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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. 

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