Weekend Warriors in Bulacan

We survived this trip and reached our destination by the power of “Asking for Directions”. We probably had more than 5 stop overs to ask where Hagonoy is. We missed 2 exits in NLEX and had to drive back south and exit at Sta. Rita.

Carla, Kuya Art, and I were on a quest for some seafood. It turned out to be a lot more fun than anticipated as we discovered interesting places.

Now, the power of “Bargaining” got us the best deals. Three buckets of seafood and we’re good to go. On our way home, we passed by Malolos and took photos of the Barasoain Church. Yep, that church you see on the old 20 peso bill.

 

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Thinking what else to see in Bulacan, chicharon came to my mind. We drove to Sta. Maria for some BACK FAT action.

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Oh, and we get to adore some antique houses too.

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After all, I can say that it was an awesome 12-hour weekend trip. Tired…but happy.

To Jay, may chicharon ako for you. 🙂

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Thanks to Kuya and Ate Liza sa masarap na lunch and sa pagsama sa amin maghanap ng seafood. Sa uulitin po.

The Best Family-Friendly Spots in Las Vegas

A friend thought of writing about favorite places to visit and encouraged me and other bloggers to pitch in, this way, we are able to share our experiences and learn about other culture. Below is Kendra’s post about her favorite places to go in Las Vegas. Enjoy!

 

Las Vegas hasn’t always had the best reputation. While it is indeed rich in indulgent splendors, there is also a lot of good, clean family fun awaiting you.

 

Become Tiger Woods

When my husband and his friends attended the Butch Harmon School of Golf, they were thrilled. As the name suggests, Butch Harmon, the swing coach for Tiger Woods, operates this area of the Rio Secco Golf Club. Although the staff working there teaches most of the classes, Mr. Harmon does give lessons in person for three days out of the year. If you purchase a stay at Caesar’s Palace hotel, you’ll have the option to sign onto this activity, along with free transportation. This is a wonderful present for your husband or boyfriend, and it provides you with a reason for a girls’ day out!

 

Interesting and Innovative Museums

If you came to Las Vegas to take in more culture, you won’t be disappointed. This city boasts numerous museums to peruse, some of which have thought outside the box. The Children’s Discovery Museum is my kids’ favorite, but I really liked downtown’s Neon Museum. This outdoor venue is made to look like junkyard for the creative, and it features long ramps, walkways and stairs that meander around glowing examples of Las Vegas’ neon past. The National Atomic Testing Museum, a mere 65 miles from the original testing site, is a great destination for those interested in science and history.

 

Play Mini Golf Like a Rock Star

My kids really enjoy miniature golf; so taking them to new courses is always a blast. Myrtle Beach may have its dinosaurs and pirates, but they certainly don’t have KISS. Monster Mini Golf in Las Vegas is home to a KISS-themed course, and is intended to be a salute to one of the most famous bands in America. Admission will get you 18 holes of glow-in-the-dark, KISS-based mini-golf mayhem. Putt your ball through enormous electric guitars, and even into a 12-foot replica of Gene Simmons’ head!

 

Unleash Your Inner Chowhound

If you’ve ever wanted to see if you’ve got what it takes to eat competitively, then you’ve come to the right place. Grab your appetite and head to the BRAND Steakhouse in the Monte Carlo. For $250, you’ll receive a 120-ounce steak, two sauces and a side. It’s a lot of money, but there’s a catch: If you can eat it all, it’s free! Just a short walk beyond the BRAND Steakhouse, you’ll find another deliciously meaty challenge in the form of an eight-pound cheeseburger. It’s always a riot to watch people try to put away so much food, and you have to admire their determination.

 

Las Vegas is truly a unique place with one of a kind casinos and world-renowned hotels. With so much to see and do, sites like Gogobot make it easy to plan your trip and feel more comfortable before you head out to Las Vegas.

Zark’s Burgers – Taft Avenue

Finally! After waiting for such a loooooong  time, I’ve now tried the famous burgers at Zark’s. I’m from QC and I won’t travel to Taft just for a burger…well…not really!

Right after watching the Lateral Drift competition in Quirino Grandstand, the gang went to Zark’s for dinner. Though unsure if the shop’s still open (it was 9pm), we still drove to the Archer’s Nook building, fronting Lasalle, as if being summoned by the Burger Master.

We had to wait outside the store since the place was packed. We were number 5 on the wait list. The photos below were taken at the time we were leaving the place. Last call for orders were taken around 10pm.

The place is quite small and acoustics could get really bad. I don’t mind, as long as I have a towering burger stack in front of me.

Here are photos of those who’ve conquered the jawbreaker/tombstone challenge.

