Monday, November 22, 2010

Sandwich Galore at Mercato Centrale

We are always on the go these days and a lot of times, we eat while we work. And most of the time, fast food stuffs aren't as healthy as home cooked meal and eating with one hand is quite hard to do. It's a good thing that someone invented sandwiches! You get a meal in the palm of your hand. However, most sandwiches are associated, especially by Filipinos, as a snack item because it's just two slices of bread with meat or spread inside. But, my sandwich perspective became different when I went to Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio  Global City, Taguig.

To give you a brief background on Mercato Centrale, it is a food bazaar every Saturday and Sunday from 7:00am to 12:00nn. It was launched last November 21, 2010 and you'd be able to see all kinds of food that you won't know where to start eating! Anyway, going back to the sandwich business, I was able to find some intriguing sandwiches there and here goes...

Smokehouse Sandwich

This is one of the reasons I went to Mercato is my friend's booth. They have a variety of gourmet smoked sandwiches that's like no other. I personally like their Smoked Miso Tofu Sandwich and Smoked Pulled Pork Cumin Sandwich. Their price range from P145-P185...though prices seemed high but their sandwiches are big enough that can already be equated to a full meal. You can choose between white bread or whole wheat loaf bread. You can also upsize your meal by adding P75 for a cup of Peppermint Iced Tea and Rosemary Potatoes. So, roughly P260, you get a full healthy meal better than fast food sandwiches.

Pan De Bagnet

Who would have thought that you can use Bagnet (deep fried pork belly) as a filling in a sandwich? Beside my friend's booth, a Kapampangan family served the so called Pan De Bagnet. At first, I wasn't paying attention to it but people keep on coming back for it that it struck my curiosity. Then lo and behold, when I saw the mouthwatering bagnet in their toaster, I finally bought one to have a taste. My P150 Pan De Bagnet was like heaven! It was so delicious that I forgot that it's P150...I mean it's really worth paying that amount! I never thought that bagnet could be this good as a sandwich filling. They also have Lechon Tortilla where in they wrap the lechon flakes in Pita Bread with Kimchi. The next time I will go there, I gotta try it. I'm sure I won't get disappointed with it.

Johnny Steams

At Esprit De Noel Bazaar, I was offered to try their burger. And I was like, what's so special about it? I was told that their burgers were steamed and they put peanut butter in it. How does a steam burger with peanut butter taste like? I'm sure you'd say that it's weird and yucky. But was one of the best burgers I ate my whole life! They call it Yankee Burger, a young Stephenian entrepreneur invented this healthy stuff. I honestly don't like peanut butter at all and my concept of burger must have dripping oil with it. However, Yankee Burger totally changed my point of view on burgers. The price is at P125 with a generous cut of burger patty and some veggies. They will be at Mercato Centrale on the 2nd weekend of December 2010.

Wanna go on a higher level of food tripping? Well, Mercato Centrale is a place where all sorts of new food concepts can be found and where your tastebuds will surely be satisfied!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gold Leaf Chilled Tea

As we all know, there are a whole lot of beverage coming out these days. Among them, I personally like drinking iced tea. And, since I'm always on the go, I have to take those powdered iced teas or instant pet bottled iced teas. However, I know that this is not healthy because these iced teas are mostly water and sugar. Until I discovered Gold Leaf Chilled Tea.

Since Gold Leaf is one of the trusted tea brands in the metro, I told myself I better try it. I was able to taste them this week and I was speechless because they are really GOOD! I thought they would be bitter but NO they are actually sweet just the way I like it. The tea flavor was not compromised and it tastes like a freshly brewed iced tea. They have 2 flavors: Chilled Green Tea Concentrate and Chilled Tea Concentrate. It's hard to tell which one is better because both of them tastes great! It is available in Unimart at SRP P125.00 for a 500ml bottle. It can serve around 14-15 glasses. Just pour about 2 ounces of Gold Leaf Chilled Tea Concentrate in a 500ml glass, fill it up with water, stir and enjoy the drink (I like my iced tea strong so I pour a little over than 2 ounces). That simple! You can also adjust the taste by adding more water or the Chilled Tea. More or less, it's just P9 per glass...way cheaper than the pet bottled iced teas! Not only that, I am also assured that what I'm drinking is somethng healthy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bagoong Club

