Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: AN EPIC ODYSSEY OF EPIC EPICNESS


          The year Two Thousand And Twelve, became the most incredible year of my existence. It was the year that my dreams started to come true. 

        Though I have countless reasons to be thankful for reasons for these past twelve months, There are three significant ones that stood out. And because of that, I declared the year 2012, one for the ages..

Saturday, December 29, 2012

THE WINNER OF THE CRUMPLER SQUID BAG IS...


Poor girl.. I can imagine her telling her friends "I'm the model for Crumpler's Squid Bag, I swear!"
And they'd all be.."Yeahhh righttt"


         And for my final giveaway.. A Squid Bag from the awesome people at Crumpler Philippines... Congratulations to.........


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS, FROM THE PICKIEST EATER FAMILY!



Merry Christmas to all.. 
And to all a good night!

From: 

Mr. & Mrs. Pickiest Eater,
 and the Little Picky Eater, Baby Rain!

Monday, December 24, 2012

AND THE TANTO HEADPHONES GIVEAWAY WINNER IS...



 
              And we have a winner for the Urbanears Tanto Headphones Giveaway!


WENDY'S XMAS GIFT TO THE WORLD: THE BBQNATOR


         I'm fairly simple when looking for a burger. In fact, I've noticed that I seem to always look for the same thing. Give me a nice, meaty patty (Or even two?), BACON (Of course), Onion Rings (Caramelized or fried, as long as its not raw), and BBQ Sauce instead of Ketchup. 

       Which is why I got the eerie feeling that Wendy's created their new BBQNator, with ME specifically in mind. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

QUICK PICK: ALLIES DRY ROASTED WONDER PEANUTS IN MANILA


             A month or so ago, I attended an event together with one of my favorite food bloggers, Franny Wanny. She was kind enough to bring me an early Christmas gift, which was a small plastic jar that said "Allies Wonder Peanuts" on it. I've had peanuts before, so I really didn't think it was actually anything really special. I thanked Franny for her gift, and went my merry way. I got home a bit late that evening from my event, and I was so exhausted, I left the peanuts on the table. 

        The next morning, I had an early meeting, so I left the house before Rina woke up. A little before lunch, I got a text from her saying "Can I open the peanuts on the table?" So I replied, "Sure, but please take pictures of it first". Ten minutes later, Rina sends me another text message "Where did you get this from??". I answer, "Why, is it good?" She answers back, "YES! Ang Sarap!

       Seizing the opportunity, I replied, "I got it for you, baby!"

       So thank you, Frannywanny for the extra pogi points.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

THE WOLVERINE POSTER!!


         I know this isn't food related, but I Just HAD to post the most awesome movie poster of my all time favorite comic book superhero on my blog!! 

         I really hope this is ten billion times better than the 2009 crapfest that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine! 

        The Wolverine,” starring Hugh Jackman and directed by James Mangold, opens in Philippine cinemas on July 25.

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HUNGRY FOR SOME HOAGIES!


           When choosing a place to eat at, Rina often needs to make it clear to me that she always NEEDS rice in her lunch and dinner meals. She never hesitates to remind me that, because she knows very well that because of my strong Western influence, I'm perfectly all right with having a sandwich for lunch. However, it's going to have to be a pretty bad ass sandwich. I'm not talking about a slice of ham and cheddar on Gardenia White bread. That's totally fine for an afternoon snack, mind you, but its not filling enough for me to consider it as a meal. 

      I'm talking about a large sub on a baked roll or french baguette, stuffed with different deli meats and cheeses (No veggies please, save for caramelized onions, of course)... Popularly known in the Philadelphia area as a "Hoagie". 

     Where could I find such a magnificent creation without having to travel all the way to the "City of Brotherly Love"? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say, the restaurant "Hoagies" in SM North Edsa Annex would be a good start. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

PICKIEST EATER CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY #3: CRUMPLER SQUID BAG



        A bag within a bag.. Bagception? For my last Christmas Giveaway...




 I'm giving away a SQUID Bag from Crumpler Philippines




Merry Christmas Everyone! 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

THE PICKIEST EATER T-SHIRT WINNERS!!


          I was so happy when I saw the name of the winners of the Pickiest Eater T-Shirts.  Though I've done a series of giveaways in the past year, this was the first time that I was giving something away from ME, and not sponsored by another establishment. 

          Most of the names are familiar, regular commenters on my blog and active on my facebook page and twitter..