Check out the menu!!! Get ready for some heart-pounding, artery clogging, and calorie-packing choices. If you’re brave enough, try their Jawbreaker Challenge or the Tombstone Challenge…at your own risk!

It took some time for us to give out our orders. We wanted to try everything! Here’s what we ended up ordering.

On the table:

Fish ‘N Chips (Php 110) is Zark’s version of England’s famous fish and chips meal. At every bite, I could feel the crunch of the batter and the softness of the fish. The sauce is also flavorful and creamy. A slice of lemon would be perfect for this dish.

Wings ‘N Chips (Php 120) are 4pcs of buffalo wings. You can choose either classic or barbecue buffalo wings if you like it sweet or spicy. My nephew didn’t want fries; he had plain rice to go with the wings. We loved the barbecue sauce which is sweet and just a little bit spicy.

I’ll come back for this!

Oh! I forgot to mention how tasty the sauce was. I like it so much. Perfect dish. I just wish they serve bigger portions.

Zark’s is known its huge and out-of-this-world burger creations. We sampled the Jackhammer (Php 185) that is actually a 1/2 lb. patty stuffed with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. It comes with fries and a single serving of iced tea. You can add Php 20 for refillable drinks.

This is a heavy meal to finish. The creaminess of the mozzarella and the mild taste of cheddar make an awesome combination.


This is what I got, the Stone Cold Stunner (Php 185). It comes with fries and a single serving of iced tea. Each of us added Php 20 for refillable drinks; the waitstaff served us a pitcher of iced tea. 🙂

Check out this massive double bacon cheeseburger filled with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, and mushroom. OOOHLALA!!! I’m craving for one right now.

It’s huge! It’s tasty! I exactly feel the same way that guy in Man vs Food (Adam) feels when he has eaten too much. I felt bloated… and sleeeeepy after eating half of it.

It was so good. The feeling was diving. I was having Burger Lust. Hahahahah!

Wait… there’s more!

What is a triple cheeseburger with SPAM, bacon, lettuce, and tomato, that is drenched with cheese sauce???

Show some love to the… Jawbreaker!!! Priced at Php250, you can enjoy this tall stack of meat by yourself or you can share it. If you could finish the burger and fries in 5 minutes then it’s for FREE.

Tip: They serve more fries when you say you’re up for the challenge.

I love burgers and I love the ones at Zark’s, I give it a clap, clap, clap! I will come back for more. Might try their baby back ribs next time.   🙂

How about giving the jawbreaker challenge a shot? Share us your Zark’s experience.

 

 

Zark’s Burger

 

Address: 2464 Archer’s Nook, Taft Ave. (front of La Salle, on top of Yellow Cab) Manila

Contact Number: (02) 392-1211

Stackers Burger Cafe- Resorts World Manila

After a 3-hour prenup photo shoot in Paranaque, my friend and I headed to Newport Mall to grub on snacks at Stackers Burger Cafe. Both hungry and exhausted, we hiked to the 4th floor, dropped our bags, and called in the wait staff to get our orders. It took some time for me to browse the menu and decide what to order as it was my first time to dine in Stackers.  Being a burger cafe, the menu offers a wide burger variation; it’s quite confusing for me which one to get. I want to try everything!!!

On the table:

Caesar Burger Bowl (Php 148) contains a quarter pound Australian burger patty, fresh lettuce, bacon, croutons, and Caesar dressing.

It’s quite interesting to have both burger and salad greens in one dish. To date, Stackers has the most succulent and flavorful burger patty I’ve tasted. The Caesar dressing is light and runny. It didn’t overpower the flavor of the patty. I enjoyed every bite of  this dish.

Stackers Fried Mozzarella Sticks (Php 125) consists of 5 pieces breaded mozzarella sticks deep fried to golden perfection served with a tangy tex mex ranchero dip.

This crunchy outside -gooey inside deep-fried cheese snack has a fantastic crunch and flavor. The tex mex ranchero dip compliments the chewiness of the melted mozzarella cheese.

Philly Cheese Burger (Php 155) is made up of a quarter pound beef patty topped with sautéed red and green bell peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, and ranch dressing on a long bun.

It’s like the famous Philly Cheesesteak using burger patty instead of the traditional thinly sliced pieces of steak. This burger variation is so awesome, I wolfed it down in no time.

For an additional (Php65) on top of the burger price, you can get crispy chips and a drink.

Vanilla Milkshake (Php 90) is one of the many flavors of milkshakes on the menu. Milkshakes otherwise known as thickshakes are smooth, thick, and creamy beverages that are ice cream based and mixed with flavors for that refreshing milky goodness.

Sipping on this deliciously thick and creamy vanilla milkshake can absolutely bring a smile to one’s  face.

Overall, I give a clap, clap, clap to Stackers Burger Cafe! The Auss’m burgers, lipsmacking sides, and thick icy cold milkshakes are to die for… yes, I am coming back for more!

