Quibranza: The ABCs of Matias

·2 min read

If I have a friend coming over from other regions in the Philippines or from abroad, I’m taking them to Matias.

Absolute. Barbecue. Chicken.

If it’s their very first time in Cebu, like a drop-by-Magellan’s-Cross-type of first time visit, then I might take them to another barbecue place called “Martian” (real name withheld). That stop would be more suitable for gaining experience points dining on the actual streets of Cebu City.

But when it comes to finding flavor first, Matias Barbecue on A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue City is the place to be.

It has treated its prime location with the respect it deserves, as it continually serves some of the best barbecue chicken in the metro right in the middle of a busy urban intersection.

Allow me to break down some of the ABCs on why I’m a fan of Matias.

A is for Availability.

This is quite ironic actually. I met a food writer from Manila recently and he asked me if he and his group could still make it to Matias for an 8 p.m. dinner. No chance, I told him. The food allocated for the day would’ve sold out by then.

Balbacua (Stewed Beef Tail and Skin) for dinner? Forget it. It’s all gone even before noon. Matias plays supply and demand like tug-of-war with a careful strategy, and the locals keep coming back for the food with fervor.

So yes, it’s the quirky play on availability that works for them.

B is for Barbecue.

Freshness is king. Matias is able to serve fresh chicken barbecue day-in, day out. I personally have yet to try a barbecued chicken leg here that gives off the slightest hint that it was stuck in the freezer for days.

It’s almost like smoked barbecued chicken, isn’t it? You can taste the flame, and the marinade is minimal. Dipping the tender, smoked chicken meat in a bit of vinegar, soy sauce and calamansi is a delight.

C is for Consistency.

The prices are fair. The quality is excellent. The taste is amazing.

I’ve heard of rumblings from that of other barbecue places in the metropolis coming for the title of “best barbecue in Cebu,” but what separates the best from the respected is a little word called consistency. Many can say they’re the best. Staying the best is a whole different story.

Are there better barbecue players around town? Let me know!