Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jake's Steaks: For Hardcore Carnivores

Quick (but filling) post: I don't know if you could tell from the photo, but this steak was huge! It's the T-Bone Mega at Jake's Steaks. My friend and I split it, sobrang sulit for just P175! The regular one is P130. Another friend had the grilled marlin, and it tasted great with all the calamansi.

On the same row of restos is a tapa place that sells tapsilog, longsilog, tocilog for just P39. There's also a Di Marks in the area, so I'd say this row is a good place for food tripping!

Jake's Steaks is located at 589 Wack-Wack Road, Mandaluyong City.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Davao Food Trip

We got quite a few resto recommendations from our friends in Davao. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to try them all. We would've liked to try the P99 buffet at Kuya Ed's and Greenhills, the Roadhouse Steakhouse at SM City, and the pizza place at the smaller Gaisano, but we just didn't have enough time. Besides, our gracious hosts grabbed every opportunity to stuff us silly, so I wasn't quite so inclined to gorge at every meal.

Some of the places we did get to visit were...

Dencio's Kamayan

If I'm not mistaken, Dencio's Kamayan is located at the highest point of Davao City, offering an awesome view...

With fellow travelers Issa and Kath

The resto is not affiliated with the Manila Dencio's, but it's similar in that it serves Pinoy dishes, grilled items, and pulutan favorites like sisig.

Nanay Bebeng
Marfori Subdv., Davao City

I just googled this address so I'm not sure if it's accurate. This place was just a few blocks from Chateau Veronica (Araullo St.), the apartelle where we stayed (good rates!).

We went there for dinner and there was no a la carte menu, just a buffet at a reasonable price of P248. They've got different kinds of kare-kare (seen below), oily but super crunchy crispy kangkong, and bottomless melon juice--absolutely refreshing given the rather warm Davao weather.

Kare-kare variants

Coffee at Yellow Hauz
V. Mapa St., Davao City

We noticed that a lot of places in Davao have "haus" in their names--just like our second home, Yellow Hauz. This coffee shop was just walking distance from our place, so we must've gone there at least three times to avail of their free wireless internet.

Prices are cheaper than typical Manila coffee shops, so I kept ordering iced tea and various juices, and even got my daily dose of milk (here, I had steamed strawberry milk. Yum). They've also got real food, like pasta for less than P100, and sweets.

Miguel's cheeseburger--was a little dry

Spaghetti was quite good

The brownie I was dying to try (but I couldn't)--Miguel had a lot of this. It looked incredibly moist and fudgy; my watered down pink juice is seen in back

Blugre Coffee
*Landco Building, Pryce Business Park, J. P. Laurel Ave., Davao City
*Matina Town Square, MacArthur Ave., Davao City
*SM City Davao
Owned by Gatchi and Larcy Gatchalian, Blugre (pronounced "blue-gray") is famous for its durian coffee--a great way for durian virgins to get a taste of the fruit.

Gatchi and Larcy originally owned a clothing store called Blugre. They eventually shifted to the coffee shop business, retaining the name that people down south were already familiar with. Larcy, who loves to cook, developed the recipes in the cafe herself. Among them were the pastas and desserts we tried.

Penne pasta with sausage, one of the pricier things on the menu, about P165

Tuna pesto--good, but I'm biased towards our homemade version!

Hungarian sausage--mildly spicy, just the way I like it. Reminded me of Old Swiss Inn, where I first started eating non-Vienna-type sausages!

Chicken enchilada--cheesy! Mmmm

The famous durian coffee--I am not big on the coffee, but this is coffee I can drink. The mix of durian and coffee is very pleasant. It kind of tastes like candy

Dessert--I'm not sure what this was. But it looked mighty fine. They also had this really tempting chocolate pudding-type treat served in a small cup; you can order it a la mode!

Blugre is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Paradise Island

"Best to have breakfast there at around 6:30, then head back to the city by 9:30," we were told by the locals, over and over again. "Stay any later than that and you'll regret it."

We didn't leave the city quite so early, but we were on the island by 8:00 am. We were warned about the scorching Davao sun, and were prepared to shell out some moolah for sun block. But the day we had time to go to Paradise Island was also the rare day that Davao was cloudy and pretty cool--we couldn't stay longer than a few minutes in the cold water.

We could've stayed all day, but the plan was to have breakfast there, so...

No beach trip is complete without a mango shake (it ain't true that if you've tried one, you've tried 'em all! This one was rockin'! Slightly milky. Obviously, I like milk)

Tapa--each ulam costs about P150, more or less, but it's good for two

The danggit was salty, but I liked it

Obviously, someone was playing with her food...

Durian wasn't in season so we didn't get to try it, but we did bring home a box of pomelo and mangosteen.

The thing about Davao is they've got an array of different food offerings--it's not just all grilled seafood or whatever. Near our place alone, we noted a sandwich place, a steak place, a Chinese food place. Gatchi pointed out that Davao is a family-friendly city; I might add that it's also foodie-friendly!

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Impromptu Market Day

Got to check out the Lung Center Sunday Market--it wasn't what I expected at all! I didn't think it was going to be that big, and that crowded at 7:00 in the morning! It was stalls and stalls of fresh fruits and veggies, and lots of ready-to-eat goodies, like grilled bangus stuffed with onions and tomatoes (for P100), traditional bibingka (which my mom really liked), and smoked ham (bought me half a kilo). It's really got a palengke feel to it, with its unpaved walkways and good-natured tinderas charming you to sample their goods ("Bili na, ma'am! Baka maubusan kayo niyan...")--I kind of had this look of wide-eyed wonder as I don't often find myself in wet markets. (I know, tsk tsk me.) One difference between this and a regular wet market though was that there were tables set up all over, so that early risers could have their breakfast there. I wish I could have stayed to eat but 1) I had to go somewhere else, and 2) there were hardly any free tables.

Later that morning, I went to the Legaspi Sunday Market on a whim.

In contrast to the Lung Center Market, this one had significantly less people (no crowds jostling against you), and the majority of the stalls were selling cooked food. The people were also mostly chi-chi Makati residents, and there was none of the buzz or energy of the Lung Center version. Instead, there was this sort of sleepy Sunday vibe, like this part of Manila was just starting to wake up.

I was so hungry, and had a hard time deciding among the many types of cuisine on offer: There was a Spanish food stall selling some tempting paella, another stall with Indian food, a crepe stall manned by what seemed to be an actual Frenchman, a mommy selling homemade chili, a table groaning with sweet things--all these were sold beside non-edibles like slippers, art work, and table runners.

I decided to go for the quarter-pound burger, because it really did look like a quarter pounder (as opposed to the fast-food variety, which probably weighs a quarter of a pound with the bun included).

I've had better, but at that point I was so famished that it did its job.

Will go back with the girls--it's a great place to have brunch on a lazy weekend.

P.S. I have never been to the Salcedo Market. In my head, I picture it to be a really cool place with a boho vibe, offering unique food items you can't get anywhere else. But a friend says that it's overrated. no plans for this weekend yet, so I might just swing by.

To get to the Lung Center Sunday Market, go through the Lung Center of the Philippines gate along Quezon Ave., Quezon City.

The Legaspi Sunday Market is located at the Legaspi carpark, Makati.