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Food

#Travel, Food

[Los Angeles vs. Manila #3] Porto’s Cheese Roll


I still can remember a couple of years ago when eating a carbo-loaded krispy kreme donut is a cool thing when you visit the US. Now, that’s a thing of the past, and Porto’s bakery is a better alternative. Its famous cheese roll is a must try along with the other cakes and other pastry delicacies. The cheese roll taste like Otap baked to perfection with cheese inside it, similar in texture to a croissant. It’s super addicting and I easily ate 5 pieces in one sitting. Porto’s Bakery is a cuban family-owned and operated business that has served Glendale and its surrounding areas for over 35 years and they recently opened a beautiful new store in Burbank.

One could argue that Becky’s or Conti’s taste a lot better, but the I’ve never tasted a cheeseroll as delicious as porto’s. If you can manage to bring one home as a pasalubong, it is highly recommended.

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#Travel, Food

[Los Angeles vs. Manila #2] Hollywood’s famous Pink’s Hot Dog


This is one of the famous must-eat destination in LA, and I was extremely curious why a chili dog can be this famous for 66 years! Paul Pink started this hotdog stand in 1939 and it stood on the same spot, giving the same quality of hot dog for years. I’m glad that Atty. Joseph Joson who was kind enough to accompany me to eat in this so-called hot dog to the stars. The hot dog heritage is a great marketing sell and they have photos to prove it (amazing)! I’m not really fond of hotdogs and I’m eating a vegetable rich diet lately, but this one is a must try (not to mention my weakness is chili). In the Philippines, we don’t really have something equivalent to this and Ogie Doggie would be the closest but far from the heritage that Pink’s hotdog built over the years.

The verdict: The chili is phenomenal, polish dogs are the best! Read on…

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#Travel, Food

[Los Angeles vs. Manila #1] Inn of the Seventh Ray! Creekside Dining

This is the ONLY restaurant I love while I was on vacation and I visited Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Chicago. The Inn of the Seventh Ray is L.A.’s most romantic restaurant and in fact, when we were eating on a Saturday Lunch, there was an engagement proposal with the beautiful setting — 12 red roses bouquet, a carpet of petals and dining beside Mother’s flow ( in other words, creekside :). I felt that most of the US restaurants are either man-made, full of dead food (steaks, white bread, etc.), pretentious service and too commercialized. This creekside dining experience is a dining made in heaven indeed and this is a must-eat destination for all of you who will have a chance to visit L.A.

(Note to Jay of Kinabuhayan Cafe: Jay, Kubli Springs can be a lot nicer than the Inn of the Seventh Ray. You just need to have excellent food and an overall concept. Check out the photos… )

Let me pause for a bit here before we go to the rest of the review, it just occurred to me how lucky the Philippines is with the kind of world-class nature inspired restaurants that we have and I can already count seven easily…
1. Antonio’s Restaurant, Tagaytay
2. Sonya’s Secret Garden, Tagaytay
3. Nina’s Kusina Salud, San Pablo, Laguna
4. Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden, Tiaong, Quezon
5. 85/15 Restaurant, The Farm @ San Benito, Lipa, Batangas
6. La Cocina de Tita Monings, Manila
7. The Prana Restaurant, Mandala Spa, Boracay

I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES! I missed it during my vacation and I’m glad to be back. I’m creating this series of [Los Angeles vs. Manila] to challenge your own mental models that the Philippines is the best place to be in. I felt like Neo in the matrix scene where he suddenly realized that all of the reality he is seeing is computer generated, and I suddenly felt that visiting the US, everything is man-made. Enjoy this series…

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#Restaurants, Food, Tagaytay

[ Playa Calatagan #5] a Manos Greek Tavern Dinner


Ever since I’ve tasted Greek cuisine in Australia three years ago, I’ve been looking for an authentic greek cuisine in Manila. The first time, I saw Manos Greek Taverna with its inviting blue and white structure, I hesitated to try it out because of the fear of being disappointed with a Filipino-style Greek cuisine similar to Mati in Rockwell. I was waiting for raves about this place before I try it out. AJay’s first blogged Manos Greek Taverna in Nov 2005, and I recently read a poetic tribute by Dr. Honrado Palugod on his hellenic dining experience to this place that made me decide to check it out. On our way back from Playa Calatagan, we decided to have this as our last stop before finally heading back home. I’ve tried the best sellers in the house: Tzatziki, Hellenici Salata-Greek Salad, Mousaka, and the Baklava dessert which are indeed very good. On the contrary, the kebabs were ordinary.