 

Stackers Burger Cafe

Address: 4th Floor, Newport Mall
Resorts World Manila,  Pasay City
Contact Number: (632) 659-8271 or (632) 659-8287

Little Store on the Hill – Little Baguio, San Juan City

Good things come in small packages. That’s exactly what Little Store on the Hill proves itself to be- a hole in the wall restaurant that offers filling and satisfying budget friendly meals.

I’d like to thank my friend Malou for giving me a birthday treat and for bringing me to Little Store. Every moment was wonderful – it’s like finding a hidden gem in the busy streets of San Juan.

 

Never underestimate this tiny store for it sells almost everything. One part of the store looks like a mini grocery where fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, candies, seasonings, and spices are displayed. The food display and counter is located at the center; a wide variety of viands can be seen here as well as lots of take-home products to choose from. The rightmost part is the dining area where more or less 8 tables are situated. I like the green painted walls and dimmed lights that give a warm and cozy ambiance. Condiments and free drinking water are readily available at one side of the dining area. Feel free to mix your own concoction to your liking.

 

 

 

On the table:

50/50 Rice (Php 100) is composed of soy chicken, kikiam, and adobo egg on top of a cup of plain rice. The chicken meat is tender, fall off the bones, and well-seasoned. The kikiam is also delectable; I like how chunky and well-spiced the meat is.

 

Lomah Rice (Php 100) is made up of rice topped with adobo pork, kiamchay, and adobo egg. The adobo pork is tender and well-spiced. The vegetable dish matches perfectly with the meat.

 

Maki (Php85) is another store best-seller. Maki consists of coated pork slices in thick brown soup and topped with spring onion. The pork is seasoned with spices, tenderized, and coated with starch then deep fried. I enjoyed the warm soup as it is… though some say it tastes better with black vinegar. I should try that next time.

 

And now, here’s what my friend kept telling me to try… the famous Lumpia (Php 75). I was surprised how big and tightly packed their lumpia is.  We had it split into two for sharing. The mixture of chopped meat and veggies gave a nice texture to the lumpia. The lumpia sauce has the right consistency and flavor. Add crushed garlic for some  extra kick!

 

I must be lucky that day as I was able to meet and talk with Ms. Mona Chua. She recalled how both her parents Bartolome and Rosalinda Chua shared their passion for cooking that later on bloomed and led to the birth of the Little Store. The mix of Taiwanese street and home-cooked Hokkien dishes were designed to appeal everyone.

When asked about the ingredients of the lumpia, Ms. Mona explained that they only use authentic ingredients of a Hokkien lumpia. It’s the store’s best-seller…they sell about 600 pieces of fresh lumpia per day. Definitely a must-try!!!

With the great service, friendly staff, generous owner, and great food, I give Little Store a clap, clap, clap!!!

 

 

 

Little Store on the Hill

Address:  2 Jose Abad Santos St., Little Baguio, San Juan

Contact Numbers:  7219174/ 7236881/ 4113324/ 7212359.

Best Food Forward 2011 – NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City

What a great weekend it was for foodies, families and friends who enjoyed fun-filled activities and food tasting in Global City, Taguig. This event showcased gastronomic creations of culinary experts and newcomers in the industry. For only Php50 entrance fee many were able to help build funds for the farming and feeding programs of Gawad Kalinga and Unang Hakbang Foundation.

Everything’s just fantastic! I was overwhelmed with so many delectable treats…Imagine a child in a toy store, that’s how I felt.  I wish I could buy everything…all the chocolates, cakes, and ice cream. Too bad I’m not fortunate to have that much of moolah nowadays.   :/

There’s just so many things to do, like face painting and craft for the kids; watching cooking demos and having your photos taken at the photo booth. As for us, we sampled those that caught our senses, especially those with decorative booth displays. From sweet chocolate cupcakes to pig breads, nachos and chili beans, mini puto to fried siopao, and bubble tea to liquer bonbons…the list goes on.

We then decided to have lunch. Baloogs had Spiced Xocolat Chicken with rice and potato gratin for Php100. I wasn’t able to take a photo of that. My bad. I was too busy looking for a seat. Anyway, the chicken is almost black in color as it was covered with chocolate and some seasoning. It tasted a bit salty for me.

I ordered 6pcs chicken wings from Manang’s chicken. No fancy brand name or tag line just lip smacking deep fried chicken covered in special sauce and sesame seeds. It was so good I couldn’t shut myself from the ooohs and mmmss coz of it’s goodness. Definitely better than other soy-fried-chicken.

