Isn’t it wonderful how Cebu suddenly has places for quesadillas whereas before, there were only sub-par fastfood chain restaurant offerings? Now we can take our pick from trendy hangouts to unassuming hole-in-the-wall joints that serve a range of greasy, cheesy, meaty possibilities, from slow-cooked meats to vegetarian versions.
In our book, quesadillas should cover the bases with aplomb. That means the tortillas, fillings and accompanying delights like salsa should all tick the right boxes.
In celebration of National Quesadilla Day, here are the homegrown brands where the options are tastier than ever and thus, made our list:
La Lucha Taqueria
This SunStar Best of Cebu winner prides itself on serving honest Mexican food made with love. Choose between flour or corn tortillas and have them filled with your choice of meat along with cheese, sour cream, guacamole and fresh salsa. The vegetarian option has the same fillings but beans take the place of meat, and Mexican rice and lettuce are added. (Pro tip: The carne asada is La Lucha’s strongest suit.)
Deliciously crisped 10-inch tortillas envelop pickled jalapeño, a three-cheese blend and spicy aioli in the jalapeño quesadilla. Tequila shrimp and caramelized onions make flavorful additions to the jalapeño shrimp quesadillas. But the real hook here is the kimchi quesadilla, which is rolled tortilla stuffed with fresh kimchi, three cheeses, teriyaki rice and your choice of meat.
As with any food concept under the Abaca Group, the serving sizes here are generous. Warm and pliant, the voluminous quesadillas give way inside to melty cheese and well-seasoned, perfectly portioned meat—chicken, carnitas or chorizo—that will certainly stop those cravings in their tracks.
Spence Cafe and Kitchen
It makes sense that a cafe as pretty as Spence would serve equally beautiful dishes. But it’s not all show, as the food here are as good as they look. Case in point, the Sloppy Joe quesadilla. There’s something about the sweet and savory, not to mention messy combination of it all that draws customers. Spence’s version uses ground beef, two types cheese and a secret sauce, all inside flour tortilla instead of burger buns.
Its wraps are freshly made and are filled with chili con carne or Cajun chicken, plus lime-tinged pico de gallo and cheese. But if you want warm, gooey, heart-stopping cheese, go for the four-cheese quesadilla which has mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and a cheese sauce.
If you want full-on flavor, opt for Pinche’s birria quesadilla. The 12-inch tortilla, braised beef that’s addictively tender and juicy, overwhelming globs of cheese and the consomme and green sauce make it an absolute behemoth. Other variants include the Korean beef quesadilla with bulgogi, mozzarella, kimchi and aioli, and the ground beef quesadilla with seared ground beef, mozzarella, onions and aioli.