Tomas Morato is known as a food strip in Quezon City...however, it becomes too crowded especially during lunch or dinner time. There are times when you want to eat good food with nice ambiance at a reasonable price and just somewhere near that area. Along Sct. Lazcano St. stands Bagoong Club. If you're not familiar with the Scout Area, you won't be able to find it easily. But in order to reach this place, if you're coming from E. Rodriguez St, turn right at Starbucks (California Berry should be in front of you, and to your left is Alfredo's). Just go straight and Bagoong Club is on your right (a restaurant that looks like an ancestral house).

Of course, as the name of the restaurant indicates, it is Filipino cuisine. Since the best bagoong, most of the time, came from the Ilocos region, most of the food has a touch of Ilocano cuisine. Their best sellers are Dinakdakang Lechon (pork strips with mayonaise and chili), Bopis na Binusog sa Pusit (pork heart with chopped squid), Poque Poque (an omelette with eggplant, tomato, and bagoong), and of course their Bagoong Rice. To end the meal, you have to try their Queso de Bola Cheesecake and their Pastillas de Leche Cheesecake.

Well, for a Filipino food with a different twist, I highly recommend Bagoong Club on your next Food Trip. And for the price, roughly arounnd P300 per head...but remember, you pay for the cozy and homey ambiance too!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Stressed at work? And need a break? Don't want to think about anything and just have a good time? A place where you can have a clear mind and good snack food with a twist is Serenitea. It's a small cafe around the corner of N. Roxas cor. Banawe in QC where they serve Milk Teas. I highly recommend their Hokkaido Milk Tea. It's one of their best sellers. You might think that since it's a milk tea, it would be sweet but the good news is, you can actually control the sugar content! You can also choose from pearls (tapioca) to nata de coco as toppings for the Milk Tea but the best and perfect topping is the Egg Pudding. The price range for their milk tea is from P75 (tall size) to P95 (size of venti). Although it's quite expensive but it's worth it!

They also serve some snacks such as the corn in a cob (P50) and chicken chops with crispy basil leaves (P65) and it's already good for 2. The snacks and the milk tea complement each don't just order a drink. By the way, they close early so grab your milk tea before 9pm. Serenitea also has a branch in San Juan (V. Cruz cor. J. Abad Santos) and BF Homes Paranaque.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


There are a lot of burger place around the metro and they're not just your ordinary fastfood burger but BURGER! You have Brother's Burger, Wham Burgers, Charlie's etc. These burger places serve big burgers that can be equated to one full meal. The pricing is also higher than the fast food burgers.
I'm not really a burger fan but there's one burger place that I will go back to when I go to Eastwood City. The name of the restaurant is Stackers. It is located at the Eastwood Citywalk beside the new Eastwood Mall. Compared to the other burgers I've eaten, this one's the best! You can really taste the mouth watering beef in the patty unlike some other burger patties, you eat more of the oil than the patty. And the bun, it just looks hard but it is so soft that it complements the whole stack! I'll have to admit, one is not enough even if it's that big! For appetizer, try their mozzarella sticks and dip it in their salsa...I SO LOVE THE SALSA!

For the price, it's kinda high but for me, it's worth paying because you pay for the real thing. No regrets! The next time I crave for burgers, Stackers will now be my first choice to go on a Food Trip!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


If you want the BEST Bangus (Milkfish) in town drive up north to Pangasinan. A five hour road trip and at the same time, food trip. Pangasinan is known for its beaches and fine seafood cuisine. However, you can just go there and have a food trip then go to other nearby provinces such as Ilocos or Baguio

I was privileged to be there with our supervisor who is a local there. And, he knows where the best restaurants are. One is Silverio's at Dagupan. It is located along the national highway to La Union. They serve mostly, seafood and other Ilocano dishes. And of course, their freshly grilled Bangus is their specialty...I actually finished a whole! Even if it does not have any marination, the fish is so tasty!

