Where I Ate: Bacolod’s RIBSHACK and LORD BYRON’S

I recently went to Bacolod and one of the highlights of my trip was indulging in the back ribs craze of the city. I love meat and a big bonus in Bacolod is that their food there is relatively cheaper. And it’s not as if they scrimp on size and taste because oh boy, they don’t.

I scoured food blogs about Bacolod and back ribs were popular posts. I tried two of the more popular ones and was so impressed.

First, Ribshack. I read it’s originally from Cebu and opened its first branch in the city in SM Bacolod. The one I tried is in the 2nd floor Food Court of 888 Chinatown Mall which is very near the inn I stayed at. Ribshack also offers other grilled foods like chicken and fish, but ribs are, of course, their specialty. My Instagram post said it all.

The next day I specifically hunted Lord Byron’s newest branch nearer the city proper. Lord Byron’s original and bigger one is in Homesite which is a place I haven’t gone to, but a jeepney destination anyway (which is one of the best things in Bacolod, imho, mobility-wise — almost all places can be reached via jeepney!).

I went to pray at the Redemptorist Church and walked a few minutes and found its location in San Agustin Street (basically an extension of the street opposite Colegio San Agustin – so if you see the school, turn right and you’re near the restaurant). A bigger landmark — Riverside Hospital. The restaurant is beside other dessert places which are also very popular in the city.

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Another shot of my Lord Byron’s plate. Partnered it with cold Pepsi Max for good measure. This ribs meal plate is 159 pesos only.   

More than sumptuous chicken dishes, Bacolod is also strong in the backribs restaurant game. 🙂

 

 

 

Lunch Joke

I hardly regret the amount I spend on food and books. My taste in food is also very easy to please unless onions are involved. However there are days that will get you. See, I paid 100 pesos for this plate of food. You can tell how the serving is as I put a bill beside it. Hindi talaga makatarungan minsan. And it’s not as if it’s melt in your mouth liempo. 

Some say when I complain about how much something costs it just means I am not its target market. I agree with that but this joke of a lunch is to me a clear exception. 😂

Just Write Just Right

This begins a series of short posts that may or may not be for long. There is still the disconnect. I have said this over and over again.

Anyway, there is still comfort – not guilt – in running close to 7 kilometers, then going home and having panaderia-bought Spanish bread and Finetti (aka upper middle class Nutella) for dinner. And a glass of cold cranberry juice. Whatever makes you happy, you eat it.

Ramen Dump

The disconnect between my steady stream of ideas and the urge to write them down is still not fixed but I got to push it, push it, push it real good, ‘no?

I checked my Media Library and discovered I uploaded most of my food shots when I had to give my old Android phone to my niece. So you might see plenty of food posts in the future JUST BECAUSE. For now, here’s my ramen dump.

Left to right, clockwise: (1) Yoshinoya‘s classic beef ramen. I bought it because I love corn. It was okay; (2) I tried Ersao along Pedro Gil almost two years ago, the kuchay did a lot in improving the regular ramen flavor; (3) Mr. Kurosawa‘s tonkotsu tempura ramen is one of the tastiest I had in recent memory; (4) it may not be as appetizing as it looks but this special Taiwan beef noodle soup from Suzhou Dimsum (one of the best hole-in-the-wall in Ermita/Malate!) is tops. This serving is for sharing but on days when you are really craving for tasty soup, one can finish it off just as easily, (5) this version of Maki Mi by Kwong’s Provisions (they used to be in Hole in the Wall in Century City Mall, too bad they closed down) was really good even with its kinda gelatinous consistency (lomi-like but better — sorry, I don’t eat lomi kasi); (6) oh Red King from Ramen Nagi! I tried it when my nose was stuffy and it worked wonders (as it should). I liked Nagi’s Black King ramen better though.

I remember a few more ramens I have tried but did not take photos of. If I have to round up and rank them, I will still go for Suzhou Dimsum’s! Not only their ramens and noodle soups, they also have good (but cheap!) xiao long bao. I suggest you try this long-standing hole in the wall along Mabini Street. They moved a few blocks from their original location near Music21 in Malvar St. ; they are farther down Mabini going the direction of Quirino  Avenue.

Eat more, live more!

 

January Wrap Up

One month down, eleven to go!

The first month of the year swished just like that. It was fun though. And fast.

Let’s see, what was I up to last month?

January holds a soft spot for me mainly because of my birthday. Cash-strapped but adventurous, I managed to enjoy my 32nd birthday up at a mountain in Benguet. The first two weeks of January were actually spent scrimping and buying [yes, that’s possible], and mostly preparing for the Mt. Pulag trip. Not so much, physically…to the detriment of my legs. But I survived. My separate blog update is still in the works so I will link it up when it’s done [hopefully, within this century].

One hour into the trek, we saw this. This does not do the place justice. It's majestic, magnificent, and when we went, insanely cold.

