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Escalante Bulalohan and good old fashioned Dirty Ice Cream

28 Sep

Escalante Bulalohan

I keep coming back to Daet. Mainly because I know super quality people there, there’s really good and cheap places to eat, and the surf’s good. πŸ˜›

So for the past few times I’ve been there, a friend from Manila has always told me to eat at this bulalo place.
Finally after planning to do that for the past n times that I’ve been in Daet, I finally did go last Saturday after a great morning session in Bagasbas. =)

We first went to one escalante bulalohan and it was closed. It was a branch. Thank goodness the manong tricycle and our awesome local guide knew that there was another one open. When we got there, the place was packed. But the turnover was pretty fast, so I being the etchusera, quickly got us a table near the giant electricfan. (har!har!)

The place is open lunchtime until 3pm, but it’s a good idea to get there at 1130am as they told me the bulalo runs out. From hearing that, I did have pretty high expectations for the place.

So ordering time, we were 9 in the group, 6 boys and 3 girls. We ordered 4 orders of bulalo and rice. One order is enough for 2-3 persons. We did think of getting something else besides bulalalo, but nah, what’s the point? We came there for the bulalo anyway.

It arrived looking like this.

*there’s another shot of this with lotsa litid and stuff, but i can’t post it right now. haha!

First impression was like– “there’s no vegetables”, but then look at it. I mean LOOK AT IT. Look at how sinful that absolutely fukken looks like. They cook the stuff in a GIANT vat that you can see if you sit inside and do a little peep inside their kitchen. When I mean giant, it means I can fit in it. haha! Wild!

The verdict: tastes as good as it looks. Good bulalo! I scored 2 marrows from the 2 orders, because I am matakaw like that, and I really did surf and got worked a lot that morning.

Total Cost: P440 for 4 orders of bulalo, 9 orders of rice, and sprite for almost everyone. It’s one of the best cheap things I’ve eaten in my life. There yah go.

How to get there: I can’t give you directions on how to get there. I basically got a local to take me there. How? Tricycle –“manong sa escalante bulalohan po.” I think that’ll work. πŸ˜›

gill and moi after just enjoying some bulalo goodness, look at my cheeks! biggg!

————
Dirty Ice Cream

We also had some happy dirty ice cream when we turned right after hopping on a tricycle. I got so excited seeing it that I asked for the tricycle to stop. The manong driver was happy enough to oblige me and we gave him free ice cream for his trouble. For 5 pesos a pop, simple joys dude!

Much thanks to one of my favorite Daet/Bagasbas locals, Jongs Binaohan for taking us there! And to Gillian (ty too for the libre ice cream), Bea, Joms and the quiet boys for eating with moi! haha!

bea, gillian, moi and the ice cream man!

—more stuff coming soon! eat up!

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the offbeat burger: a review

10 Sep

**I apologize for not posting much. I was busy surfing and getting sick. πŸ™‚ Enihoodles, i feel like posting something today, which bodes well for today’s article.

My friend Iya has been going to the Offbeat Cafe more times last month (and this month) than I’ve seen her, which tells you 1) she must like the food, 2) i’ve been sick and 3) we’ve been busy.

She blogged that the Offbeat cafe features a Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger they call the Offbeat Burger. And anything with Krispy Kreme is a go for me! I’ve been on a one KK donut/month quota for the last 5 months.. so not having had my KK for this month… I wanted to go try the burger.

What is an OffBeat Burger? To quote from their fb page…

“The now famous OFFBEAT BURGER…juicy all-beef patty sandwiched between Krispy Kreme Donuts, topped with bacon, egg and melted cheese. Not for the faint of heart!”

the offbeat burger and the bread pudding

In my head it makes sense, the sweet KK donut balancing out the salty components.

So I tried half a double-off beat burger yesterday (I shared with my friend kwe lo as I was on a diet.. ladi ladi da…)which consisted of half a KK donut, one egg, one patty, bacon and cheese. The sides were supposed to be tofu chips. I didn’t get tofu chips, but I really didn’t care as I was there for the KK goodness and the whole salty-sweet combo action that I’m expecting to happen.