          Though I initially wanted to giveaway 5 shirts, since it's Christmas, I decided to giveaway 10!! 

         Did you win? Find out here! 
       

Friday, December 14, 2012

QUICK PICK: BANAPPLE'S MAPLE PECAN & CANDIED BACON HOLIDAY CHEESECAKE!


       

      Another nice thing about being a blogger is being asked by businesses to try some of their products. just the mere thought that these esteemed members of the food industry think my opinion matters is quite overwhelming. Some products I'm more than happy to try, but sometimes I get an offer to try a product that has nothing to do with food or even remotely close to any of my interests so I politely decline. 

     But let me tell you this.. When the owner of Banapple asks if you would like to try their All New Maple Pecan & Candied Bacon Holiday Cheesecake even before it's released in their restaurants, the only acceptable answer is either "YES" (All Caps mandatory) or "HELL YES". 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

FRENCH BAKER'S HOKKAIDO CAKE!


         As a lover of all things dessert, I was elated to receive an invitation to witness the launch of French Baker’s Hokkaido Cake, which is part of their new “Cakes of The World” Line. I’ve always had a fondness for French Baker, with their Croissants and Turnovers never failing to catch my attention whenever I pass by one of their stalls. Going to the event, I had no clue what a Hokkaido Cake was, but all I knew was that it was a collaboration between French Baker and Anchor Butter, and that was good enough for me. 


GIVE BACK THIS CHRISTMAS: GOURMET GOODIES GIFT BASKETS


       As I was sorting through the possible gift baskets that I could give some of my friends and clients, I found myself utterly bored. I mean, let's face it.. Putting a red ribbon on a basket full of canned pineapple and fruit cocktail doesn't really say "Christmas", does it?

     Don't get me wrong.. I'm not a "Down with the establishment" kind of guy. I have no problem whatsoever with big businesses. But as I began to frequent food markets this past two years, I noticed something that was lacking in their assembly line of products that graced the grocery shelves.. Something that the small businesses seemed to have in abundance.. 

      Heart. 

      After making the rounds in the Food Market circuit, Chef Dino Ferrari, the winner of AFC's "Next Celebrity Chef", recognized the potential that these products had, made by determined Filipino-based entrepreneurs. 

       However, For Chef Dino and his business partner, championing the local enterprise was not enough. They felt it was imperative to not only promote Filipino small business, but to give to the less fortunate as well in the process.  

      And with that, Gourmet Goodies was born.

Monday, December 10, 2012

LOMBARDI'S: AMERICA'S FIRST PIZZA PLACE


         When looking back at the greatest tragic love stories, the following star crossed lovers come to mind:

  1. Romeo & Juliet
  2. Heathcliff & Catherine
  3. Marc Anthony and Cleopatra
  4. Kim Kardashian & The NBA/NFL
  5. RichieZ and Pizza
     Yes it's true. I love Pizza, but Pizza and I can never truly be together. All great tragic love stories have obstacles.. Something that tears our couple apart.. Ours is my hyper acidity. 

      You see, Tomato is my number one enemy. Anything tomato based wrecks my digestive system. Making stuff like Pasta, Tacos, and yes, even pizza, quite tricky for me to eat. 

     All those worries got thrown out the window the moment I found out that we would be going to Lombardi's in New York. Why? Well, it's not everyday one gets a chance to visit the first pizza parlor in America.

Friday, December 7, 2012

THE PICKIEST EATER CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY #2: URBANEARS TANTO HEADPHONES


         Though I know ya'll love the restaurant GC Giveaways, I had an opportunity to give out something different to my beloved readers, so I took it! As a token of my appreciation to you all for the unbelievable support you've given me in 2012, I'm giving out this awesome Urbanears Tanto Headphones set to one of you from Christmas!

THE PICKIEST EATER IN THE WORLD'S 
CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY #3 HAS BEGUN! 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

WHERE IS UMAMI HAMBAAGU HOUSE?


            For the past couple of weeks, food lovers around the web has on the lookout for the mythical Umami Hambaagu House.. A restaurant that specializes in Japanese Burger Steaks, but takes it to the next level, and then you multiply that next level to infinity. Something that added to the mystique of the restaurant, is that the location of Umami Hambaagu House has been kept from the public. 

        In a world where restaurant owners are screaming at the top of their lungs "VISIT US AT OUR LOCATION, LOCATED AT BLAH BLAH BLAH STREET, ETC", Umami decided to play it a different way. They said to hell with tradition and issued a challenge to its customers. They basically said, "We are awesome. If you want some kick ass burger steaks, come and find us."

