In my recent trip to the U.S., I found out that when people crave Chinese food they either go to a quick serve Panda Express or to one of the most popular American Chinese restaurant chains there — P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.
P.F. Chang’s, with its modern Asian ambiance, is like the Friday’s of Chinese restos, accented with huge Chinese decor and artifact replicas.
I saw the restaurant’s logo in one of the boarded-up construction sites in BGC. Are they finally opening a P.F. Chang’s branch in Manila? I asked a few people in the foodie community and got confirmation about its opening.
Here is our P.F. Chang’s experience in California…
Chipotle is named after the Mexican seasoning made from smoked Red Jalapeno peppers. I’ve always wondered why foodies keep raving about Chipotle and why it inspired Ristras, Chihuahua and Faburrito here in Manila.
It’s been said that it changed the way people look at a burrito — “It’s not just a burrito. It’s a foil-wrapped, hand-crafted, local farm supporting, food culture changing cylinder of deliciousness.” – Chipotle.com
I made sure to try it when we were in Santana Row in San Jose. Here is my Chipotle experience…
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.
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…
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…
I’ll be on a blog leave until the end of March. I’ll surely miss updating this blog regularly and I’ll surely miss exploring the culinary delights of Manila. It’s been fun over the last few months, specially when I receive comments and feedback from my readers. I love the conversations! This blog is very fulfilling for me in making connections with other people and in the process, I learn more secrets 🙂 I leave you with this beautiful sunset picture of LA taken during the landing of our PAL flight. My brother was teasing me about some insider secrets of Los Angeles and I might have some posts on our LA adventures. Stay tuned…