Wednesday, December 29, 2010

THE PEPPER LUNCH CONSEQUENCE



Should I be jealous?

              For the past few months that I've been working on this blog (Don't get me wrong, I'm having fun while doing this, but trust me, it still is a lot of work), Rina and I have been going to places that I've read or heard about. Over the course of the week, I do a little research, ask a few of my friends, and decide where to go for the weekend. Hey, before you call me a chauvinist pig, it's important for you to know that all my options are run by Rina  first, before coming to my final conclusion.

        Her answers frequently revolve around TWO choices, depending on our location. Her first answer usually is, "Up to you.". All our years together has helped her accept the fact that she married The Pickiest Eater In The World, and her suggestions are usually met with a shrug from me, followed by a reason why we SHOULDN'T go to to that particular place.

        Her other suggestion, usually is Pepper Lunch.

        My wife takes her Pepper Lunch VERY seriously. I've learned that it's not something I'm allowed to joke about. If she even suspects that I have plans of going there without her, there will be hell to pay. Going there without Rina would be the equivalent of cheating on her. (I can see her now, all teary eyed, throwing stuff at me, screaming, "You liar! You went without me! I can smell the pepper beef all over you! Don't even try to deny it!")

          As long as there's one in the neighborhood, you can bet your ass that Pepper Lunch would be her default choice. And when she's in one of her craving moods, there's no use trying to stop her.

          The best thing that happened to Rina was when they opened a branch at Greenbelt 5. Right beside Gellatisimo. So it was Lunch at Pepper Lunch, and Gelato right after. I think when we moved out of Makati, this was among the hardest things for her to say goodbye to.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OZ CAKES AND PASTRIES: PART 1


Gotta have the cream.

         A few years ago, my sisters, Raquel and Rosemarie went into a venture to start a restaurant in the grounds of U.P. It was a cafe at the back of Bahay ng Alumni, that shared a space with an art gallery. Oz With its artistic ambiance, and their delicious pastas and pita wraps, Oz Cafe garnered a cult following among the students of UP for quite a number of years. My personal favorites were the Japanese Fried Rice, the Pesto Pasta, and the Cheese Kranier. Three items I dream of till this very day.

        The undeniable star of Oz Cafe, however, was the Chocolate Molten Lava cake. This was a concoction that my brother made, after trying something similar at another cafe. He liked the whole concept of it, and felt that the version he was easting was good, but firmly believed with a few more tweaking, it could become great. 

        And you know what? He was right. 

        I'm not saying this out of love for my brother - I'm saying this out of love for food. The Chocolate Molten Lava cake that my brother makes is the best you will ever try. The Lava cakes sold like.. well.. Hot cakes.. and became the flagship product of Oz Cafe. There were other desserts that were also quite phenomenal, but nothing that could even remotely compete with the popularity of the Lava Cake.

         Unfortunately, The whole economics of running a fully functioning restaurant on a University campus eventually caught up with us. The building administration escalated the rent to an unreasonable amount, making the whole operation unfeasible.

            So just like that, the Cafe closed shop, leaving legions of heart-broken students behind, hungry for the magical goodies from the world of Oz.

               It's 2010, and years have passed since the doors of Oz has closed, but the legend of the Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes, still live on. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WINNING MR. MYFOODTRIP

    Nice to see my face on a website without the words "wanted" on it for a change
  

       Even before this blog was up and running, my Facebook profile was famous amongst my friends for my posts of food. I wouldn't post any reviews or anything like.. Just the pix that Rina would take. from our numerous adventures.  

           My very first post in this blog was on June 25, of 2010. Although I registered the blog name at around September of 2009, after my brother introduced me to a show that would change my life - Travel Channel's "Man V. Food".  Seeing MVF host Adam Richman travel from city to city to take on the most amazing pig-out spots, It became clear as day what I wanted to do with my life. Since I'm not going to be signing up with a major network any time soon, I thought the best way to do this would be through the blog. When I first tossed around the idea to a friend, she said, "How can you make a blog about food, when you're such a picky eater?". And just like that, the concept of "The Pickiest Eater In The World" was born.

Monday, December 6, 2010

THE PALANCA SERIES #2 : BOBS


  Bob's is technically located along Dela Rosa St., Corner C. Palanca St.. for all you nitpickers. 
The Hot Babes at "Bobs"
            
       I've been to Bacolod around three times in my entire life, and I enjoyed it very much, mainly because of the food. The first time I went, was around 1999 to take the La Salle Summer Workshop in exchange for OJT credits in Benilde. My girlfriend at that time would be there, as well as a few of my good friends, so I thought it would be a really fun experience to be a part of. One whole summer, in a one bedroom house with three girls and three guys? As expected, it had it's chaotic moments, but it was definitely one of the best summers of my life!

         One of my fondest memories, was definitely the food. Whenever I hear something about Bacolod, a flood of memories come rushing back from my summer trip there, especially the food! We were a bunch of college students in a tiny house, with no kitchen equipment, so we had no choice but to eat out every single day, so I managed to go around to some really great places. I ate Sisig almost every other day in a little place near the school called "Taste Station" every other day - that is until I saw a rat around the area. Too bad because the Sisig was one of the best I've ever had (I'm picky about my sisig too, surprise surprise). I still dream of the Butterfly Spare Ribs from the restaurant, "Time Out" (I actually walked to it from my hotel a few years back, because I swore it was just around the corner. It wasn't.).

