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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.
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