Good coffee

People change – and I am a changed person because of coffee. 😆

From someone who cannot even stand to drink brewed coffee, i have become a coffee lover counting on brewed and strong coffee to keep me awake and alert. 

Got me thinking about the coffee I drink most of the time…

Dunkin – about 50 pesos. i like the taste ( bit strong but still light) and it’s caffeine level is strong

McDonalds – 35-50 pesos. taste is good (clean and light and aromatic) and I would say medium

UCC at Family mart – 55 pesos. a bit heavy (maybe thick?) I think on the texture and strong

Country style – 50 pesos. almost the same as McDonalds

Starbucks – 100-200 pesos. i still cant find the right balance for its brewed cofee unlike for their espresso based drinks. Their normal brewed is strong but the reserve variants are stronger. 🙂 i get the reserve variant for the cookie that comes along with it. (Sort of fooling myself that I did not buy dessert or sweets)

UCC cafe – 150-220 pesos. i love the UCC special blend and the sumiyaki! Maybe it is with the cream and the sugar… Both flavors are strong. The great thing here is you really taste the distinct flavor of their coffee and the differences in flavor of each variant. Or at least for the 2 I mentioned.

Coffee bean – 100-200 pesos. hasnt been a fan. I like their food though. I go there more for the food. 😀

Toby’s estate – 120-200 pesos. still has not registered to me. 🙂 i found the mocha nice.

Vietnamese coffee – 100-120 pesos. i like the iced coffee on the rocks. I forgot the name of the coffee shop where I used to buy it. It closed because the coffee was pricey. They should have improved their packaging. If you see it, it looks like a 50-peso drink.

Chilis – they have unli brewed coffee. For about 100, it is sulit!

And so I just switch coffees every now and then depending on how much of a sleepy head I am on that day. I also do it to make sure my coffee taste buds don’t get fatigued. 😊 

(picture not in any of the places I mentioned above. 😅)

Alfredo’s steaks

The restaurant can already be considered a landmark at Tomas Morato. I grew up seeing it with its wooden frames and inviting veranda. It has not changed much ever since, which I think is a good thing, because externally, I dont think that it looked worse with time. I just see it as a constant reference to all the shops and restos that come and go in that busy street.

After all these years, I finally got to try Alfredo’s. Having a no reservations policy during a holiday, the field was kind of leveled in terms of chances in getting a table. And so the race begins.

We got there around almost 6pm and it was already packed with people. There was no queue and there were already people standing around. Good thing there was a waiter we were able to convince to create a queue and list our names and guest number. It was on a logbook page full of scribbles. Hmm not a very good sign.

There were still several vacant tables but nobody is making the effort to have people get seated there. If we could only fit on those spaces, I would have volunteered. Actually, I would have already sat there. It took about an hour before they start figuring things out. There was even a waiter who was turning people away. Very bad sign. 

Anyway, thankfully, I was sent a guardian angel waiter and he really tried to find a spot and reserved it for my group. There is still hope.

I ordered an appetizer right away and one of my group guest ordered for a drink while we try to figure out what to order for entree. Long story short, the appetizer did not arrive and the waiter even had a comment about not ordering completely the first time. We let it pass so as not to ruin the day. 

Anyway let’s talk about the food, since this is Alfredo’s steaks we had to try the steaks. They said the only difference between tenderloin and fillet mignon is the bacon on top. Their steaks are priced between Php 800 – 2000. It comes with gravy, vegetables, and half a boiled potato that you can mash on your own since it’s very soft. 🙂 I liked the potato, dont get me wrong.

The steak was soft and it was cooked the way I asked. Good job chef. 🙂 But it is not the kind of steak you eat without gravy hence, the gravy. Lol.

Good steak for me is something you can eat and enjoy without the need for any condiment or sauce. 