We were having lunch while private chef Sau del Rosario prepared a summer concoction, a pan-fried tuna with salsa, and pasta marinara (i just named it). We were sitting on the second row and had a chance to taste the pasta dish. The shrimp, squid, and fish were in just the right amount of firmness as well as the squid inked pasta. Al Dente! The taste is enhanced with Beringer wine.  Perfecto!   🙂

Chef Luis Chikiamco prepared a pan fried Angus beef with 3 mushroom side dish. The oil from the pan grilled beef with thyme and garlic was used to make the sauce which made it tastier. We sampled the steak cooked medium rare. It was sooooooo good! I like how warm and soft the meat was. The top and the bottom were beautifully charred and the sides browned. Yum!!!

The organizers gave away raffle prizes and awarded merchant for different categories. No one went home empty handed/hungry.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Move over Royce…Risa’s here for the same chocolate delight. These premium chocolates are so velvety smooooth. I especially love the creamy texture of the tiramissyou ( their version of tiramisu) and their melt-in-your-mouth classic truffles. It’s rich chocolate sweetness will make you want more. Cuadro bars are priced P170-180 and Php 130-360 for truffles.

heavenly goodness

Risa

Visit them at Mercato Centrale every Saturday and Sunday.

Check on their site : http://risachocolates.wordpress.com/about/

Get that sweet chewy chill of ice cream filled mochi by Mochiko. Mochi is a japanese mixture made of rice flour “mochiko” with a sweet filling. An innovation in ice cream varieties, this mochiko is filled with ice cream flavors you don’t usually find in grocery stores such as their top 3 best sellers: green tea, azuki or red bean, and black sesame. Other flavors are mango, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel.

I tried green tea and found it interesting. I only had green tea with my starbuck’s frappuccino and thought it would taste the same.  Prized at Php70 each, it’s a great steal!  🙂

simply irresistible...mochi ice cream

Mochiko

Unit 3 Cliffhouse Tagaytay, Maharlika East, Aguinaldo Hway, Tagaytay City

Other Branches: ATC, Boracay, BF Paranaque, Angeles City, and Subic

Contact #s:  0917-8310624/ 0922-8118771

Last but definitely not the least, Manang’s Chicken. Try to believe. It’s goooooooooood! Seriously.

This doesn’t have the sauce yet…i ate the chicken wings right away i didn’t get a chance to take snaps of it.

Manang’s Chicken

Visit them in the following location:

Fridays
Midnight Mercato – 10:00pm to 3:00am

Saturdays
Mercato Centrale – 7:30am to 2:00pm
Alabang Saturday Market – 7:30am to 12:00pm
Midnight Mercato – 10:00pm to 3:00am

Sundays
Mercato Centrale – 7:30am to 2:00pm
Legaspi Sunday Market – 7:30am to 2:00pm

Contact #: 0920-9210935

sinfully yummy...

UPDATE: Manang’s Chicken opened their first store. Hooray!!! Please visit:

Manang’s Chicken
AIC Gold Tower, Garnet Road corner F. Ortigas St.
Ortigas Center, Pasig City (Near Jollibee Center)

Operating Hours: M-Sat  10am-12pm

 

See you all next year for another gastronomic feast!!!

16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival- Angeles City, Pampanga

It’s a wondrous sight to see colorful hot air balloons fly in the skies of Clark Field, Pampanga. The 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival kicked off February 10 and will end on the 13th of the month.

We were scheduled to go on the 2nd day of the event. I made sure I charged the batteries of my camera, I brought extra shirts, filled in a jug of water, and checked my wallet for extra cash. As excited as I can be, I woke up early and left Manila around 3:00am. We arrived 4:45am in Clark Economic Zone, just in time to buy tickets. Good thing the line wasn’t that long when we arrived. We found a good spot, just behind the fence, to take pictures of these gigantic balloons.

The festival didn’t disappoint the thousands of fans who woke up early Friday morning to see balloon sculptures fly high in the sky above. At least 27 hot air balloons manned by more than 100 balloon pilots from various countries participated for this annual event. Spectators marveled at the thrilling stunts of paragliders, aerobatic flight display, sky diving exhibition, and the light airplane balloon bursting competition.

 

It rained mid-afternoon which halted the series of activities for the day; not to mention, the hot air balloon flight for the afternoon was also cancelled. No sunset photos. Sad. Note: It’s the first time ever to rain in this HAB festival, after 15 years. Do you call me lucky or what? Who’s the jinx? Hehehe…

Since more people still tried to come in, thinking there would be a sea of hot air balloons before sunset, the event organizers decided to continue the show with some race car drifting and kite flying right after the rain stopped. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking photos of the different aircrafts and munching on snacks. Plus, we get free slurpee and coffee.  🙂

It wasn’t that bad after all. Think of it this way, well, there’s always next year.

Here are 2 of my best shots…according to baloogs.