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Monday, November 14, 2011

In the mood for Chinese- at Dragon 21 Chinese Cuisine & Noodles, Cypress CA

My brother was in the mood for some Chinese food, and was hard pressed to think of where to go since it was about the time for the dinner rush. He was pretty hungry, so Liz suggested that we go to Dragon 21 Chinese Cuisine and Noodles. Her main convincing point was that the place was usually not filled with diners because they were busier with their takeout customers. True to Liz's prediction, there was only one other table of people when we arrived.

As usual, we ordered way too much for only four people. But my brother rationalized that they needed some food to take to work/school the next day, so we could make use of leftovers (if any).

Aside from the meat dishes they ordered, we also had some Schezwan Eggplant (which Liz and I believed only we would eat since the males in the family are quite averse to vegetables).

Schezwan Eggplant

We also ordered some Dragon Seafood, which was described to be "shrimp, scallops, calamari and fish fillet sauteed in brown sauce, atop a bed of assorted vegetables".

Dragon Seafood

We also decided to have some Orange Peel Fish and Shrimp Fried Rice. (We do love us some shrimp.)

Orange Peel Fish

Shrimp Fried Rice

It took a lot of will power for us not to polish off everything, since supposedly, some of the food was to be left over for the next day. Everything I tasted was good, and even if the food looked similar in all their saucy glory, the dishes actually had their own flavor, which all complemented each other.

I would have to say my favorite was the orange peel fish. My brother said it tasted a lot like orange chicken, which they often order in Chinese restaurants, so he was glad that there was an alternative to their favorite.

If our dining experience was a typical evening for the restaurant, it would be a really good place for us to go back to. It is sometimes quite difficult to find a good Chinese place to eat that is not crowded. Because there were not too many people, we also had our dinner in peace and quiet.


Dragon 21 Chinese Cuisine and Noodles
10503 Valley View St.
Cypress, California
United States 90630
Tel. No. (714)828.1818

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Gourmet fastfood at Paul's Place, Los Alamitos CA

Liz attended a PTA meeting early in the morning, but she still had some free time before she reported for work at the clinic at 2pm, so she picked me up to grab a quick lunch. She brought me to Paul's Place, and from what I read about the restaurant, it was supposed to offer "gourmet fastfood".

I liked the ambience of the place. We were seated outdoors, and though it was a bit chilly, it was nice and felt like a good place to have a relaxing lunch and chat with a good friend. They offered some salads, but aside from that there were few choices for pescetarians. So I had the reliable fallback in fastfood places, fish and chips.

Liz did say that their deep-fried mushrooms were a must-have, so I was excited for that. They didn't disappoint. The mushrooms were juicy inside while the coating was crunchy. This resulted in a good combination of textures. The Parmesan sprinkled on them enhanced the taste as well.

Deep-fried Mushrooms

The fish and chips tasted rather ordinary to me. What I did like about what I ordered was the garlic bread that came with it. In fact, I ended up taking home most of the actual fish and chips, because I got very full from eating the mushrooms and the bread. If I were to go back, I would probably order just the mushrooms and the garlic bread, and be perfectly happy about it.

Fish and Chips

The service is kind of slow, so that takes away from the "FASTfood" concept, but otherwise, I think the label "gourmet fastfood" fit Paul's Place perfectly.


Paul's Place
10821 Los Alamitos Blvd
Los Alamitos, CA
United States 90720

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Pizza at the park

It was the weekend, so my brother's family and I went to have a little lunch picnic at Cerritos Regional Park. Having some pizza sounded like a great idea, so we got some at Pizza Hut, where there was a $10-for-any-pizza promo. My brother chose the usual meaty one, and I ordered the Ultimate Cheese Lover's Pizza. We also ordered some Chicken Alfredo for the pasta component of the meal.

The pasta didn't have a lot of chicken, which was good for me, because I was able to eat some of the pasta while not getting any of the chicken meat.

Pizza Hut's version of the ultimate cheese pizza had no tomato sauce, and instead had a layer of Alfredo sauce. This was not really a problem for me. My favorite Ultimate Cheese and Garlic Pizza from Shakey's in the Philippines likewise has no tomato sauce, and I think cheese lovers can handle this kind of cheesy taste overload.

Some may find it a bit much, but then again, it IS called the ultimate cheese lover's pizza. If you genuinely love cheese, I think you can never have too much of it.