They had soup and salad with the steak. The soup was  mushroom soup that seems to have been watered down. It was edible and I finished it. The salad is like a worse version of a Wendy’s side salad. Let’s just say that is a bit personal as I am not a fan of thousand island dressing. ;p 

I liked their complimentary pandesal and butter. It was a hit. 🙂 It was hot and soft which really made it good and they weren’t cheap on the butter.

We ordered coffee for one of my group guest and again, it did not arrive. Queue was still very long during this time so I guess they are busy.

The ambience was nice with all the walls being glass and the guests seeing the lights outside the restaurant. They had a special gift for the ocassion, which was very much appreciated. A point for Alfredo’s. 🙂 

The food was ok but the service can be improved by a lot. Seems like the servers and waiters have become too familiar with the place and their work and no one seems to be keeping them on their toes and leading them (at least not that I saw). It is an old restaurant that is in a way has grown old in terms of service. Like a tired old grandparent, still loving and serving, but can only do so much due to frailty.

Lola Ote

I love bbq! I mean it is one of my all-time favorites like pizza. I think i can eat it 7 days straight and be perfectly fine with it! That says a lot as I normally want my meals to be varied.

A local resto in QC offers value for money bbq!! The pork bbq was 18 inches and is served hung. Nice. 🙂

It is a great buy for about 150 I think for the combo meal. The isaw baboy and isaw manok are ok and can offer variety but I like the pork bbq best.

The pancit there is good too – flavorful and with lots of ingredients. I have not ordered other menu items as I normally get full on the bbq. 😋

Have tried many bbq places and this is one of those I go back to. 👍

I normally rate high and since I have gone back to this place several times already – 4.5 😋

New Bombay

Never did I imagine that I would say I like Indian cuisine. I think it could have been several factors…

1. I am getting old. Ever noticed that we tend to eat or try those we thought we do not like for the longest time and found that it was actually good or not that bad. 😄

2. 100 foot journey. Nothing like a good movie influencing you. I remember as a child I saw an actor from a tv eating boiled egg and I suddenly craved for one. I actually boiled an egg by the way. 😅Anyway, Hassan had so much passion in cooking that in the movie that I wanted to try Indian cuisine. Imagine that!

3. New Bombay had it good. 👍 I found all the things I thought I would not like very very good! The bread Naan was perfect with the sauces. As in the movie, I ordered Masala! Chicken tikka masala with cheese on top was the crowd favorite.

We also ordered samosa for appetizer. Still an influence from the movie. “…Only grease-proof paper, Samosa” 😂😂😂 loved it with the green sauce! The tamarind sauce was also ok but I prefer the cilantro one. The samosa we ordered was vegetarian and was made of peas I believe.. healthy and good!

We ordered another entree for the bread – fish curry this time. It was also great. I already tried several dipping sauces there like mutton masala which I also found nice. I have not actually tried anything in that place that tasted overpowering. Good job New Bombay!

The Chicken Biryani was super spicy for me even if it was only supposed to be medium spicy. The bread alone can be heavy so I only ate a bit of rice. 

I tried the mango lassi but found it too sweet! They said it was to take out the spicyness of the food. I ended up putting a lot of ice in the drink and probably turned it into a mango juice. 😆 also, i hate paper straws!!! 😠 the owners should really try to use it first before making the customers do so. Aside from getting the paper taste, the straw becomes useless after a while!!! This is one invention I do not like. 😥 so back to the drink.. lol.. next time I will stick with coke. The softdrink is a nice balance to all the spices in the food. 😉

The food range is about 250-350 and the bread 75. I think it is a real value for your money and may be the best first Indian restaurant to try Indian cuisine. 🙂 (everyone I brought there liked it.. so far 100% hitrate) 😀
New Bombay: 😋😋😋😋 plus 😋 (4.5) or probably a bit higher

Bawai’s

Truly a hidden gem in White plains! Thanks to my cousin, to dining apps, and to my fellow foodies, I found Bawais. Do not be fooled by their unattractive signage, go on and dine there. 😉 

The restaurant is fine dining in nature and the place was with lush greens and has a tropical theme. We would have sat al fresco but we were warned of mosquitoes. I hope they can fix that.