            Another staple, and in fact, was the very first restaurant our group went to, fresh off the plane. It felt more like an American style diner, than it did a a restaurant in the province. As I glanced at the menu, I knew "Bob's" was going to be my best friend in this trip. And I was right.

             Fast forward a ten years later, and as I was walking back to my office from a lunch run, I noticed the familiar logo plastered on the window of the building at the corner of Palanca and Dela Rosa. I don't remember what establishment was there before Bob's. Nor do I care. The bottom line was, Finally, Bob's was here in Manila. 

              And I wanted my Ribs. 

                    

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

THE PALANCA SERIES #1: GUSTAVUS STEAK LOUNGE


* After working in C. Palanca St. in Legaspi Village for the past 4 years (and even living there for 2), I will soon be bidding this beloved street goodbye. In memory to the street I've grown to love, I'm writing about some of the places nearby that I hope I will still be able to frequent, even when my company transfers its office.*

Pizza-like Oysters?

            Ever since I've started this blog, I've gotten invitations from a few establishments to check out their restaurants. Although I really appreciate the offers, I have never accepted any of them yet, simply because I'd be worried that I'd be obliged to give a good review, whether I like the place or not. I prefer to keep the place I go to on their toes, not knowing that I might just make them famous on the net (Whether in a good way or a bad). However, very recently, my boss found out that I've been keeping this blog, and decided to invite me to his restaurant, to add to my posts. I immediately agreed because of two reasons: 

             1) The prices of the steaks at Gustavus Steak Lounge is much higher than what I usual pay for food (and rent).
             2) Having been there before, I already knew for a fact that Gustavus Steak Lounge is awesome

            Oh and I'm not just saying this for fear of losing my job. Gustavus guarantees you one of the best steaks you'll ever have in your life, but I assure you, it's so much more than a Steak Lounge. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'VE FOUND MY WINGMAN

Seconds before the wings flew into my mouth..
         
     Forget Maverick, Iceman, or anything Barney Stinson may have told you the "Bro Code" says.. I've found my Wingman at the Collective in Makati! A number of people have told me to check out this place, but I've never gotten around to going. I don't exactly go crazy for Chicken Wings, so there was no real urgency for me to go. One day, whilst I was surfing on the net, I read about a place here in Manila that served "Deep Fried Snickers" as their trademark dessert. I couldn't help but be impressed as I read further on about this mythical place that stared down the face of the Department of Health to serve such a sinful dish, and lo and behold, It was the legendary place that they called Wingman.

            I told Rina about the dessert, and she was ecstatic to try it. Just thinking about it, she said out loud. "Wow, I don't think anyone could ever finish one order of that". I looked her straight in the eye, and in the immortal words of one of the greatest Wingmen of all time, I said to her..

           "Challenge Accepted."


Saturday, November 20, 2010

THE RETURN TO NORTH PARK


The prodigal son has returned.. and boy is he hungry!
                I've declared my love for Chinese food time and time again, so it comes as to no surprise that this is the cuisine that has the most posts here in my blog. Given that I have so many other cuisines to explore, I decided to take a break from Chinese for a while, to give myself a chance to explore other cuisines. At the same time though, I felt it was a travesty that I had not yet included one of my all time favorite Chinese restaurants, North Park, in my posts.

                My love for North Park goes back to the mid-90's, when I first got back to Manila. I just graduated High School from Cebu and my sister wanted to take me out. She knew I formed a band in high school, so she started taking me out to watch rock bands, in order to meet some new people. She took me to the old "Weekends Live" at The Atrium to watch bands like "Advent Call" and "The Breed" and to "Kalye" along Palanca St (which is, coincidentally, where I work now), where she introduced me to Wolfgang and Razorback. After a long alcohol infused night (I was designated driver so because I don't drink), everyone would get hungry, we would usually end up at the 24 Hour North Park branch along Makati Avenue. 

         On our way there, my cousin Raffy suggested two things for me to try  that he believed I would love. And to this very day, there hasn't been a time that i've gone to North Park, and DIDN'T order those two dishes. (Far away look, followed by a single tear down my cheek)

Friday, November 19, 2010

THE LITTLE LA CREPERIE BY THE CORNER


In a cozy corner of Eastwood

           Somewhere in the new building of Eastwood, lies La Creperie, a small cafe that specializes in - wait for it - crepes. I'm not really a big fan of Crepes. I don't hate it, but i'd prefer to have a pie or a hot fudge sundae instead. As we passed by this place during one of Schatzi's day's out, she asked to go there for Dessert, so I was glad to oblige. 

        From the outside, you can imagine that you're in a cafe on the sidewalk of the streets of Paris. (Of course, I've never actually been to Paris, so like I said, "imagine" it) It had a certain charm to it that would raise your curiosity and grab your attention.