Pizza Hut's Ultimate Cheese Lover's Pizza

I could definitely eat this again. Actually, Pizza Hut is the only fastfood pizza chain restaurant I like in the US, and I particularly like their thin crust. (I don't really eat any other kind of pizza crust). I used to order their thin crust vegetarian, but their Ultimate Cheese Lover's Pizza is a good, albeit more fattening, alternative.


Pizza Hut
Anywhere, USA

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Shrimp overload at Kapow Thai Restaurant, Cypress, CA

I'm back in LA, and that means I'm back to pigging out with my brother and his family. Like most Filipinos, sharing meals is our favorite form of bonding. One evening, we were in the mood to eat rice, so we had dinner at a Thai restaurant, where you can't help but have some (or a lot, as the case may be, and was). We went to Kapow Thai Restaurant. I remember eating there years ago (the name is quite distinct after all), but at a different location.

After we had a look at the menu and ordered the food, we realized that almost everything we ordered had shrimp. We had shrimp cakes, tom yum (soup with shrimp), and spicy shrimp fried rice.

Shrimp Cakes

Tom Yum

Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice

The only other thing that wasn't shrimp was their fish fillet with basil.

Fish Fillet Basil

Rice was what we wanted, and rice was what we got. In fact, the spicy shrimp fried rice ended up not being enough so we ordered some steamed rice. I enjoyed everything we had, and we finished all the dishes we ordered. This is why I'm sure we'll be going to this restaurant again and again during my visit.


Kapow Thai Cuisine, Noodle and BBQ
4758 Lincoln Avenue
Cypress
California, USA 90630
Tel. No. (714)827.8170/8179

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Denny's, Las Vegas, Nevada

For our last meal in Vegas, I felt like having some greasy American diner food, so I suggested to my friends that we eat at Denny's. They didn't want to eat a hotel buffet breakfast after our gluttonous buffet dinner the night before, so they agreed. We found it easily enough, and we got down to business quickly.

Although it was breakfast for us, I wanted to have some chips. This was born of an unfulfilled craving the night before. I wanted to have chips at the MGM dinner buffet but they ran out of sour cream, so I didn't think they were worth having there anymore. The desire didn't disappear after a good night's sleep, so I gave in and ordered some at Denny's.

Three-Dip and Chips

I also ordered their Tilapia Ranchero, which was described as "white fish fillet topped with freshly made pico de gallo and diced avocado". It was served with smoked cheddar mashed potatoes and dinner bread.

Tilapia Ranchero

The chips were good. The three sauces were cheese (I asked them to remove the beef from the queso con carne), salsa, and spinach-artichoke dip. I liked the cheese best, and the spinach-artichoke dip least. Normally I like this kind of dip, I just didn't like their version much. As for the tilapia, it was a bit dry. The dish was saved though by the mashed potatoes and the dinner bread, which was just oozing with butter and garlic. (I did say I was in the mood for some grease.)

Denny's is not the place to go to for health food, but in terms of what I wanted to eat exactly at that time, it fulfilled my needs perfectly.


Denny's
7200 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Suite 100
Las Vegas, Nevada
USA 89119
Tel. No. (702)269.0507

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breakfast at Peace Tree, Moab, Utah

After a few days of climbing at Indian Creek, we would go to Moab for some civilization and creature comforts. During one of our rare supply/bath/food runs into town, we had breakfast at a cozy cafe called Peace Tree. It's one of those homey places that serve local food and big hearty breakfasts.

I ordered their veggie scramble, which was described as "three scrambled eggs, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, sauteed seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes, and toast". It sounded huge to me, and it certainly was. Although I was very hungry, I was not able to finish it.

Veggie Scramble

I finished about half of it and had the rest to go. (It was enough for another complete meal.) We had some coffee to top off our breakfast then we rushed off to make full use of our limited time in town. We're sure to come back during our next climbing day off.


Peace Tree
Juice Cafe
20 South Main
Moab, Utah
Tel. No. (435)259.0101
www.peacetreecafe.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CJ Arthur's, Wilmette, Illinois

Since I only packed a few sets of clothes for my US trip, it didn't take much time until I urgently needed to do some laundry after I set foot in Chicago. My friend Vicky obligingly took me to a nearby laundromat. While waiting for my clothes to attain newly-laundered status, I felt like having a snack.