     The result? A whole bunch of food lovers typing into Google..

                       "Where is Umami Hambaagu House?"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

BURGASM AT BURGERBAR IN GREENBELT!


         I'm not going to lie to ya... Being a food blogger is pretty awesome. For the first year of the existence of my blog, I would never accept any invitation from restaurant owners to dine at their establishment, simply because I was worried I would be pressured into giving a good review for a place I didn't like, putting any credibility I may have in jeopardy. 

      Things changed after Rina gave birth to Rain. After all the hospital expenses had been paid, It was clear that the shelling out of money that comes with having a child had only just begun. I came to a realization that one way to be able to sustain my blog and the financial demands of a new born baby, was to finally accept those invitations. So my New Year's Resolution as a blogger for 2012, was to begin attending blogger events and restaurant invitations. After the first couple of visits, I realized that my fears of being pressured turned out to be unfounded. For the record, every restaurant that has invited me have been extremely gracious with my comments, both positive and negative.  

          So through the course of the year, I've been incredibly blessed to have been able to sample the menu of some amazing restaurants. I probably would have gone to them on my own volition, but I undoubtedly would not have been able to taste the same number of dishes.

         A couple of weeks ago, I got a very fascinating invitation. I'm grateful for every invitation that I get, but this particular one was rather different. This was a chance for me to dine at a restaurant and sample their dishes, BEFORE they opened their doors to the paying public.  

        And I don't want to sound arrogant or anything like that, but I think I was the right guy for the job. Why? 

        Because the name of the restaurant is "BurgerBar". 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THE PICKIEST EATER'S T-SHIRT CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!


          After months of giving away gift Certificates, I toyed with the idea of doing a giveaway with The Pickiest Eater In The World T-Shirts. The only thing holding me back from pushing through with it, was the thought that no one would actually want it. I'm not trying to be humble or whatever, but I was worried about coming off like an ego maniac or something like that.. "Who the hell are you and why do you have a T-shirt?". 

        I asked Rina's advice, telling her my concern about looking like I'm so full of myself, and she said, "Do it. The logo is cute. Besides, you're not promoting yourself, you're promoting your blog in a different way. There's nothing wrong with that.". 

       I guess I got myself too immersed into my blog that I didn't realize the obvious. Rina was right. The shirt is emblazoned with my blog's logo. It doesn't say "Richie Zamora is a Sex God" on it (But wouldn't that be awesome if it did??) .

       Just to be safe, I asked my readers on The Pickiest Eater Facebook page for their thoughts on the shirt, and the response was overwhelming! 

      So here it is! The Pickiest Eater In The World T-shirt Giveaway has begun! 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

THE STORY OF THE LAMB BURGER & THE CAKE CLUB PART II



          We were having so much fun with the other bloggers, we didn't realize that what was supposed to be a Brunch experience at Cake Club had spilled over to lunch time. We were enjoying the ambiance so much, that time definitely flew by. Given the time, Melanie, who handles the Public Relations of Cake Club and Diamond Hotel, asked if we wanted to sample the lunch menu. 

     All the bloggers stopped and pointed to each other saying, "Umm.. Ikaw.." followed by another saying "Ikaw bahala..". Obviously the WANT was there.. But believe it or not, Shy type din kami mga blogger.. hehe.. 

      So after some SERIOUS arm twisting, we finally relented and said "Why not?". (Actually, it went closer to something like.. "Umm.. No it's ok.. ikaw.. You.. If you want, I'm ok.. it's up to you.. OH GOD YES PLEASE!!!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'M HAVING WHAT SHE'S HAVING AT KATZ'S DELICATESSEN IN NEW YORK


              As I had mentioned before, one of my goals when I left for New York, was to go eat at as many famous places as I could. Places I had seen in my favorite food shows, such as Man V. Food and No Reservations. Well It was already my third day, and I had already been to three phenomenal places that I had seen in different food shows.

         The first was Hop Kee, which I had seen in Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, while the second and third ones, Baohaus and the popular burger chain, Shake Shack, were both restaurants that I had just seen during my plane ride to New York in another Anthony Bourdain Show, "The Layover:New York". 