Friday, November 12, 2010

IN THE COMFORT OF PENPEN


Choose your weapon of artery destruction
     
             I was talking to a colleague of mine about my blog, and he was giving me his feedback on what I've done so far. As much as he enjoys my blog, he said, if he personally prefers more "Hole in the wall" type places that not many people know about - as opposed to the highly commercialized places that i've been going to. I realized he had a valid point. Although I do have a post or two that have taken me out of my comfort zone, maybe it would be a good idea for me to check out places that aren't always located in malls. (I hate finding parking, so sue me)    

         I dug deep into the recesses of my brain for a place that could fit exactly that bill. I had a few candidates, and finally settled on a place. But then, just before I was about to tell Rina, where we were going to go, she interjects, "Maybe we should go to a place that serves comfort food?"


          And there it was. The sign I had been looking for. Rina was looking for Comfort food, why not take her to the one place I know that offers exactly that. PenPen Restaurant.

          With a slogan like "Comfort Food Araw Araw", I know we were going to go to the right place. Not to mention, I don't think it gets much "Holer in the Waller" than that! (I made that term up just now)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ICEBERGS, RIGHT AHEAD!


Is this what sunk the Titanic?

           I love ice cream parlors. There's really something nostalgic about it. (Does anyone from Cebu remember the old ice cream parlor at the ground floor of the building where the cinema "Belvic" used to be? They made one of the best chocolate parfaits ever!) I think that when you're a kid, and you go into a place whose specialty is ice cream, you wont have to worry about being good all throughout or your parents might not allow you to have dessert (I don't think anyone would be that cruel). I remember going to the Old Magnolia House to have the "Hidden Treasure" ice cream sundae.. (Was that the name? All I remember that it was the one with a chocolate gold coin in the bottom) and to me it was the greatest thing on earth (I hadn't discovered Bacon yet). When I got older, I took my Niece Cara there, to try their "Kit Kat Choco Attack", basically a Parfait with Kit Kat sticks around it. (Pretty good too

        I've seen Icebergs around for quite some time now, because I would pass by the one in Timog often when I lived in QC. But I never thought about going there because as much as I love ice cream, I'm not very fond of Halo Halo and stuff like that, which i thought was pretty much the backbone of everything there serve. When I passed by their branch in Robinsons Galleria a few years back, I got a glimpse of their Menu and saw it was more of like an Diner than just an ice cream parlor.


            I've been there a few times already, but never captured on film. I've tried their fried chicken, which was pretty decent, and when Rina was craving for a Chili Dog, we headed straight to Icebergs. After a meeting with my buddy Ted at Metro Walk on a Scorching hot Saturday afternoon, Rina wanted to goto a place with something refreshing to cool us down while having our late lunch. 

            The choice of Icebergs was a no-brainer.

Monday, November 8, 2010

THE KOGI BULGOGI INCIDENT


Not to be mistaken for..

          The first time I saw the sign for Kogi Bulgogi in Eastwood some time last year, when the restaurant itself was still under construction. I went with Rina to meet up some of her high school friends at The Coffee Bean, which was on the ground floor of the next building (across the new Eastwood Plaza). While Rina was sipping on her favorite "Frozen White Chocolate Dream" while swapping stories with her friends, I was looking out the window for a place to eat.

           Rina says I have an uncanny ability of spotting signs on the road of new menu items from fast food places, so with my eagle eyes, I scanned the area and saw the "Kogi" sign. Instantly it caught my attention. Not because i'm such a Korean food lover (I'm not, In fact apart from Kalbi, Bulgogi and Bibimbap, I don't know any other Korean dishes) but because "Kogi" is the name of a very popular Korean BBQ food truck in LA, that I've been dying to try ever since i've heard of it! In fact, my Ninang Pochay in L.A. got me a shirt!



...The original.

         As soon as I saw it, I sprinted to the second floor of the other building, leaving Rina and her baffled friends behind. I was heartbroken (not to mention exhausted) when i got there and realized it was just another Korean Restaurant that ripped off the logo. And though they removed the "flame" from their logo now, I can assure you that their logo on the "Under Construction Tarp" had it, making it look nearly exactly like the Kogi BBQ truck logo (I can't find the pic I took, darn it).

          Since I couldn't forgive their earlier attempt at deceit, It took me a while before I finally agreed to try the place. It was only when I realized that they removed the flame from the logo that I decided I'll try it. And when we took Schatzi out to Eastwood, it was the best time to go on our first Korean adventure. 
      

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

THE BURGOO BLUES

The calm before the storm

                  After a week-long absence from blogging, I'm back for the next chapter of my adventures! My next stop was during a trip to SM Marikina. First of all, I was surprised that the mall itself was a lot nicer than I thought it would be. But then again, it's SM, so how different could it be, right?

               But since one of the newer malls, the place was still lacking in restaurant choices. I already went to TOSH, and I wasn't planning on doing a post on Burger King, so the next best choice was either Burgoo or Teriyaki Boy. For some reason that I cannot understand, I chose Burgoo. 

                    A decision I would eventually regret.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

RYAN'S BIG NIGHT AT CRYSTAL JADE

Finally!
       