We went to nearby CJ Arthur's Bar and Grill. At first I thought I wanted to eat something savory, but when I saw that they had some Molten Chocolate Cake, I changed gears and opted for something sweet instead.

Molten Chocolate Cake

I enjoyed eating this cake. It was warm, moist, dense, and just sweet enough. The amount of chocolate "lava" was just enough for the size of the cake. I left that place happy, as I always feel when I think that this cake was done just right.


CJ Arthur's
1168 Wilmette Ave
(between 11th St & Central Ave)
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 256-8870

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A break from US history at Le Pain Quotidien, Philadelphia, PA

Fil took me to visit historical sites in Philadelphia one afternoon. She said I’d be full of culture by the time the day was done. I don’t know if that aim was achieved, but I did learn a lot about US history at the very least. We went to visit the famous Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall, where the first US Constitution was drafted.


After a lot of walking, listening to lectures and much photo-taking, I was ready for a snack. Fil suggested we walk around and see what was in the area. After checking out the menus of various other places, we settled on Le Pain Quotidien, a bakery chain. Their name translates to "the daily bread".

They had calorie counts of items on the menu, and that was helpful because I am desperately trying not to gain hundreds of pounds during my visit. (I was also saving some space for a big dinner.)

Le Pain Quotidien sells organic breads handmade daily at their own bakery, and also uses organic ingredients. It all sounded very healthy to me, so I was sold on the place.

The place was airy and sunny and perfect for a midafternoon snack. We sat by the window so we could watch the people walk briskly by.

I saw on their menu that they had a specialty dish- Tartines, which are their signature Belgian open-faced sandwiches on organic wheat bread. I chose to have their Ricotta Tartine, which had mission figs, organic acacia honey and black pepper. According to the menu, it had only 390 calories. This was much less than the other dish I was considering, a Vegetarian Quiche, but that one was around 600 calories.

Ricotta Tartine

I liked what I had, except that the bread was a bit hard at one edge. The tartine combined sweetness and saltiness, both tastes I was craving for at the time. I also liked the arugula salad that Fil had. She also ordered Butternut Squash Soup, which I normally like. Their version though was a bit too bland for me.

I'm glad we chose to eat there, mostly because I liked the cozy bakery/cafe ambience. Apparently, most of the Le Pain Quotidien branches in the US are in the east coast, so it was good that I got to try it while I was in Philly.


Le Pain Quotidien
801 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Corner of Walnut and 8th Street
Tel. No. 215.253.3114

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Students' lunch at Smile Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

Felicity wanted me to meet some of her friends from UPenn during my visit to Philadelphia, so she arranged a quick lunch with Rey, her classmate and one of her good friends in her Ph.D program. I met up with them at Smile Cafe, a Thai restaurant, after their morning class. Ph.D students apparently have very busy schedules so Rey could only spare exactly one hour for lunch.

The restaurant offered very reasonably priced lunch meals. I'm assuming this is because they cater to a lot of students. They had set meals at $7.95, inclusive of one entree and two starters. I chose the Shrimp Satay with spring rolls and steamed dumplings. It's a good thing the spring rolls were vegetarian, and the dumplings were filled with shrimp, both pescetarian-friendly fare.

For the price, I wasn't really expecting much of the meal. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the dumplings and the spring rolls were.

Steamed Dumplings and Spring Rolls

I wasn't as happy with the shrimp, as there were just a few pieces. But since it's a budget meal, I didn't really mind.

Shrimp Satay

I enjoyed that lunch because Rey was a cool girl, and it was nice to meet other people in Felicity's life. This is the first time I've seen her since grad school, so it's great that I get to see how her life is carrying on after all these years.


Smile Cafe
Thai Modern Food
105 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States 19103
Tel. No. (215)564.2502
www.thai-smilecafe.com

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tapas at Ciao Baci, Little Rock, AR

Holly wanted to bring me to a place where we could have a nice glass of wine outdoors, and she said the perfect place for this was Ciao Baci. When we got there, the inner dining area was empty but the balcony was packed. We joined everyone else who wanted to enjoy the pleasant weather outside.

We were with her friend Robert and we had a few drinks there. Holly and I shared a bottle of wine while Robert had a few beers. The place offered tapas, so I had their grilled shrimp crostini. This is not a very clear picture of it. The balcony was very dark, and we only had one little bitty candle to light our table.

