Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘food trip’

Breathing Adventure: Fully Satisfied in Baguio (Part 3 of the Atok-Baguio tour)

Our two-day escapade in Benguet would not be complete without dropping by in Baguio. Despite the rain, we did not let it spoil our last hurrah. A little food trip would be a great finale before we venture into our five-hour trip back to Manila.

Calajo

I heard that this restaurant has another branch along Session Road in Baguio, but this one near La Trinidad is enough to curb the hungry dragon from within. My friend, who’s a native of Baguio, told me that “calajo” is derived from a word from their dialect which means “Welcome” or “Come in”.

Actually, meal prices in Baguio are way cheaper than those in Manila. Even so, their meals have huge servings. Most of what we’ve ordered are made for three people, but it seems that there’s more room for one more foodie.

Pumpkin soup and pancit. Just right for the cold and damp weather.

Their salad is made of strawberries, raisins, green apple and lettuce, topped with strawberry vinegrette. I couldn’t believe this is made for three, but we managed to finish it. The yellow fritters are called dokto. These are made of camote fritters, and they are made sweeter by cinamon sugar. My friend said they’re better with coffee, but we can try that combination in another recommended restaurant next time.

All of these cost less than Php500. Not bad for the tired and hungry traveller.

Baguio Craft Brewery

This brewery has been making unique crafted beers along Marcos Highway since 2014. The weather was getting a bit dull and boring, but the homey, garden-like vibe of the place made us feel warm and upbeat.

We were allowed to taste four beers before finding the one that is for our liking. Going beyond four would confuse the taste buds, so we have to choose wisely. I admit I’m more of a wine person and not a beer fan. But these crafted beers made me appreciate the drink as they don’t have a strong, pungent scent, and their flavors stand out from one after another without leaving a bitter aftertaste as most commercial beers do.

I went for a pale ale called Englishman In New York. One of my friends opted for a light, fruit beer called Fruit Swine while my other friend ordered a strong, black beer called Russian Stout, which has dark chocolate aftertaste.

We were lucky because we have arrived at the brewery’s happy hour. Visitors dropping by the place between 1 and 7 pm on weekdays are rewarded with a 10% discount. Not bad for first-time visitors.

I guess I have to wrap up at this point. Since there are more places undiscovered in Benguet, I’ll make sure I’d be a regular visitor. I just hope that tourism and industrialization would not fully wreck this province, which has brought so much romance and serenity to our souls polluted by Manila’s toxicity. I hope people my age would find the time enjoying a whole new world away from the lowlands and find a whole new perspective to our country’s hidden treasures.

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​The Magic of Dinner Over Movies: A Picturesque Lunch At Pan De Americana

Our trip to Marikina would not be perfect without eating. Marikina is filled with restaurants and food hubs that are worth visiting. Here’s one that I would recommend for everyone, especially families and friends who would like to make food (and ambience) a special part of their gatherings.

The mellow beat of the bossa nova was softly playing in the background as we crossed the small timber bridge that hovered over a small pond surrounded with colorful pinwheels. The whole place seemed to have transported us back in time. A hammock, landscape portraits and a calesa sitting in a small garden gave us a glimpse of childhood memories and bliss. Black and white portraits of 1950s actors and actress have reminded the elderly of their younger days. Visiting Pan De Amerikana was like visiting your grandma’s house in the province. It brings more than food, it brings back wonderful memories.

One will not be bored while waiting for food because the place was adorned with fancy, vintage decors and furniture. Visitors can take time by playing the giant chessboard or crossing the hanging bridge on the top deck. Everyone is enjoying this place because of its historic vibe that is very instagrammable. 

Because of the place’s name, one might think that Pan De Amerikana serves American food. Instead, it has brought in the ambience of the American Commonwealth period during the 1930s, with a tinge of post-war feel of the early 1950s. 

The menu is very Filipino. We’ve chosen a group meal of Bicol express, tilapia (a kind of freshwater fish), vegetables and seafood enough for five people which costs only Php895. Fruit shakes (made with real fruits) cost around Php60 to Php80. 

The music faded away as an elderly lady was allowed to play the old piano on the small stage. It reminded me of an old piano we had in the house before. Had I mastered it, I would not be shy in playing a tune right there and then.

We left the place feeling full because of the food and the experience. This is a good place where I could take my mom for a date next time, and a good spot where friends could gather, eat and have fun.
The quiet lunch is without a colorful night life! Watch out for my next blog on our Marikina tour!

The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Ninth Bite): Dwelling in Milkshake and Burger Haven at Kitchen Central

Fairview is one of the places I rarely visit because it’s too far from my very familiar domain called EDSA. My feet would only get the chance to touch its ground when I have a date with some of my closest friends who live there. And so, for the sake of friendship (and food), I’m willing to get off the familiar road at times.

 

My friend, a former colleague at a television company I was employed, urged me and another buddy to try Kitchen Central. I would have honestly chosen SM Fairview because it’s a more familiar territory in my radar. But she convinced us this haven of milkshakes and burgers is worth the sacrifice (well, the pictures said so).

 

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Death By Double Choco

 

The Kitchen Central was a little café tucked alongside other eateries in a tranquil subdivision at Lagro in Fairview. It’s actually one of the many branches scattered across emerging food lofts in Manila. Despite its small space and almost unnoticeable sign, a long queue of young foodies would always crowd outside.

 

Everyone can’t help but giggle with excitement when it had opened its doors.

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Coffee Latte

Despite starting operations nearly 30 minutes late than its usual opening time at 3pm that day, it did not stop eager and hungry foodies from filling up every nook and cranny. Besides, I was dying to see if the pictures are more than just eye candy.

