If you find yourself craving for mediterranean food, what is your default place?
Mine is Behrouz.. or Cafe Med.
For quick craving-buster, I go for Behrouz. But for better quality food, Cafe Med.
I have said this several times, Cafe Med is an underdog... it is underrated.
It fares way better than Hossein's for a much more reasonable price.
Of course, Ziggurat is an altogether different discussion. Lol.
But for quick mid eastern fix that is of high quality, Cafe Med is IT for me.
My default orders are the beef gyro, hummus, tabbouleh and the grilled beef gyro plate.
The beef gyro and the gyro plate both have really tender beef, and they don't scrimp on the sauce, you will really feel that they have more than average food standards.
The hummus is different from the normal hummus we have in typical persian restaus. It's creamier and richer. The tabbouleh is for when I feel guilty so I need veggies. Lol. But I love the sour-salty taste of the salad made of mint, parsley, tomatoes, etc that are finely chopped together.
Price is middle. Pretty reasonable for the quality.
I don't understand why people haven't really discovered this yet since this has been in existence for more than a decade now. On the other hand, I'm ok with it because there's the air of exclusivity when the place is not thay crowded. Heh.
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I admit, I'm a bit partial to this establishment simply because Mang Tootz has been a part of my university life.
Back when I was still a struggling student (now I'm a struggling adult), when my whole month's allowance is just a third of my monthly gas allowance now, we had limited places to eat. One of which is Mang Tootz's.
As far as I can recall, if my memory serves me right, Mang Tootz used to work in a hotel as a chef/cook. Then he built his own carinderia which obviously served really good food because now it has expanded to Makati.
When our classes were held in Beato Angelico, we'd automatically go to him and have lunch. Not just because he served good food but because it was primarily student-friendly. Meaning, super cheap ang food. And he used to whip up a nice, light rhum coke for me and my friends.
My favorite is the liempo and the banana rhuma. Ask anybody who patronizes his food house and you will know that these are two of the most popular food he has. The liempo is normally gone before the day ends. And the banana rhuma, you simply cannot have 1 or 2 or 3 of it. Just not possible.
If you happen to be in UST, try this place because aside from SR Thai, Almer's, Lopez Canteen and the other contenders, this one is pretty popular.
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I. Am. Back!
Up to when, I don't know. Wehehe.
My biglaang-pagkabuhay is in no way related to Peanut D's demand that I should write again.
Really. Pramis. I just miss Looloo.
Actually, matagal ko na gusto magsulat, wala lang talaga time and when I have naman, the mood is nowhere to be found. So. #SaPresintoAkoMagpaliwanag
Anyway, will just talk little about one of my favorite chinese spots.
It's a lil known fact that my favorite chinese go-to place is Binondo and one of the specific spots I usually go to is Estero.
Last week, after giving a speech in a cultural heritage-related event, I decided to drive to Binondo and have lunch there. Ordered my favorite bamboo shells and yang chow rice. Both solo orders but in reality it's good for 2 or three, depending on your hunger. But I was able to eat 3/4 of both just because I was in the mood... and rebelling.
Nagrerebelde ako sa sarili ko dahil pinapagdiet ako ng katawan ko.
So anyway, the bamboo shells' not really made of bamboo, the meat looks like the woodworm (which is not a worm but a mollusk too) I ate in Palawan only shorter. It's very good most especially with yang chow rice. Authentic chinese food. You guys should try it when you're in the area.
One tip: Avoid going to Estero on lunch hours, puno sha. Just go before or after lunch. And oh, if you're the finicky type, this place will not be advisable. You will have a whiff of the estero whether you like it or not.
Price is very affordable.
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Last October was the very first time I set foot in the laid-back city of General Santos. It was for work and we were only going to be there overnight.
So, soon as we settled in, I told my boss that I'll go around town and find a place to eat. He wanted to rest so I went alone.
And since I didn't know the place, Google was my bestfriend. The most common place that Google gave was the Chicken Hauz. And fortunately, it was a 2-minute walking distance from our hotel.
I came in just a little later after lunch so it wasn't crowded. Locals were eating and it didn't look like it was something that tourists flock. I briefly scanned the menu and settled for their combo meal instead: it had their famous buttered garlic chicken and kinilaw na tuna with iced tea for Php150+
When it arrived, it was placed on a plate that reminded me of cafeterias in school. There was a small portion pf kinilaw and small pieces of chicken. The chicken was ok, tasty even the meat.. but it was something that I will not crave for. I was very disappointed with the kinilaw. It was FROZEN. Like literally I sunk my teeth into thin ice before I got to the flesh of the tuna. I cringed of ngilo.
