Our weekend jaunt to the south was coming to an end, sniff, but there was still one more thing we had to do (er eat) before hopping on that plane back to Manila: the steaks at Del Monte!
Bukidnon is a rolling highland with an average elevation of about 900 meters. It is home to the world's biggest pineapple plantation and is also the biggest cattle-prducing province in the region. Now think about that for a second. That's a lotta cows and pineapples! Actually that's a whole lotta cows eating a whole lotta pineapples!
Del Monte Philippines, Inc. owns 90 sq kms. of fertile land in Bukidnon, majority of which is devoted to the largest pineapple plantation in the Far East. In the heart of this vast expanse of land is Camp Philips, Del Monte's headquarters, where many of the top executives live while their children study at the Del Monte Int'l. School. The pride among other recreational facilities is the 18-hole golf course and a golf club famous for steaks from pineapple-fed cattle, a non-core business created to make use of excess pulp.
The club is casual and unpretentious and presents the diner with a pretty view of the gold course through screened windows. It's cool and there's a light breeze so there's no need for even an electric fan even at this time of day when the heat is usually most unbearable. We order our steaks - porterhouse for most of us - and a New York steak for my friend. Other cuts available are T-bone, sirloin, club and round. You can choose to get the full order which comes with soup, salad and dessert. I went with the short order of porterhouse (large!), with two orders of extra bread please.
I am told their bread is fantastic, so I ask for two extra orders not knowing that my steak comes with 2 slices. But it was really, really good, so soft and perfect that I practically finished it all anyway. The steak did not disappoint; it was tender and flavorful. But since I'm not a big steak person, I couldn't tell that this was pineapple-fed. But then that's me. I couldn't tell ostrich meat from beef either, remember? :) It didn't matter, everything was delicious, the company was first-class and we were happy.Christina who discovered it while backpacking through Bukidnon earlier this year. The beans are roasted by the monks from the Monastery of the Transfiguration I'm still happily drinking my way through some Benguet arabica a friend of mine gave me (a present from Baguio) so I haven't tried this one yet. But I think I'll brew some and give it a try this weekend. :)
Del Monte Golf Club
Cawayanon, San Miguel, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
(088) 855-5976 to 78 ; (08822) 742370 ext. 6125/6145