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Monday, February 28, 2011

ONE KRAZY GARLIK NIGHT!

Perhaps my first post that features my own personal photography-
which apparently sucks.
(Rina had work so she couldn't join me)

 
For some reason when I do it, it's not sexy. Not even a little bit.

 
     One of my (many) Bosses', Marcus, invited me and my giant buddy Joel for dinner one night to help him out on a little project that he and and his Fiancee', Marjo are planning. Sir Marcus knows about my blog, so when he asked where we could meet, he said, "Where haven't you been to yet that you've been wanting to check out?" My being the shy type I am (believe it), I told him I'd be more than happy to go to wherever he recommends. Sir Marcus is also notorious for his love of awesome food (and funnily enough, instant noodles) so I trusted his taste. 

    I was actually really glad he suggested Krazy Garlik, because I've had quite a few people tell me I should try it, especially their Crispy Pata.  I was so excited when he said it, I don't think I even let him finish his sentence when I agreed. He kinda said, "Do you want to meet in Krazy Gar-" and I butted in and said "OK!!". 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A CHUCKIN' GOOD TIME AT CHUCK'S DELI!


This is my first post from my new home, www.thepickiesteater.net.
I'm gonna miss my old blogspot address (You'll still be re-directed), 
but it was time to move on into some new digs..
I'm looking forward to making some major strides with this blog, so it was important that I make the move already..
still going to be the same level of pickiness though, I promise :)

On that note:


Getting ready to get all chuck'd up!

     After our first trip to the doctor to get Rina's ultrasound, we passed by Market Market to do a little grocery shopping. I was contemplating going to Brother's Burger in High Street to do a review, (Which after going to the "older" Greenhills branch, I now wish I did) but i stopped in my tracks when I remembered a place I had read about a couple of weeks back, and was eager to try- Chuck's Deli.

    Like virtually all red blooded males, I looooveee huge sandwiches, so when I heard about Chucks Deli opening up at Serendra with sandwiches so huge, they call them "SLABwiches",  I knew I had to see (and taste) them for myself! 


    So it was a sunny Thursday afternoon, when the three of us, (Me, Rina, and my baby still in my wife's tummy) had a late lunch all together for the first time as a family, at Chuck's Deli. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

BURGER WARS EPISODE 1: BROTHERS BURGER


I see many food trips with these two, coming very soon..

        One of the greatest inventions of man, The Cheeseburger has got to be up there with the automobile and the telephone. I stress that it's the cheeseburger,and not just a burger, because I don't believe that the burger Cheese should be separated from the burger. EVER. Some things just truly belong together. Can you imagine Peanut Butter without Jelly? Or Mulder without Scully? Or me without Bacon-.. I mean, Rina?

        As I mentioned in my early Johnny Rockets post, the burger selection in the country wasn't anything truly spectacular a decade ago. There weren't very many places to choose from, and even among the choices, you'd be hard pressed to find anything out of the ordinary. You had McDonald's Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, two all American burgers that have been in existence for decades. But on the local front, all Jollibee had to offer was the "Champ"(ugh), and Tropical Hut had.. Well, to be honest I'm not too sure what Tropical Hut had to offer (Although kudos to them for staying operational to this very day.. wait.. they ARE still operational, right?). Perhaps the most out of the box burger there was at that time, was the "Whistle Stopper" of the restaurant, "Whistle Stop", which broke new ground by serving a burger with.. are you ready for this? A Fried Egg! (*Gasp*)

        I don't think it was until the turn of the new millenium that gourmet burger joints began popping up left and right, that offered a different burger experience that the usual fast food chains did not. It's one thing for a restaurant to give you extra packets of ketchup to load your burger up with, but to offer other add ons was a whole new ball game.

       I begin my quest to find the best burger in the metro, by starting off with the place that is generally seen as the restaurant that has been in the forefront of gourmet burgers - Brother's Burger.

Friday, February 18, 2011

MYSTERIOUS OF THE AYALA TRIANGLE: THE SEARCH FOR THE GOLDEN SPOON

We have a deal that anywhere we go, our cheeks must always be touching.
It's sweet, yes, but it makes going to the bathroom a bit difficult.

        Can I be honest about something? I don't get the big deal about frozen yogurt. I have friends and office mates that go ballistic at the sound of the words "Red Mango" or "White Hat", but I just don't see what the hype is all about. Isn't it.. umm.. too Sour? "It tastes just like ice cream!", my friend explained. "So.. umm.. Why didn't you just buy ice cream?", I replied. "Because it's not non-fat!", my friend answered back. I stared at the cup she was holding, loaded with chocolate sprinkles, huge white chocolate bits, and drowned in some sort of caramel syrup. Sorry, but I couldn't believe that what she was holding, was not hazardous to her health. Considering she was firm in her belief that what she was holding was as healthy as a protein shake, I was seriously contemplating finding a bridge I could sell to her.

