Beef, vegetables and soup of Bulalo, Rose and Grace (Batangas)

Sucking the Marrow out of Life: Bulalo of Rose and Grace (Batangas)

“Suck the marrow out life,” a figure of speech which means making the most out of life, is based on the act of eating not only the meat attached to the bone, but also what’s inside the bone: the bone marrow (much better than “sarap to the bones”). The phrase is attributed to an American author but it could very well be coined by a Filipino, like Rose or Grace, who hails from the land of delicious bulalo: Batangas.

Progress has a way of checking who’s ready or not. Progress has a way of confirming which restaurant serves great food and is worth the trip. Progress is scary for the unprepared and the flash in the pan, so to speak.

Take the expressways, for instance. When the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) came into full operation, it transformed travel up north, speeding up travel time by bypassing several towns. It bypassed the Tarlac town of Gerona, where you’ll find the Isdaan restaurant. Down south, when the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) was finally linked to the accident-prone Star Tollway, the radical improvement in travel time means certain establishments like the Rose and Grace restaurant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas must be darn worth it to justify the extra hour detouring from the expressway.

Get out of the Calamba exit (that’s the second exit after the main toll booths of SLE) and head out towards the direction of San Pablo City. You won’t miss Rose and Grace at the Sto. Tomas junction.

Rose and Grace, the restaurant, serves a lot of Filipino food but we go here for one thing and order one thing only — bulalo. True, you’d find good bulalo all over Batangas. You’d find bulalo, like Leslie’s and Taalena, in Tagaytay. Let’s just say that Rose and Grace is one place we’d willingly take a detour just to enjoy the bulalo.

Bulalo is the marrow in the bone of the beef shank. It’s that heart-stopping (figuratively and literally speaking) stuff that’s you either love or hate. The marrow is not substance that gives weight to the meal. You enjoy, with abundant rice of course, the beef meat together with the green vegetables, pechay and cabbage, and that slurpy soup.

Somebody once said that great-tasting food is never the healthiest. Bulalo, whether the soup or the marrow, is not the healthiest food, regardless of the requisite vegetable in the mix. But Batangas bulalo tastes absolutely heavenly. Bulalo, taken in moderation, makes life more enjoyable. And if moderation involves one or two choices to explore, that should definitely include Rose and Grace.

2 thoughts on “Sucking the Marrow out of Life: Bulalo of Rose and Grace (Batangas)”

  1. Hi guys, I’m Benj – I’m actually the son of Rose – of Rose and Grace. Thanks for these kind words. šŸ™‚ The restaurant has been in the family for 45 years now and it’s great that people still appreciate our humble take on Batangas cuisine. Like you guys, I also go back to Laguna/Batangas just to get my fix of bulalo. No other restaurant’s dish just hits the right spot.

    1. Our pleasure, Benj. We visited the branch at Sta. Rosa over the weekend, putok-batok always tastes good. One of these days, hope to bump into you or your family so we can hear stories of how it all started.

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