So I took a bite and we fast forward to I finished the whole thing.

Verdict:

I like the concept. If you’re a fan of salty and sweet foods, you’ll prolly like this one off the bat, the contrast of the Krispy Kreme donut and the burger was pleasing to me.

I liked the taste of the patty, it was juicy and nicely prepared. The cheese was good and nicely melted.

As far as the other ingredients go, the egg and the bacon, I really didn’t think made a difference to the experience, although I did taste the additional saltiness of the bacon in some points, but then… the patty was already a nice salty component already. I don’t know what the egg was there for. It was nicely cooked though, if it makes a difference. Maybe it was supposed to add texture? but I really don’t think it did. Maybe taste? But I didn’t think it gave enough of an eggy taste to make it interesting enough to have a reason for it to be there. But let’s get this straight, the egg and the bacon didn’t hurt it either,I just wonder what they were there for.

But the main criticism I would have was that the burger really was asking for some acidity. I kept thinking either lettuce and a tomato would be welcome as it would give it a different texture, and introduce some acidity. At one point, I debated whether to ask for some mustard but I decided to eat the burger on its own. (and i was hungry) . I did voice out these thoughts to my friends and they agreed with the tomato/lettuce addition. Iya didn’t think that the mustard would be a welcome addition, in my head it makes sense, but that’s just me. I even tossed in the idea of a white onion to add a spicy bite to the burger. I agree, some people would balk on a raw onion, haha! She gave the suggestion of maybe putting tomatoes, onions and lettuce as a additional optional side for people who would want it. That would prolly work.

So price wise, 220 bucks for a DOUBLE OFFBEAT BURGER (2 patties, 2 eggs, 2 bacon slices) is pretty cheap especially as you would know that a KK donut is almost 50 bucks already. So costwise, they’re giving us a good deal. And the patty is THICK.

If you ask me at the end of the day, I did enjoy the offbeat burger and I look forward to coming back, maybe asking for mustard or ketchup, and ordering one whole order of an Offbeat Burger for myself. I now think to myself that maybe I would understand the bacon and the egg more if I had the whole KK donut, not just half… hmm… or maybe that’s just an excuse to eat KK again.

Oh, i’d have to add that my friend Iya had issues about getting a soggy bottom bun at her first try. The bottom bun/donut did become soggy, but what can you expect? the stuff sitting on top of it were heavy and dripping juices. The soggy thing didn’t really faze me as I just thought of it like bread mopping up juices. I would suggest that you come to the cafe with an open mind and don’t think of it as a burger per se, but as a salty-sweet meal, and you’d be much happier.

—-

Other things in offbeat:

After the meal though, I had the bread pudding, which I liked. I don’t really expect much from bread pudding so I was pretty happy with what I got. I tasted cinnamon, it wasn’t too sweet, the chocolate sauce and the ice cream were nice. Texture wise, I liked it too. I’m not a fan of bread pudding that reeks of too much egg, it tasted like soft cinnamon flavored bread with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. For 75 pesos, it was better than some bread puddings that i’ve sadly tasted some of which cost me almost 200 bucks in Makati, and so I liked it! But unlike Iya, no it didn’t remind me of Cafe Juanita’s Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Oh, and as an after dessert treat (don’t judge us) we had the chilli fries (french fries with a cheese dip on top and chilli) which Iya and I liked and finished pretty fast too.

Iya also had the chicken parmigiana. She finished the whole thing. I didn’t want to taste the chicken, but I tasted the pasta. I wished they had a dish that I could only order the pasta without the chicken, as I wanted some pasta!

The menu is limited, but as apparent above contains pasta, appetizers, other sandwich options and dessert!
————————
In a nutshell:

The main issue one would have about the Offbeat cafe is that it’s kinda out of the way, so unless you live in Vito Cruz Ext, you’d really have to make it a point to go there. But the novelty of the burger is enough draw to make it a point to eat there at least once, or in Iya’s case, more times than she has seen me last month.