Another restaurant where we ate was Jan-Mariquin at the town of Lingayen. They cook the so-called "one set" perfectly. I know you're wondering what that "one set" means. It's actually a soup with one whole goat...of course chopped goat meat plus the head (goat is like their pork or beef in their area) and it's good for 5-7 people. I know that goat stinks but I was amazed to taste it in their restaurant because the stinky smell was removed.

Lastly, Matutina. This is the more famous restaurant in Pangasinan. They have a branch in Urdaneta and also the original at Bonuan Tondaligan, Dagupan. Even the former president went there to eat. Of course, their specialty, boneless grilled Bangus. We also ordered the Kilawing Bangus and I think that's the best Kilawing Bangus I ever tasted!

As you can see, we had Bangus almost everyday and I love it because it's a guilt free food trip! No wonder why Bangus is our National just can't resist it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bicol Express!

"Kakana kita!" A Bicolano dialect for "Let's Eat!". Eating at Bicol is quite an experience and if you want something spicy, this is the place to be. However, Bicolano cuisine is not always about the spice. Authentic Bicolano food, most of the time, uses gata or coconut milk. It's THE sauce for them.

I was given a privilege to visit this region recently and was able to taste their food from their different provinces. Mind you, their famous Bicol Express was cooked differently in every province. Like in Bagasbas, Camarines Norte, it was cooked with more sitaw (string beans). In Caramoan, Camarines Sur and Naga City, it was cooked like a bagoong or a paste type. Another way to cook it, like in Pili, it was cooked with more pork. The bottom line is, it's the best selling dish in Bicol and it's the spiciest of all the dishes here.

Anyway, when you go to CWSC (Camsur Water Sports Comples) or any place near Pili, I would recommend you to eat at Ibo's Carinderia. It's along the National Road. There, you will find authentic Bicolano cuisine such as tinunot (upper left, shark meat with vinegar and gata), bicol express (upper right), and laing (below, taro leaves with gata). The price is very reasonable...we were seven and we ordered 2 softdrinks, 9 dishes, 8 orders of rice and soup for only P640! Looking for a spicy Food Trip, visit Bicol and experience its amazing cuisine!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Boracay Food Trip

Ah...Boracay! It has always been one of my best vacation spots here in the Philippines! I have been there for four times already and every visit has always something spectacular that happened. This year so far, was the best! Because my friend and I just went there to eat and eat and eat and eat!!! It was like we've been eating the whole day! So hold your appetite as I walk your through the three-day Boracay food trip that we had...

Smoke (D'Mall, Station 2)
I first ate there last 2007 when I was with my family to celebrate my aunt's birthday. From then on, I made sure that I had to eat there. In fact, I celebrated my birthday last year at Smoke too! Their specialty is the Beef Salpicao (sauteed spicy beef rice topping), Kad Pao (sauteed beef with green mangoes and egg topped on bagoong rice) and Sizzling Bulalo. The price is very reasonable as one rice bowl is just P95. We also had their sizzling prawns and the sauce...perfect with the garlic rice!

Jony's Fruit Shake (Station 1)

Going to Boracay without a sip of the fresh fruit shake will not complete your trip.   Jony's offers a wide range of fruit shakes and milk shakes to choose from but for me, the Best will always be the Avocado Shake (seasonal) and Mango Shake. My friend had Buko Shake and she told me that their Pineapple Shake is also very good (there's a reason to go back!). Their shakes are very thick and not too much ice. The price ranges from P90-P100 depending on the fruit and fruit combination.

Manana (Station 1)

So far, the best Mexican food I ever tasted! They make their own sauces and sides. Very authentic Mexican food! My favorite dishes are their Enchiladas and Tacos. Although their set meals are kinda pricey but it is good for two. We also had soft tacos and the fun part is you get to wrap the filling on your own. I also love their salsa and because of the authenticity, you know that it is freshly made.