And the acidity from the vinegar used could make your dormant hyperacidity come to life.
I was disappointed. VERY disappointed. Because you know, it's GenSan for gosh sakes! The city of Tuna!
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Who here loves macaroons? The pinoy macaroons not the french one?
Eh, anything custard?
The Custaroonery had the brilliant idea of merging these two and the result is a heavenly dessert albeit a bit heavy on the tummy but nonetheless, divine.
If the cupcake-sized custaroon is too much for you, the bite-sized custaroon is the way to go!
Soft, creamy, custardy goodness that's not overwhelmingly sweet so I love it.
They strategically placed stalls in different malls so you won't miss them.
The price is a wee bit on the upper side but you'll know why it is so. Plus the packaging is totes cute and elegant.
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I remember writing a bad review for this club about a year or two before. I gave it 2 stars.
Now my rating's changed. It's 1 star just because I'm not sure if Looloo will allow me to put -1 star
Haze is rumored to be "laos na" in the club scene. I gave that diagnosis about 2 years ago when we first went there. I thought it was the last.
An LGBTQ event was held just this month in this club. It was a relaunch of a brand and an exclusive party for women. During events like this, everyone who are familiar with the scene will know that this is the kind of event where you should be ready to stock up on everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.
I have a lot of not-so good things to say in detail about this club starting from how the management handles their transactions but I won't go into details.
So here's my general verdict:
CUSTOMER SERVICE: -1 --- I even became a waitstaff at some point for crying out loud because they were totally undermanned! Everyone was getting thirsty, getting hungry, and irritated.
PRICE: 1 -- too expensive for drinks and the food (if there's any) sucked
MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY: -2 It was supposed to be an exclusive party and the club allowed men to go inside!
PLACE: 1 -- LED was broken and later the airconditioners broke so water was trickling down and ceaating puddles on the floor.
I have more to say but I choose not to anymore, instead, what I can only share is --- THEY SHOULD CLOSE DOWN.
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I remember I said that I liked it but it's a bit too crispy for me.
But one thing I realized, there's something in this that makes you wanna crave for it, like literally.
While walking along the bricked path of MOA, this hipsterish Kombi with striking colors parked in the middle of the path got my attention. I took out my fone to take a photo then I saw the signage --- LA LOLA CHURRERIA.
I quickly took one shot and walked towards it. Was supposed to buy the most raved about Matcha but they only have the Classico so I bought a dozen because I was with kids.
I have to say this is better than the first time... maybe because it's freshly-cooked. It was still really hot when they gave it to me.
I think the chocolate dip is the secret. It's really good. Not too sweet either.
And I discovered something which made me love it even more... they're using OLIVE OIL.
No wonder it's expensive.
The cool Kombi stall will only be there temporarily. The crew said they'll only be there until September and they will move to another location.
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I am essentially an offspring of nature. I love it so much that sometimes I prefer living with nature than with people.
Some people are loyal to beaches, others to the mountains. But me, I love both...although I sometimes can't hide my fascination when I'm touched by the gentle, cool breeze of the mountains.
When it comes to beaches, I don't just swoon over any beach. I have my preferences and usually, it impresses me if it's clear, blue, virgin, and uncrowded. I am not very particular with the sand so long as it won't cut the bottom of my feet when I walk.
On top of my list is Coron and most of its islands. When I first went there, I totally fell in love with its utter tranquility and freshness. So, every time I go somewhere, my benchmark is Coron. Boracay on the other hand is likable by default. Basically, from all the beaches I've been, for me the best ones are Coron, Boracay, Bohol, and Little Subic in Sorsogon... until I set foot in probably the clearest, bluest, beach I have ever been --- CALAGUAS.
I was fortunately invited by some friends and their group to join them. Vans C. , our designated organizer scheduled a trip to Calaguas and asked the help of Dreams and Destinations travel agency to fix our itinerary and trip (more on the trip and where we stayed on my next review).
We travelled by land on a commuter van. From Manila to Camarines Norte, it's about 6-8 hours of travel, then another 2 hours by boat from Paracale in Camarines Norte going to the island. Our trip was handled by the agency so they also took care of all our modes of transportation. While in Paracale, you can opt to buy your essentials or go to the market and buy the freshest catch of the day. I was the designated market person so I went and enjoyed my day at the palengke -- one of my most favorite places. We also ate breakfast first before leaving. The carinderias in the pier are decent enough and cheap. I had a big tortang talong, rice and a cup of tea and I think I only paid Php50 or thereabouts.