Grilled Shrimp Crostini

I'm not complaining about the lighting though, since I do prefer dim lights when I'm drinking (my eyes get bothered easily by light when alcohol's involved). Not good for taking pictures though. I liked what I had, although I thought the bread was a little hard. It was pretty toasted so it was very crunchy when I bit into it. I would have wanted it a little less well done.

The place was a bit pricey compared to the other places that Holly has brought me to so far. Maybe there are other (social ?) factors that make it so, but I am no expert to be able to determine this, not being a Little Rock resident. Overall though, I liked the ambience in the place. A good place to chat and share some wine with your friends.



Ciao Baci
605 N. Beechwood St.
Little Rock, Arkansas
United States
Phone: 501.603.0238

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Light lunch at Panera Bread

During certain days of the week, Liz's work at the dental clinic starts at 2:00pm. This means we can have lunch together sometimes during weekdays. We started off a bit early one day so we could start at 11:00am and have a leisurely meal. We went to Panera Bread Cafe to keep it light.

I really like Panera because I associate it with my happy grad school days at Mizzou. My good friend Felicity and I would hang out at the branch of Panera in the university for hours, me with a mug of coffee, Fil with a cup of hot tea with milk and lots of sugar.

So I equate Panera with long hours of chatting with friends, and that's what Liz and I enjoyed. For lunch, I had a bowl of their Broccoli Cheddar Soup which I've always loved. It's so rich and thick, it's hard to believe it's only 300 calories (according to their nutrition calculator).

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Of course, one reason why I only had soup was so I could have something extremely sugary for dessert. I opted for their Chocolate Duet Cookie, which was moist and chocolatey.

Chocolate Duet Cookie

I enjoyed my lunch tremendously, and I'm sure it will be the first of many weekday lunches when I'll be lucky enough to have some bonding time with Liz.


Panera Bread
11300 South Street
Cerritos, California
90703
Tel. No. (562)467.0104

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dome Cake from Purple Oven

The night before I was set to fly to LA to visit my brother and his family, I had dinner at my parents' house with the rest of my siblings and their respective families. It was kind of a despedida for me, but more importantly, it was a pre-celebration of the 8th birthday of my only niece and inaanak (godchild) Trixi.

As I always do when I'm at my parents' house, I overate. But I particularly had way too much of Trixi's birthday cake, which came from Purple Oven, owned by my friend Jack Colet.

Chocolate Dome Cake

It was a chocolate dome cake and this is how it looked after a few slices were cut from it.


Well, what are birthdays for if not to overindulge in cake? Happy birthday Trixi!


Purple Oven
63 Saint Peter Street
Oranbo, Pasig City
Tel. No. 632.631.4221

YMCA Bldg.
Dau Street
Makati City
Philippines

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hebrew Cafe, Quezon City

Hebrew Cafe stands where Figaro used to be at Sgt. Esguerra Avenue. I missed Figaro when it closed shop, as it was a convenient place to get some quick pasta and wifi. Now that Hebrew Cafe has taken its place, I don't miss it quite as much.

I like the food in the new place. I particularly like their pasta with shrimp, as well as their sole. The food is reasonably priced too. I think some items were more expensive when they first set up shop, but they've probably adjusted their menu and prices as well.

Some of my colleagues like holding meetings there because there's a smoking area inside the cafe. This can be a downside for non-smokers, of course. But it looks like there are enough smokers for the cafe to make brisk business.

I think a lot of people continue to hold meetings in Hebrew, just like they used to in the old Figaro. This is due to the centrality of its location. (I noticed that a lot of people from different TV stations set their meetings there.)

Sole with Mashed Potatoes

Personally, I like having lunch there by myself. There's not much of a lunch crowd, as it seems more like a place for night owls, so I have the place pretty much to myself at that time.


Hebrew Cafe
Sgt. Esguerra
Quezon City
Philippines

Monday, September 12, 2011

Quick lunch at Uno

I had lunch with Chi at our usual lunching place, Uno, and it looked like they changed their menu since the last time I was there. They're still probably changing their menu every quarter. I didn't have the lunch special because the pasta choices looked so good. I had their Shrimp, Basil, Roasted Pepper and Feta Cheese Spaghetti.