Bite Club (D' Mall, Station 2)

Craving for a burger? As in BURGER! Bite Club offers a burger that's somehow guilt free because it is char-grilled...therefore, NO OIL! We ordered Bombarella, a half pound burger with mozzarella cheese. It was a good thing we shared the burger because it was so BIG that I, myself can't finish everything on my own! You will also be given a wide range of sauces to top your burger. A burger will not be complete if you did not order some fries. Their Crispy Fries is like Jollibee's but has a better taste because they season it with some pepper to enhance the taste. Their burgers price range from time I had to try their Triple X burger with some friends. How is that possible? They have a branch here in Katipunan! Woohoo!!!

Aria (D'Mall, Station 2)

Beach life won't be complete without pizza. Aria is one of the oldest establishments in Boracay that serves Italian food. Their pizza is baked in a stone oven, so, no oil is needed. We had the Aria Pizza with Parma Ham (Italian Ham) and it's taste would enhance if you put some chili oil in it. Although it's quite expensive but when you go to Boracay, Aria is a place where you must try their pizza and pasta!

D' Talipapa (Station 2)

How could you go to Boracay without eating seafood? Just walk a little further and D' Talipapa is where you can feast for seafoods! From prawns to clams to oysters to lobsters, name it and you can have it! The style here is that you need to know how to buy your fresh catch and how it should be cooked. But I do recommend that for crabs, have it with chili sauce. For lobsters, butter garlic sauce and for the prawns, let them grill it. By the way, although we didn't have oysters, I suggest you have them baked topped with cheese, butter and garlic...yum!

Real Coffee and Tea Cafe (Station 1)

Craving for a dessert like no other and only in the Philippines? Then, you better have the Calamansi Muffin at Real Coffee and Tea Cafe. It's P40 and would surely satisfy your tangy craving. You can even make some pre-order to bring it back to Manila.

I guess, after reading this blog, you are now hungry...well, I think you better pack up your stuff and have a Food Trip in THE party island, BORACAY!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


When I'm feeling stressed or down, I always splurge on good food. Just around the corner of Retiro St. in Quezon City stands a restaurant called Cajun. An American cuisine like no other! With their homey style restaurant, it really makes me feel relaxed and forget about the pressures in life even for just an hour.

For appetizer, you may order their sampler platter. The platter contains chicken fingers, onion rings, calamares and my favorite, cheese logs!

For their main entrees, my personal favorite is Chicken Alfred (breaded boneless fried chicken with Alfredo sauce) sides with their sauteed Hashbrowns and Cajun Saflon Rice. I also love their Mustard Chicken and Volcano Burgers! Well, practically, I love all their food! And the price, it's very reasonable. An entree with a big serving costs more or less P215-P275 depending on what type of meat and entree you prefer.

Then, it is going to be perfect to end your meal with their Overload dessert! Fresh hot chocolate cake topped with chocolate coated vanilla ice cream...hmmmmm....need I say more? No need to pay for an overpriced meal anymore on your next relaxing Food Trip; just drop by at Cajun and it now has two additional branches: Atrium at Megamall and Robinson's Galleria Movieworld.

Chef Tony's

Movie nights will never be the same without a bowl of popcorn. Of course, as we all know, the usual flavors are butter, cheese and the salted one. However, Chef Tony's Popcorn was able to develop popcorn into a higher level. I was able to meet the man himself yesterday and was privileged to listen to some of his popcorn stories.

They have developed a new flavor called the Yummy Flavor intended for Yummy Magazine. It is mixed with Southern French Herb and Cream Cheese. At first, I had doubts in the taste but when I was able to actually taste it, man, I couldn't stop taking another bite and another bite to the point I have to close the tub to stop nibbling! They only manufactured 500 tubs for introduction and will eventually become a regular item in the near future. It costs P175 per big tub and is available in selected Chef Tony's branches. Like what I said earlier, movie nights will never be the same without a tub of Yummy Chef Tony's Popcorn!

