I want to tell you about an odd pairing; as eclectic and seemingly out of place as you’ll ever find in the world. And yet, like so many things you encounter when traveling abroad to the remarkable nooks and the crannies of the globe, the result is memorable.
So, without further adieu, I’d like to present to you the Where, What, How, Why, and even Who of the Bantayan Burrito Company.
My Bantayan Burrito Company Review
This is the best part. This Mexican food restaurant isn’t in Mexico, or California, or New Mexico or Colorado or New York; Canada or Europe. No, the improbably placed Bantayan Burrito Company is located in the Philippines. That by itself is interesting but not notable. But, even better, The BBC is located on the small remote island of Bantayan, which is really a white-beach paradise that you can only reach by a 5-hour bus ride and then an hour-long ferry ride, or by renting a private charter puddle jumper plane.
The BBC is located in the popular touristy (although there really aren’t many tourists and you’ll know them all by face by your second day there) village of Santa Fe. Within Santa Fe, there isn’t much in terms of a bar/nightlife/entertainment scene EXCEPT the pedestrian avenue of MJ Square, which is a charming and fun little lineup of restaurant kiosks, outside seating, and a few bars. It’s there that you’ll find the BBC.
Damn good Mexican food. Let me clarify: it’s as good as you’ll get in the Philippines and probably better than every other Mexican place I’ve tried outside of Metro Manila. That makes it something special, especially if you consider the remote tropical location.
The menu is small, but that’s OK because they make sure the quality is good on those few items, and 90% of customers order one of two things: the nachos, or their Notorious P.I.G. carnitas burrito. No, that wasn’t a misprint – it’s a burrito inspired by a 1990s New York City rap artist – on a tiny tropical island in the Philippines.
Homemade and quality ingredients are the keys to the BBC’s taste bud revolution. They roast their own pig, make their own chorizo, and generally make sure to include only top-quality ingredients. That’s no easy task on a little island where everything needs to be brought in by ferry!
I had the chance to meet the proprietor of the BBC, an interesting UK guy who’s obviously lived a little bit of life. First, he was wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt (liked him already) and then I saw his Notorious PIG/Biggie Smalls featured menu item (liked him even more). But then when we talked, it turns out he’s been around the block a few times. He used to run call centers in Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador (some rough-ass places) where he often hired tattooed and troubled ex-con gang members who were deported from U.S. prisons but could start a new life and make a new living on the phones.
Why not? Good music, good food, working just enough to make a living in paradise, and doing it with gusto with your signature swag and personality, the Bantanyan Burrito Company is a microcosm of how to live life! And you can even buy a t-shirt to prove you were there!