         Though I have a deep respect for the work of Mr. Bourdain, I wouldn't say that he is my biggest food show idol. I am actually a huge fan of the man that inspired me to start this Blog.. Man V. Food's Adam Richman. After watching one episode of Man V. Food, I felt an epiphany.. A surreal moment of clarity that made me realize, despite my lack of knowledge on food, and legendary pickiness, being a food blogger was my destiny.

        So even before leaving for New York, I re-watched the New York Episode of Man V. Food. After that my mission was clear.. 

        If there is one place every foodie must go to when they're in New York.. It's the iconic Katz's Delicatessen.. The home of the best sandwich I have ever eaten in my entire life. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

QUICK PICK: INDULGENCE BY IRENE


       Although i'm sure it's clear as day, judging from the history of my blog entries, I'll be the first to admit that I'm more of a "Main Course" kind of guy. It has come to the point that the dessert section of the menu is often neglected. I take a glance at it, and pick out something I want. But in the end, I often use that stomach space (and budget) for another entree. 

      But one dessert item that I do have a soft spot for, is Cheesecake. 

      Awhile back, I got the opportunity of tasting one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had in my entire life. I have tasted a lot of cheesecakes in my life, but this intrigued me because I had never tried a Quezo De Bola Cheesecake before.

       And so begins my love affair with "Indulgence by Irene", The best Cheese cake you've never heard of.. By I have a feeling that's all going to change, very soon. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

BANAPPLE... ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING


      During the early years of my blog, I posted my visit to Banapple. Though I enjoyed the food, its one of the entries whose photography I am not proud of, simply because it was taken during our pre-blog, pre-DSLR days, with Rina using her trusty iPhone 3. Just like Italianni's, Flapjacks, Ma Maison, and The Stock Market Cafe, I marked Banapple as one of the places that I needed to return to and take better pictures. 

     Banapple is one of my places on Earth, and their food deserved a second entry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NO HOLDS BARRED AT RAMEN BAR!


             I really only got into the Ramen game a couple of years ago, when my friend Paolo Dy brought me to the controversial Ramen Mecca, Ukokkei. Prior to that, I never really appreciated Ramen. To me, I couldn't tell it apart from Noodle soup. It turns out, I was missing out on a pretty amazing dish for so long.

       During a visit to Robinsons Magnolia, I noticed that Ramen Bar had opened a new branch there. I had seen Ramen Bar in Eastwood, but never got a chance to try it. One weekend when Rina, Baby Rain and I found ourselves in Quezon City, we decided to go give it a try.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

VISITING CHEF TATUNG AT ACACIA ESTATES


       I'll be the first person to admit that my palate is strongly influenced by the Western Hemisphere. I'm a guy that looks for Burgers and pizza over Caldereta and Mechado. I lived in the United States when I was around three years old, and moved back here to the Philippines when I was six, and I still remember the first thing I ate when I got back here was, Believe it or not.. Spam. 

       That's because I took a look at all these strange looking meats drenched in sauces, all with different colors and thinking to myself, "What a strange country I'm living in". 

       My Yaya then made me try the wonder that is Liempo, which I instantly loved. From there, she slowly broke me in to more exotic local dishes, which not coincidentally, were predominantly meat based.  

      Through the years, my appreciation for the food of my homeland has grown exponentially, but I still wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of Filipino Cuisine.

      One lunch at Chef Tatung's changed all that. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

AMONG FRIENDS AT STELLA IN BONIFACIO HIGH STREET CENTRAL


         I really love the restaurants located at Bonifacio High Street Central. I've tried 'Cue, Village Tavern, The Mango Tree Bistro, and The Cake Club, and all have been nothing short of outstanding. One restaurant there that had escaped my taste buds, was Stella Wood Fired Bistro. Stella, and its adjoining bar, "Rocket Room", is a part of the the Rain Tree Group, which conceptualized some excellent restaurants, such as Chelsea Market, Momo Cafe, and a personal favorite, Mr.Jones

      Rina's High School friend Steph asked if we could meet up so she could introduce us to her boyfriend, Carlo, who happens to be a Filipino Chef that has been gaining recognition in Australia (good on ya bro!). 

      When they asked me where I wanted to suggest to go. Although my initial reaction was to take them to one of the restaurants I had been to before, Rina suggested that it would be a great opportunity to finally try out Stella. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

ALL THE WAY TO MIDWAY GRILL, LA UNION!


