30 August 2006

Grace, sister of Rose

We were on a road trip last Friday in the south when we neared lunchtime at Laguna.

"Let's go to Rose and Grace!", Dessagirl blurted out. "The food there is great! And it's quite near here already." Dessagirl is a certified food connoiseur, so Rose and Grace it is for lunch.

Our curiosity was piqued, however, when we arrived at the restaurant. The name has changed! It's Grace, sister of Rose!

As we parked our van, each contributed to the reason of the name change:
(1) Rose and Grace had a falling out. But since the restaurant was popularly known with both their names in it, Grace grudgingly added Rose in, but with a lower billing.
(2) Rose went to heaven, and Grace doesn't want to let go.
(3) Rose has become a servant in the restaurant.

We actually thought of asking why the name change, but Grace might run away from us crying as she re-lived the traumatic events. So we decided to leave it as that: a guessing game.

The restaurant is designed cafeteria-style. Go to the counter, order what you like, and it gets served to your table. The choice of food is enormous!

There's skewered tuyo (dried fish), which goes well with vinegar.
Can you feel your forehead throbbing with this crispy pata?
I love lumpiang shanghai, so we ordered that, and the shrimp tempura as well. Mm-mmmm!
Sinigang! (fish in sour broth)
There's egg with bitter gourd (or bitter melon as it's called elsewhere), lechon kawali, bopis, menudo, fish in sweet and sour sauce. Aaargh so many to choose from, so little my stomach...
Let's have some vegetables, shall we?
To make the long story short, we had a feast for lunch! We actually ordered more than we can handle, so we even had some for take-out. Kudos to their chef! Home-cooked meals they were. And the service is great too!

Yes, great food truly makes my day. And based on this photo, Dessagirl and Follen's days too!

Grace, sister of Rose (strange name for a restaurant) can be found in Brgy. Tulo, Calamba, Laguna (thanks jgotangco!).


  1. Maybe Rose got married already. And Grace doesn't want Rose's husband to have a share in that resto (weird huh).

    Sarap namang kainan niyan.

  2. Hmmm... isa ring possibility yan, Lani!

  3. Hmm judging from the photo that's not in Batangas, but in Brgy. Tulo, Calamba, Laguna, where the resto's name has always been Grace, Sister of Rose ;) I think there's also another branch with the same name.

    As for the name change, I have no idea why they made a change for that, perhaps for tax reasons?

    The original one in Santo Tomas (my hometown) is still Rose & Grace, along with the other branches at the SLEX, Santa Rosa, Calamba City, etc.

  4. Did you do some exercise after your lunch? ;-)

  5. So we were in Laguna already? I definitely should not sleep while on the road. Thanks jgotangco!

    Sidney, what's exercise? hehehe

    Mama Jenn, baka awayin kami nung may-ari eh hehehe

  6. nakup, bantayan ang blood pressure...

  7. wow crispy pata!

    hmmm, baka mas malaki ang share ni Grace sa branch na yan kaya sya ang bida. hehehe.

  8. Tommmy, balitaan mo ako ha! Thanks for hopping by!

    Tiningnan ko lang yung crispy pata, na-high blood na ako si di ako nag-order hehehe

    Mmmy Lei, baka nga :-)

  9. Anonymous9:24 pm

    hehehe, so magiging mystery pa rin kung bakit nagbago ng pangalan.... :)

  10. hi sir nick! we were in calamba laguna na!!! mwehehehe..

    jay, yung original pala na rose and grace nasa batangas.. aaaa..

    pero same owner rin yun ng grace sister of rose, diba? bakit kaya nila pinalitan yung name? feeling ko nag away talga yan eh..


  11. naintriga in ako sa totoong pangayayari.

    anyway, bakit panay road trip at kainan lang ang trabaho ninyo nina follen and dessagirl?

  12. Anonymous4:53 am

    Actually, the story behind that is......Rose and Grace Restaurant is owned by their mother, and is under the family corporation. Grace just decided to have her own business since she is the one who got her mother's passion for food and business,though all of her siblings are actively engaged in running the other aspects of the business. She didn't have any falling out with the family, she still helps her mother with the business. As to the name, she just wanted people to know that her restaurant is (almost) the same as the one owned by her mother.

  13. Hi there people.

    Im Benjamin Espina, I'm the eldest son of Rose Ascano Espina (of Rose and Grace fame) and the nephew of Grace Ascano Angeles (younger sister of Rose).

    I know that the "reasons" were made in humorous fashion and were not meant to be hurtful in anyway, but rumor mongering just doesnt sit well with me.

    My Tita Grace and my mom are in good terms and still live as neighbors in the family compound.

    The "Grace, Sister of Rose" establishment has been running for quite some time now and has been named as such since the day it was launched. I guess Tita Grace wanted to be autonomous and have her own business (the R&G chain is owned by my Lola - Conchita). If your mom has a successful restaurant, you will want to have some sort of transfer of credibility, reputation and clientele, so it's not surprising that she would invoke the "connection" between the more established Rose and Grace restaurant and her new business.