                 Apart from American BBQ's I would have to say that Chinese food is one of my favorite cuisines.  Considering I already have six entrees on it, more than any other cuisine out there, is proof enough.I've had quite a few people suggest the acclaimed restaurant "Crystal Jade" to me, but I never made any plans to go just yet, because when Rina and I would plan our next foodtrip, we would deliberately avoid going for Chinese so we could expand our (my) horizons a little bit (Every time I would die a little inside, though)

             A couple of weeks ago, Rina and I went to Greenhills to look for my Halloween Costume (stay tuned), I planned out where we were going to it (as usual). Since I wanted to go to a place that wasn't located in Eastwood or Makati, we decided to go to this place in Quezon City that Rina had been wanting to go back to for quite some time. After looking around, we drove out of the parking lot building and we drove past Crystal Jade. I was quite surprised that their wasn't much people - which made me suspect, since it was around 3pm, maybe it was closed. But at the same, time i couldn't help but think that It would've been the perfect opportunity to have tried what everyone has been saying is a superb restaurant (Especially when iI was disappointed with the place we ended up going to - will be posting that in a few weeks).


            A few days ago, my sister Raquel called me up making sure I kept my Saturday night free, because we will be having dinner out to celebrate my brother's being done with his culinary course. Of course, I never miss out on having dinner with the family, so i was ecstatic. 

            I could have sworn I felt a tear roll down my cheek when I asked her where we'd be eating, and she replied, "Crystal Jade".

                                   

Friday, October 22, 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE PART 3: THE YAKIMIX INVASION





Come to daddy!

           One fine day in the office, I saw Audrey, a friend of mine from the office, researching on "Yakimix". What started her interest, I have no clue, but when I heard her talking about going to visit the recently opened Greenbelt Branch, I knew I wanted in.

             I'm usually not a fan of those places where you have to grill your own food, because the smell gets all over your clothes, and when I pay to eat in a restaurant, I expect THEM to do all the work. Otherwise I should've just eaten at home.

             Its difficult to make definite plans with my office friends because we never really get off work at the same time. There's always someone with a client that's still there when everyone else is ready to go. We set a night for everyone to go, and said that if everyone is free, we would go.
  
           During that night, we were waiting around for our respective clients to leave, someone realized that almost everyone was done with their tasks, and it was just about the time to go home.

           Finally, our dream to invade Yakimix would become a reality.
                     

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE PART 2: MRS. YULO'S STRAWBERRY TALLCAKE


(Umm.. I didn't do it)

           After getting back to the office from my John & Yoko lunch break, I went straight to our Marketing meeting. As we were discussing some of the issues that we needed to tackle for the upcoming months, Miss Mench, The head of our department, commended us for a job well done the previous month. And as a token of her appreciation for all of our efforts, she had a huge cake box brought in and placed in the center of the table. 

         When the lid was lifted, and the contents revealed, it brought chills down my spine. This cake and I had crossed paths before. And it was one of the best cakes I'd ever tried in my entire life. 


          It was one of my all time favorite cakes - The Strawberry Shortcake. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE PART 1: JOHN AND YOKO










As you can see by the empty bowl beside me, this picture was taken after the meal

           I had quite an interesting day last week. So interesting, in fact, I decided it would be the subject of my posts for the week. Truth be told, it's not really all that exciting unless you're a foodie (I'm not exactly a lion tamer) but I did manage to get three awesome food experience in one day, and it happened to be on the day that I decided to bring Rina's camera to work- So i just happened to capture everything on (digital) film.

          My day started on a rather sad note, because all my lunch buddies at work were preoccupied, leaving me to fend for myself (I hate eating alone). Just when I was starting to contemplate skipping lunch all together, my cousin Paolo gives me a call out of the blue, saying he's got some free time for lunch, and asked if I wanted to join him. 


        Since I had my camera, I told him i thought it would be a great chance to get more material for the blog, so I grabbed my camera, and he picked me up. Since it's so near our offices, Greenbelt was the default place to go to. Since I don't have a Japanese post yet, I suggested John and Yoko, which he was very much game for (Ecstatic, in fact. I wonder if the girls in the short skirts had something to do with it.. hehe kidding bro.. you know I love ya..).


Friday, October 15, 2010

ELVIS FOUND IN CUPCAKES BY SONJA


Three of the sweetest things in my life.. My Wife, My dog, and my cupcakes..
               
          I've got a thing for cupcakes. I'm not ashamed to admit it. And everyone knows that Cupcakes by Sonja is perhaps the best place in the Manila for cupcakes (although, my lovely friend, KC isn't far behind - and that's on self study and sheer passion alone, mind you). After dropping by Krispy Kreme for some take out during day two of Schatzi's day out, Rina and I walked Schatzi to Serendra with the intent of heading straight to the basement parking where we had parked, and head off home.

          Alas, it was not meant to be. Once we saw the sign of Cupcakes By Sonja, a stopover was a must. 



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

THE BORACAY CHRONICLES: THE LAST NIGHT AT STEAKHOUSE BORACAY




I'm dead sexy
   
       For our last night in Boracay, I wanted to take Rina to a romantic candle light dinner.. preferably a quiet place where we could enjoy each other's company during our final hours at the beautiful island. Apparently when you're in Boracay, the ultimate party hot spot in the country, finding a "quiet place" isn't exactly the easiest thing to do. Fortunately, during our walks around Station 2, (when we weren't getting besieged by offers to go Parasailing, Jet-skiing or Reef Walking), we passed by Steakhouse Boracay quite a few times and took it into serious consideration. The last night when we were looking for a quiet place to go to, Steakhouse Boracay proved to be the closest to what we were looking for. (Not counting the guy down at the beach who rocked the Magic Sing about how he never knew it would go so far, when she left him on that boulevard, the ambiance was perfect for the romantic dinner I was hoping for.)