              
          In early October, after a long, yet uneventful day at work, I came home to my wife in tears. You can imagine the panic I felt when I saw her crying, and not knowing the cause of her sadness. (In case you were wondering, its because I was worried something terrible had happened to a loved one.. NOT because I was worried I got caught doing something =P

    My first instinct was to look for Baby Rain. I breathed a sigh of relief to find my little munchkin happily playing in her crib. I asked Rina what happened, and she showed me the greeting card in her hand. 

    It was a greeting card for Baby Rain. In fact, it was her first Birthday card EVER. And it was from Rina's 80 year old Grandmother that lives all by herself in La Union, who has never met her Great Granddaughter yet. Rina is very close to her "Lalo", as she calls her, and had been hankering for us to visit her for quite sometime, but we could never make the schedules work. 

   Seeing her in tears told me that this was one trip that we could no longer put off. Besides, Rain was old enough to handle long road trips. So we planned it with Rina's sister, Chaikka, and her boyfriend, "Beautiful Eyes" Don, to go visit La Union (which is Spanish for.. umm.. "The Union") during the All Saint's Day Long weekend. 

    Once the plan was set, I asked readers on The Pickiest Eater Facebook Page for their suggestions on where to eat for my very first post from San Fernando, La Union. 

     The most popular answer was "Midway Grill". 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

THE SHAKE SHACK SHAKEDOWN


            Something I knew I wanted to go for during our trip to New York, was some kick ass American burgers. Even when we were still in Manila, AmbassadOREO Jennifer and I were discussing the places we wanted to eat at. The first thing she yelled out was "Shake Shack!". 

        Knowing that Shake Shack is one of famous restauranteur Danny Meyer's restaurants, there was no way in hell I was going to say no to that. Admittedly, I was torn between Shack Shake or the popular "Five Guys" Burger.. But once again, the great Anthony Bourdain once again made his presence felt, and turned the tide towards Shake Shack. During our flight to New York, I watched the New York Episode of "Anthony Bourdain: The Layover", and Shake Shack was one of the burger places he visited. 

        That's all I needed to know.

Friday, November 2, 2012

BABY RAIN'S FIRST BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY WINNERS!


        First off, Baby Rain would like to thank each and every one of her well wishers. I plan to save every birthday wish that you all left behind, and read it to her when she understands it more. 

        It was an incredible feeling seeing the outpouring of love for my daughter on her birthday.. I anticipate that you'll be seeing a whole lot more of her in my blog, especially now that she's been going with us in Blogger events.  


  Without much further ado..

 Here are the winners of Baby Rain's First Birthday Giveaway! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

THE AMBASSADOREOS TAKE MANHATTAN!


        For our first full day in New York, Oreo scheduled a City Tour for the Philippine AmbassadOREOS. We were treated to a driving tour around the Big Apple, passing by some of the city's most significant landmarks. 

       Honestly, this wasn't my first time in New York. I had been to there before, but only for the day. I have relatives in Delaware, and when we would visit them, my Uncle would drive us up there to check out the sights. He wasn't too sure what building was what, so we never really learned anything about the historical significance of the structures. Since we had a true blue native New Yorker by the name of Sylvia as our tour guide, this was a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about one of the greatest cities on earth!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE: THE AMBASSADOREOS AT PEKING DUCK HOUSE


             Though we had just feasted on a magnificent Breakfast Buffet a couple of hours earlier, we worked up quite a bit of an appetite (Well.. At least I did)  during the first half of our New York City Tour (Coming up in the next post!). We had seen many landmark sites that we had only had seen in our favorite movies and TV shows. But even then we still had an entire City to explore, so it was best to make sure our belly was filled before moving on to the next leg of our tour. 

          Once again, Oreo Philippines, had our back and took us to Peking Duck House in China Town. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

BREAKFAST BUFFET AT HILTON NEW YORK'S MARKETPLACE CAFE!


        If you thought having the Blogger AmbassadOREO title was all fun and games you'd be.. well.. Right. From the start of the trip, Oreo made it clear that apart from documenting the trip of the AmbassOREOS, Jennifer and Jasmin, they wanted us to make sure that Rina and I had fun during the company's scheduled activites. This was clearly a huge event, and Oreo Philippines made sure that we'd be comfortable throughout our trip. Since the action would be happening in the "Hilton New York", along 6th Street or Avenue Of The Americas, it made complete sense for them to book us there. 

       As I mentioned earlier, The Hilton New York is more of a business hotel, so don't expect a poolside deck you can lounge in. Besides, if sunbathing on your vacation is more your thing, then you flew to the wrong state. This is a hotel with a location in the Center of the city, and a short distance from such tourist attractions such as the Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Central Park. 