     I actually find regular yogurt better than frozen, or "Fro-Yo" as it's now more popularly known (See, I'm "down" with the times?). I even like that fruit yogurt with Jelly inside. Its possible it could be because I'm annoyed with this whole fad. I sometimes think people see places such as "Red Mango" as a status symbol, more a "place to be seen" than anything else. 

      I'm an ice cream lover, so if I wanted a frozen treat, I would march straight to Gelatissimo instead, but that's just me. I would probably even prefer a scoop of Better Than Ice Cream's (BTIC) Banana Pecan, than something from Red Mango.

       Basically, you get it. I'm not a fan of Frozen Yogurt.

     So you can imagine that I was less than enthused when my brother Ryan told me to try Golden Spoon. "It tastes like ice cream!" he said. "Yeah, I know, I've heard that before.", I yawned back. "No Rich,", Ryan said as he looked me straight in the eye, "It REALLY tastes like ice cream." My brother and I have almost the same taste in food, with him being less picky than I, so i take his food suggestions seriously. But this time he said it with serious conviction that belonged on a member of the Harvard Debate team. And we were talking about Yogurt.
     His passion for Golden Spoon got my attention, so I asked him, out of curiosity What flavor he got that he seemed to love so much. Than he said the two words that would forever change the way I looked at Frozen Yogurt..
    "Cake Batter".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MY MOM'S BIG BIRTHDAY FREAKOUT!!



The (Full) Back Story:
My mom has been bugging Rina and I for the past few months to have a baby already.. It's not like we don't want to have one, 
but apparently its not exactly that easy. 

After going to the doctor more than three times a week for over a month just to make sure everything is "In order", Rina is now pregnant.

This was first confirmed with three home pregnancy kits in two days.
Then finally by a doctor through Ultra Sound.

It was her birthday last Saturday, and with the exception of Cara who is studying in the States, it was the first time in a long time that we would be complete as a family.
In other words: The perfect time for the big announcement. 

This video shows my mom's reaction to the good news. 

My mom loves getting picture frames with her grandchildren in it. 
Little did she know, she'd be getting the first ever picture, of her newest one.

Now we're getting ready for the arrival of our own little picky eater!
7 1/2 months to go!

Wish us luck, and please pray for a safe pregnancy for Rina, 
and the delivery of a healthy baby!

I have never been more excited in my entire life! 

(Not even compared to the first time I went to Spiral, or the time I found the Altar of Bacon!)


Our Facebook announcement Picture!

(Photo by Carlo Hernandez & design by Mark Mijares)

Monday, February 14, 2011

FALLING IN LOVE WITH LEMURIA

Lemuria, I'm about to rock your world


       Even when we were just Boyfriend and Girlfriend, Rina and I would never go with the Valentine's Day crowd. Our mentality is, since we're a part of each other's life on a daily basis, every day is Valentine's Day (cheesy I know, so sue me). We go out to eat almost every weekend anyway, so its no big deal. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a hopeless romantic at heart - I've never failed to send flowers, chocolate or something else on Valentine's day, just to make sure she knows I'm not taking her for granted. 

     Since winning the title of "Mr. MyFoodTrip" last December, I had yet to avail of any of the cool prizes. The prize package included Spa Treatment at Blue Water Day Spa, and a session at Philippe Salon. However, the prize I was most excited about, was the Gift Certificate to the Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant.

     I had first heard of Lemuria from the myfoodtrip website - but admittedly, prior to that, I had no idea what or where it was. Leslie from myfoodtrip mentioned to me that she was anxious for me to try their food, and what I thought of it.Also, when i mentioned to my sister Raquel that a dinner package there was one of the prizes I won, she totally freaked out! She hadn't been there yet, but it was on her list of "Dream Restaurants" she planned to go to (making food-related lists is a family trait).

     We were supposed to go there for our wedding anniversary last January 6, but then since we had my whole birthday shebang, I thought it would be best to save it for a Valentine's day date. But the offer could not be availed on Valentine's day itself (or even the day before), so we went to Lemuria for lunch, one weekend early.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WE'LL EAT BENEATH THE MANGO TREE BISTRO

The title is spin on a line from a Jack Johnson song, in case it didn't make sense to you.

       Although we don't cook, Rina and I are big Gordon Ramsey fans. His confidence (or arrogance, depending how you look at it) when it comes to food preparation is really impressive. At first, I refused to watch Hells Kitchen because I was thinking I didn't want to see some British jackass screaming at the poor contestants, so I started with The UK version of Kitchen Nightmares that was being show on ETC (They don't anymore, bummer), where he was much more calmer. After every episode, I'd be more and more impressed with the man. My brother Ryan gave me a copy of few episodes of Kitchen Nightmares US, that I made Rina watch, and almost instantly she was hooked (She can't resist a show with a "makeover" portion). After that, anything Gordon Ramsey was on, we were watching it. 