Shrimp, Basil, Roasted Pepper and Feta Cheese Spaghetti

Nothing new to report, it was delicious as usual (although I would have loved to have more feta cheese in it). We had some creme brulee for dessert but I wasn't able to photograph it as Chi ate it quickly. (hahaha)



Uno Restaurant
195 Tomas Morato cor. Sct. Fuentebella
Quezon City
Philippines
Telephone no. (02)374-0774

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Not-So-Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich of Starbucks

I felt duped today. I was so hungry after a meeting that ended almost 2pm, so I went to Starbucks to see if they had a sandwich that could be heated up very quickly. I was so happy to see a poster on their wall about their "Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich", so I immediately ordered it.

I got it in around two minutes, then I sat to get down to business. I sliced the sandwich in half and was surprised to see something that didn't look like cheese inside. There were slices of sausage in it, so I asked the barista if that was really how the sandwich is served. Apparently, the Hungarian sausage is what makes it "ultimate".

Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Normally I ask if there is meat in stuff that I order in restaurants, but really, I have never seen a grilled cheese sandwich with anything other than cheese (and butter) so I didn't see the need to inquire. (Also, as I said, I was in a big rush to eat.)

Since I was so hungry, I didn't want to wait to order anything else so I just removed the sausage slices and ate the sandwich. The cheese was good but I still felt so disappointed. I guess I have to be more diligent in asking about meat in food next time.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Trying out the new Sumo Sam at the ABS-CBN Compound, Quezon City

I hadn't seen my friend Irene for a while, so I called her to set a lunch date so we could catch up, mostly on office gossip. We decided on Sumo Sam, the newest restaurant in the ABS-CBN compound. It occupies the space that my favorite Cibo used to (I think I'd been secretly hoping Cibo would come back). We both hadn't tried the new place yet, so we went to check it out.

I'd eaten in Sumo Sam before, just not in this particular branch. For this visit, I ordered their Tendon, which is basically one of those "rice toppings" meals. This one was supposed to have tempura shrimp on top of the rice. When it arrived, I was not surprised to see that there were only two pieces of breaded shrimp on it.

Usually, toppings meals scrimp on the meat and go heavy on the rice. This was no exception, although the sprinkling of tempura bits did a pretty good job of covering it. Since there was so much rice, there was not enough taste to go around. It's a good thing that the server gave me tempura sauce when I asked for it. It went a long way toward improving the taste of the dish.

Tendon

Irene and I wanted some dessert after our meal so we ordered the Tempura Banana Split. (It seems we couldn't get enough of fried food.) It was all right, but I was a bit disappointed that there were no nuts.

Tempura Banana Split

All told, I was not all that happy with my visit to Sumo Sam. I think that the toppings meal did not offer good value for money (P308 for two pieces of shrimp, before service charge). I will probably still prefer to eat at its neighbor Grams Diner when I find myself in the area.

I do remember that when I ate at another Sumo Sam branch, my friend ordered a noodle dish that I liked, but unfortunately I don't remember what it was. Maybe I'll give the restaurant another shot when I finally figure out what that dish was.


Sumo Sam
ABS-CBN Compound
Eugenio Lopez Drive
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines 1103

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sunday dinner at Sweet Inspirations

After a tiring afternoon of climbing, I had dinner at Sweet Inspirations, as I often do when I come from PowerUp. The place was packed, probably because of families having Sunday dinner, specifically their very reasonably priced Mongolian Barbecue. I myself have never tried it, because it has a lot of meat. I ordered one of my favorite dishes there, their Aligue and Garlic Pasta.

Aligue and Garlic Pasta

But I also got to try their Pancit Palabok for the first time, which I want to order the next time I'm there. This is motivation enough for me to go climbing again very soon.

Pancit Palabok

I didn't have any dessert though, and this took all of my self-control. I usually order their toffee sans rival before AND after a meal there, so you can just imagine how hard that was for me. Maybe I should just climb more next time so I can justify the calories.


SWEET INSPIRATIONS
311 Katipunan Avenue
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Philippines
Tel. No. 433-4200
Fax. No. 928-2557

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Z cooks Salmon and Potatoes

Z has recently been in the mood to cook, and I am one of those who are benefiting from this. This mood came upon her again this weekend, and she asked me if I wanted to try her salmon and potatoes. I never say no to a free dinner so I went to her place to sample her cooking. She wasn't done preparing the food yet when she arrived, and I was already so hungry, so she told me to fix myself an Okazu salad from her fridge.