As the boat chugged on, we passed by a few other islands that have different characteristics but all mouth-agaping. When we came near Mahabang Buhangin, all we could do was heave a heavy sigh and say either "ahhhhhhh!!" or "wooowww!". It was a paradise. A beach lover's Utopia. One that would not make you miss civilization -- at least for a few days.
The left side of the stretch is neatly constructed with different huts of different resorts, the other side was occupied by open huts that were erected for those who chooses to camp. Some are owned by private individuals, on the farther side, one of the locals told me that it's owned by the LGU. The tents are propped on the far right side of the island.
We mostly stayed on the left side because that's where our resort was.
The island is not that big. My friend and I, because of an unforeseen event, was able to walk through some parts of the island by foot. Some locals helped us go to their small village at the back of the area where the resorts were. The place is very provincial. So rural that there is only one place you can probably get a decent signal, and they call it "Signalan". It's the specific area where you can find some sort of proof that there is an outside world. Lol. It was quite obvious where it was because a number of phones were tied to the tree. Probably stuck there to continually receive messages from the outside world. Heh.
There are a number of activities you can do. Of course, swimming. Also snorkelling, hiking, island hopping, etc. And since we don't have enough time to do everything, we opted to just go to one island. I forgot the name but there were a couple of small mountains that can easily be hiked even if you're only wearing beach slippers.
I hiked along with my group and as we reached the middle, I was speechless. It was breathtaking! Felt like I was reliving the opening scene in the Sound of Music. Lol. And it also reminded me of some of the photos I've seen of Batanes. It was extremely beautiful!
When we climbed up to the top, we were able to experience the 360-degree view of Calaguas. I tried to capture the experience through my phone lens but i'm pretty sure it hardly gave the place justice.
We went back to Mahabang Buhangin at dusk and the sunset was amazing! I literally stopped and my heart skipped a beat because of the colors I saw. It was like falling in love with someone and you just want to make that moment eternal. #cheesy
Come nighttime, after dinner, my friend and I decided to stay on the beach and marvel at the grandiose, starlit sky. It was literally heavenly. So there was no other way but to try and capture it the best I can.
Most of our stay was spent swimming and drinking and eating and it truly felt like a vacation we all needed. Far from the city, far from the technology, far from civilization... and only pure, unadulaterated beauty of nature. :)
Our designated guide, Kuya Durant, as we fondly called him because of his constant sporting of Kevin Durant's jersey, was very amiable and gracious. The locals were all nice and you won't have a hard time communicating with them because they speak both bicolano and tagalog fluently.
I can confidently say that it bumped off Coron on top of my list -- except for the jelly bugs that tried to eat me alive... slight lang. :D
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I've been going back to Davao for years and yet somehow, we can't find time to visit this place. Until this year.
My uncle who resides in this laid-back city have been asking me to visit them and every year, it's either my schedule is full or he and his family is out of the country. This year, we were able to fix our schedules ahead of time. Luckily, he was in Davao when I went.
He asked me to choose where we'll have dinner and I told him that I would prefer that he brings me somewhere that's really good. He gave two options, this one, and a chinese restaurant. Of course I chose seafood. :)
Once a bar and party place, Blue Post was revamped into this sort of rustic-seaside-ish place. As you walk towards the entrance, a wooden door with a lifebuoy and plastic crabs stuck on the door will greet you. In an instant, a feeling of attachment to the sea will embrace you. The inside looks like a seafood shack or an inside of a sea vessel with warm lights. The place is divided into two dining rooms. The first section was smaller compared to the next section, it has the cashier area and wooden tables. This area looks a bit like an american diner only there are nets artfully stuck on the ceiling. There are lanterns and paddles on the walls, too. On the left side, there are a few booths with leather seats, on the right, a long stretch of leather seat with several tables. The place seemed to retain some of what's left of the old bar. The walls have graffiti and vandalism from customers (I wanted to write to make known my presence but too bad they ran out of markers :( ). The next section is bigger, it's where the huge TV and the wash area are placed. It looks like a hall deck and is much noisier. I like their wash area, it's clean and complete.
We sat at the middle area of the first section. Our square wooden table was placed with a waxy paper table mantle which also served as our plate. And since my pogi tito took me out, I let him order the food.