Offbeat Cafe
G/F Mervin Biz Suites,
1406 Vito Cruz Ex. Corner Balagtas
Makati, Lesotho

**photo from the Iya’s blog

Graceland’s Chocolate Cake Happyness

2 Aug

I have been mostly surfing and not really concentrating on what I’ve been eating these past few weeks, so I’ve been very very remiss in not posting anything here. My bad.

So here I give you, one of the best things in Daet besides the surf in Bagasbas, GRACELAND’S CHOCOLATE CAKE.


For 40 pesos, it’s a godsend to me!!! πŸ™‚

It’s covered in chocolate, topped with a dollop of cream, sprinkled with candy bits. The cake is chocolate (duh) moist, and not too sweet. The filling’s more chocolate ganache! It’s perfect after a filling meal of Bicol staples and a good emotional crutch when all you really want to do is bash a surfer’s head with a board for being a stupid idiot, but I digress, that belongs in a different blog! haha!

Graceland’s also a good place to eat for the usual bicol fare— bicol express, etc. But I go back for this cake. πŸ™‚

To find graceland: just ride a tricycle in Daet and say Graceland sa bayan. haha! πŸ™‚ I found it after buying meds in Mercury Drug, haha! πŸ™‚ It’s on the same street. I’m sorry for not being too specific. hang loose!

Sidenote: Don’t get me wrong, Daet and Bagasbas have other culinary eats, more on that, when I finally get the pictures and my writing hat finally on or if there is no surf and i’m landlocked for a helluva long time, whichever comes first or never, i’ll get to it–promise!

What’s coming up though? A friend’s treating me to Le Bistro Vert (did I even write/spell that right?) this week. The chef’s going to cook for us I hope, something like a chef’s table. And the chef’s Sau Del Rosario. Are you excited? I am!

Photo by Kathlene Mae Lo

wabi sabi in 2 visits, soon to be 3 wait for it.

23 Jun


I really never can remember the name of this hole in the wall place in makati. I call it wabi-something.. noodle house at the collective.

I’ve heard rave reviews about the cheap pho and cheap ramen, not to mention the potstickers from friends like Miki and Jeeves who told me that I.MUST.ORDER.THE.RAMEN/PHO/vice versa.

As i write this, it’s my second time here. The first time, they ran out of ramen and pho and I ended up eating 2 orders of potstickers and a wheat vegetarian siopao with lemon grass tea.

Today, I’m a little luckier, they ran out of ramen but they do have some pho. So I ordered some ramen, potstickers, lemon grass and vegetarian asado siopao.

Am I hungry? Yes. I’m on my way to a quiz night.
Actually, I’m late for quiz night.

So as I wait here, I give you my two cents worth of what I remember the last time I ate here, and failed to eat neither ramen or pho and just ate potstickers, wheat siopao and the lemon grass tea.

POTSTICKERS: I’ve made and eaten my share of potstickers in culinary school and the potstickers in this place could be one of the best i’ve ever eaten. They’ve got the crispy underside down pat, which i think defines a good potsticker.

The Lemongrass tea wasn’t really spectacular, but it suffices.

WHEAT BUN/CHAY PAO
I like things with wheat, actually, I only eat wheat bread most of the time (although this will be contested by Iya and Carla). So it was a revelation. The color of the siopao was pretty weird coming in a close to grey color, but other than that, i loved it! And as I was vegetarian for a while, I love the gluten-bola-bola tasting meat inside.

When I last ate here, it was a busy Friday night, the gallery in front of Wabi-Sabi was teeming with people, and most likely than not was the reason they ran out of pho and ramen. There’s a two-person team manning the operation, one doing the cooking, and the other “serving” although by far, it’s supposed to be a self-service kinda thing.

I envy the balls of the operation.

So the pho and the rest of my food arrives.

Pho is tasty and i’m gobbling it up like crazy because I’m late for quiz night and Animals are a topic and I should be there.

Pho is tasty, I love the chicharon part of it all, although, I would really have wanted more lemon in it, or calamansi, because I like tart things like that. It was actually bordering on a little bit salty, and considering how friggin high my tolerance for salt is, that’s saying something.