I love this place because the food is healthy, ingredients are freshly made by the owner, and Manos is almost always there to entertain his guest — very hospitable fellow. Manos claims that everything is cooked in Greek virgin olive oil which comes from their olive plantations in the island of Crete 🙂

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Food

Sugarnot!’s Last Temptation


I have glad and sad news for you. I’m glad that there are bakeshops now that are catering to the healthier lifestyle trend. Sugarnot along South Super Hiway is a blessing for us. I first heard of this from Carlos’ who recommended it in his blog. Their bestseller, Last Temptation Cake is sugar-free and they are using maltitol powder instead. This powder is a sugarless sweetener and green food with pure sweet taste. The sad news is, the taste needs a lot of getting use to and there are no crowd every time I pass by this place. So I’m worried that this might not survive specially in the Philippine’s high-carb diet scene.

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Food

Great Crepe Wrap but Lousy Photos


I must admit that Crepes & Cream will surely become a dessert destination from now on in The Fort (There is also a store in the ground floor, The Podium in Ortigas). It is besides the UCC Cafe Terraces which is now famous for that great night cap conversation with friends. The concept is simple, Great Crepe wrapped in a cone + Delicious Ice Cream + Yummy Toppings! Their main tagline is “Crepe wraps bursting with assorted filling, delectable ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes, coffee, and a whole lot more… “

Although, I would say that the photos in their main advertisement above well lacks the artistic touch — people bowing their heads, looking at the ice cream, or it lacked that authentic look of “I love crepes & cream”. So we also decided to make our own version of the photos… just a suggestion 🙂

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Food

Queens: Best Indian/Fusion Food I Tasted in a Long Time!


Queens, originally uploaded by antondiaz.

When Queens opened along Jupiter St. in Makati, there was a lot of buzz about how great the food and a bit on the pricey side. It has a fine dining atmosphere, that is not intimidating, and perfect for that dinner conversation with friends. I’m glad Vivian and Marge treated the entire barkada to a Sunday Dinner treat at Queens! It was a perfect dinner event for that priceless reunion with friends.

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Food

Vegetarians don’t eat Steak :(


I heard a lot of raves about the novelty of eating beside a petron station but I’ve never tried it and probably never will. I’m a vegetarian for 2 weeks now (yes, you heard me right) and I can only read reviews about it. Particularly interesting is Firefly | Zephyr’s review of Everything @ Steak. If my vegetarian experiment works, I don’t mind missing raving about this steak. 2 more weeks…

#Restaurants, Food

Som’s Noodle House – cheap authentic version of SukhoThai

VS.

The Secret is Out :) Cheap Thai Food!

Here is another best kept thai cuisine secret for all those food adventurers out there. This time, this is a hawker style (just along the road- turo turo in short) place, where it serves sukho-thai food at a very cheap price! I’m really a food adventurer and sometimes I’m criticized for only trying the expensive ones (so here’s a cheap find for you). The food is cooked or supervised by a retired Sukhothai Chef who is a thai and has a family here in Makati. Som is the name of the grand daughter of the Chef. I’ve decided to check out Som’s Noddle House instead of going to the World’s longest dinner buffet in Eastwood (and the World’s most unsatisfied guests – I’m glad 🙂 Then, the next day, I also checked out SukhoThai in Megamall which is one of our favorites but we heard that it will be closing shop soon (hopefully just a rumor). Here is a blow by blow boxing match between Som’s Noodle House vs. Sukho-Thai before you even try to check this one out.

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