We ordered the shrimps and crabs, had it split and cooked in 2 ways: the Blue Post boil and the Garlic Fried. To indulge our spicy cravings, we had to choose between regular, mild, and hot and spicy. Of course I chose the latter. :) Tito also ordered the Pomelo salad and the Kinilaw. I was currently on a diet at that time but I decided to put it on hold, because --- GOOD FOOD.
BLUE POST BOILED CRABS AND SHRIMPS - It's cooked in a special spicy sauce and when you crack the crab, the meat easily separates from its shell. I liked this.
GARLIC FRIED CRABS AND SHRIMPS - I may have liked the Blue Post Boil but I LOVED THIS! I simply couldn't stop myself from eating and chewing and cracking all the shells with the provided mallet. It was exquisitely cooked (or to be technical, fried) with just the proper level of spiciness that I like and a mound of fried, crispy, tasty garlic drowning the crustaceans. I have to say it probably was the best fried crabs I've ever had!
POMELO SALAD (172) - I am not surprised that they have this on the menu considering that the city is best known for their good pomelos. I loved how it was prepared, with fried shrimps, scallions, and some other veggies thrown in. The sweetness and juiciness of the pomelo was perfect with the saltiness of the other ingredients combined. It was also, yes, the best pomelo salad I have ever had.
KINILAW (170) - At first I wasn't that excited to try this because having kinilaw or sinuglaw in Davao is like just taking a bath everyday -- you'll always have it. But when I started to take a few mouthfuls, I couldn't stop eating either. The fish was extremely fresh and there was no lansa smell or taste. It was surprisingly mixed with green apple which actually made it even more delightful and crunchy. The fresh, thinly-sliced radish as well as the other ingredients thrown in made this otherwise ho-hum dish a new life.
Both the kinilaw and the pomelo salad were a surprising treat for me. Everything was perfect! And I couldn't stop smiling and raving about it in between handfuls (we used our hands to eat). It was also a delight to dine with someone who has the same love for food as I have, so doble gana kumain. :D
I can't exactly remember how much our tab was but I remember it to be a little bit expensive. But for the taste and quality, I'd say it was reasonable. Everything was fresh and very, VERY delicious.
I would definitely be back here when I go back in Davao. :)
Pardon the photos, I was excited to eat plus the lighting was not foodfie-friendly :D
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Puñta! Napakatagal ko na 'tong napuntahan, ngayon ko lang marereview!
Nope, I'm not cussin' anybody. I barely cuss and when I do, I slap my face outright.
Puñta is a term typically known in our country as an expletive but there's this one restaurant somewhere in Mandaluyong which I could probably consider as a hole-in-the-wall (because you won't find it if you don't look for it. Lol.), whose name is just that --- Puñta Manila. It is owned by a group of people, one of which is Paolo Bediones. The restaurant serves latin american food and a very good latin american food at that!
Their place is huge. It is a lounge-type restaurant with al fresco dining as well. At night, they have live bands or a spinning DJ. When you dine, a latin american music plays softly in the background.
I visited this place last year. Was supposed to visit this when it opened because one of the brains behind this good place is my friend, Chef EA Tejada, however, due to different reasons, I was only able to visit after several months. I went there at night and while waiting for my friends, I decided to chug down an ice cold beer outside.
One thing I noticed, since the place is quite spacious, it is so hard to get the staff's attention. It will take you 48 million years in exaggerated time to make them see you. So soon as I got their attention, I ordered quesadillla and anticuchos.
Anticuchos, in layman's term, is the Peruvian street food. I ordered their chicken liver and chicken heart. Both the quesadilla and the anticuchos arrived served on a wooden tray which looked like a chopping board. It was pretty to look at, problem is, since the board was flat, the sauce was running and it dripped continuously. I ran out of tissue. It was a mess.
Forget getting an Instagram-worthy photo during nighttime, you won't have it here. But what they lacked in these aspects, they made up wonderfully for the food. The quesadilla as well as the anticuchos were lip-smackingly delicious! I would even dare say that the anticuchos were better than El Chupacabra's. I just hope they have a wider selection. And I hope by this time, they are not running out of anticuchos and other food anymore because during the time we went, almost everything we ordered were "out of stock/unavailable".
For food alone, I would give them 5 stars, however, I have to say that their service should improve more.
I hope that they change their location, too. Sayang kasi they really have good food but they are lacking the foodie attention that they deserve because of their location.
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