Anyway, the ambiance was very nice. I like the style and even the menu was designed according to the theme. I loved those small details!

Fastforward to the food – I super loved the double grilled pork belly! And I mean I loved it and could have eaten it again the next day! It was super soft and tasty! I can taste the lemongrass but there were also other herbs that were just combined perfectly. The mushroom and egg pie was also lovely. The serving was big aside from it being really yummy which gave us our money’s worth. I would definitely go back to order that.

The place had low light and I could not get a better picture. But who cares I will eat there again and just update the photo! 😅

We ordered the fresh lumpia and the seafood noodle soup as well. The noodle soup for sharing is only good for one if you are not eating anything else. The noodle soup is ok. I have eaten better noodle soups though. My mom said she liked the soup and said the taste is not overpowering. She also liked the fresh lumpia. I believe in many different tastes so those two may be good as well but I’m sure not as amazing as the pork. Lol. 

I ordered the dessert made of pandan and mung bean and being a stickler for anything chewy in texture, I liked it a lot.👍 The dessert was priced around 65 so it is affordable. I liked the sweetness of the coconut syrup on top.

The entree is priced around 300-450 and I am willing to pay that for the pork belly. 😂 We saw that the restaurant has a branch in Tagaytay so maybe we will eat there next time.

Overall it was a great experience – ambiance and food worked out great. 😁

Bawai’s: 😋😋😋😋 plus half 😋 (4.5)

Pino

I previously ate at Pino’s sister restaurant Pipino and have found it good so I was meaning to eat at Pino for quite some time now. The restaurant closes late around 12 midnight so we were able to try it out during that late saturday.

The restaurant had that artsy feel to it and was like in between casual and a semi fine dining place. The meal rates were about 250-400 but the serving was really big. The waiter even admitted that we may not need appetizers due to serving size.

We ordered bagnet kare kare, chicken cordon bleu, and crispy hito. The meals arrived and the servings were indeed hefty!

The kare kare was good but I would order it next time with plain rice. The rice was already bagoong rice so you do not need bagoong anymore. I like less bagoong than what was in the rice.

The cordon bleu was just ok. Nothing really fancy but still a big serving.

The hito was a hit with my mom! I did not try it but it looks really crispy and yummy even to the not hito-eater. You may need to request more atchara. 🙂 My mom said she would like to eat it again!

The only small serving is the iced tea. It was full of ice and not enough iced tea to really fill 3 glasses. You will fill the glasses if you have the ice. 😯

The food was fine (taste better than notmal and comes in a big serving) and the waiters very nice. I would still go back to the place and sample their other stuff.

Pino: 😋😋😋⚪⚪ plus half 😋 (3.5)

Celphone class 101

I live with senior citizens and the digital age has finally caught up with them. 😁 They have already recognized the need of having gadgets and the importance of being kept updated with technology. I guess we have social media to thank for closing the wide gap. 

Now the wide gap is very real. As real as the hours they need to practice before being able to check pictures and add their old friends and acquaintances in Facebook. Now computers and celphones with keyboards is one thing but a small touchscreen phone is another. 📱📲 They are haunted by apps ‘disappearing’ and suddenly getting inside folders. 😂 One has to have a lot of patience showing them how to answer phonecalls by ‘swiping to the right’. (Tip: teach them how about the speaker feature so that they can hear the calls better. 👍) Also, regular phone settings maintenance may be necessary as apps and settings can be changed as they press things on their phones. 

This our task now young people – to teach our old how to thrive in these technology-savvy times, and to help them enjoy the benefits of this age as they did their own time in their youth. We too will grow old. There will always be a new generation to come and new technology and innovations created more complicated for us to comprehend. We can only strive to welcome change and hope that the next generation does us the same favor of keeping us in the loop. 👴👵👶👦👧👨👩