While I was waiting, she finished preparing some mushroom soup, and soon after, she served up the salmon with mushrooms, garlic and potatoes. I didn't get to take a photo of the soup because I slurped it up soon after I got the bowl. I was patient enough to photograph the salmon though. This is how it looked after she topped the fish with the potatoes.


Z forgot to put the cheese though, so she melted some and poured it on top of the dish. Yum!


I finished the meal with some Clodhoppers that I found after raiding her fridge. Perfect way to end the meal. My compliments to the chef! I hope Z keeps up this cooking mood. I am always willing to be the taster of her creations.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Healthy meals at Pancake House

I had some time to kill at Bonifacio High Street before attending an event so I decided to... what else... eat! I wandered about trying to decide where to have some early dinner, but after walking for fifteen minutes I just decided to go an old reliable, Pancake House.

The servers there always give you a lot of menus when you sit down- one for yogurt, one for steaks, etcetera, etcetera. This time they had a new menu for what they call their "Healthy Hunger Busters". These are meals that are supposed to be high in fiber and anti-oxidants.

The dish called "Salmon cakes with brown rice tabbouleh" caught my eye, so I ordered it. It was described in the menu as "crunchy salmon cakes topped with alfalfa sprouts, served on a spread of brown rice tabbouleh with dill mayo and chopped parsley".

Salmon Cakes with Brown Rice Tabbouleh

I looked up tabbouleh and apparently it's some kind of Middle Eastern salad. No wonder when my food arrived, the server said the brown tabbouleh rice was usually served cold, then asked me if I preferred to have it hot. I wasn't really psyched for a cold meal so I had it heated up. (I suspect a lot of diners preferred theirs hot as well.)

The salmon cakes were nothing fantastic. I think there wasn't enough salmon in them. And I was a bit disappointed that there were no alfalfa sprouts as described. I did like the rice though, and it was very filling. It was so filling that I felt full up till midnight. Then again I forgot to mention that I had some chocolate marble waffle as well. Maybe that's the real reason my tummy felt so distended till it was time to sleep.


Pancake House
Bonifacio High Street
5th Avenue
Fort Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: (63 2) 856-5451

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Thai Pan Restaurant in QC

I love Thai food, but when I do have some, I find myself eating way too much rice. This is why I don’t eat in Thai restaurants as often as I would wish. But when Chi told me of a relatively new restaurant called Thai Pan near our office, I had to see how it compared to other restos in the area.

The place had a nice outdoor area, but we chose to stay inside because it was pretty hot. The airconditioning was too cold though, like in a million other restaurants in the Philippines.

We had some crispy catfish and mango salad, which is something that I can’t resist ordering. We also had some stir fried squid and shrimp with roasted chili. Both went perfectly with (lots of) rice, so as usual, too much rice was consumed during the meal.

Crispy Catfish Salad

Stir-fried Squid and Shrimp

For dessert, we ordered some banana fritters with ice cream. I wanted to order the dish with mango, but they were out of stock. The banana was pretty good though. It was fried, it had sugar and ice cream… what’s not to love?

Banana Fritters with Ice Cream


Thai Pan
Thai Restaurant
120 Dr. Lazcano
Quezon City
Philippines

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chateau 1771 at Greenbelt, Makati

Chateau 1771 is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. I have so many pleasant memories of that place, although I used to go more frequently to their branch in the Ortigas area. I haven’t often been to their branch in Greenbelt 5, dropping by a few times when I’m in the area and in the mood to have their coffee pie.

One late morning, I had to be in Makati for a meeting, which surprisingly (pleasantly) ended after only fifteen minutes. Finding myself with time on my hands and wanting to make the most out of my drive (excursions to Makati are a big deal for someone as lazy to drive as I am), I called my friend Z (whose office is in the heart of Makati) to have some early lunch at Chateau.


I got there earlier than she did so I ordered some Scallops au gratin while waiting. It was described as “scallops sautéed with garlic and parsley, topped with cheese and golden brown cracker crust”. It was heavenly, so it was a good thing that Z didn’t take too long in coming or I would have finished it all. She got to taste it too, and declared it very good as well.