 

When the milkshakes came, my eyes nearly popped out. My, my! These sweet and creamy treats would bring the childhood out in us as we pick on the Nips, cookies and colored candies intricately laced on the lid of the mason jars. Childhood favorites like Flat Tops and pretzels sat atop the whip cream. Who would not

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Cocoa Match Madness

have died of sweetness after lavishing Death by Double Choco (Php150) that night? My other friend had chosen Coffee Latte (Php75) as she was being careful in taking in too much sweets. I had fun picking the green candy sprinkles off the lid and soiling my fingers with the Matcha Kit Kat sitting on my Cocoa Matcha Madness (Php150).

 

The star of our meal was the Monster Jograts Burger

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Meaty Fries

(Php330). It’s one humongous burger enough for four people. Even the burger itself was just as fancy because it was not painted in normal bun colors. We watched with amazement as yellow, pink, purple and black burgers were served on other tables. Ours was as red as Planet Mars with edges oozing with streams of yellow, molten cheese. We had the trouble cutting it into smaller pieces because of its size. But we also had the trouble eating it without being messy. Meaty fries (Php80) came last. This time, we had to use forks because it was overflowing with barbeque sauce, crushed beef patties, and more cheese!

 

 

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The real challenge: the Monster Jograts Burger!

 

Although the place lacks the furnishings of homey or hipster restaurants, the food itself was an experience. My friends and I spent hours catching up as we nibbled on the treats and savored the burger. It would not lack flavor, especially giant bottles of Heinz Ketchup and mustard are conveniently waiting on every table. I must admit I was nearly defeated by that burger. Because of its size, I had to debunk plans to consume shawarma later that night.

 

The night was falling. More young, hungry foodies are queuing outside the Kitchen Central. I am convinced that dropping by there was worth the sacrifice. And I’m sure these people in the line would agree with me.

I wonder when would be our next date. Can’t wait to try another milkshake. By that time, I’m sure I’ll be more ready for the burgers at Kitchen Central.

 

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Food would not be memorable with April and Noelle, with little Danilla tagging along

 

 

The Magic of Dinner Over Movies: Eating Lunch In Peace (Eighth Bite)

20160318-130011.jpg I am always used to eating alone. It looks sad, but there are times I would just like to hang out with my own self.

The Old Spaghetti House has been one of my favorite pasta houses in Manila. They offer various red and white pasta meals, would be better if it’s a meal. One of my orders was golden crusted chicken with angel hair pomodoro. I’m no food critic but it find it enough to fill my hunger pangs…as long as it has pasta.

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But the best for loners like me would be the old, homey feel of the place. Classic watercolor paintings, a few fancy china, and other western vintage decors give the place a classy atmosphere. These are the kind of places where I can write my heart away. This is where I can just stare, unload my brain and ease my emotions while I munch on my food. It’s like finding home within a jungle of commerciality and expensive glitter. I don’t have to hurry my food, then.

For now, I can’t invite friends. I need the time to be alone. But there’s always a time for everything. I’m sure on the next food trip, I’ll have some friends to enjoy the moment with me.

Great Restaurants For the Holidays!

Christmas is the best time for family bondings, but it can even get better when we all get together with food!

So, it’s a privilege to have this assignment of featuring special restaurants that are unique in its kind. As a foodie myself, it’s an amazing
experience to feature (and taste) Galileo Enoteca and the Old Oven Cafe.

Let me give you a peep to these one-of-a-kind restos:

Galileo Enoteca:

You don’t need to leave the Philippines just to get a taste of authentic Italian dishes. Everything’s here in this restaurant in Mandaluyong City! Take a bite of their risotto (their rice recipe), frutti di mare (their pizza), and real Italian cold cuts and cheese. It would be better when paired with vino rosso (red wine). But it wouldn’t get better without lively chatting, laughter, and fun — and our interview was thus memorable!

But just because the air of Europe fills this place means you have to very careful in eating. Eating Italian food means you have to be yourself! Don’t cut up the spaghetti strand, or you’ll miss half of your life! 🙂

A memorable dinner with the general manager of Galileo Enoteca, Wilma Valbuena. For the first time, I got to learn all these Italian dishes

A memorable dinner with the general manager of Galileo Enoteca, Wilma Valbuena. For the first time, I got to learn all these Italian dishes

The Old Oven Cafe:

Get a bite of Italian-American-Asian fusion with that Baguio feel in this restaurant in Katipunan, Quezon City. With its classic facade and vintage-feel, it reminds me of pubs in Ireland brimming with country music. But the food is not really old, but it gives you a fresh feeling of good company. Try their Three Cheese Pizza, Swiss Mushroom Burger, and Chonburi Spicy Wings (my favorite!). For this holidays they have Lamb Chops with Black Rice, and tasting it for the first time is a treat for me!

But what I appreciate more in this place is their appreciation for real Pinoy talent. Take a tour to their mini-exhibit of artworks made by deaf artists. For art enthusiasts who would like to buy their works, proceeds would go to the artists themselves.

Having a chat with the owner and chef of The Old Oven Art Cafe, Kay Mangibin-Torres, who made all these food herself.

Having a chat with the owner and chef of The Old Oven Art Cafe, Kay Mangibin-Torres, who made all these food herself.

For my report on these amazing restaurants, watch Newslight on December 25, 7:30-8pm (Manila time), on Light Network channel 33. Also, it is on channel 93 (Cignal cable), 5 (Sky cable analog), and 161 (Sky cable digital).

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