Cebu Food

Cebu City food trip: The Original AA Barbeque

By on February 3, 2011

AAs - front page

The first Original AA BBQ restaurant is at Lahug, Cebu City. I could still remember that there was a convenience store in front of it which was later demolished to expand the restaurant’s packing space. Aside from this recent renovation, it also at least 10 other branches distributed all over Cebu and even in Mactan island, each of which did not drop the ‘original’ from their signages.

This growth probably sets apart the restaurant from the many open-air restaurants that abound in the city. In this cutthroat industry, when everyone else is offering live bands, unlimited rice and yoghurt treats, AA BBQ sticks to what it knows best: Cebuano food.

AAs - window shopping

AA BBQ does not have menus but it allows its customers to pick the fish, pork, fowl or salads from a designated counter instead. At the end of the queue, they would then specify the style of cooking for each item. The waiters would then ask for the number of cups/platters of rice and drinks once the customers are already seated at their respective tables.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been to AAs. But in most occasions, we usually order the following dishes:

AAs - spicy squid

Crispy Hot Squid.

AAs - lapu-lapu tinola

Tinola na Lapu-lapu.

AAs - grilled belly

Grilled Pork Belly.

Among the three, the crispy hot squid is my favorite. It is calamari with just the right amount of spiciness and tenderness. A pork dish is usually thrown in as an inexpensive ‘filler’ especially if our group is quite large. On the average, we usually expect to spend Php150-200 per person. This amount is not expensive and may not be cheap as well. But for the good meal and the many satisfied stomachs afterwards, we get more than our peso’s worth at AA BBQ than we would at a fastfood joint.

I do not eat out a lot but I noticed that in the rare times that I do, I took more dinners at this Lahug branch than I drank coffee at Starbucks since January last year. The first was to welcome a balikbayan and the latest was with another good friend that I’ll blog about soon.

AAs - meet and greet

This goes to show that the Original AA BBQ is not just another restaurant in Cebu. Through the years, it became a convenient place where colleagues talk casually outside their offices, old friends catch up with one another and absolutely great memories are made, all of which were done over a fantastic yet affordable meal.

The Original AA BBQ branch along Salinas Drive at Lahug, Cebu City opens daily from 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM. For reservations and inquiries on their other branches, please refer to the business card below:

AAs - contact



Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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