Admittedly, a hard and jaded Partyphile like myself have little inclinations on becoming too emotional. In fact, only three things in life make me emotional: good food, good drinks, and weekends. And the emotion I choose to feel when faced with these three elements of bliss is happiness. So yes, I was happy—ecstatic—when I found out that one of the few places that could offer all three elements of my happiness was now in Davao.
TGI Fridays, as you probably already know (unless of course if you have been living under a rock these past few months, which has been out-of-chic since Obama’s death inside a cave) opened some time at the end of May (2011 of course. Check the date on top of the page in case you are reading this some time in the distant future) in Abreeza Mall. Yes, the one owned by the Ayalas, along JP Laurel.
Most of you know that TGI Fridays is a casual dining restaurant; you go there to dine…casually. Duh. However, the fact that they started out as a bar might come as a surprise. I know it gave me that kind of reaction which later developed to a strong infatuation with the brand. In my book, any restaurant that serves good food and alcohol is, well, good. In fact, in my book, any place that serves alcohol is good, but that’s a whole different story. Now, going back to Fridays.
Fridays actually started out as a bar, and even though they gained popularity in the country for being a casual dining resto, they could not forego the bar because it is a very important part of their identity. But of course, this is not what you want to read about. I know what your thought process is when you step inside Fridays.
You got here thinking that you are about to enjoy really good food. And then, all of a sudden, a huge bar comes into your line of sight. Suddenly, you start thinking twice about having some food. Alcohol, of course, is always better than solid food (well, for most of us, that is). But then of course, you decide to do what you went there for: eat. At the back of your mind, you are thankful that you decided to skip their cocktails because you would not really know what to order. And that is where I come in. Being the Partyphile you love (or hate) I have whipped up a review of six of their best-sellers. So no. Do not expect me to say bad things about their drinks because: 1.) They gave them to me for free. 2.) These are best-sellers for a reason. 3.) They are just too good to bash. So without further ado, here are six of the cocktails you must definitely check out at TGI Fridays:
1.) The Classic Mojito: This cocktail is the king of all cocktails as far as TGI Fridays is concerned. Their Mojitos are the stuff of Urban (Cocktail) Legends. Have you ever read passages and stories about the power of a Mojito to transport the drinker to a beach-side setting with a bevy of friends in tow, and a sunny disposition to boot? Well, I haven’t either. But that is exactly where this cool and citrusy Mojito takes you. If this cocktail does not refresh you and remove all the stress that has pent up from whatever it is you do (work, school, or shop), then nothing else in the world can. This cocktail tastes like a citrusy, minty, fizzy burst in your mouth. It is cool and calming and is made with Rum. How can you go wrong with that? Oh, and to make things even better, TGI Fridays offers Bottomless Classc Mojitos from 4PM until closing time at only Pesos 305. And do not even try to argue that you can buy two buckets of beer with that money in your friendly neighbourhood sari-sari store. These Mojitos are BOTTOMLESS. ‘Nuff said.
2.) The Margarita: Served on the rocks, this classic cocktail is one of the more popular items on their cocktail menu. If feels like a shower of citrus and alcohol in your mouth, that is bound to make your knees weak with one sip. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. This cocktail is potent but is easy on the palette. In fact, while I was sampling this cocktail, a fine gentleman from Japan kept on giggling beside me. Turns out, he has had 6 servings of this cocktail… and it was not even 6 PM. It seems like, with the Margarita, you just can not stop with one. A well-made cocktail is good in any language, I guess. What’s in it? TGI Friday’s very own Margarita Mix, Triple Sec (a citrus-based liquor; do your own research to find out why it got its special name), and Tequila. Alright. I am ending this paragraph here. Tequila should be enough to convince you.