     Yet another fantastic perk included in our stay, was the free breakfast buffet every morning at Hilton New York's Marketplace Cafe. 

     God Bless You OREO. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

THE FINAL ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY WINNER IS...




Sorry for the delay everyone! 

        Things have been really hectic at work this week so I haven't been able to focus on my blogging duties (don't you hate it when life gets in the way?). Nonetheless I have finally drawn a winner! 

       Oh and just so you know, the winner made use of all the bonus options, which to me, proved that the options can help you win... 

    Which is why for I strongly suggest that for Baby Rain's Birthday Giveaway, please make use of the numerous extra options, in order to increase your chances of winning!

     Anyway, without further ado, the winner of the Wee Nam Kee GC Giveaway is....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I LOVE YOU, BABY RAIN :)


     I'm usually an alternative music/rock and roll kind of guy, but when I first heard the Song "I Love You 2" by Usher, I loved it instantly. In fact, it made me, more than ever, want to have a child. 

      I can't name you another song of Usher at the moment, but I found this to be the best Father-Daughter song I've heard. I promised myself that when we had our first child, I would make a video using this song for him or her. 

         I've deviated from the usual food posts to share with you a video I made for my daughter for her birthday.. Which, if you follow my food blog..you all know her as "Baby Rain".

Monday, October 22, 2012

A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE: IHOP AND BAOHAUS


           I hadn't even been in New York for five hours yet, and I had already dined in a legendary Cantonese restaurant that Anthony Bourdain had featured in his TV Show, "No Reservations". Based on that alone, I was ecstatic that my trip to the Big Apple was off to a smashing start. 

         After filling up my belly with Chinese Style Fried Chicken and Pork Chops, I joined the younger batch of the Oreo contingent, as we set of to The Biergarten at The Standard Hotel to unwind. 

       I had heard of numerous horror stories about roaming charges, I had resolved to use my smart phone in "Flight Mode" throughout the trip, and only turning it on for emergency purposes. I managed to catch a Wifi signal at the Biergarten and found some Facebook messages from my cousin Brian that lives in New York. 

      Since I hadn't seen him in years, so I was ecstatic to find out that he was more than happy to pick me up and go see us. Within minutes, Brian and his wife, Dori came fulfilling our dining plans that had been years in the making. 

     And so continued my first night in New York, which I look back at with much fondness as, "The Night of Three Dinners".

     *Tear*

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE DAY 1: HOP KEE


             During my first meeting with Jennifer and Jasmin, the Official Philippine AmbassadOREOS, we were talking about the the places I wanted to eat at New York. As you can imagine, a free trip to New York is every person's dream come true (unless of course, you live in New York), so imagine what it felt like to be a food blogger, planning a trip to one of the greatest food cities on the planet.  

    My goal when going to New York was making sure that I would try some of the delicious hot spots I had seen on some of some of my favorite food shows that I had watched in the past. During our conversation, the twins told me, "Oh, please reserve one dinner for us! Our parents are taking us to Hop Kee!".

     The name "Hop Kee" instantly rang a bell, but I couldn't place it. Hey, it was a free meal so I wasn't going to say no to that. It was only after we had eaten did I realize where I heard the name "Hop Kee" before..

     From a little show called "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations".

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BABY RAIN'S FIRST BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!


             A year ago today, the most amazing moment of my life happened. Our first child, our daughter Renee Amelie.. A.k.a. "Rain" was born. Ever since that day, my life has never been the same. And truth be told, I wouldn't want it any other way. 

        Before she was born, I had contemplated putting an end to this blog, thinking that there was no way I would be able to financially maintain this blog and raise a child at the same time. Well, with the grace of God, and the support of Rina, that hasn't been the case. In fact, my blog has thankfully grown exponentially since last year, and i'd like to think that Baby Rain's adorable photos have been a contributing factor for that.  

        Case in point.. One of my readers left a message on my Thai Bistro Post: 

    "You know, aside from the pictures of the food you eat, I follow your blog because of Baby Rain hahahaha :D sooooo cute!!!!" - KC Astroboy

     Hearing compliments like that, truly does warm my heart, because it doesn't matter how many hits my blog will ever get, or whatever accolade I may receive for it.. It is Rain that will forever be my life's greatest achievement. 

