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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?"


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DISCOVERING CAFE BY THE RUINS


What is the logo supposed to be?

         After the long trek from Manila at the wee hours of the morning, my wife and I, together with my parents, finally arrived at our house in Baguio around 10 in the morning. We immediately settled in our stuff, and everyone unanimously agreed (I VEHEMENTLY agreed) that before we go exploring the amazing city that is Baguio, we needed to get some food.  We were all eager to get on with our own plans (My mom and Rina wanted to shop at the Ukay Ukay, my dad wanted to get some rest, and I wanted to... well.. eat again) but of course, after a 6 hour  road trip, food sounded like a pretty good idea. And since it was a holiday weekend, it would be best to not meet the lunch rush hour head on.

       As I had mentioned in my earlier Baguio post, I conducted a small facebook poll to solicit advice from people where to eat when in the City of Pines. Being the picky eater that I am, I was designated by my mom to decide where we'd eat because she wasn't in the mood to get into any debates with me. As we pulled out into the main streets of Baguio, within minutes I saw a sign bearing a name that I had heard many times during my facebook poll - Cafe By The Ruins.


Monday, August 23, 2010

TENDER BOBS IS THE BOMB, BABY!





The Tower of Doom? Ppsshh.. Only if you're an onion ring.
                              
                    
                     To me, Tender Bob's is in the category of those dependable restaurants that you go to when you're at a stalemate with your wife on the question, "Where do you want to eat?". After ping ponging back and forth around five times with "Up to you" and "No, You", one mention of "Tender Bob's" and the discussion is over. And despite the fact that we made a deal to go to a restaurant we hadn't tried before, the mere fact that I put Tender Bob's option out there, renders that arrangement null and void. ("Sinabi mo na eh, di mo na pwede bawiin!")

                     It's hard to argue against Tender Bob's though. You go there, and you're assured of a darn good meal, and when you consider the wide array of USDA Approved cuts you have to choose from, the biggest problem isn't WHAT you want to order, but HOW you plan to fit everything you ordered into your stomach.

                      (Easy. Just make sure you have a big stomach. Duh.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

HOLD YOUR BREATH, WE'RE GOING TO DAMPA!




          I first heard of Dampa from a friend that described it as the "Best Seafood Experience Of Her Life". Since my ears don't exactly ring when I hear "Seafood", it didn't really leave a mark with me. I don't eat squid, shrimps, crabs, tahong, or any of those things. In fact, the only seafood I really eat, is fish. Though I wasn't really excited about it, I ended up going with some people from work, who had no clue yet of just how picky an eater I was. So with my luck, it was only natural that they ordered everything above that I said I didn't eat. We were taking out a German friend of my boss, and he wanted his visitor to get an authentic taste of Good Old Filipino Seafoods. Not to mention the fact that the Dampa experience was something that would definitely be a story to tell when going back to his country.
               
           So I went to Dampa with low expectations, and completely clueless to the fact that I was about to try something that would make it to my list of "Best Things Ever". 
                  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BEST. GIFT. EVER.



                           

              What's the best pasalubong you've ever gotten? Most people get shoes, shirts, or caps. People look forward to getting balikbayan boxes filled with goodies, like perfumes and chocolates, all from a loved one thousands of miles away. 

           . But not me. Such trivial trinkets don't really do it for me. I'm thankful I have a Godmother in the States who knows me so well, and is well aware that as grateful as I would be for anything she'd give me, I wouldn't be going bonkers over a hat. 

                       Don't get me wrong.. I love getting shirts, shoes and caps as much as the next guy, but my Godmother sent me a package together with my cousin that completely blew my mind away. It became the Barometer that all future Pasalubongs would be measured by. And I don't think anything in this world could come close to it. In fact, tears are welling up in my eyes as I am typing this, just at the memory of what a wonderful gift it was..

                Especially when it's so good, it's in the "Best Thing Ever" Hall Of Fame.

Monday, August 16, 2010

THE FIRST RULE OF THE KANIN CLUB..



        During the Christmas vacation, Rina and I planned to go with a few friends from my work to Enchanted Kingdom. Believe it or not, my buddy Mark had never been there yet at that time, and it ended becoming a running joke between us. (No matter what he has achieved, it didn't mean anything cuz he still hasn't been to Enchanted Kingdom) Mark felt it was finally time to rectify that situation, and so we all planned a trip to Laguna so he could finally feel the magic of the Country's premiere amusement park. 

       Unfortunately, fate had a cruel game to play with my poor friend. Upon entering the gates of EK, we quickly realized that this was not going to happen today. The lines for ticket admissions were ridiculously long, and based on the sign boards outside, each ride would entail a minimum of three hours of waiting in line. We realized that it wasn't the ideal way to spend our free day, so the gang decided to head off to Tagaytay instead for a road trip. 

