food + drinks by Justine Limjoco

Save Your Next Cheat Meal for Mudpie Heaven

Sweet and savory dishes with a side of homemade warmth.

In this era of cycling classes and acai smoothie bowls, everyone seems to be hyped up about health and fitness. But then there’s lil ole me—who should probably care more for her health than she does. Everyday is cheat day and that’s probably why I’m the target market for this charming new place called Mudpie Heaven.img_5600
Ashley Cayuca, one of Mudpie Heaven’s owners, tells us that this passion project of hers is a combination of the two things she’s best at: style and food. A fashion stylist by profession, she just couldn’t keep herself away from the kitchen. Co-owner AJ Galvan confesses to us that while everyone was socializing at Ashley’s house parties, he would steal nutella cups from her fridge. And with Mudpie Heaven opening its first branch, everyone can finally take a bite out of those little cups of joy. I curiously tried them myself, and spoiler alert: they’re as decadently delicious as they sound.img_5638
But before you try anything else on their menu, I recommend—obviously—their Mudpie. Decades ago, a reporter once described the Cayuca family’s mudpie as ‘mudpie heaven’—hence name. If that anecdote isn’t enough of an indication of how good their dessert is, one bite of its layers of crumbly crust topped with homemade gelato should do the trick.mudpie-3
If you don’t have a sweet tooth (who are you?), don’t let the name of the place throw you off; their dishes from the hot kitchen are not to be missed. At first, I thought Ashley was trying to use her marketing tactics on me by swearing that their Kare-Kare is the best in the Metro, but she may, arguably, be right. I’m not sure if it was because it was my first meal of the day, but I got goosebumps after my first bite. It’s paired perfectly with dirty fried rice and their homemade bagoong, and I have to say that it’s a match made in (Mudpie) heaven.

If that’s still not savory enough for you, then I dare you to try their Bone Marrow Steak Pie. Served piping hot from the oven, the pie was to die for. Literally. Served with mashed potatoes, the dish is a heart attack on a plate, perfect for cheat days—or for those who don’t particularly care for their health like me.img_5697
Another dish not for the weak hearted is the Crispy Pork Knuckles with three types of sauces: bistek sauce, gravy, and my personal favorite, the hoisin sauce. It’s inspired by your typical Asian peking duck wrap and is best served enveloped in their homemade tortilla.img_5653
If you’re feeling a bit more on the healthy side, treat yourself to their Surf and Turf Sandwich. Pair it with the Pepperoni Pizza Dip with soft pretzels or even their Asian Nachos. I know what you’re thinking—what’s so Asian about nachos? The Mudpie Heaven version is topped with fried pork dumplings (made from scratch) and layers of kimchi.mudpie-2
If you’re feeling too guilty to pay this restaurant a visit, take comfort in the fact that while totally decadent, all the dishes are made from scratch and additive-free; meaning they’re just as wholesome as the homemade meals we grew up with and loved.

Mudpie Heaven is even building an herb garden in the balcony of the restaurant so that they can start serving fresh greens with their dishes. Freshly picked produce with a side of crispy pork knuckles? Sounds like our idea of a compromise.

Produced by Alyssa Castillo
Photos by Shanne Lauron

Justine Limjoco
Justine Limjoco is a contributor to The Neighborhood.
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