     Baby Rain would like to thank you all for the kind words and compliments that you all have been giving her the past year, by holding a special giveaway for some of her favorite clothes,  from some of her favorite restaurants! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

THE GREAT OREO ADVENTURE: THE AMBASSADOREOS ARE OFF TO NEW YORK!

Imagine waking up from a deep in-flight slumber, 
looking out the window, and seeing this glorious sight. 

       If you visit my blog with any form of frequency, there's a chance that you might have stumbled unto a little tidbit of me winning the title of the Oreo's "Official Blogger AmbassadOREO".

     So what exactly did winning that title mean? 

     Well for starters, it gave me and my wife the opportunity to fly on an all expenses paid to New York (with pocket money) so we could attend the highly anticipated "100 Years of Oreo" event, where Oreo lovers from around the world gathered in a fun filled celebration of everyone's favorite cookie!

     So begins the travel log of what I consider, -next to my wedding and the birth of my daughter- The greatest experience of my life.. Our Great New York Adventure, courtesy of Oreo Philippines! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

A NEW THAI EXPERIENCE AT THAI BISTRO


            Ever since I visited Robinsons Magnolia during the opening of Yabu's branch there, I've had a fascination with the mall. Around half the stores aren't open yet, so the place isn't too congested, and even parking is very accessible (not to mention at the moment, free!). Of course, once the mall begins to fill up with more and more stores, things will change, which is why i'm savoring every moment of it while I can. 

        Rina wanted to take Baby Rain out for the day, so I thought a trip to Robinsons Magnolia would be a nice change of scenery for her, because we usually take her to Bonifacio High Street (Of course it probably wouldn't make a difference to her). There's a nice garden area that Rina thought Baby Rain would enjoy, as she's slowly learning how to walk. 

       Right in front of that garden area, we spotted a restaurant that I hadn't noticed before, called "Thai Bistro". After a few minutes of walking around the grass with baby Rain, Rina and I decided to give this Thai Bistro a try. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

MR. D'S ARTISANAL PHILIPPINE WAGYU CORNED BEEF

            
        I remember the first time I saw a Corned Beef Brisket. I was a child- Either in the fourth or fifth grade- living in Cebu, and my father took us to a family dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.. "Eddie's Log Cabin". My dad would keep going back there for their Fresh Corned Beef. Even my sister would rave about it. 

      During my first time there, I was a bit surprised when I saw the plate the waiter placed in front of my father. I was expecting to see some shredded meat, sauteed with garlic and onions. Instead, it was a big hunk of beef, placed beside some potatoes and cabbage.. and oddly enough.. there was no "corn".

      Maybe it's because it was my first time to taste corned beef that didn't come from a tin can, but Eddie's Log Cabin was my benchmark for fresh corned beef. But that was until I got my hands on some of Mr. D's Artisanal Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef.

      Let's just say that bar has now been raised. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ROCKWELL'S 2ND ULTIMATE TASTE TEST PICKS!


       The last time I went to Our Awesome Planet's Ultimate Taste Test in Mercato Centrale, I really didn't have a good time. Since the taste test would only last from 7pm til around 11pm or so, people were scrambling to get a chance to sample some of the country's best kept culinary secrets. It was honestly a bit too crowded and it became ridiculous to line up for around 20 minutes and come out of the tent all sweaty, with half a brownie in your plate. 

      During the course of one of his blogger gatherings, I told my blogger friend Spanky Enriquez, who happens to be a good friend of Anton Diaz, the man behind Our Awesome Planet and the Ultimate Taste Test, and he just replied, "Wait for the one in Rockwell". 

     A few months later, I realized what he meant. The Ultimate Taste Test X held in Rockwell was far more orderly than the one I attended at Mercato Centrale. Since it was a whole day affair, it had a relaxed atmosphere, and I didn't have to clothesline an old lady for a piece of a chicken wing.

    (Never happened, by the way)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

PLEASE WATCH THE FILM "GIVE UP TOMORROW"


         I watched a movie the other day that totally blew my mind.. A movie I had been wanting to see for so long.. The documentary, GIVE UP TOMORROW.

         Give Up Tomorrow is the story of how seven men were screwed over by the Philippine justice system. Basic civil rights and judicial procedures were cast aside just to satisfy the public's cry for blood and vengeance. The movie really hit me really hard for a simple reason.  

       The man in the movie, the person tagged as the "leader" of the "Chiong Seven", Paco Larrañaga.. is a friend of mine.

YOOGANE, YOU GOT IT BAD...