The potstickers at this visit were sadly bleh–not giving me the same crunchy/crispy underside that I loved about it before. And believe me I loved it enough to order 2 orders of that. So it’s kinda sad. Maybe quality is an issue, or maybe it’s just i’m unlucky.

The Asado siopao wasn’t really to my liking, i’d rather eat the Wheat Siopao again.

All in all, I think Wabi-Sabi needs another visit from me.
For the ramen of it all, and for it to regain the title of “best potstickers ever”.

Hmm, my writing’s a little jumbled right now.
My apologies.

Photo post latah!

— Also, all photos are from Iya Santos -psychosomaticaddictinsane.wordpress.com


close up of the ramen


Chay pao and asado siopao, ditch the asado, go with the chay!


potstickers which were bleh, but used to be awesome!

the truth about chic-boy’s

10 Jun

I seldom go to non-froogie related food events. My friend iya was invited to this by Spanky Enriquez, and I actually just tagged along.

All they told me was that chic-boy meant chicken and baboy. Okay, first of all, there I was in my semi-faker vegetarian mode in a food event dealing with liempo and chicken and thinking to myself—Hooha! Oh the hypocrisy of it all, but that’s not the point.

Having never been to this kind of thing in a long time(if not ever), I was initially really uneasy about the whole thing. I was with a group of people passionate about blogging. And my lazy ass was just totally feeling really, really, really, really irrelevant. haha! I don’t even think Spanky knew that I had a food blog, haha! But I got a kick getting introduced as the person who made toffees. haha! πŸ™‚ Also, hello impetus to get back into writing!

So back to chic-boy. Chic-boy is this chicken-baboy place think the likes of yoohoo and mang inasal thrown in, but bigger, cleaner, better service and may I say, the food’s better.

Cost wise, i think it’s at par with Mang Inasal or Yoohoo. This ain’t fine dining, we’re talking the place you can sit your ass and try to out-eat that hangover that you know is coming after a night in the town. Yep, we’re talking about a 24 hour place in Jupiter, Makati ready to serve you good hot food at really, really, really, affordable prices.

When I arrived, they were taking pictures of Chic-boy’s chicken and liempo. I didn’t bring a camera, so I sat there and was really pretty apprehensive about taking pics using the camera phone when everyone had their dslrs and semi-pros out, but what hey! I got my friend iya to take pictures! haha! πŸ™‚ If there’s a will, there’s a friend. haha!

Back to the food! First up–liempo! At the first bite I really did think it was salty. So being a consummate checker, I took a bite again, it was still salty to me. So I was actually apprehensive about this, i wanted to tell people I found it salty, but really, that could have gotten me thrown out (haha!), so i just shut up.

And then I realized… this stuff’s supposed to be eaten with rice!

SALTY LIEMPO + RICE + CONDIMENT = happyness!

or this equation would work too…

SALTY LIEMPO + BEER = happy lasing!

Actually come to think of it, it maybe because I purposely got parts of the liempo with the skin on them, maybe that was the salty part. hmm.. maybe I shall come back and try that again.

The liempo was cooked Cebu-style, meaning it was cooked in between layers of tanglad and other spices. Personally, i’ve always equated cebu-style lechon with tanglad and tamarind. I didn’t taste any tamarind with the liempo, but it sure was tasty! The pieces were crunchy, and the whole liempo order was purty big!

The chicken was yummy as well! It had the same salty finish as the liempo. I particularly enjoyed it with their lechon sauce.

That lechon sauce was good! If you’ve eaten in yoo-hoo bbq, i hate/abhor what they call a lechon sauce that they give you to eat with their chicken. Chic-boy’s was good though! It has a refreshing after mouthfeel to it, that just went really well with the chicken. You could still taste the liver, spices, and whatever thing that they add to it to make it refreshing.

If you’re asking for my opinion, I would basically eat the liempo and the chicken with vinegar and drizzle the lechon sauce on my rice. The former because I can eat anything with vinegar (including ice cream) and the latter, because I am barbaro that way.

After the specialty tasting, we were given the delightful words “order anything you want!”

Eureka!

