Thursday, November 15, 2007


Miss Zsa-Zsa might be "sawang-sawa na" of pambobola, but I just can't seem to get enough!

When I was still working in Makati (miss the neighborhood, not the everyday traffic!), our default lunch place was Margarita Fores's Cafe Bola in Greenbelt. Whether it was someone's last day, a day when we got sick of baon/caf food/fast food junk, or a day when we had a few extra bucks, we would almost always head on over to this resto. Well, OK, it was either Bola or everybody's favorite, Pancake House!

At Bola, I first fell in love with a dish my best friend introduced me to: pasta with dulong in cream sauce. The curious mix of those tiny, salty fish and cream always got me thinking about a possible rebellion in my stomach, but it never got in the way of my enjoyment of the dish. There was that one day when I veered away from the usual and got a sandwich, possibly the only time I was less than satisfied at the resto. (It was just too small for my too-big appetite.)

And then, a discovery. Wanting to try what the resto was named after, I decided to order their carambola--a mix of three different kinds of meatballs: beef, chicken, and seafood (you could order three of a kind, if you please). You pair these babies with either rice or pasta, then choose your sauce. There's tomato sauce, parmesan and ham, a spicy curry sauce, mushroom and gravy (I think, but it's only for rice), and, most intriguing of all, sour cream and paprika.

Hmph, bolero! My carambola pasta in sour cream and paprika. I like both the chicken and the beef meatballs; the seafood one is on the dry side, but the sauce more than makes up for that!

I got me my sour cream and paprika carambola on pasta and my, oh my, I haven't looked back since then! As my hips would tell you, I am a big fan of the cream sauce. The first thing that greets your tongue is the milky sauce, just bursting with surprises--when it reaches the back of your mouth, you get a wonderful, tangy explosion which keeps you from getting umay. I thought my taste buds would get tired of the dish after a few bites, but after polishing off a bowl, I always seem to want more.

It turned out, the creamy dulong was just puppy love. This was the real thing. Like any good bolero, it teases you mercilessly--and you can't help but come back for more. Luckily, QC-based me has easy access to the branch in Araneta. But even if I had to fight my way through Makati traffic just for this, I would.

H wanted to have what I was having but I got him to try something else (because after finding The Dish, I had stopped trying other stuff on the menu!). The parmesan and ham sauce was OK, pretty much what you'd expect. But we're convinced that we've already found the best thing on the menu.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Boracay Food Trip

In the land of bikinis, no pigging out is probably cardinal rule no. 1. But hey--when it comes to rules governing food, my high school barkada and I are all about breaking them!

On our trip to beautiful Boracay, we ate our way through the island. Of course, four days isn't nearly enough to experience all the yummy treats this paradise has to offer, especially since we seemed to keep going back to our old favorite haunts. One of my personal favorites is Jonah's, known for their fruit shakes. I used to be a fan of Jony's, but I've determined that they're kind of pricier. And cheaper is always good, so Jonah's has found a special place in my heart (and stomach).

It's kind of a tradition for me to spend some alone time, normally early morning (which, in Boracay, is any time before 10:00 am!), at Jonah's, sipping a mango shake while feasting on a piping hot mango crepe for breakfast. I had to break with tradition this time around as 1) we got free breakfast at the hotel, and 2) I couldn't drag my ass out of bed early enough. It was a vacation, after all.

I opted to have my dual-mango treat midday instead:

I also got me a yummy choco-banana shake a couple of times. (The Jony's version has vanilla in it, but I ask them to make it with just chocolate. It's around P90 though, which is around P20-30 more than a Jonah's shake!)

We spent a lot of time at my best friend Patching's favorite place: Real Coffee. Her favorite fix is the iced choco (shown here with Patching and a serving of French toast, P90)--it's not just plain old iced Milo (which I totally have nothing against, because I love Milo whether as a drink or by itself!), but more of good old-fashioned Tsokolate Eh with ice! Yum!

I had me the Jack-a-Lean Omelette (P190), a smaller version of the Jack's Omelette (which is made with three eggs in stead of two)--it's got tuna, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and pesto. Mmmm.

The omelette is served with toast, practically soaked in butter.

We also got boxes of Real Coffee's bestselling calamansi cupcakes (P35/piece) as pasalubong for our loved ones back home. Some of those babies didn't make it out of Boracay...blame it on our late-night hunger pangs! They kind of taste like lemon squares in a heavy muffin form. I could feel my mouth watering thinking about the delicious mix of sweet and sour!

Speaking of late-night hunger pangs, our dessert for two (!) nights was taken at the crepe place called St. Michel, located at D' Mall. Les ordered the Great Heart (mango-filled crepe topped with vanilla ice cream), while Ching got the Golden Heart (filled with mangoes and peaches...although I might have gotten the names mixed up). I opted for the Nutella crepe (P125, big enough for two) as I was longing for the thick, sticky chocolate spread.

Another cure for the after-gimik munchies is the choribuger, available at many a food stall along the beach. For P40, you can get yourself some freshly grilled chopped chorizo (sweet, spicy, or both) in a burger bun.

Gobs attacks a choribuger at 4:00 am.

These food stalls also sell longga-burgers and hotdogs to quell any carnivore's craving. But if food stalls aren't your thing, head on over to Hawaiian BBQ (it also has a branch in Tagaytay, within Boutique Bed and Breakfast) for their tender Baby Back Ribs (P560 for a big serving. Three of us shared...but then we had crepes afterwards so I guess this is good for two). I had mine with a side order of vegetable skewers (P100 for four sticks).

If you're feeling particularly extravagant and are up for a big, meaty meal, order a Z Burger from Zuzuni. It's a burger with huge slab of meat and a thick slice of Feta cheese, with a tag price of about P300.

For specific cuisines, Boracay has much to offer: there's True Food for Indian food (although I've gotten mixed reviews), Isla Baila for Pinoy food, the Steakhouse for (duh) steaks, and Aria for Italian food, like the Putanesca and the Margarita Pizza below:

This pizza's got a delightfully thin crust.

Enjoy 'em all with a glass of frozen iced tea. Sip, savor, and repeat after me: Ahh, this is the life!

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