Monday, October 11, 2010

THE BORACAY CHRONICLES: PANIC AT LEMON I CAFE



           After our Zorb Experience, Rina and I needed to grab a bite to eat for brunch. We passed by Lemon I Cafe quite a few times the day before and we noticed it was always packed, so it intrigued me. I had read about it before during my research, but I couldn't recall what was the "must try" of the house. Before we went in, we took a glance at the menu, and I was a little bit surprised by with the prices, which I found to be a bit high - and not just for a cafe in Boracay.

              The desserts in the display looked good and the items on the menu were very interesting, so it was a no-brainer that we would be going there. My only problem though, was I couldn't remember what the review I read said to try. 


Friday, October 8, 2010

THE BORACAY CHRONICLES: HOT STUFF AT JONAHS SHAKES



It was full to the brim when she started taking the picture

             My giant buddy Joel went to Boracay at the beginning of September, so he was able to scope out some places for me to try. One of the places he mentioned to me was Jonah's Fruit Shakes. Naturally I told him that i'm not really into fruit shakes, but he said not to worry because there are other things on the menu as well that would probably interest me. In fact, on his part, he didn't order a fruit shake. He ordered a chocolate peanut butter one. Sounded good to me, so I marked it down on my list of places to try during our Boracay trip.  

           The problem was, I thought I heard him say it was at D' Mall, which it isn't. So after a few minutes of walking around D' Mall looking for it, I gave up my search.

       
           After breakfast and a brisk walk around D' Mall, Rina and I decided we wanted to walk the length of the beach, all the way back to our hotel in Station I. It's actually quite a long walk, but when you're on the beach and you can see a landmark from far away, and when you're holding hands with the one you love.. *cheeziness alert* suddenly it doesn't seem to matter what time you get to your destination. (Pogi points for the missus hehe)

           Rina stopped to talk some pictures, and she was surprised to see I had turned the corner and was about to enter a tiny alleyway.

Its a sign!

         She was just about to ask where i was going when she looked up and saw the sign and understood completely. I had finally found the ever elusive path that would lead me to Jonah's. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

THE BORACAY CHRONICLES: THE HALLOWED HALLS OF BISTRO VALHALLA BORACAY



                  When I was researching places to eat for my trip to Boracay, the name "Valhalla" caught my attention quite a few times. It came across to me as a Carnivore's heaven, with a wide selection of steaks, ribs and other assortments of savory meat dishes to choose from. After a huge breakfast at the Sea Breeze Cafe, Rina and I headed back to our hotel room to get some rest. I got around three hours of sleep the night before, and Rina got none at all, so I felt it would be best to take a short nap before heading off to explore the island. We got back to our room around 9am, with the intention of waking up at 11am to take a walk down the beach. For some reason, we woke up at 2pm hehe. (I blame the buffet)



Monday, October 4, 2010

THE BORACAY CHRONICLES: RAIDERS OF THE SEA BREEZE CAFE

 


I swore that before the our Boracay trip ended, someone's gonna get pregnant.
This wasn't what I meant

  I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm a sucker for breakfast food. I'm easy to please, what can I say? Since we were going to be arriving Boracay early in the morning, I knew that the trip wouldn't get off to a good start if I didn't immediately get some food into Rina's tummy (She one of those people who gets really grumpy when she's hungry hehe). Good thing my friend Rain (and fellow breakfast food junkie), gave me the heads up on the breakfast buffet of the Sea Breeze cafe at the Boracay Regency.

        After arriving at the sunny shores of Boracay, at around 6:30 am, and we were famished. Rina had worked till 2am, meaning she didn't get any sleep anymore, except perhaps a little bit on the plane. I knew that if we took a nap, we wouldn't wake up anymore, so from our hotel, Residencia Boracay, we put settled in our stuff, and grabbed a tricycle to the Regency. 

       The Boracay Regency is one of the more upscale hotels in the island, so you can imagine how shocked I was to have what Rain told me confirmed by the hostess upon greeting us.. Breakfast Buffet was only P400 bucks!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

THE BORACAY CHRONICLES: RIDE THE HYDRO ZORB!


My first video post!

Ironically, it's not about food. 
I'm still trying to see if I'll be incorporate more videos to my blog, but at the moment, I've got three more lined up after this, (but one isn't food related). 
I took a crash course on Windows Live Movie Maker, and I might need to install Adobe Premiere and take a crash course in that too.. hehe.. 

Anyways, Enjoy!


          Disclaimer: The Pickiest Eater In The World is shirtless in this video. Don't say you weren't warned.  




       Rina and I just got back from Boracay, and I was totally amazed. Anything I may have said about not being interested in going there because "I don't like the beach", I had to swallow, because I would go back there in an instant, given the opportunity. We did quite a few things while we were there, (especially eat) but I was so excited to show everyone the video of us riding the Hydro Zorb! The Zorb is basically a big giant ball that you hop into, and then you are rolled down a hill. You can imagine how awesome that would be! There are two types, one with a harness, and one with water. The one with a harness sounds like a vomit factory, so I stuck to the "Hydro" one. I was also pleasantly surprised that Rina was willing to ride it as well! 