3.) The Pina Colada: If you do not know what a Pina Colada is by now, shame on you! It is ONLY one of the most popular cocktails in the whole wide world! In fact, I’ve heard some news that aliens in Mars drink the cocktail. And I’m not even making this up. Ok, so maybe I am. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if ever Martians would choose a Pina Colada to booze up on, it would definitely have to be the one they serve at TGI Fridays. Ok. Fine. If you still do not know what it is, here is the proper explanation. The Pina Colada is a blended mix of Coconut Milk, Citrus Fruits, and the king of Tropical fruits, Pineapple. Basically, it is a Tropical Holiday in a glass. A really large one too, if you order it at Fridays.
4.) The Electric Lemonade: Ok. So you think that Lemonade is a boring drink. It is kind of flat and one-sided. It is simply lemon, sugar, and water. Right? Right. Thankfully, the Partyphile Gods have blessed us with Alcohol; and this makes everything a little better. So, TGI Fridays serves up a gorgeous Electric Lemonade: a combination of Lemonade, some really good Vodka, and some Blue Stuff. It might be Blue Curacao; it might be not. But at this point, would you really care? I wouldn't too. All I care about is a good cocktail; and this might be a good introduction for somebody who hasn’t grown accustomed to cocktails just yet. If you are new to the whole cocktail-drinking bandwagon; then this is the one for you. Oh, and by the way, TGI Fridays (as well as most of the food establishments at the Ground Floor of Abreeza) will be extending their closing time to two in the morning. So please, for the love of Alcohol, grow accustomed to cocktails now.
5.) The Appletini: So most martini innovators will tell you that anything that is shaken (or stirred) with ice and combined with Vodka is a Martini. Martini Purists will tell you that all these innovations are fake Martinis, and the classic Martini is the only way to go. I say, if they are really purists, then they should not even drink cocktails in the first place. Whether an Appletini is a real Martini or not, it is far better than any old Martini I have ever tried in my life. And trust me, I have tried one too many Martinis. Fridays’ Appletini is a sweet and tart blend of Apple Syrup, Vodka, and it seems like, Magic. This Appletini is surprisingly good, and is one of the fastest-rising stars in their cocktail menu. It is perfect for ladies who enjoy a really great-tasting cocktail, without the instant buzz; or for gentlemen who just want to drink a cocktail for its taste. It is impossible not to give out a smile after drinking this cocktail; it kind of reminds one of apple-flavored candies that used to be popular during our childhood. Of course, this comes with Vodka, which makes it better than any old piece of candy.6.) The Mudslide: Before you order this, get ready for an all new cocktail experience. Although the mudslide is served with a simple swirl of chocolate syrup (to line the glass) and some chocolate chips, there is nothing simple about the cocktail. It is made with Bailey’s Cream (which is gorgeous when taken alone), Kahlua (which is comforting at any time of the day), Vodka (which still remains to be one of the most, if not the most, popular alcoholic beverages in the world), and Vanilla Ice Cream. Think of the mudslide as an adult version of the Chocolate Milkshake you used to love as a child. It is creamy, dreamy, smooth, and slushy all at the same time. It seems to provide you with nostalgic memories that bring you to a place of comfort and solace. It is that kind of drink. The experience may be comparable to that of drinking a cup of Hot Chocolate, but we all know that the Mudslide is better (it has alcohol in it). It comes in a tumbler that is the perfect size for really sitting back and relaxing. In fact, I will go as far as to say that it is one of my favorite cocktails so far. It is definitely a must-try. And if you don’t take it from me, well, good luck on finding another valued opinion about cocktails.
All in all, the cocktails at TGI Fridays are above par. These yummy alcoholic treats, combined with some finger food (Ballpark Nachos, perhaps) seem to be the perfect combination to transport you a weekend-state-of-mind, at any day of the week. After all, in here, it is always Friday.
For comments, suggestions, letters of adoration, and more confessions from this partyphile, log on to http://party.i.ph, or listen to Confessions of a Partyphile on the radio every Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 PM on 105.9 Mix FM. You may also follow the columnist on twitter.com/zhaun