This paper proposes a link quality aware routing protocol for MANETs resulting in robust delivery and high performance by finding out a reliable path with strong links. During route discovery, the strong links are effectively exploited by forwarding the route request (RREQ) packet with the highest link quality or signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) among the multiple RREQ packets received. Compared to the conventional protocols such as AODV, in which only the first-arrived RREQ is forwarded and the others are ignored, the proposed scheme may not have the minimum hop-count route but the one with more number of hops. However, the discovered route is a reliable path with high data rate because it consists of strong links, resulting in high performance as well as robust routing. According to our performance study, it is shown that packet delivery ratio is improved by up to 70% and per-route goodput is dramatically increased by a factor of up to 12. It is also shown that the acceptable value of the RREQ waiting time (Tw) is 1 msec in the simulated environment, which is enough to achieve fairly good performance.