Monday, September 27, 2010

THE WONDER THAT IS COOKBOOK KITCHEN

 I hate when I leave my beanie.

              A workmate of mine told me about this place called "CookBook Kitchen" in Mandaluyong that supposedly has phenomenal food. Naturally, I immediately did a little background check to see if they had anything that would interest me and interestingly enough, there was. Their ENTIRE MENU. It's quite rare that I see a menu of a restaurant online wherein I want to try every single pork and fish dish on it. If you remove the "Garlic Shrimps" from the appetizers, that would make it 3-0, while getting rid of the "Menudo" from the Beef Dishes, would make it 4-0. That's still a pretty good ratio, though.

      Ahh.. but does it taste good? That's another question. As fantastic as their lineup of food was, I knew I'd never know the answer unless i tried it myself. As we were driving home from Schatzi's day out in Eastwood, I saw at the front of the new building the sign of "CookBook Kitchen". I was curious if that was the same one that my workmate was talking about. I used my detective skills (read: Facebook) to find out if it was the same thing, and as it turns out it was, saving me a trip to Mandaluyong. (It's not that far I know, but like I said, Rina and I enjoy going to Eastwood)

     So would their menu that sounds so perfect on paper live up to the standards of The Pickiest Eater In The World? Well, let's put it this way.. *Spoiler Alert* (That was for you, Kim).. I found out that within the walls of Cook Book Kitchen lies a dish that made it to my list of One Of The Best Things Ever..

   

Friday, September 24, 2010

THE TALE OF THE ITOUCH & THE OLD SPAGHETTI HOUSE

A scene from "Goodfellas"

                 I'm not being a kiss ass or anything like that, but I've got to say that I have the coolest Father in law ever. And anyone who knows Rina's Dad can attest to the fact that what I'm saying is true. From the moment I met him (Rina and I weren't together yet), he was one of those guys that you felt you could sit down with and have a relaxed  conversation over a couple of beers (If I drank beer, that is). The man is so cool, he refused to give out a speech during out wedding - what he did instead, was sing a song for us. A song whose music and lyrics, he wrote himself, when he was much younger, and he still remembered.

               Pretty awesome, right? For the past couple of months, we've been visiting him every Sunday, and he prepares us some really good food. Usually awesome deep fried porky goodness that he knows I like (love, actually).

               For his Birthday, Rina and I wanted to do something nice for him. So we decided to take him out for his Birthday. Rina asked me to think of places where we could go, and The Old Spaghetti House along Sumulong was the first place to pop into my head. Mainly because I remembered the food to be pretty good, and not to mention it was nearby. Since we would be a total of six dining, their very reasonable prices made it the most logical choice. So the big day came, and it was off to TOSH we went to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Ricky Barbero!

Monday, September 20, 2010

SCHATZI MEETS UNCLE CHEFFY !



Uncle Cheffy Gets a Tongue's Up from Schatzi!

                      During a long weekend which unfortunately coincided with our maid's vacation, Rina and I pondered about where we could bring our Shih Tzu, Schatzi. Of course the default option would be to go to my parents place in Antipolo, but I was dead set on doing nothing during the 3-day break but eating. And when my determination sets in like that, I'm unstoppable. (Only with food though. I'm still thinking if I should apply it to work.) Eastwood automatically endeared itself to us because of it's Pet-Friendly attitude. Every time we go there and Rina sees a dog, she gets teary eyed and says "I really want to bring Schatzi here so he can meet new friends." and then gives me a look that would make Puss-In-Boots look like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. (It's kinda not fair, because when I try to pull that stunt, I get thwapped on the back of head.. as you'll see later)

                     So we knew we were going to Eastwood, but WHERE in Eastwood was still a mystery. A workmate of mine suggested Uncle Cheffy, so I immediately looked it up. I was honestly quite baffled that I hadn't heard of the place before.. Not even in passing. After doing a little research, I decided that this was the chosen one for the first stop of "Schatzi's First Ever Day Out"!

Friday, September 17, 2010

YEEHAAWW!!! WE'RE AT TEXAS ROADHOUSE GRILL!




My Therapist says I should stop hiding my feelings and learn how to express myself more.
                 
         I've had my eye on Texas Roadhouse Grill for quite some time now, but i've never actually had the time to check it out. When they opened a branch in El Pueblo three years ago, I was living in Mega Plaza in Ortigas, which is just a few blocks down, but I still wasn't able to go try it out. Mainly because I saw the flyer and the prices seemed to be a little steep, although I had to admit, the menu was pretty much up my alley. I had totally forgotten about the place until a couple of months back, a friend from work said that their Philly Cheese Steak was one of the best he had ever tried.

                  I did a little research for some dishes that I thought I'd like, and had resolved to go check the place out soon. The name alone, Texas Roadhouse Grill" has got "RichieZ" all over it so i felt I couldn't be carry the Pickiest Eater name without trying this place. When Rina asked if we could take our Shih Tzu puppy Schatzi to  High Street, I figured that would be the best chance for us to try it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

KRISPY KREME : KRUFFINS VS. PULL APARTS!



