If you ask your parents about Casa Marcos, chances are they would describe the famous restaurant along Roxas Boulevard (or Dewey Boulevard back then) that served delicious Gambas, Steak Ala Pobre, Sopa de Mariscos, Paella Valenciana, and soft yet crusty pan de sal. Back then, Casa Marcos was known for its sumptuous dishes and warm and welcoming atmosphere. It was the place to go if you wanted to unwind with family and friends. Its name is actually derived from a Spanish pelotari named Señor Marcos de Guisasola and not from the political family. The restaurant initially belonged to Señor Marcos (he crafted the menu and created the dishes himself) and eventually passed on the ownership and management to its frequent patron banker Ben del Rosario when he decided to return to Spain for personal reasons.
For many decades Casa Marcos was a favorite. The restaurant even opened a second branch along Gilmore Avenue in Quezon City, and transferred to Tomas Morato until eventually it decided to close its doors in 2000. Its reopening was partly brought about by patrons of The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar at the Ortigas Home Depot (the third generation’s take on a more casual Casa Marcos). Loyal customers of the famous restaurant clamoured for a reopening, which the family took into consideration and finally made it happen. And so the new Casa Marcos at Burgos Circle was opened in February 2011, and still offers the same bestselling dishes the restaurant has been known for. They even have their old cook on board heading the kitchen staff, who really insists on making everything from scratch, a rare quality in today’s restaurants.
Of course, I had no idea how much history was behind Casa Marcos until I heard its story. Imagine, the first Casa Marcos opened in 1945–that’s almost 70 years ago! And up until today they’ve preserved its menu and serve practically the same recipes as they did back then. It was actually a good story to hear over lunch, especially as it was told by the granddaughter of Ben del Rosario, Muffin Galvez. Needless to say, the ladies–being me, Patty Laurel-Filart, Karen Pamintuan, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, Joei Gana and of course, Muffin–had an excellent lunch, enjoying great food and happy kwentuhan. The gambas was a hit! We ordered two more rounds!
Patty Laurel-Filart, me and Muffin Galvez.
Casa Marcos at the Burgos Circle is open from Monday to Sunday, 11 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm while The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar at the same location is open from 7 am to 1 am. You may call 703 7784 or 552 3781 for reservations.
The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar at Ortigas Home Depot is also open from 7 am to 1 am.