawberry, buttescotch and chocolate sauces topped with homemade strawberry, rocky road and vanilla ice cream, assorted cookies and bananas!

TAGS: diner, Route
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