Max Brenner and Cafe Breton

IMG_2471Max Brenner is something I found intimidating due to its location at Greenbelt. Remember it used to be so near the Hermes boutique which suggested that their chocolates were as expensive? (sobra naman!) ahaha! And it was indeed a bit steep when we tried it at Mall of Asia. But I think it’s worth the splurge most especially for chocolate lovers. The thing about dessert is that it is not like a meal, it can always be shared so if you find it too expensive then split it with a friend or two. Sampling will be quite slow I suppose but meet your friends often and soon you’ll finish the whole menu! Hahaha. Sorry that I cannot remember our orders. One choco granite I think and something else. I am betting that you will be happy with whatever you’d pick out. They’re just not the ordinary dessert place.

IMG_2602Unlike Max Brenner, Café Breton is a place I call home. I remember this server (Podium branch) who recognized me no matter how much I weigh (thin, gained a bit, gained a lot), no matter what I wore (jeans, skirt, etc) and no matter what my hairstyle was (long, short, bald, under a hat). The surprising thing there is that I wasn’t even a regular customer. He’s that good!

I love Breton because of their savory crepes. My favorite has always been Dracula. It’s got cheese, onions and tomatoes and I use a bit of Tabasco for a bit of heat. I like their coffee beverage list (especially at the time when “modern” coffee shops were still not around). And of course I love it that you can make your own crepe. Hahaha! Signing my name over a dish is a weakness! It’s weird though that I rarely blog it (well, because it’s not exactly something new).

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Cakes at Sancho’s Churreria, Maginhawa

We got to try a slice of frozen blueberry cheesecake, sansrival and the raspberry cheesecake (I’m not sure if I got all them correctly though).

The raspberry cheesecake tasted just fine. I wouldn’t rave about the frosting or the toppings but the sponge itself surely was moist, rich and lovely. IMG_3420

The sansrival on the other hand is the nutty and chewy kind which I happen to like. But I equally like the buttery type that does not require a knife. The one that melts even before you put it in your mouth. Actually I like sansrival even if  I don’t have a sweet tooth so most helpings will garner nothing but praises. haha! The same goes for sylvannas and the like (how do you spell that?). IMG_3424

The frozen blueberry cheesecake was the one that did not deliver. It was gelatinous which is something that I don’t like in cakes. But anyway the other blueberry cheesecake slice at Sancho’s is also good so just pick that one.IMG_3425

The good thing about this joint in Maginhawa is that they also have meals which are equally good. Not spectacular as fireworks but they’re still something that would make you feel good about your day or your weekend. Cheers!

Forte at Maginhawa St.

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I was reading about food joints along Maginhawa St. and was a little bit embarrassed that I haven’t heard of more than 5 of what was on that list. I am supposedly a food lover, who loves trying out new food joints, who resides in Sikatuna, preposterous!

When Elaine invited me out for coffee near our area, I suggested this place. I remember reading an article saying this place has a grand piano but I didn’t see no grand piano! Boo. But anyway my friend and I were both happy with what we ordered. I forgot what she had but I tasted the perfect bittersweet concoction that would beat Starbuck’s Dark Mocha any day (I should ask her what it was). I got the Mozart Trio (because I wanted to take pretty pictures). It’s a shot of espresso topped with pistachio ice cream, whipped cream and pistachio bits. You know, stuff dreams are made of.

Galli Village Café at Maginhawa

IMG_1034The name sounds so inviting. It made me think of home brews, organic coffee beans, alamid coffee and a cozy nook where you can curl with a cup of coffee in your hand. But unfortunately I misinterpreted “café” because they only had a single coffee item on the menu and I’m not even sure if it’s brewed. We ended up ordering paella (255 for 2-3 people or 495 for 4-5 people)which was also not that spectacular.

We ordered juices which were marked as house specialties but those turned out to be those synthetic ones, probably powdered or concentrated syrup diluted with water. It was a disappointment. The location was perfect and the overall feel was acceptable. They were nice too and I guess the food was not that bad. It’s just one dish we’ve tried out of many. But they have to live up to the expectations or they’d end up closing down soon. They should at least change their approach so that they won’t mislead people.

So was it called “village” because it’s in Sikatuna VILLAGE? Wild guess. But anyway let me order other viands before we forget about this joint.

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Sweet Ecstasy Cubao Expo

IMG_2653Not having an item on the menu is a big turn off most especially if it’s the customer’s first time. Having said that, it’s such a shame that the Sriracha lime buffalo wings of Sweet Ecstasy was not available. A shame especially because I loved everything else we had. I decided that we’ll just share a meal and check out another place at Cubao Expo since I didn’t want to order another burger.