Monday, June 7, 2010


When it comes to Filipino fine dining, there are only a few of them. One of them is Abe. It is operated by LJC Group of Restaurants that also brings you Cafe Adriatico. They have an authentic Filipino Cuisine that would certainly appeal to any Filipino palate. We brought our Japanese friend to have a taste of our very own cuisine and he was impressed! I would recommend their Binukadkad na Pla-pla (deep fried fish), Crispy Pork Adobo, Pinakbet (mixed vegetables with shrimp paste or bagoong), Baby Shrimp in Olive Oil, Sugpo sa Gata (Tiger Prawn in coconut milk sauce) and of course, their Bamboo Rice (one of their best sellers).

Although the price is kinda high but it's worth eating there once in a blue moon. They have branches in SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma, and Serendra. Sometimes, it's ok to splurge on your next Food Trip, so if you're taking your date, Abe could be your next choice!


Do you love canteen food? I'm sure that most of you would answer "NO!" But there's one canteen food that you would always crave's Amici. It started its operations at Don Bosco in Makati. They serve Italian food....of course the usual pizza and pasta. But for me, they have the best fast food pizza in the metro! They cooked it in a brick oil is needed therefore, it's a healthy pizza. My personal favorite is the Frutti Di Mare (seafood pizza). Unfortunately, when I ate there with my "angels", it was out of stock. But anyway, we still had fun eating! We had Margarita Pizza, Mozzarella Frittos and Vongole (seafood pasta). The price is very reasonable especially for a pizza place. More or less, it's just about P200 per head.

They have branches in Don Bosco Makati, SM Megamall, Greenhills, Tomas Morato, SM North EDSA Annex and Alabang Town Center. So, if you're craving for a reasonable priced Italian cuisine on your next Food Trip, Amici is the place!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


This lunch, my colleague and I ate at Octoboy. So far, for me, this is where the best Takoyaki can be found. At a price of P90, an order would already fill your stomach because it bigger than the average Takoyaki you found in malls. They have a variety of Pork, Squid and Shrimp to choose from.

We also ate their Shrimp Yakiudon. An order (P210) is good for 2-3 persons and it's very tasty. I like their Yakiudon because it has less toppings and it's kinda different from the ones I have ate. It's a bit sweet. Perfect for the Filipino palate.

Octoboy is located along Banawe beside Ersao. The service is fast and is very appropriate for a quick Food Trip!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Suka at Sili

When I eat Halo-Halo, I become very choosy because I don't like eating beans. However, there's one place in Quezon City where their Halo-Halo becomes my personal favorite. And I always keep on coming back for it.

Suka at Sili is located at D. Tuazon, Quezon City beside Quincy Supermarket. At first, you will not notice it because it looks like an office space. They serve Filipino dishes that cost about P150 per head with ALL YOU CAN EAT RICE. Their specialties are grilled chicken, grilled pork, enseladang talong and, my favorite dish, crispy hito and make sure you dip it in their special suka (vinegar)!

In this blog I will highlight their Halo-Halo. The ice is very fine and it looks like an ice cream. Mixed in this dessert treat are slices of bananas, langka (jack fruit), coconut meat and leche flan. Nothing beats this P60 dessert that you would crave for perfect for a cool Food Trip!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Go! Fan

Ever dreamed of unlimited siomai? chicken feet? fried rice? and Hong Kong style noodles? I discovered a place called Go! Fan in SM North Edsa Annex. They are offering dimsum and roast buffet at P199 ONLY! Their 10-dish buffet is only available Mondays-Fridays, 10:00am-2:00pm and 6:00-9:00pm. Ofcourse, don't expect a premium kind of buffet since it's very cheap, it will just satisfy you with your siomai cravings.

It's fun to go on a Food Trip with friends and eat all those siomais!


During the heat of the summer, I've always wanted something cold to relieve me from the hot weather. And at the same time, have a meal that's cheap and will make me full. At Ersao, you can have everything: delicious food and a freshly blended fruit shake all at P105-P120 only! I would recommend their Spicy Chicken or Spicy Squid rice meal (P105), as well as the Chicken Steak and Pork Steak meal (P120). These meals already come with a 16oz Fruit Shake or Milk Tea. My personal favorite is their Avocado Shake especially when Avocado is in season. I also like their Watermelon Shake and Buko Pandan Shake. In their milk tea variants, I like the Taro Milk Tea or the Coffee Milk Tea.