Iya ordered sinigang na salmon belly and kangkong. I ordered lechon sisig and the talong. Iya looked pretty happy with what she ordered and I had a piece of salmon belly and some sinigang soup, and I agree for the price, it’s pretty good.

As for the lechon sisig, seriously only an idiot can mess up something with the words SISIG and LECHON, the good news is that chic-boy totally nailed this one.

If I wasn’t in my semi-faker but still dieting mode and/or if I was depressed, I would have not ordered the value meal, I’d have ordered the whole sizzling plate with two cups of rice! But alas! We are dieting so I ate all the lechon sisig and just… 1/2 of my rice! (Hehehe!)

And if I knew that chicken oil and garlic bits were available if you ask for it for free, i would have kissed my semi-faker-no eating rice mode goodbye! (But God is good and I only found out about it after I finished my meal! hehe!)

To end the meal, the choices were: leche flan and turon de leche.

I wasn’t really that excited about the leche flan. When I tasted their leche flan, it was good, but was more flan than leche, if you know what I mean (?), don’t get me wrong, it disappeared fast, it was good! Come to think of it, for that price, I think I’m lucky that I ate decent leche flan.

But I have to tell you, I got excited with the turon de leche. The selling point was that it was regular turon but dipped in condensed milk and then fried. I’ve never done that. Upon tasting though, initial impression was it was decent turon, but I didn’t really see any difference with the dipping it in condensed milk part. So thoughts: 1) being once involved in a lumpia cooking book, I loved how even and nicely wrapped the turon was (sue me, I find it difficult to wrap lumpia), 2) the condensed/leche part dipping sauce was the best part of the whole thing! and 3) I think they should serve the turon, and the sauce with ice cream.

All in all Chic-boy’s really a great place to eat in. I can see myself crawling (!) my way towards there at the wee hours of the morning to get my rice-lechon fix with all my drunken friends (haha!)! If I was a regular employee, i would eat there, if i was a callcenter agent, i would eat there, if I was a driver, i wouldn’t, i’d be scared because of all the cars in front (yes, there’s a pretty sizeable carpark in front), but really I should eat there too!

The truth is most chic-boys would really just break your heart.
Kumain na lang tayo sa chic-boy’s, heart will be intact, not to mention it won’t break our wallet.

*pictures all from iya (http://psychosomaticaddictinsane.wordpress.com)

Chic-boy is located in Jupiter, Makati, besides BBQ. http://www.chic-boy.com.ph

Pen Pen’s Pasta Buffet

8 Mar

It finally happened! I finally got my butt off to Pen-pen to try the crispy liempo–but wait, I really went there to try the pasta buffet.

So I thought it would be much harder to find, that is–the store, but thank you good directions and signages we managed to find Pen-pen.

So a quick rundown on the P250 Pasta All You Can Buffet, and my reactions.

Sauces:
– Meatballs – On its own it was just okay, but there’s little snippets of “suggestions” on how to eat the pasta/sauce that they call Karl’s way. I have no idea who Karl is but he knows his shit. I tried this sauce with Basil Oil and cheese as per his suggestion, and by far, it’s my favorite.
– Vegetarian – This actually tasted like Pinakbet, we’re talking pasta sauce with okra. It worked, I put some Kalamansi and I was good with it.
– Tinapa – This is also part of my top 4. Solid taste. Although not much tinapa essence, tasted very tomato-ish, but I liked it.
– Aligue – If I didn’t have to watch my weight, i’d have gorged on this one. Who can freakin’ go wrong with Aligue on their pasta?? Plus the upside was the aligue was very good, not slimy or too rich (owwwwsss.) adding a touch of calamansi, and it’s great!
– Carbonara – It had ground something, maybe it was pork. I’m actually not 100% sure on this, but isn’t carbonara supposed to be only with ham/bacon? Hmm, but it actually tasted good for a cream sauce, of which I’m not a big fan of.
– Bolognese – Normal, but still good.