     Of course, since I was part of the group, the so-called "Road Trip" instantly became a "Food Trip" :)

       To everyone, it was a no-brainer. If you're hungry, and you're in Laguna, you go to Kanin Club. I heard about the place before, but it didn't really interest me because I heard the star of their menu is the "Crispy Dinuguan". I haven't heard a single bad review about it, but still.. I don't eat dinuguan. Nothing personal to people who do, but the Picky Eater in me just thinks that eating pigs blood is a waste of stomach space. Why eat that when you can eat something like BBQ or Liempo? hehe

      We saw signs for a newly opened restaurant called "Pig Out" and that seriously caught my attention, but alas, I could not thwart the will of the majority - so it was off to Kanin Club we went.

Friday, August 13, 2010

MCDONALD'S BREAKFAST QUIRKS

A simple breakfast that'll get you through the morning :D

                  In case I haven't mentioned it before, I eat at McDonald's A LOT. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was a time that I think I may have had a double cheese burger meal (w/ BBQ sauce) and 6 piece Nuggets for dinner for 2 straight weeks. I didn't feel any heart problems or anything like that, but I did gain quite a few pounds hehe. What do I usually eat for breakfast when I'm there? Not the Big Breakfast with the sausage patty, eggs and muffins. Not the longganiza meal either. Or their Pancakes. Like i said, I'm a simple eater, so I like their plain Sausage McMuffin (no egg) and Hasbrowns. But of course, being the weirdo that I am, i add a little twist.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NOTHING FAKE ABOUT PEKING GARDEN





Be not afraid, my child...

        Forget Gunpowder, the compass, and paper printing.. the greatest invention ever to come out from ancient China is without a doubt, THE PEKING DUCK! I went with my Rina and my In-laws to Peking Garden at Trinoma for a family gathering, and nearly passed out from all the duck I ate!

        Having your own function room in a restaurant as classy as Peking Garden can spoil you, because you usually have a waiter dedicated to your room, meaning the service was impeccable.The place was comfortable as well, but when you get together with family you haven't seen in a long time, it's hard not to feel at home!

          And with me being a Chinese food aficionado, I couldn't wait to try the best of what Peking Garden had to offer.. And I wasn't disappointed!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

FLIPPING FOR FLAPJACKS







Who dares text me while i'm ordering!?.


                Ahh breakfast food...The very bane of my diet.. Have I ever mentioned that bacon is one of my all time favorite foods..? (Probably every chance I get)I really love restaurants that serve all day breakfasts. Sausages, ham, tapa, tocino, and longganiza at any time of the day? Genius. No need to whip up some fancy baked/roasted dish for me when there's something quick and easy you can just unwrap and sizzle up. It's not the healthiest thing in the world, I know, but like I said, i'm a simple eater. Maybe that's why Diners such as Denny's appeal to me so much. Food with no complications. Slap the meat on the hot plate and fry away. Just the way god meant life to be.


            And that is precisely why I was eager to try, "Flapjacks".




Monday, August 2, 2010

WHEN IN CEBU - GOLDEN COWRIE: HUKAD


I think, "Hukad" is Visaya for rice scooper thingy

            I consider myself an "Honorary Cebuano" because I lived there for such a long time. I started school there at Grade Three, and finished high school there. I never really did get the hang of the dialect, but I still know enough to get by. Since I was living there in the late 80's and early 90's, living in Cebu was really like you were living in the province. (When people ask me "Lumaki ka ba sa Cebu?", I answer with "Sa Cebu ako HINDI lumaki") There wasn't cable television yet back than, and there sure as hell wasn't internet. Even regular TV was one week delayed! There weren't any Malls yet either, so there were actually only two Movie Theaters in Uptown Cebu worth going to, Belvic and Century 21. When Gaisano Country Mall and SM Cebu opened in my senior year of high school, that pretty much marked the modernization of the city. Looking back at it though, I had so much fun growing up there, I never felt I was missing out on anything.

        One of my first memories of Cebu was my dad taking me to the restaurant known as "Golden Cowrie". I remember it so well because I had honestly thought it was a carenderia or something to that effect.. small holes in the wall that my dad seems to love. It wasn't air-conditioned and the flooring was made of stones laid out on the ground. Plus we had to eat in plates that sorta looked like small baskets with a banana leaf laid on top. I'm not being elitist, or anything like that - But as I child, this was my first experience of full blown Filipino dining. And it was the very first time I could actually remember eating the food that would be a huge part of my becoming the (fat) man I am today - Liempo.

        And I honestly couldn't have asked for a better experience.

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