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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. 




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