Phil opted for the Nutella shake, cheeseburger and fries. I’m not a big fan of all-American fast food but this has a homemade touch in them. As Phil said, eating it brought him back. His sister used to make a batch exactly like that when they were kids. The snack is quite filling especially with the milk shake but if you can share it, it’s just about right. I loved the burger but Phil thought the patty was too thin. You should listen to him cause he’s the real burger lover. While the burger looked gross with mayo, it was nothing like that.  It was juicy and it was a wonderfully flavored helping I didn’t expect.

IMG_2655The shake according to Phil was sweet. I think there’s no other way to make a shake that goes with a burger. And to those like me who don’t really enjoy milkshakes as much, well there’s always beer to down burgers with. While it is still an expensive food joint and the menu is limited, I feel like Johnny Rockets should head for the hills. They have beer shakes too and I’ll tell you all about them once I geared myself up to the challenge.

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Here’s to girls who eat what they want! (I’m supposedly on a strict diet at the time.) Cheers!

Filipino Fusion: Recipes

It’s only Phil (the boyfriend) and I who go out and try to taste the world. Most of the time, we order two viands as it’s usually more than enough for us. What I’m trying to say is this blog only samples a few items on the menu of a food joint unlike other bloggers who can virtually order everything on the menu (for whatever reason). While my family and relatives often eat out I don’t have the luxury of time to take photos of everything before people start digging in and really I am the last person who want to ruin someone else’s grand meal. In short, sometimes I combine several trips and roll it into one post.
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Anyway, Angge recommended this place. I like the way that they were more experimental with the dishes which makes them ideal for people who are not so fond of authentic Filipino dishes. On the other hand if people were looking for authentic specialties, this might not be the place for them. Many items looked promising but somehow failed to deliver. For instance the eggplant topped with chicharon used the cheap kind so it wasn’t that flavorful. The crunchy fish inspired by Thai cuisine’s crispy catfish and mango salad was very disappointing. Apart from the very small helping of fish, the green mango and shrimp paste simply overpowered everything. The squid was a little too sweet and was dry although it went well with beer. I supposed I like the classic kare-kare that’s why this was not as satisfying. I did enjoy the lechon kawali which was cooked just right and was rather refreshing.

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I think another trip is in order especially that I still haven’t tried their specialties. I think it’s worth a try especially that the place is always packed.

How many posts for today and counting?! Cheers!

Dolce Amore for coffee and cakes

IMG_1652IMG_1654Hidden in the lower ground level of the building Dolce Amore is worth it. Okay… So we were driving around in circles and I was being a brat. We were bored, tired and craving for sweets and we finally decided to settle for something we have already tried. Then came this cozy cafe’s signage and so I was appeased. It does not always work out but if it could I would very much like to try out something new every time.IMG_1651

I love everything about this coffee shop. Not much people. Hidden from the busy street. Wi-fi. Not so expensive but far from “cheap”. And of course there were lot of items to sample!

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It’s so nice to try a new place with a group because you get to taste evvvrrrything, well, almost. One more time!

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Part I – Simply Vinegar (Filipino Delights)

Here, I listed down the ways vinegar can be used to make your homemade dishes a little bit more special. I start of with Filipino helpings before moving on to the others.

  1. vinegar + garlic + salt + pepper This is probably the most basic dipping sauce for inihaw na liempo and weird as it may seem, it is also pretty much what you need for marinating pork belly for grilling.
  2. vinegar + red onions + siling labuyo It’s not too far from the first one but this is what I use as dip for chicharon and various types of pancit that need suka.
  3. vinegar + soy sauce + calamansi + tomato This is the partner for fried, steamed or grilled seafood. You can also pair it with eggplant, kangkong, talbos ng kamote and etc.
  4. vinegar + green capsicums + green chili + salted egg + cucumber + white and red onions It sounds more complicated than the others but it’s just as easy. Use this for making kinilaw. If it is fish make sure you leave it long enough to cook it thoroughly. Otherwise, this can be plainly vegetables, seaweed and mushrooms.
  5. vinegar + soy sauce + red and white onions + ginger + sugar + green onions This is like a giveaway tokwa’t baboy or tokwa’t tokwa is great with this vinegar-based dipping sauce. No wonder it is a favorite, everything is in there.

And my little secret is diluting vinegar with water if it tastes too strong before mixing it with the other ingredients. It says there part 1 right? So, there’s going to be another helping. Cheerio!