Come to daddy..


                I'm not big on desserts. I'm more of a main course kind of guy. Despite that, I don't know how many would disagree with me, but I think it's safe to say that Krispy Kreme makes the best donuts out there today. Yes I've tried Cello's and their dips. Good, but not as good. Go Nuts? their cupcakes are actually better than their donuts. Dunkin' and Mister? Please. Anway, I grab one of the regular glazed ones, (The other highfalutin ones don't interest me so much) and have it heated up to 10 seconds (The box says no more than 8, but I like to.. you know.. "live on the edge". Damn right.) and the darn thing practically melts in your mouth. Ever since they barged into the country, Krispy Kreme stores have been spreading like wildfire, and consistently packed. Not one to stay complacent, Krispy Kreme always seems to have a new product line out ever month. A couple of weeks back they launched the series that had Kit Kat bars sticking out of its ass, and I distinctly remember a year or so ago they had a Hershey's chocolate line that boasted of Cookies and Cream & a particular one that had Reeses Pieces bits on it. (I missed out on that. I'm still hurting over that till this very day)  

                 One day as I was driving to work, I passed by a billboard of Krispy Kreme, that said "Sweet or Savory?" It got my attention, because it didn't really say the name of the product. The first thing that popped into my head was that Krispy Kreme was gonna start serving the Legendary "Luther" Burger (A bacon cheese burger encased between a split and grilled Krispy Kreme Glazed donut, made popular by the singer (genius), Luther Vandross. In a totally unrelated turn of events, he died July 1, 2005 of a heart attack)  but as I drove closer, it as obvious that that wasn't it.

                I was staring at the Billboard trying to figure out what kind of donut it was, then suddenly I saw something that made things as clear as day to me: I still had no clue what it was, but I had to try it.

              I may not have known exactly what was on that poster yet, but one thing was for sure..

It had Bacon on it.


Monday, September 13, 2010

A TASTE OF BUENISIMO



       The First official post of the new adventures of The Pickiest Eater In The World, with Photography by RinaZ! See the difference! (Maybe next time I can find a way to do this in 3D hehe)
By Cafe Ysabel.. so you know they know their stuff.

                   Given my love for food, it's quite normal for friends to go up to me with suggestions for places to eat. My good buddy Joel, or "My Giant" as I more lovingly call him because he's a foot taller than me, (Meaning he's freakishly tall.. not that I'm, you know.. ridiculously short.. OK, fine. it's a combination of both. Happy now?) never fails to mention Buenisimo whenever we talk about food. (Of course he called it "Bellisimo", which turned out to be a totally different restaurant) He raved about their awesome food, generous portioning and the reasonable prices, saying it was a favorite of his daughter Gwen. The last time we went to a restaurant that was one of Gwen's favorites, the said restaurant ended up becoming an instant favorite of our group as well (I don't want to mention the name for future post purposes), so hearing his daughter's stamp of approval, immediately piqued my interest.

                  Not that little Gwen (As of writing she's not yet taller than me, but who knows what'll happen by next week) is some "Paul the Octopus" of food, but that's just how pleased with the first restaurant that got her endorsement. So one fine Saturday morning, Rina and I headed off once again to Eastwood (Which has apparently become one of our favorite malls, based on the number of posts in the past and coming up) to find Buenisimo. Rina was excited more than usual because, as mentioned earlier, this would be her first Official Pickiest Eater "assignment".

                 And I gotta say, the pix really look amazing.. (great job, babe!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

GROCERY FINDS: PANDA EXPRESS ORANGE SAUCE!


I'm starting a new Category to my blog, called "Grocery Finds", to be posted every Saturday or Sunday. These are some cool stuff that I get at the supermarket that I would like to share with you all.





Reunited and it feels so good

                Direk Pao posted a pic of a bottle of Panda Express orange sauce (P399) in his hand on his facebook page last week, effectively driving me into a frenzy. It all of a sudden became my civic duty to go out to S & R to grab a bottle for myself (I actually found a reason to renew my membership). During a trip to Hawaii a few years ago, I remember getting my first taste of Panda Express's Orange chicken, and loving it. Since they don't a branch here yet, this was obviously the only chance I could get to get a taste of Orange Chicken once again. 

               (Don't say Chowking. DO NOT say Chowking.)


Friday, September 10, 2010

THE GUSTAVIAN "SPECIALS"


        Before I go any further, lemme just say that this will be the very last post with pictures from my old Facebook and Rina's old Multiply albums. From here on end, It's going to be new adventures posted, with kick ass pictures care of RinaZ! Early into the blog, a friend of mine said she wondered how long this will last.. 3 months and 32 posts later, (not to mention with material good for at least another month backed up), I think it's safe to say I'm here to stay! Thank you for being part of my eating experiences! I've got a whole bunch of exciting food trips lined up, so I hope you'll all continue to stick around for the ride :)


               Enough with the sentimental crap..Today we visit...

 Nice Euro feel to it.


