Category Archives: Dining & Recipes

Dinner at Gringo, SM The Block

Ever since SM The Block has been renovated, new restaurants came alive. I told myself I will check them one by one. I craved for some baby back ribs and my feet brought me to Gringo. 

If my judgement is right, their concept is a backyard barbecue party with a mexican vibe. Wood palettes, succulents, and metal, what could go wrong?


I ordered the baby back ribs, half rack, with two side dishes (~P365), Chili Con Carne Fries (~P195) as appetizer, and their best seller Tropical Lemonade.

For my side dish, I got buttered corn and garlic rice, wrong move by the way. Mashed potato could have been a better choice. The fries is delicious, the ground beef is sweet while the oil used is savory. Add the mozarella cheese, ugh, I am speechless. 

Take note of the nacho on the side, the salsa was perfection.

The tropical lemonade (photo not here) was refreshing, it’s your lemonade with calamansi. It’s pulpy for most lemonade I have tried, but yeah, ultimate thirst quencher. 

N tried their spiced chicken, I did not photograph his meal but their quarter chicken was huge. I like the dry rub flavor – smoky and tangy.

My only comment about this restaurant is thei limited space. They are promising and people who love mexican flavored barbecue will surely come back. 

Maybe in other malls, their space could be bigger.

Have you tried eating here? 

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Tweedle Book Cafe x Calligraphy Workshop

5/15/16

It’s been months since I am practicing the art of calligraphy. Our drafting course way back in high school lingered and until now my handwriting is ugly. *laughs* It is understandable, but it is not as pretty as I dreamed it to be. When my friend Ferry sent me the link to this workshop. I said yes right away.  I thought I was never going to make it, but I did.

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We started doing the basic stroke until we’ve reached the letters. They say practice makes permanent, and though nibs do not like me as of the moment, I’ll exert the much-needed effort to master this craft.

This is going to be expensive though. *laughs*


I am going to hit two birds with this post as the venue of this workshop is adorable. If I will be in Hogwarts, I guess it’s their casual cafe.

I asked the owner of the concept, she said she wanted to serve hearty food for book lovers (Oh that’s me).

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There are books at the corner of the place where you can borrow and read while enjoying your butter beer.

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Oh yeah, you read it right, BUTTER BEER with a shot of whisky. Actually, Ferry  and I stayed for some planner lovin’ session.

As for the food? HEAVENS.

It’s a modern Filipino cross border cuisine, which we enjoyed a lot. Take note of reasonable pricing too.

Ferry and I will definitely be back for some quiet moment (and whisky).

Tweedle Book Cafe is located at Sct. Gandia, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. It’s a quiet street so watch out for the teal gate so you won’t miss it.

Do you like Calligraphy or concept cafes? Share it with me, please.

 

 

 

Mr. Pizza, SM The Block

I feel like writing tonight while I watch London has fallen. I have this feeling of guilt looking at my media library full of images waiting to be shared.

If you are from the north, you will notice that SM The Block had a renovation and although one of my restaurant bid goodbye, Chef;s Noodles, more restaurant choices came to life. One of which is Mr. Pizza.

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It’s a Korean Pizza Parlor with daily promos you cannot resist. We happened to avail the buy one get one promo and we ordered their best seller – Beef Bulgogi.

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Taste wise, yes, the Bulgogi toppings brought joy to my palette, it is like east meets west kind of fusion.

For the get one promo, we availed the Spicy Pork which, unfortunately, not for me. It is just a subtle hotness for the pork, but it didn’t go well with the crust.  Well, that is only me, spicy lovers might appreciate it more.

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What I like the most about this place is the radio booth inspired kitchen. You will see the Korean Chef’s hand tossing your dough upon ordering. You can actually watch their mini show.

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Another interesting item they have is the menu. It’s like a pizza, creative indeed. As for the pricing, I believe when we tried it, it costs around P375 for the large pizza, but now I heard they have increased a little bit. Better see the promo and pricing first before dining in but with the size and taste, it is worth giving it  a try.

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For pizza slash Korean lovers out there, give Mr. Pizza a shot.

Have you tried this?

 

Urban Cafe @ Wilcon Center, Visayas Avenue

5/15/16

I am always on the look out for places that I am the only customer – rustic, cozy, shabby. Name it, if it is quiet and they serve coffee, I am in. When we were in Wilcon Center, Visayas Avenue in Quezon City, we are looking for a place to lounge and chat. We saw this at the corner of the place.

I like the look and feel of the place, it has coffee beans, deli counter for pastries, cacti as centerpiece, and a wood/brick, open ceiling aesthetic.

I actually do not have an idea that this is a crocodile cafe, they serve croc meat in wide variety sumptuous dishes. They have their own farm where they breed and farm crocodiles. At first I am frightened to eat croc meat but after learning that it is healthy I gave it a try.

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Croc Burger with French Fries
Pasta Arrabiatta with Croc Sausage
Pasta Arrabbiata with Croc Sausage

It is bland like chicken meat but it compliments the flavors you add. There is no overpowering meat taste like beef or pork. But I don’t think I am going to crave for it as I pity crocodiles being serve on our table. I just feel that crocs are not the meal type meat we would normally eat, but yeah, it is delicious.

They even sells ready to cook croc meat like tocino and others for a reasonable price. You can buy it and cook your own dish.

