It’s just good ol’ meat until you know that it’s USDA-approved—that is, the United States Department of Agriculture, which denotes high quality like no other.
Quality grading from USDA is a composite evaluation of factors that affect palatability like tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of meat such as pork, beef and lamb. These factors include carcass maturity, firmness, texture, and color of lean meat, and the amount and distribution of marbling within the lean.
The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF)—a non-profit trade association funded by USDA—has forged a series of partnerships internationally through its worldwide network of offices to promote US red meat.
In the Philippines, USMEF chose Discovery Country Suites’ Restaurant Verbena in Tagaytay as first in line to present a selection of well-curated specials featuring USDA-approved meats.
“USMEF partners with restaurants and importers who use US red meat. We support them either with the ready-made materials that we have or through monetary support. As long as they use 100-percent US meat then we come in and support them,” Monica Regaspi USMEF country representative explained during the food promotion’s media launch at Discovery Suites in Ortigas.
“In this case, we partnered with Restaurant Verbena—the first Tagaytay management we have partnered to promote US-quality meat—by providing the needed meat and materials, who created a menu especially for this,” she added.
As such, foodies can enjoy mouthwatering meat specials while basking in the picturesque view of the Famous Taal Lake and Volcano. It serves as the perfect food trip for any occasion or even just a spontaneous getaway.
The menu includes country Spiced US pork chop served with jalapeño mac and cheese, and avocado and grilled Corn Salsa with grainy mustard sauce; braised US short ribs slider sandwiched in scallop potatoes, grilled bell peppers, and caramelized mushroom and onion with three pepper sauces; and spicy US lamb riblets glazed with gochujang chili and accompanied by romaine hearts and sweet potato fries; and finally, US great country burger with double-smoked bacon and fried egg, sandwiched in a house-made bread and served with fries, onion rings, and a spicy mayo dip.
“USDA has very high standards in making sure that any items are passed through inspection so using US meat, I can say you can never go wrong because they are very consistent. The quality itself is unlike the others most especially when it to comes weight. Even the way they transport it where they properly freeze it,” Country Suites executive chef Gerwin Bailon conveyed.
“I’ve been working on US meat for a long time already that’s why I know its texture and flavor. For Restaurant Verbena, we will use these for Tagaytay and combine it with locally grown vegetables,” he enthused.
Restaurant Verbena’s US Meat Promotion runs until October 31. Diners who order the US Meat Promotion dishes will get a woven bag or complimentary pen with their meal. The restaurant is dining establishment within Discovery Country Suites along 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, 4120 Tagaytay City.