     All of a sudden, Anyone who can call someone a "Donkey" with such conviction is OK in my book.
  
    My brother, also a Gordon Ramsay fan, and the person you go to when you want an episode of anything that was shown on television,  gave us a copy of the first few episodes of the TV Show "Ramsay's Best Restaurant". It was a different type of a contest this time, that I found very interesting. Instead of the contest being a battle between amateur and aspiring chefs, this was now an all out war between established restaurants in the UK that wanted the title of "Ramsay's Best Restaurant".

    One of the places that was in contention for the title, was a huge Thai restaurant, "Mango Tree" in London. The Mango Tree was a huge snazzy place that ran like a well oiled machine, although they did bump into some problems with their kitchen and service, particularly with their Signature Dish, the Grilled Chicken (I'm guessing that wasn't the Thai Name for it). I don't want to give out any spoilers, but I highly recommend you to check out the series if you get a chance. Regardless of the outcome though, the Mango Tree still go glowing reviews from Ramsay.

   After watching episode after episode of such great places getting glowing reviews from the great Chef himself, you can imagine how ecstatic I was to find out that one of those restaurants opened here in Manila, in the form of "Mango Tree Bistro".


Monday, February 7, 2011

THE SUN WAH EXPEDITION

No idea where I am, and honestly, a little bit scared.

       I've always wanted to go on those Popular Binondo "Food Walks", but I really hate walking. Maybe if it was a "Food Ride", I might have gone on it a long time ago. Chinese is among my favorite cuisines, so the thought of hopping from restaurant to restaurant trying out new dimsum and other oriental dishes would be close to the equivalent of taking a child to Toy's R Us. My boss would take clients to a famous restaurant in Binondo and, it was pretty terrific. He would order weird stuff, like turtle soup, or frog legs, but as long as I had sweet and sour pork, I was good to go.

     Love Birds Chaikka and Don decided to treat us to a family dinner at one of their favorite Authentic Chinese hole-in-the-wall spots, "Sun Wah". I had never heard of this place, but again, once you put the words "free" and "food" into one sentence, it's quite likely I'm there (umm.. unless of course, it's free courtesy of the establishment looking for a good review.. hehe.. defensive, much?). 

     I'm lucky to have a wife who knows me so well, knew that I would have one concern about going to Binondo. You see, I don't go to that part of town very often, but every time I do, I always seem to encounter one of my biggest fears - rats. 

    Yes, I am deathly afraid of rats. I would easily go up against any other creature you put against me - Snakes, Spiders.. maybe even a Basilisk or a  Hungarian Horntail. Just do NOT show me anything related to rats. I haven't even watched Stuart Little, or Ratatouille. You can imagine my scream of fright inside the cinema when that big ugly rodent in "Prince Caspian" jumped out. It's safe to say that I missed half the movie. Oh, and the last scene of the movie "Wanted"? The rats with the bombs? I stayed in the restroom until Rina texted me that the scene was over. You get the picture.

     So she brought it up to Don. Don replied, "Ok lang, walang daga. Pero may dalawang baboy lang sa baba." (It's ok, there are no rats. But there are two pigs downstairs.") We're kinda used to Don saying crazy things like this, so he doesn't surprise us anymore. You can only imagine our surprise to find out that he was telling the truth.

        There were two pigs sleeping in front of the entrance of the restaurant. I don't think Chinese Restaurants gets any more authentic than this.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I SAW RED AT BUGSY'S


The O-Desk Christmas Bash

        Rina has the most intriguing job. She works with a whole bunch of people, but the thing is, they don't see each other, because they all work from home. It's actually pretty cool, and she's enjoying it, because she gets to spend more time with Schatzi. I think it's the perfect set up, because since we both want to have a baby soon, this way she doesn't have to worry so much about traveling back and forth from the house to the office. If I worked from home, I probably wouldn't get anything done, except catch up on series and sleep. Of course, if someday this blog starts earning for me, I'll have that luxury, but until that day comes, it's off to the every day drive to Makati for me.

    Since everyone works from home, you can imagine that their Christmas party wasn't your usual office yuletide celebration. It was actually a lot like a chat room "eyeball" (Although I've never actually been to one, I imagine thats what it would be like) Rina had a blast because a lot of them have become her "chat mates". She's gotten to know a few of them rather well, especially when they share the same shift and she doesn't have so much customers. Even though I don't usually go to Rina's office parties (cuz of my shyness), I went when I found out it was "Bugsy's" (I'm so easy).The temptress that is Rina, knew exactly what my weakness would be and said, "If you go with me, you can blog about the food of Bugsy's - FOR FREE."

    In that one sentence, she said two things that appealed to me. "Food" and "Free". So i gave her a deep sigh, and replied, "Fine, I'll go, but only because I can't stand to be apart from you, even for two minutes..", which was met with a slight rolling of her eyes, and a triumphant smile.

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