Ersao has branches in Manila (Abad Santos cor. P. Algue Street), Quezon City (West Avenue and Banawe Street), and SM Sta. Mesa. A simple Food Trip that you would always go back to...Ersao!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tasty Dumplings

The BEST Porkchop Rice I ever tasted is from Tasty Dumplings! A thinly sliced porkchop that's mouth watering and incomparable! The best part is it is only P99 and it's like eating for two meals already. Tasty Dumplings originated in Binondo area then branched out to Retiro, Quezon City.

If you grew up in the vicinity of Binondo, Tondo and Sta. Cruz, Manila, I am sure that you also grew up craving for this amazing Porkchop Rice. They also serve different Chinese dishes but the Pork Chop rice is their best seller. Tasty Dumplings is always full especially during lunch and dinner time. So, if you want to go on a Food Trip, go there early to save some seats and you'll have an amazing meal!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kopi Roti

Most coffee shops in the Philippines are very pricey. If you only have P100, and you want to unwind in a coffee shop, Kopi Roti is the place to be. At P85, you already have a coffee bun and cup of coffee or tea. The ambiance is cozy plus the aroma of the freshly baked coffee's just perfect! In Metro Manila, they have 9 branches (Quezon City, Pasay City, Parañaque City, and Makati City) and 6 branches in the province.

Food Trip in a relaxing way with a reasonable price and tasty treat...Kopi Roti!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mister Kebab

Mister Kebab has been one of my all time favorite restaurants. It is located along West Avenue, Quezon City. Although it has no air conditioning, people from different places still keep on coming back to satisfy their Persian cravings.

My personal favorite is the Keema (ground beef) with Buttered Rice mixed with their special garlic sauce. If I'm really hungry, I would also order their Pita Bread. Their Sweet Yogurt Shake would complement the meal. All in all, this big meal will cost only about P145 and would get you going for the next hours. So the next time you're on for a different Food Trip, you might want to consider Mister Kebab!

Jay-Jay's Inasal

When you go to a chicken inasal restaurant, you'd always order the usual chicken inasal. However, at Jay-Jay's Inasal, there's more to the grilled chicken. Jay-Jay's Inasal is located at Home Depot, Pasig City and it also has branches in Macapagal Highway and Tomas Morato...however, I think there are other branches around the metro. My friend and I went there to eat their 2-Way Adobo and it's really good! It has that salty Visayan style of pork adobo with flakes and it is best paired with plain rice because of the sauce. The price is very reasonable and it's good for 2-3 people. So the next time you go on a Food Trip at Jay-Jay's Inasal, better consider their 2-Way Adobo and your meal will never be the same!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Causeway Dimsum Night

All of a sudden, you get hungry. Yet, there's nothing in your fridge or counter top and it's almost 9pm. If you live in Quezon City, nothing to worry! Causeway (Banawe cor. Del Monte) offers P45 per order of Dimsum every night!

Better go there a bit earlier to save seats because it is always jam packed when the clock strikes 9:00pm. Parking space will always be a problem but fortunately, valet service is available. So, the next time you and your friends want a traditional push-cart dimsum night, this is a place to be on your next Food Trip!

Chicken Charlie

Craving for chicken with a price lower than Hooters? This is a place to be. Chicken Charlie is located in NS Amoranto St. (Retiro) Quezon City. If coming from D. Tuazon, just go straight and cross Banawe. Chicken Charlie will be on your right side. There are limited parking spaces and since the restaurant is small, they can accommodate only about 12 people.

Their chicken is so tasty that you would crave for it! A fried chicken like no other! Crispy, sweet, thin breading without the guilt because it's 0g trans-fat. Since they serve their chicken fresh from the kitchen, it is recommended to call them first before you go because the preparation time would take about 15-20 minutes.

The price, it's ok. Although it's kinda pricey for a chicken wing and leg, I guarantee that it's worth going back for another Food Trip!

Food Trippers