• We wanted to sit back and relax a little on our Day 2 in Baguio. Afterall, we spent Day 1 all over the city proper, making a splash in Burnham Lake and ransacking the Christmas Village.

    So the next day we had brunch at the famous 50's Diner. Most of my girl friends had been there and I just had to know why it was so special.

    We got there at around 10a.m. and the place was already jam-packed  We had to wait a little before we got a booth. The place was clean and styled to look like a...well, what else but a 50's diner.

    The meals, of course, were as American as you can get. The servings were humongous. For the first time, I don't think my pictures did the food justice. My only complaint is that their servers were way behind the friendly meter.

    Anyway, I enjoyed their Pancake Sandwich (P115) which was drizzled with maple and strawberry (!) syrup and topped with crushed nuts. The crispy bacon definitely tasted well with the soft pancakes. The chicken patties making up the second layer, as well as the large cuts of fries, filled us up.

    Since we shared all the dishes, we had Mix Grill (P195) as the main course. The steak was nice, the pork chop and chicken a little dry though. The hotdog tasted like what it's supposed to taste like. How can you go wrong with processed food?

    Of course, I insisted on having a traditional breakfast meal of eggs, hotdog and bacon (P100). I was so glad they made perfect sunny side up eggs. 

    And we couldn't pass up on the Famous 50's Burger (P90). Yes, it has the word "famous" in its name and we weren't too crazy about it also. I guess we're not really fond of burgers.

    Nevertheless, we were really really full we had to stay there for a awhile before going to Treetop Adventure. I wanted to try their zipline and a full stomach is not really going to help us. It was a pity we didn't have enough tummy space for their delicious shakes. I promise to try the ube shake when I return.

    After surveying the place (yes they have a jukebox but I wasn't able to verify if it works), we took advantage of the cute all terrain vehicle parked outside. 

    With our tummies and energy bar full, we proceeded to our next adventure...150 feet above the ground.

  • Having done my research on recommended restaurants in Baguio, our relatively lax Day 1 in the summer capital of the Philippines led us back to Session Road and into the unassuming two-storey establishment of Pizza Volante.

    We were not expecting much but was delightedly surprised with their exquisite soft-crust pizza. I cannot remember having eaten bread as soft as their pizza crust. It contrasted well with the toppings of their 8" Kenny G. pizza (P162).

    We also noticed that they favored white onions in their dishes. It was the first of several observations that led us to the conclusion that Baguio food is better because of the city's fresh supply of vegetables.

    This is the same reason for their fresh-tasting Pasta Pomodoro (P79 small) and their white onion-ridden dishes.

    While I am always partial when it comes to Pasta Alfredo (P214 large), my friend pointed out that she could taste bits and pieces of Knorr cubes flavoring in the curiously soupy dish. Nevertheless it was all gone by the end of the meal.

    We also had some great-tasting Fish and Chips.

    If you want a satisfying and yet affordable Italian meal, Pizza Volante is the place to be.


    Here's a picture of their menu:

  • We wanted to try something different that night so we decided to enter the first inviting/enticing resto we saw at the Trinoma garden area. It was the Asian cuisine-themed Banana Leaf that caught our fancy, with their clean but elegant looking interiors and warm lighting.

    Our perennial dilemma when it comes to eating out is that we want to try many dishes but are constrained by our small appetites. My partner and I always find ourselves filled to the brim after having appetizers and a main dish so it's always a hit or miss for us.

    So we hoped for the best and ordered crispy spring rolls Vietnamese style (P128) as appetizer. The wrapper was crisp and light, the insides soft but the vegetable pieces firm. The sweet chili sauce was ok.

    We also shared a dish of Wok Fried Black Curry Lamb (P288). The slightly spicy black curry flavor explodes in your mouth with every bite. The dish, however, is known for being a little dry. We were also disappointed with the small slices of lamb that seemed to be buried in the seasoning. I saw other reviews where the lamb pieces were much bigger. I guess they're cost-cutting or something...