                      I first heard of The Gustavian from one of my bosses. He heard me asking around what's a good place in Eastwood to eat at. He immediately chimed in about The Gustavian.. "Very good food, great deli selection, at an affordable price", was his comment. Of course it didn't sink into me back then, that what may be termed as  "Affordable" to a boss, may not fall under the same category to said bosses' employee. 

                   Rina and I met up with my buddies Ted and Mark for dinner at Eastwood and my bosses' words, ""Very good food, great deli selection, at an affordable price" kept ringing in my head.. I was half expecting a ghost image of me to pop out behind me like a Safe Guard commercial saying the same words.. So it was inevitable.  
                         As I walked toward the door, It said in their "Specials" chalkboard "Greta Garbo Steak P195", giving credence to what my boss had said earlier. So thinking that the coast was clear, Rina and I headed off with my two friends through the doors of The Gustavian.. where we were in for quite a surprise.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BARBEQUE HEAVEN AT CEBU'S LARSIAN


 Can we be any more tourist-y?
                       Just like the Magellans Cross and the Sto. Nino Church, Larsian sa Fuente has become one of Cebu's tourist attractions that you must go to during a visit to the queen city of the South. What exacty is "Larsian", you ask? Just the home of one of the country's best BBQ, thank you very much!

                     The Larsian I grew up with looked sort of like an outdoor Wet Market or "Palengke" if you will, but filled with BBQ stands. It was absolute mayhem trying to get in, because there was smoke coming from all angles, and people (people I could barely understand, mind you) would be screaming at you to buy from their stand. You would sometimes step on something squishy.. something you could only hope was a fallen piece of longganiza. Cars would zoom past you if you got too close to the street, making it seem like you were actually risking your life for a stick of BBQ. Was it worth it though? 

                 Hell yeah!
                      

Monday, September 6, 2010

TRIPPING OUT ON BIGBY'S


Disclaimer: Once again, this is a very old post so please forgive the photography. 
Rina used her old Sony something-something Phone Camera.




 








From Cagayan to Cebu to Bacolod and finally Manila!

                    As I've mentioned before in my previous posts, I lived a great deal of my younger years in the beautiful island of Cebu. At that time, though, the food choices weren't as vast as it is today. If you wanted Filipino food, you went to either Golden Cowrie or Lighthouse. If Chinese is your thing, You went to Ding Qua Qua or Ding How Dimsum, and Japanese food lovers could go to Ginza or Mikado. The annoying thing about Cebu for me, is that the city's boom seems to have coincided with my departure to Manila. It's almost as if my presence in the city caused the economy to stagnate for so many years. 

                  In all seriousness though, I feel the big boom had more to do with SM and Ayala setting up shop there, than me being a jinx to the whole city (Fingers crossed).When those two establishments opened up, an influx of businesses came into the city, and local businesses saw potential to expand their market. 

                  During a Mall tour that I was tasked to direct a few years back, I noticed the sign of "Bigby's cafe & Restaurant". The design had an "New World" feel to it.. where it kind of looks like something off a map of Christopher Columbus. At first glance, I honestly thought it was an international franchise. I suggested this place to the client I was with, and luckily (for me), she said that when she had gone around the mall herself earlier, "Bigby's" had caught her attention as well. 

                So dinner at Bigby's was set. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SORRY JOLLI, THERES A NEW KING BEE IN TOWN!



Hail to the King, baby
                   
             Rina And I usually visit my folks in Antipolo on Sunday mornings.. We have lunch there, spend the day with the kids and leave in the afternoon. Having a home in the mountains of Antipolo has both it's pro's and cons. The pro's being the refreshing mountain air devoid of pollution, the picturesque scenery, and the calming peace and quiet. Once you're in the house and plopped down a comfy bed, expect to be knocked out cold within minutes. It's really the perfect place to relax and recharge yourself after a grueling working week. 


                  The cons? Well, It's not exactly far, but it's a little bit isolated. When your there, you feel like you're away from civilization. It's actually really not that far from the city, and there are some malls that are a 20 minute drive away. But you do get the feeling that you're in the province, especially if you're used to working in busy business districts like I am. 

                   Since its along Marcos High Way, I would pass what seemed to be a newly opened restaurant called "King Bee" every time I'd head off to my parent's place.. And I was pretty amazed how it never failed to be jam packed. I asked my brother if he'd ever eaten there, and he re-affirmed it and said "No but it's always full!". So they must be doing something right. 




Monday, August 30, 2010

WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING AT HEALTHY KITCHEN?!?!



Excuse me.. I'm a little lost. Where am I..? I'm scared.


                 There was a time when i was trying to eat healthily. I hated that time. Seriously. Thank goodness I got over that really quick. It lasted- oh- about a week? It was the thought that counted, I guess.. hehe. I did manage to lose a little weight, but I doubt you could really tell the difference. My dream of losing weight actually led me to a place in Serendra that is known for out of the box type of meals that are actually good for you. 

              The cozy little nook is called "Healthy Kitchen." It sorta had a country home feel to it that i really liked, and I've read good reviews about itso I was excited to try it. One glance at the menu though, with it being sprinkled with words I had never heard before in my entire life, (such as "Wheat grass", "Anti-oxidants" and what was that other word again..? Oh yeah! "Sugar-free".) I had to ask myself, "What the F**K am I doing here?"


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