Fancy Market: Mercato

This post has been long overdue so for now I’ll flood it with photos and if I have time I’ll be back with the juicy details!

Mercato is near Phil’s office so it wasn’t too long before we had to drop by. So far we’ve been there four times; twice with Mitzi and Don. once with Mylin, Irene and Toto and once by ourselves. So please don’t try to eat all of these in one go. I collected all the photos of what we tried so that people will have an idea what kind of goods they have there.


This is one of the roast beef stalls that we ended up ordering again in our other visits.

The small helpings include takoyaki balls, open taco and squid.


I’m not exactly a fan of burgers but anyway there were about three or four stalls with different versions of burgers. Burger lovers would surely enjoy trying each and every viand every visit especially if they want something new.

This is a kind of fish wrapped in bacon with some garnishes

Those who are fans of gata and vegetables would also enjoy laing and other spicy delights in one of the tents.


I’ve heard of such burgers being available for baseball games and football games but anyway I was glad to try this sweet and savory burger that use krispy kreme as a bun. I think all of those that they picked out including the type of ham and type of cheese complimented the burger and the “bun”.

I would definitely try this one out again.

sinful bagnet, longganiza and corned beef sinigang


We brought home homemade ravioli but I found it too cheesy. Phil on the other hand enjoyed it very much.

The two kinds of kebab (chicken and beef) were not very good because they were too greasy. I think the base of their marinade is cooking oil and maybe they didn’t heat it long enough. I’m not sure but it wasn’t a good snack.


Angus beef tapa

La paz batchoy with egg

Oh and fresh produce!

Did I say organic?

and here’s to sweet endings a sampler of truffles. I rarely try out sweets but I did enjoy the vegan chocolate cake from low cal in one of the tents.

share the pleasures! Lovely.


Cafe Juanita, A dish and A corner at a time

Revisiting Cafe Juanita for lunch with Phil, my mindset was that I should focus. I have visited the cafe portion of the restaurant before so I kind of had an idea what to expect. I actually planned it and I thought I shouldn’t try to take it all in one gulp. Firstly, because it would take forever and secondly because I also want to enjoy my food.  If I clicked away and took pictures of everything I found interesting then maybe Phil would hate me for not experiencing it with him. So I promised myself I would look only as far as my eyes could see, snap a few and eat leisurely.

I got an order of Sole while Phil ordered Bagnet salad. Both were wonderfully satisfying and delectable. What’s weird is that the viands seem simple. I am familiar of the ingredients or the spice used but still how the dish came together was magical. It was sad that there were only two of us. If we went there with a bigger group then we could have sampled more dishes.


The place was huge. There were so many chandeliers and I lost count of items I want and items I want to take photos of. I forgot to take a picture of myself and I forgot to take a picture of Phil! haha. As promised, I did not fully explore it so I’ll definitely be back (hopefully with Pa so I don’t have to worry about the bill.) The only really bad thing about it is not even the price. It’s still the staff and service. I was thinking that maybe because it is the regular hours they will be more welcoming but I was wrong. They were all in a hurry. There were no smiles or greetings. It takes forever to get their attention. I recommend going there very early to get a head start. At least when you wait forever to get your bill, you are already full.

Coffee and Merienda at Adarna

I have a blog about Adarna back in my multiply days. This post is a little bit more different because this time it is for coffee. And you know the thing about coffee… it is short and sweet.

I love it that the people were warm and accommodating. They attended to us wonderfully even if we stayed there for a long time. Considering we only had a pot of coffee and dessert, I am quite thankful for their welcome.

We ordered a kind of mango crepe and a dessert with kesong puti and langka if I remember correctly.

The coffee was good and also not as expensive as traditional coffee shops. You can always count on Adarna for making things prettier. It was more peaceful too considering it’s very far from the usual clatter of students in big groups. Sure coffee shops would have more variety for coffee but if you can enjoy lovely desserts then it surely compensates.So go ahead, visit it for lunch and continue with coffee and merienda.