    The original restaurant is still in Sto. Tomas Batangas. The Monterey meat shop across the parking lot is Rose's.

    Other branches could be found at SLEX Total (Manila-bound), Sta Rosa (across Paseo de Sta Rosa) and Calamba (I honestly havent seen this location yet).

    I was told that the main restaurant was ravaged by Milenyo and the floods have invaded the restaurant. I sure hope they get things running soon.

    Thank you for your continued patronage and hopefully, no further baseless rumor mongering will persist.


    Benjamin Noel Ascano Espina
    swingonthespiral [at] gmail.com

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Hello lateralus. Just as I mentioned in my post, it was a guessing game. No offense intended. Great food though.

  16. im sorry for the uncalled for use of the term "rumor mongering". Im not really uptight, but it's just weird when people start speculating about my family. :)

  17. Watson: yup, the rumor's pretty been that my mom and my tita got into some feud or some like that. both my mom and tita have decided to go for their own businesses - my tita went for a restaurant while my mom put up a meat shop. :) they're still very connected with the main family business though and they continue to live in the same compound.

    Milenyo hit the area hard. All but one branch (the Sta Rosa branch - sans power)is operating. There are still floods in Sto Tomas and almost all the glass panels were shattered by raging waters from Mt Makiling.

  18. I realize the fact that the post comes as more personal for you, but I really did think that calling it rumor mongering was a tad too strong.

    Anyways, I wish for the best for your family. They got great food, so I'm sure when things have been repaired, people will come back to patronize the restaurants.

  19. Anonymous3:07 pm

    hey! nakakmiss na yung foods dyan! GRabe kami ng hubby ko sobrang takam-na-takam nang umuwi, andto kami sa Texas now, e walang kasing sarap ng mga foods dyan ang pagkain dito. Namimiss ko ang sugpo, and sa hubby ko miss nya ang bulalo!!!!

  20. Anonymous3:07 pm

    hey! nakakmiss na yung foods dyan! GRabe kami ng hubby ko sobrang takam-na-takam nang umuwi, andto kami sa Texas now, e walang kasing sarap ng mga foods dyan ang pagkain dito. Namimiss ko ang sugpo, and sa hubby ko miss nya ang bulalo!!!!

  21. Anonymous3:08 pm

    hey! nakakmiss na yung foods dyan! GRabe kami ng hubby ko sobrang takam-na-takam nang umuwi, andto kami sa Texas now, e walang kasing sarap ng mga foods dyan ang pagkain dito. Namimiss ko ang sugpo, and sa hubby ko miss nya ang bulalo!!!!

  22. actually they are both my first cousins im proudly sana they are already an institution and famous dahil sa kanilang famous bulalo and other native delicacies and specialties specially like the kare kare and the dinuguan...superb...and the seafoods inihaw of ate grace highly recomended po sana kumain kayo at dumaan kayo dun either sa main rose and grace sa sto tomas and syempre sa other branches nila in sta rosa and soon sa USA....... talagang po bringing the bulalo in the states in the near future....soon.....po..sana in the near future ay mabigyan po ng citations si nana(conchita) for her tireless efforts at nakilala po ang bulalo ng sto tomas batangas for more than 3 decades na.... sama ko na din po ang (sinoy and trining)....thanks sa blog page... more power...and godspeed....halina napo at kumain tayo ng famous bulalo ng sto tomas...ala eh!!!! ay daan na dine sa amin sa sto tomas.....

  23. Anonymous: Ummm... nagutom ako sa comment mo. hehe

    Jattremua: Your comment made my day. Ala eh, napangiti mo ko! Syempre I highly recommend the restaurants. Talaga, they made bulalo famous? That is quite an achievement, considering it became a culinary icon in your region.

  24. Anonymous9:38 pm

    how about yung restaurant na may name i forgot the 1st name "___, the other sister of rose & Grace".. related ba yun sa rose& grace or Grace,sister of rose"

    I saw this malapit din sa hiway papunta san pablo yung way..basta intersection sya with jolibee and gasoline stations...

  25. Anonymous9:14 pm


    i was browsing the internet to get directions to grace, sister of rose resto when i found your blog. could you kindly give me directions on how to get there?

    you could reply to me at edwink@skybroadband.com.ph

    We are planning to head towards batangas next week.


  26. Anonymous10:32 am

    Bat iba na nanaman pangalan ng restaurant na ito, I was looking for that restaurant out of curiosity about bulalo's. Then what iv'e found is called Batangena restaurant at the same spot as what this blog said,I asked a wait staff if Batangenas is part of the Rose and Grace Restaurant but to my dismay, it was not. She told me that the owner now is Grace's husband after they got separated and being managed by another Grace!, husbands new lady i guess how ironic huh,weird and complicated. I didn't though I would bump into this people personal lives from my foodie hunting. Well anyway food still tastes good but I would still choose the humble nipa hut carinderia ive found in Quezon.


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