    Nevertheless, we were sated by the end of the meal. I was content sipping on my delicious Iced Milk Tea Hong Kong style (P68). My partner had a tall glass of Iced Crisanthimum Tea Shake which had that floral cologne-after taste (not as bad as you think).

    Perhaps next time we'll be able to try their bestseller dishes. :) I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

  • My very first foodie blog post mentioned tupig among the first things I think about when I hear the phrase "Pinoy delicacies."

    "The tupig which hails from Norte (Pangasinan, Cagayan region, Ilocandia) is another kakanin that eventually grew on me. It’s not as yummy as the puto bumbong but it has that peculiar authentic taste. Besides, a lot of people earn their living selling these rice cakes made from glutinous rice and grated coconut. Since I was usually assigned to go up North during the election campaign period, almost every stop from Nueva Ecija to Cagayan or Baguio will have the inescapable tupig vendor offering you a bunch of these rice cakes. The way it’s cooked – over live coals – also contribute to the distinct taste."

    It has been more than 2 years and I still favor tupig among other rice cakes peddled on the road. The nutty and coal or wood-fired flavor entices me, amid my penchant for sweet things.
  • I've always loved Trellis. That's why when they came out with a 50% off promo through a group buying site, I immediately bought a voucher.

    We arrived a little before lunch and were able to pick a quiet spot near the back, behind the pond-like area.

    Perhaps we chose the bestsellers or maybe their meals are really good, but all the dishes we ordered were delicious and blog-worthy.

    Their Pakbet (P160) was a little sweet, tasty and topped with sinful chicharon crumbs. The vegetables were perfectly cooked and seasoned. I'm not a vegetable person but this dish I could live with and eat regularly.

    The Sinigang na Baboy (P240) had that "tamang asim" factor, especially since it's made from fresh tamarind. The meat was tender.

    Surprisingly, the first one to go was their Pancit Canton (P265). I can't blame my family, it just tasted real good. The different flavors contrasted and at the same time complemented each other.

    Then there's the Fried Chicken (half serving for P255) which looked quite dry but the meat was actually quite tasty, also the chicken skin.

    Finally, there's the famous Sisig (P160). If you're going to eat at Trellis for the first time, make sure you order this one. It's not like my favorite crispy sisig variant but it's definitely delicious and flavorful. It would is also perfect for pulutan (especially since Trellis is more popular as a watering hole at night).

    Two thumbs up for Trellis.

    Location: 40 Matalino St cor Kalayaan Ave, Diliman, Quezon City
    (02) 924-1056
    * It's just at the corner of Kalayaan Avenue and along the famous Matalino St. so it's very accessible. The sign, however, is pretty subtle but it's at the corner so you can't go wrong. Try to get there early since there are only a few parking spaces and they get easily filled up.

  • 'Tis the season to be jolly...and sugar-crazy. Yes, I've spent the holidays baking and snacking on sweets but I'm still craving for my favorite dessert (for 2012): the famed Napoleones of Bacolod.

    This year I visited my lola's province Negros Occidental for the first time in my life. I spent the days by the beach or the family lot, watching chickens, ducks and goats, and of course munching on various local delicacies. While I had fun learning how coconut-based sweets and dried fish were made, it was the commercially-produced box of Napoleones (bought at the airport) that caught my heart.

    Soft, sweet and crunchy all at the same time, I didn't mind the fact that the two pieces I ate probably exceeded the suggested daily sugar limit of 8 teaspoons.

    Napoleones is a puff pastry with a flaky crust and layered with custard cream and glazed sugar. Interestingly, the ones we bought with the brand Merci had custard with jam-like consistency. Still, it tasted terrific. Maybe one of these days I'll attempt to bake home-made Napoleones.

    While the best Napoleones are from Bacolod (land of sugar cane and therefore most things sweet), you'll find some pasalubong outlets in Manila offering the local delicacy.

  • I'm not really a fan of Red Ribbon but their Ultimate Chocolate Cake exceeded my expectations. It was a bit moist and definitely chocolate-y. One of these days I'll make a list of my favorite chocolate cakes...


