Fast and Furious Food
Anyone who’s been to Naga City in Bicol has probably eaten somewhere along the strip of restaurants along Magsaysay Road or chowed down on Kinalas at a streetside eatery. If you’re interested in motorcycles, you might want to check out a relatively new restaurant called Florespina’s at the boundary of Canaman. My mom recommended I visit this biker-themed bar during one of my visits to Naga since it’s walking distance from our place there.
I found that this motorcycle-themed resto is fast becoming a favorite pit stop for cross-country bikers heading down South. During one visit, I got to chat with the Bill Fernando, a Naga-based motorcycling enthusiast who owns the restaurant. Bill, who often rides to Legazpi, Sorsogon and Daet from Naga, says he was inspired to turn the restaurant into a biker-themed place since it was a favorite hangout of riders (NOTE: Bill named the place after his mother). The vintage motorcycle posters, photographs, artwork and other motorcycle memorabilia all add to the biker-theme vibe.
The restaurant features a cool display of big bikes. A featured motorcycle is put on display on a revolving platform in the middle of the restaurant while different bikes are displayed around the restaurant and open-air patio. On my first visit, a classic black and silver BMW 1959 R50 Vintage model was displayed at the turntable. The next time I dropped by the restaurant for a snack, it was a sleek-looking green Kawasaki Z1000 that was center stage.
Bill shared that they try to mix up the display so visitors won’t get bored. Bikes that have gone on display include a Harley Davidson Road King, a yellow Ducati 748, a Honda 954, a Honda CB100R, Harley Softail Heritage, Honda Nighthawk 750, Honda XR200, and a Yamaha R1 (among others). Last Christmas there were three really cute mini-sport bikes.
While Bill only seriously started riding at the start of 2011, his passion for motorcycles is evident. From owning only one big bike at the start of the year, he has already acquired six motorcycles which he displays and uses for joyrides and everyday use. Other motorcycles are loaned by individuals and groups based in Bicol, where the riding scene is pretty vibrant. Aside from seeing all the impressive bikes, another reason for bikers to head here is because it sits just next to JB Bikeworks, a repair shop managed by big bike racing mechanic Jojo Blanco. Bikers can rest, eat, unwind, and have their bike fixed all at once.
Aside from the eclectic range of dishes, including Korean, Mexican and Mediterranean fare, which aren’t normally found under one restaurant roof, Florespina’s offers aptly named “Hungryman Meals.” For only 90 pesos, you can get your fill of Mexican beef burritos, Turkish Shish Kabob, or three pieces of tacos and beans. If you’re really hungry, there are full meals like the pork adobo and rice pilaf, Beef Bulgogi, or Bicolano Fried Chicken – fried chicken with a generous helping of natong (dried gabi leaves cooked in rich an spicy coconut milk). Meals are served with soup, rice and pickles. I found the burrito pretty filling for a snack (couldn’t finish it though it was pretty good as a midnight snack on the PNR train on the way back to Manila).
Aside from catering to bikers, the restaurant is also becoming very popular with families, who come in for the good food and ambience. Dishes are reasonably priced, with main dishes (like stuffed chicken and calamares) large enough for 2-3 persons. If you’re in a group, eating here comes out cheaper than eating at a fast food joint. According to restaurant staff, bestsellers include the lemon chicken with pesto, salpicao and tenderloin dishes.
The restaurant also offers secure premises and ample parking space for bikes and cars. As a bonus, they also have a bar, a couple of wide-screen televisions for sporting events and free Wi-Fi. It’s definitely a cool pit stop to pass if you’re riding down South.
Florespina’s Restaurant. Open Daily from 11am to 12mn. #1 Tacolod Road, Haring, Canaman, Camarines Sur. (054) 4740148.
NOTE: A version of this article is forthcoming in Motorcycle Magazine.