You had 3 choices for pasta– penne, fettucine and spaghetti. I tasted all of the three, but I really just stuck with the penne, which actually was finished earlier than all the pastas and had to be refilled. I wish they’d have some tri-colored pasta or something, I would actually pay more for wheatbased or healthier pastas, and it could also be a draw to the more health-inclined diners out there.

The verdict is that if I would be in the same area, I would prolly eat in PENPEN just for the meatballs-basil oil experience again… oh and for this…

CRISPY LIEMPO
This was good. We had it with a nice vinegar and I could imagine myself gorging this into my mouth with handfuls of rice (okay.. bad visuals! haha!), yummy!!!

Also, my friend Doy who ate with me, had their fruity punch/iced tea concoction which he majorly loved. You can also have it bottomless and that just makes it more awesome!

PenPen Restaurant is found at Sgt Castor St, located at Morato. And the Pasta buffet happens every Tuesday! πŸ™‚

6.28.09: Getting Lucky @Makansutra

28 Jun

Yesterday after a really big comfort food happy lunch in Rufo’s in Makati and dessert in Fluke in A.Venue Mall. I found myself enroute to the south for work, then lo and behold! there was an invitation to go to a singaporean food thing with Kassy, Kwe, by her friend JR… and possibly Tamille and Chi (both of which I have not seen in ages btw)

I was really tired having only slept about 2 hours the night before, but Kassy said.. “I’ll pay for your food” Haha, as much as it pains me to say this, I cannot say no to Free Food and Singapore in the same sentence, so off we went.

So we went to Manila Ocean Park and we found ourselves in a really picturesque (think Traditional Asian interspersed with Modern elements) restaurant named Makansutra.

Makansutra is a south east asian restaurant that wants to give us foodies in Manila their unique take on hawker food ala Singapore. (You know the place in sing, where it’s like an open air thingie wherein you point at what you want and they cook it for you? Think Ihaw-ihaw but Satay instead of Adidas..har har!)

They gave us a tasting of 13 of their 14 dishes (haha, we’re due for another course next time we’re there). We were a table of 6 hungry people gorging on stuff we couldn’t pronounce, haha! that’s the long and short of it.

How did the food fare? Some were notable hits including that yummy omellete thing with the really tender fish, suprisingly loved the simple inihaw na bangus, and that egg noodle dish reminiscent of pad thai without the tamarind and much sweetness.

Drinks were on the guests, and we got different drinks each. I was lucky enough to have ordered a Lemon Barley Drink, which I loved and seriously will duplicate soon. How did my drink taste? Think rice “am” with floating bits of barley with lemon. I know it sounds weird, but the Barley was yummy I tell you! The rest had this rose drink (colored pink, tastes like something with rose water with a slight raspberry like tinge at the end, yes, think cough syrup but it was suprisingly a hit with the people who ordered it) and a michael jackson drink. (MJ = soymilk + gulaman, needed Syrup, but what the hey! healthy fiber and milk).

Dessert was a foreign version of halo-halo (to tell you the truth, I kinda like Razon’s way better) and a barley based dessert. Between the two, we liked the latter. It was barley water again with barley of course (duh!) syrup, longgans and a jelly-ish/gulaman thing with a unique texture.

Another highlight of the night besides the food was the raffle of which every member of our table won something including the grand prize worth 6,000 bucks. Har har! We were called the Lucky Table of the night for obvious reasons. har har!

Considering that I was invited last minute, I didn’t pay for anything (thanks Kas and JR!) , immensely enjoyed our table banter, and tried new eats that although I can’t pronounce do remember the taste of, last night was indeed lucky–it’s one of those–thank God I said yes nights which I am blessed to have ever so often.

Now if I only knew the names of the food and we could have taken pictures, this entry would have been better. πŸ™‚ (Note to Makansutra: when giving a tasting, give the guests a copy ofΒ  the menu. It would help us way much! πŸ™‚ )

Makansutra’s formally opens on July 4Β  in the Manila Ocean Park. If you want a unique experience with a wonderful view of Manila bay (date place anyone?) go do give them a visit!

And no, you don’t have to pay the Manila Ocean Park entrance fee to get in. Btw, I was suprised there’s a mall inside MOP already! πŸ™‚