I first visited Manos Greek Taverna with two girl friends over a year ago. Always with a soft spot for anything homemade (i.e. made with love), I’ve since listed it as a Tagaytay favorite.
A greek-style carinderia, Manos is a roadside restaurant along the main Tagaytay road (on the opposite side of the ridge) about a minute away from the rotonda.
I really did feel very My Big Fat Greek Wedding-ish the first time I saw those blue and white curtains and tablecloths, not to mention the matching music and paintings of Greek beaches and houses. Add to the scene Manos himself, the place’s most Grecian import, who is such a cheerful and hands-on owner! He’s usually seen grilling meats and preparing dishes in the kitchen himself.
The only disappointment I’ve ever had here is they don’t serve hummus, but just last month I discovered the perfect alternative: fish roe dip, also served with pita.
Other musts: Dolmades (steamed rice in grape leaves with yogurt dip), Gyros, Grilled chicken, yogurt with fresh honey (from Ilog Maria)
Why the place is charming: The menu offers, before anything about the food, a detailed romp through food history and the place of Greek cuisine in it. Talk about pride and passion for one’s work (told you I’m a sucker for “heart”)!