        I first heard of Yoogane from my blogger friend Richard, the man behind the food blog, Tales From The Tummy. During a trip to Korea earlier this year, Yoogane was one of the places that he had visited, and mentioned that they would be bringing their famous signature dish, "Dak Galbi" to the Philippines. 

       A few days after they opened their doors to the Philippine public, my blogger buddy Glenn Ong asked if I wanted to join him and other bloggers for a taste of what Yoogane had to offer.

      I hadn't had Korean Cuisine since my delicious trip to Bulgogi Brothers , so I was more than happy to go! Not to mention I had never been to Il Terrazzo, and I was hoping to add more entries to my "Quezon City" Label..

      And I wanted to make my mom, a Koreanovela fanatic that made her obsessed with anything to do with the country, jealous hehe.. 

       

Friday, October 5, 2012

THE WINNER OF CARLO'S KITCHEN GIVEAWAY IS...


         I'm sorry for the delay everyone, but after much deliberation with Kat and Carlo, the amazing team behind Carlo's Kitchen, we have finally selected a winner for their Boracay Giveaway! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BRUNCH AT THE CAKE CLUB: PART I


          On weekends, there's a very good chance that I would skip breakfast and just have a heavy lunch. If it were up to me though, I would always start the day with Brunch. Maybe something in the mid-morning, around 10 or so.. Not too heavy (Definitely no rice).. So that by 1pm or so, I could have a heavy lunch, then a light dinner in the evening.

      Of course, that would be in a perfect world. One that I don't live in.

      But I did get the chance to try the new Brunch Menu of The Cake Club By Diamond Hotel at Bonifacio High Street, and it gave me a glimpse of what that perfect world would be like. The array of choices were impressive, and I could definitely see myself starting off my day with these mouthwatering dishes. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

THE PICKIEST EATER'S GIVEAWAY #10: WEE NAM KEE


        A couple of weeks ago, my dad asked me where he could go for some really good Hainanese Chicken, which is one of his favorite dishes. Although my dad is in good health for a man his age, he's made a conscious effort in what he eats. While to me, a pig out session involves heaps of bacon, cheeseburgers and pizza, to my father, Hainanese Chicken is something he enjoys indulging in from time to time (Hard to believe I'm his son, right?). 

        As soon as I heard "Hainanese Chicken", the first restaurant that popped into my head was "Wee Nam Kee". I've had some very delicious Hainanese Chicken here in the Philippines, but for me, without a shadow of a doubt, Wee Nam Kee is the very best in our shores. 

      If you haven't tried their food yet, here's your chance to dine there armed with P2,000 worth of Gift Certificates.

      The Pickiest Eater Giveaway #10 has now begun! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

DIMSUM BREAK NOW OPEN AT SM NORTH EDSA ANNEX!


     If you haven't read my post about one of my all time favorite restaurants.. Cebu's "Harbor City", I suggest you do first. That way, it might be easier for you to grasp just how deep my love for their dimsum goes. Regardless of their incarnation, whether they were called "Ding How", "Ding Qua Qua", "Harbor City", and the most recent, "Dimsum Break", their Sweet and Sour Pork and Steamed Rice has been a staple in my diet since I was a child.    

       When a fresh graduate of High School from Cebu leaves for Manila, one would think that he would miss his friends most. Call me a horrible friend, but forget them.. Leaving Harbor City's Sweet & Sour behind was one of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life.

      I always had a dream that someday, we would all live in peace and harmony.. And that Sweet & Sour pork that I grew up with would be easily accessible to me.

     Finally, that day has come. 

     On September 29, 2012, Dimsum Break opened their first branch in Manila, at SM North Edsa Annex. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

COOLING DOWN AT MASATAMI SHAVE ICE


       A couple of months ago, on a hot, sweltering day, I asked my followers on twitter to name their favorite dessert or dessert places.. Particularly something that would help beat the heat. I got a lot of fantastic suggestions.. from recipes, ice cream parlors and simple ice candy recipes..  

     One of my favorite Mommy bloggers, My Mom Friday, mentioned one of her favorite spots for a great dessert.. "Masatami Shave Ice". She was very specific about what I should try.. The Swiss Cheese Flavored Shaved IceRina is a lover of all things cheese, so it immediately got her attention.

       A few weekends later, when the heat was once again becoming unbearable, Rina reminded me that we hadn't tried Masatami yet. The thought of Shaved Ice in my mouth in the midst of the heat wave was too good to resist, so we decided to go to Robinsons Galleria for the day. 

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