I took my time going through the menu (all the pescetarian choices looked so good!) and chose to have their Lasagna Portofino as my main dish. Luckily, their version didn’t have meat. This, according to the menu, had no nuts pesto, Gorgonzola cheese, béchamel sauce, Parmesan, and napolitaine sauce. It sounded so rich that I just had to go with it. They served some toasted bread that went perfectly with the pasta.



I liked my choice (how could you go wrong with all that richness?), but I also liked what Z had. If I’m not mistaken it was called Spaghetti a la Demi. It was simple compared to what I had (especially in terms of caloric content), but it was so tasty. I’m going to order that the next time I go to Chateau.

Finally, and despite my level of satiety, I had their coffee pie. No visit to Chateau just seems complete without it.


It was a fantastic meal, as always. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t go to Makati so often or I’ll gain so much weight going to great restaurants like Chateau 1771.


Chateau 1771
Greenbelt 5
Makati City
Philippines

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Turtle Pie at Sugarhouse

The turtle pie at Sugarhouse is one of my all-time favorite desserts. So when I found myself practically just wandering about The Block with unlimited time on my hands, I went to have some at their stall there.


Turtle Pie

It's the perfect thing to have with coffee, especially when you have all the time in the world to savor it.


The Block
3rd Level, The Block
SM City North EDSA
North Avenue corner EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
Tel. No. 632.385.4540

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Classic Italian fastfood at Sbarro

Sbarro has been around for what seems like forever to me, a ubiquitous sight in SM malls. The reason I like this restaurant is that it always has veggie-friendly choices, my favorite being their spinach lasagna. One afternoon, while killing time before watching the final installment of Harry Potter at the Block, my friends wanted some quick pizza and pasta, so I thought of eating at Sbarro.


I hadn't gone there in years. The place looked very different from how I remembered it, but the food was almost exactly the same (they had some new additions to their menu though). The spinach lasagna tasted exactly like how I remembered it, although I don't remember ever having their spinach and mushroom pizza before. What I liked best about the meal though was their garlic bread. Still as garlicky and greasy as it was years and years ago.



Sbarro is not a bad choice if you want your pizza and pasta fast and filling, particularly if you are in a rush and don't want to miss your movie showing. It remains a sentimental favorite of mine, where spinach lasagna is available, the taste predictable, and the food quite affordable.


Sbarro
SM Malls
Everywhere, Philippines

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shrimp Pasta at Uno

I had dinner at Uno last night with my friends Angel and Kennie, but I wasn't so happy with the pasta that I ordered. It was Spaghetti with Olive and Garlic Cream Sauce. I was expecting the sauce to have more cream. In fact I ordered it because I wanted a really fattening dish, and I guess it didn't have the amount of cream to be fattening enough for my mood.

I was envious when I had a taste of the pasta that Angel ordered, which was Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, Capers, Paprika, and Garlic. Not that it was particularly laden with calories, I just thought it tasted better than what I had.

So today, since I had a lunch date with my good friend and fellow Uno fan Chi, I suggested that we have lunch there. I ordered the Shrimp Spaghetti and left the restaurant much more satisfied than I did last night.



Uno Restaurant
195 Tomas Morato cor. Sct. Fuentebella
Quezon City
Philippines
Telephone no. (02)374-0774

Friday, June 10, 2011

Last meal before flying- at La Tegola, Mactan, Cebu

I love Cebu, and one of the things I like about it is that there are so many restaurants so close to the airport. That means I can usually have a good meal before my flight back to Manila. This time, we ate at La Tegola Italian Restaurant.

We ordered quite a bit, but then I guess I often overeat when I eat out in Cebu. We ordered Linguine Vongole, Spaghetti al Cartoccio, and Four-cheese pizza. I've eaten at this restaurant before, and these are some of the dishes that I usually order. I particularly enjoy their Vongole.

Linguine alle vongole 
Spaghetti al cartoccio 
Four cheese pizza
We devoured everything; I for one am a firm believer in not wasting food. But mostly, our plates were clean because we enjoyed everything we ate.

I'm very likely to return to La Tegola when I'm in Cebu and I have a few hours to kill before my flight.


La Tegola-Mactan
Marina Mall Building
Ibo, Lapu-lapu City
Tel. No. +63 (32) 340.9070