As one of the pioneering members of TechTalks Tagbilaran, it was always that shared dream of local businesses collaborating with communities to get the most out of our new found connectivity that drove us to hold the activities we are organizing today. Bohol, being an admittedly more difficult market to penetrate, makes it hard for business owners to focus on growing their business while they worry about when the next customer will walk through the door. Because of that commonly known fact, we didn't expect such opportunities and learnings when I contacted Just Sizzlin' for the Bohol Bloggers' first regular meetup.
Bohol Bloggers with Just Sizzlin' owners (center) VJ Racho and Pamela Descallar
Located along a small street not too far from the city center, Just Sizzlin' is a grill for the young and fresh visual thinker. With bold designs and their killer signature typographic style (which I really liked), the personality their brand brings packs just as much a punch as their house specialty: the Flaming Chicken.
The Flaming Chicken
And what a house specialty it is! A common scene in the restaurant is a moment of silence before the waiter sets your dinner on fire followed by a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" and a flurry of smartphone camera shutters going off. Served on a sizzling hot platter with a side of vegetables, the Flaming Chicken is the most theatric dish on the menu. So much so that it garnered its own line of "who can take the best Flaming Chicken picture" fanatics amongst the regular customers.
I found Just Sizzlin' a few weeks before they opened through their efforts in social media. The spunk they brought as they presented themselves to the public was the main factor that brought me in. Also considering that they were the first restaurant in the province to value the power of social media was another point for me. The restaurant's owner, VJ, disclaims that the real brain behind their campaigns was his girlfriend, Pamela, who is now also managing the marketing aspect of their business.
VJ, Pamel and the Just Sizzlin' crew
Just Sizzlin' boasts a capable staff lineup that only keeps on growing in both quality and quantity as the establishment flourishes in the city. They have only been open for a meager seven months but they are going strong for such a young company with just as young owners and staff.
VJ sat down with us (which was a heartwarming gesture for me, let me tell you) and answered a few questions before explaining to us the house specialties.
From left to right, top to bottom: Baby Back Ribs, Pork Popcorns, Chicken Lillipop and Garden Salad
The Flaming Chicken is easily in the number one spot but the second place is awarded to the Baby Back Ribs and I can see why. The sauce's texture from the Baby Back Ribs was divine and not at all too overpowering. My only recommendation though is that they add a little more flavor inside the meat. or you could slather a piece in the sauce before you eat it, both ways work.
The Pork Popcorns and Chicken Lollipop were great appetizers as they were great finger-foods. Suggestions on putting them on cups to-go, perhaps?
And don't get me started on the Garden Salad with the Asian Vinigarette. The flavor just spreads when you take a bite and the vegetables were crisp and fresh. The vinigarette was a new twist to me as I usually eat salads with thick sauces so sprinkling in the light condiment was both new and delicious for me.
But for me personally, the best dish, which VJ recommended to us when asked about which dish stood out besides the popular ones, was the Sizzlin' Gambas.
Sizzlin' Gambas. My favorite.
Normally with an orange sauce, Just Sizzlin' uses a special brown sauce to mix in with the shrimp and vegetables in the platter giving it a beautiful smell and explosive flavor. The shrimp tasted sweet and soft when I ate a piece and I found myself finishing most of the platter without much help from the other bloggers.
The buzz in the cafe was wonderful for our whole stay, too. The staff were attentive and the owners were just as accommodating considering this was a first for any business in the province to have bloggers over so I loved the attitude their brand brought.
All of this greatness comes in the right package with affordable prices and an easily accessible location making it perfect for yappies and even families all over.
The business plans to expand further into their property, setting up an air conditioned partition and an exciting revamp in their menu soon so I look forward to seeing what they do with the business from here on out.
Overall, Just Sizzlin' has wonderful food, a dynamic brand and is perfect for the young professional, families or, spoken through my own experience, your barkada. (Cheap prices, hearty food and great desserts let me tell you; I love their Fried Ice Cream)
Thank you, Just Sizzlin' for being such a great place to be and don't forget to follow them in their Instagram and Facebook accounts for promos and special events they dish out every now and then. Keep rocking, guys!
Don't forget to give their Trip Advisor page some love by leaving a rating and review once you've been. I know I had to leave one.