Menu: Here’s to Vegetables! (Vegetarian)

Uh-huh… So I’ll try to be as brief as I can. I planned this in the last quarter of 2010. I wanted a vegetarian feast with all original recipes. I was aiming for a 5-course meal because I thought vegetarians always have to settle for something less and so I’d give them my all just so they can have a little bit more even for a night. It may have failed in the sense that I only had a singular guest and my fellow scientist (a greater one that is) who agreed to cook 5 more vegetarian dishes could not make it. Still, I am quite happy that it pushed through. All in all, I am proud of how it turned out even if I ended up with only 4 original dishes.

Of course I planned to dress up and take a lot of pictures and etc but… Anyway, here they are.

I – Tomyam in Coconut Cream


boil water, put in sliced onions and tomatoes, followed by sliced green chilis, stir in sour mix and gata

II – mushroom and wansoy stirfry salad

(tomato+mushroom+garlic+mango+nuts+wansoy+basil+sesame oil+vegetarian stir fry+olive oil+red capsicum)

IV – tofu and shitake in teriyaki sauce

(tofu+shitake+garlic+leeks+ginger+soy sauce+sugar+asparagus+bread crumbs)

III – lumpia wrapped burrito in garlic pea sauce and salsa over cabbage strips

(beans+cumin+oregano+sweetbasil+rice+lumpia wrapper+garlic+onion)

(pea+garlic+onion+salt+pepper+silken tofu)


V-dessert station

(banana walnut fr. Blissful Belly+ minatamis na saging + latundan + ripe mango + chocolate syrup + coconut in ricemilk + rice crispies + cornflakes)


5: side dishes for pork

Whether it is crispy pata, inihaw na liempo, pork adobo or a simple fried porkchop, do a little magic by pairing your pork dishes with some side dishes. That would make it more refreshing and somewhat less sinful (or so I thought). Changing the side dishes from time to time would also be helpful in keeping the menu less monotonous. It’s been awhile since I last did this so let’s start shall we?

1 – ensaladang mangga

This can be done in a variety of ways. The truth is that a ripe mango is already good enough to be paired with any of the pork dishes but if you want something fancier… You can use green mango or ripe mango, red onions or white onions and tomatoes. Some like the idea of putting chopped chilis or using cayenne pepper for some heat. How much you put will also depend on how much you like the flavors. For those who want it sweet, there can be extra slices of the ripe mango. For those who like it sharp, more red onions would be best. Some people take it as it is, others put vinegar and sugar and others mix it with bagoong. Talbos ng kamote and eggplant can also be mixed with onions and tomatoes.

2 – wansoy ensalada

1. Chop wansoy, tomatoes and onions. 2. Add a dash of fish sauce or anything a bit salty. 3. Salivate. I purposely put wansoy on its own for the reason that its aroma is far different from others that you use with ensaladas.  Some dishes are meant for experimental people. You can mix in some mangoes, pomelo, singkamas, apples, cucumber and anything else that seems delightfully cooling. You can also chop some nuts for a bit of texture and some would even put pork floss, chopped dried fish or squid and a big etc.

3 – kimchi

Alright. There are different kinds of kimchi so you can experiment with those too. Start with varieties of cabbages and then move on to radishes or other kimchi variants. It’s sour, spicy and hot at the same time so what have you got to lose? I used to hate the stuff but after the dawn of sam gyeop sal in my weekly cravings, I gotta say that it’s there to stay.

4 – atsara

Just like kimchi, there are different kinds of pickled vegetables so mix and match it with savory pork dishes. Get a small bottle so that you can use it up right away and none would go to waste. Start with basic pickled papaya then move on to carrots, cucumbers, cauliflowers and others you may fancy. You can also try some homemade atsaras so you can have your way in making it more sour or making it more spicier.

5 – ginataang santol

This one also has the kick of onions but if you want something hotter, chop green chilis or labuyos. The creamy goodness of coconut milk plus the tang of santol plus the chilis perfect this little side dish. Not even a spoonful would be enough to make a simple fried pork chop a gastronomical adventure.

Next stop. We’ll have a look at soups that go with these dishes. oh yum!