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Verdict

Ambiance 5/5

Taste 4/5

Price 4/5

Agape Pastries & Tartines

1/29/16

Agape

(Ancient Greek: ἀγάπη, agápē) is “love: the highest form of love, especially brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.”

adjective: agape | (of the mouth) wide open, especially with surprise or wonder.
I learned the word Agape from my values education class when I was in High School. It’s the highest form of love; selfless love, the love God showed us. While waiting for the food to be served, I listened to the owner, Ms. Jean on why she put up the place.

 

She donated her kidney to her daughter, when they were in Manhattan for the medical procedure, there was a bakery/coffee shop, where they usually hang out. After the successful operation, they went back to the Philippines and she conceptualized Agape.

 

I was moved. She did tell us that if you wish to build a business, have a #HugotStory, marketing wise, it’s going to work, but seriously, it’ll be your core to keep the business going.
People became part of Agape because they were inspired and they want to spread selfless love for other people.

 

 ***
Upon entry, I thought it’s a coffee shop as it displays bread and pastries. From the menu I learned they have all day breakfast, pastas, panizza, tartines (specialty), pies, quiche, soups, entrees, and of course, dessert.

 

The fixtures are state of the art. They have communal tables and lounges, perfect for dates and families.

 

The ambience is cozy – warm lights, open plumbings at the ceiling, brick walls as accents, it has a rustic feel. If you want to be alone, the place is suitable.
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I got the chance to try their best sellers.

Panizza

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Margherita Panizza | P290
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Don McCune Panizza | P375
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Three Cheese & Herbs Panizza | P320
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Gamberi Panizza | P340

Served in a wooden tray, thin crusted, freshly baked, if you are familiar with Dear Darla and Uncle Cheffy’s Pizza, they have the similar concept. You’ll taste the ingredients were fresh.

My favorite is the Margherita Panizza, for cheese lovers, of course the three cheeses & herbs is for you. Top it off with watercress and alfalfa sprouts, then hot sauce, PERFECT!

Pasta

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Marie Gambasetti | P250
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Sardines in Oil | P200

These pastas are to die for. I am not a pasta lover, the only pasta I would eat again and again is my home cooked Filipino Spaghetti and Charlie Chan from Yellow Cab.

Marie Gambasetti is a recipe of her sister-in-law, red sauce with Gambas (squid), and Chorizo Bilbao. The Chorizo gave the flavor, the pasta is cooked al dente and well coated with sauce.

Sardines in Oil, if I have five thumbs, I’ll give this five thumbs up, it’s the recipe of her husband. It’s like a party of flavors, happiness. It’s spicy because of the Spanish sardines they uses, and it’s sweet because of the tomato sauce and the raisins. Yes, raisin, I thought it was olives and I am in awe to know that you can add raisins to a gourmet pasta. It has bell peppers too, which added more flavor.

Tartines

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Smoked Salmon BLT | P395
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Beer Battered Fish | P250

Tartines, open faced rye bread topped with tasty yet healthy spreadable ingredients. The two tartines served to us was good, really good.

Homemade coleslaw, fresh salmon and cream dory, not overcooked, it’s perfect. If do not feel like eating heavy meal, you just want it fresh and light, their tartines are a good choice.

Salad

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Spicy Prawn in Green Papaya Salad
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Green Salad with Pears | P150

The salad collection is impressive, you will not see another Caesar and Chef’s Salads here, they have their own rendition. I like the spicy prawn and green papaya as it’s not a lettuce, plus the dressing is awesome. It’s like I ate gourmet atsara.

Dessert

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Assorted Muffins
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Creme Brulee Tart, Choco Lava, & Bon Bons

Did I just save the best for last? Well, I did. I am not a dessert person so I skipped the muffins because I am so full, besides, it was 12 midnight already.

I tried the creme brulee tart, P40/piece and my world stopped. I am highly recommending this dessert as its the most creamy tart ever. Unlike other tarts that tastes like flour or creme brulees that tastes like scrambled eggs, this is an exception.

If they offer box of six for take away, it’ll be wonderful.

Specials

1/28/16
Seared Salmon in Pineapple Salsa

This coming Valentines day, they will have a promo for couples who want to get cheesy and romantic. They will be offering four, four-course meal from February 9 – 14. If you want to impress your special someone, go ahead and reserve now.

I like this seared salmon cause it refreshingly delicious because of the pineapple. How I wish more pineapple than onions. *wink*

Overall

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Chef Arem and Store Manager, Arianne

The food is awesome. The ambience is wonderful. The staff were friendly and hospitable. The pricing of their menu is reasonable, it’s not actually affordable because the serving is big. Their range starts from P70 – P700, not bad at all.

It’s located at Chimes Mall, Congressional Avenue Extension, I live nearby, a place where you can eat good food and escape the crazy traffic going to the mall.

I am definitely coming back in my PJ’s to try their breakfast.

1/29/16
#TeamAldousNorth

Thank you, Ms. Jean and the rest of the gang for having us in Agape and for inspiring us to pursue dreams and give back. For Team Aldous, another wonderful meal together, met new friends, more food bonding next time.

For more information, visit Agape Manila Pastries & Tartines Facebook. Call (02) 442-2255

P.S. Please forgive the photos, I used my phone, as my camera was with me, but I forgot to bring its battery and memory card.