  • I was only recently introduced to lechon-shaped bread which tastes nothing like lechon and very much like ordinary bread. Still, I find it amusing and cute. There are different variations, some even as big as actual lechon. This one is a bit small, even shorter than a small loaf of bread.

    Any lechon-inspired bread in bakeries near you?

  • Hungry and anxious after a day of work-related training, we decided we wanted something Vietnamese but couldn't find Pho Hoa. We passed by Pho Bac instead, its white interior simple and inviting. The food was pretty good although not as expensive as Pho Hoa's.

    We ordered Steamed Rolls (P120) for appetizer, the cold cuts complimenting the mild and refreshing taste of the rolls.

    Their Kangkong with Panfried Beef (P130) was also fresh and tasty (my only preference when it comes to veggies).

    Our light dinner (we were well-fed by our hosts earlier) was mainly a big bowl of noodles. Unfortunately, I couldn't recall the name of the dish but it was chicken-based.

    Their pandan pudding (P45) was so much like our local kakanin, though much lighter with coconut cream and sesame seeds.


    Location: Glorietta 3.

    You may check their menu here.

  • Crispy Cream Dory
    Location: Alabang Town Center
    Like my penchant for crunchy sisig, I have this thing with maki. I've already been enamored by Rai Rai Ken's Super California Maki but Red Kimono's California Crunch was equally memorable.

    One shouldn't also miss the opportunity to try their Crispy Cream Dory with Tartar Sauce (P195). If I'm not mistaken it's one of their bestsellers. They also offer it for free if you have one of those Smart Concept cards (thank you for discount cards!).
    Continue reading...

  • Location: Mr. Ramyun, Aurora Blvd.

    I was having a bad case of colds yesterday and felt a little feverish. Although a jeepney ride away from home, I immediately thought of going to Mr. Ramyun for their spicy Korean noodles. Something spicy and hot was what I needed to declog my sinuses.

    (Read my earlier Mr. Ramyun review)

    The spicy noodles topped with beef (P39 only since it's a half serving) was exactly what I needed. :) I immediately felt better after the first spoonful. Since I asked for the mild version (something too spicy will leave me with a runny nose), adding kimchi into the noodles helps a lot. Yum!

    I decided to buy a couple of their instant spicy noodles so I can make some at home. I also have kimchi at home so I won't need to eat out for a while.

  • Saw this article the other day. What can you say about this?

    Dubai landlords turning down Pinoys over 'smelly food?'
    January 19, 2012 6:00pm

    Some Filipinos in Dubai are claiming that certain real estate agents there are refusing to rent out apartments to them, partly because of the odor of a Filipino dried fish delicacy.
    According to a report of Gulf News on Thursday, watchmen in two buildings informed a Filipino couple— Rey and Cynthia Alfonso — about an unwritten "no-leasing-to-Filipinos" rule by landlords.
    The couple also said landlords are not happy with the Filipinos' tendency to overcrowd rental units.
    However, the couple said "it's a false generalization. In reality, no one wants to live in an overcrowded place."
    Gulf News said unrelated people may share a flat. However, the Dubai Municipality strictly enforces the one-family-one-villa rule. Violators can be fined Dh1,000 to Dh50,000, it said.
    Foul-smelling food
    Gulf News quoted Indian real estate agent Kumar as saying, "There's this one particular dried fish Filipino delicacy. I cannot blame them if they cook it and it's one of their favorite dishes. Even we Indians have some food that other people can't bear. But my landlord says this is one reason why Filipinos are not welcome in his building."
    Kumar said "tuyo" (dried fish) fouls up rooms in centrally-cooled buildings.

    Indian watchman Bagharam said a two-bedroom unit in their building is usualy rented out for Dh60,000 but is offered at Dh80,000 for Filipinos and Arabs.

    Gulf News also quoted property agent Saeed as saying the building owner gave him specific orders not to take Filipinos, Chinese and Vietnamese as tenants. - VVP, GMA News

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