What was once a metaphor for political conflicts along national borders is now just a story to scare chicos and chicas so they don’t wander off on their own. The Chupacabra, Mexico’s oldest urban legend of the bloodsucking coyote or goat-sucker, brings Mexican culture and dining to life. Hiding along a back street in the outskirts of the prestigious city of Makati rests the nocturnal El Chupacabra, waiting to come alive and lure passersby with pungent yet irresistible aroma of Mexican spices.
Makati’s Little Mexico
There may not be guitarristas in sombreros strumming La Cucaracha onstage, but you could almost imagine it as El Chupacabra’s playlist echoes festively along Felipe street in Poblacion. As the night draws in, tables and chairs start to fill up and overflow from the restaurant, and murmurs from small talk become loud and boisterous cheers to celebrate the weekend. The warm breeze, smoking grill and constant chatter is what makes El Chupacabra the perfect Mexican backyard barbecue party.
The Latin American-inspired restaurant and dive bar draws diners in for their cheap beer and authentic street tacos grilled right by the sidewalk. The best-selling Carne Asada’s grilled steak filling as well as the Sanfo-style pork sisig has kept meat lovers at the very edge of their seats in anticipation as the spicy aroma seduces their palates. But there will always be the classics, like the Carne Guisada or traditional ground beef, though this time with a Tex-Mex twist. Seafood, although not staples, are still a hit at El Chupacabra, creating flavors for shrimp and filleted fish with Chipotle spice and everything nice.
Latin American dining is not complete without a good complementing beverage. An authentic Mexican Horchata, made from rice milk and seeds or nuts, brings balance to the extremely spicy meal that can potentially disturb your stomach. However, more than practical reasons for having this drink, people like it for its light and refreshing qualities. It’s a perfect highlight on its own.
Other than soft tacos, El Chupacabra serves additional traditional Mexican delicacies such as Gringas or quesadillas with your choice of meat toppings, good ol’ nacho chips and dip, and of course, Anticuchos—much like Spanish tapas, but more commonly known as pulutan. They also have a notorious list of alcoholic drinks at the pub area to pair up with the tacos and other finger foods. There are plenty of food and drink options fit for diverse cravings of people from various occupations. Many come together to just enjoy the food, drink, and music. Experiencing authentic Mexican dining is also better with a hot Latino playlist to dance to at a night out with friends.
In here, the Chupacabra within us will always have its fill no matter what. The Diablo stops at nothing to satiate its hunger, and what better way to do so than indulge? It’s affordable and laidback, and there are always more surprises to come back for. Bring your friends or a date or go on your own, just make sure to let your appetite tag along too.