I tried in the last few month ,what is I believe, each restaurant in Dumaguete multiple times. While there are some gems and a lot of fakes, I can't help myself to go back to one place, where I get good sized portions, delicious dishes and all to a fair price.
Not that I don't like the cheap places and can get excited about a chicken on a stick with a cup of rice. However, I wondered how much food I get for the peso, so I took a letter-scale to most places and measured the weight of the eatable main-dish (reading: I deducted the weight of bones etc.) and the side-dishes. I also did not take unlimited rice into the account.
To be sure that I don't get treated as a "well known" guest in some places, I send other people who normally don't go to those places, to make the test with a minimum of 4 different dishes, as all had 2 visits, I had 8 different dishes measured. My volunteers and I got some strange comments, you can bet.
We tried to compare similar dishes, so for example a vienna schnitzel of 1 restaurant with breaded pork or pork chop in others. In many places the side dishes where separate orders, so we added them to be comparable.
Now the interesting result was that a so called "very expensive" restaurant had the most grams of food per peso for meat dishes, pasta and soups.
I do understand that people have different tastes and that is very good, however when it comes down to the best value for the money, a "wow-that-is-expensive" restaurant, turns out to be actually one of the cheapest.
I ended the test about 4 weeks ago but had no time to write something. Having sacrificed myself for a few month during the testing period, I got on a "cabbage soup" diet the last 3 week, but treated myself and my family with a nice dinner last Saturday.
2 adults and 2 kids (which eat like adults) decided for family style, we all wanted MEAT and we got what we wanted !!!
We started with homemade Bread with Salsa (no picture)
Fresh Mango Salad with carrots, cucumber, tenderloin stripes and other healthy stuff
Imported Salami with Mango-Mustard sauce served on marinated Garlic and Onions
Marinated Imported Beef Carpaccio
Rigatoni in Blue Cheese Sauce and Fresh Herbs
Imported Steak - BBQ Ribs platter with mashed potatoes and vegetables
Here the Ribs side .... and forget about ALL other famous Rib places anywhere in town...
Here the Imported Streak with pepper sauce
R and Kids got additional free shake and ice-cream, I an imported dark german wheat-beer.
Price? well, once in a while I take advantage of DI, but it is around 10$/person for regular guests, I would assume...