One hour into the trek, we saw this. This photo does not do the place justice. It’s majestic, magnificent, and when we went, insanely cold.

I started the year on staycation because of forfeitable leave credits from last year. I cut it short by two days, much to our office timekeeper’s cute annoyance, because I got bored. Yes. I got bored. Plus it was crazy hot that week. Had it been this semi-chilly, I would not even think about the office.

My book haul is at a modest six — five bought, one received as a gift. I think it was conservatively countered by my Kindle. I don’t want to speak prematurely though. As I said, we have eleven months to go.

Four out of six books hauled in January. I picked up MIDWIVES to add to my Chris Bohjalian pile, WEAVEWORLD to add to my Clive Barker I-will-see-you-in-my-horror-reading-month pile, FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux because it's dystopian that's less mainstream, and WICKETT'S REMEDY because I need something to pair with Midwives to avail the Buy One, Take One sale. Not in photo are JOYLAND by Stephen King [gift] and THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker.

Four out of six books hauled in January. I picked up MIDWIVES to add to my Chris Bohjalian pile, WEAVEWORLD to add to my Clive Barker I-will-see-you-in-my-horror-reading-month pile, FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux because it’s dystopian that’s less mainstream, and WICKETT’S REMEDY because I need something to pair with Midwives to avail the Buy One, Take One sale. Not in photo are JOYLAND by Stephen King [gift] and THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker.

As for books read last month, I book-ended it with 7 books. That’s just right for my 75-book challenge this year. I try to keep a sane balance between e-books [a swooning post about S. Eloise, my Paperwhite, is in the works, too] and printed books so as not to start a jealous fit. Yes, my thick, thin, page-foxing books have feelings!

One highlight of the last month was the first book session of my book club at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I loved it! I also cannot forget the yumminess of 9 Spoons’ tokwa’t bagnet. It’s a take on tokwa’t baboy but they substituted, obviously, bagnet, but more than that, the vinegary spice made a huge difference. The flavor seeps through the bagnet strips and tokwa cubes. Oh man, I’m drooling just typing about it. Will definitely come back. You can actually order off the 9 Spoons menu even when you are at the SkyDeck. It made the experience more interesting. Hint to my future date! Although it probably wouldn’t be wise to ravage tokwa’t bagnet on a first date. 🙂

Taken from the Skydeck of The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I love my city!

Taken from the Skydeck of The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I love my city!

On the work front, I marked my 11th year in the office. There are days when I think it’s time to move on, move forward. I don’t know; it comes and goes. I’ll see. As always, I will actively seek and wait for the chance to present itself. I also welcomed a new staff so if only for this new addition, this change, there’s something fresh to look forward to. Plus yummy friend is going back to the building in a two weeks! My lunchmate will be back.

Speaking of people, someone makes me smile everyday, more often lately.  Meh, I’m just going to enjoy it. And of course if I’m doing anything else about it, I will not tell you. Well, that is, assuming you are interested.

So, how have you been?

Thank you, 2013.

Happy New Year! When I did a rundown of the first half of my 2013, it was quite eventful and hopeful. The last half of the year was pretty much the same. Of course, there’s still the “Another year has passed, what now?” vibe  by December 31.

ON TRAVELS

tigger-picnic-03October saw me, and friends Rach and Carms in Bacolod for Rach’s birthday. The Peace Cup was also the same time so a live football game of the Azkals was a bonus. We went there for a gastronomic fix – Manokan Country, Calea, Pendy’s, Felicia’s – we tried them all. And they’re all good. Plus even when we were only three, the thrill of surprising a birthday celebrant when the clock strikes 12 will always be fun for me.

December brought me to Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. It was a sudden training opportunity which gave me the chance to meet colleagues from the East Asia Pacific bureau, catch up with friends, and be with family. Cramped, short, but very fun. Walking around downtown San Francisco (well, the stretch of Market Street and its environs, at least) is the most memorable for me.

ON READING

I gave my reading report for the year and I tried to forget all about it. All I can say is I’m going to do better this year. Itaga mo yan sa matigas na bato. 😉

ON FINANCES

Turbulent and messy! The income tax spectacle started this. I also do not know what happened except that I spent a lot. And just when I thought I’m the only one, I hear people who are in the same boat, and frankly, it makes me feel a little bit better. Hahaha! I told my friend it’s a problem I brought to myself anyway. I could blame the government, I could blame the economy, but ultimately, I’m to blame. During the last quarter, my ledger’s a mess. It’s not attractive for a thirty-something to ask money from her mother yet I have done it last year many times. In one of my holiday dinners, I asked one of my best friends to pay for half of my dinner. That’s how terrible it was…is. Though really, it is annoying to complain about having very little money [compared to past Christmases, at least] when many people do not have anything left at all, right? But selfishly speaking, it’s really a tough time, and if you are a relative or a godchild from a distance, you would have felt it. 2014 will be spent restructuring my finances, or whatever’s there to salvage.  It’s just in the way you look at it, Judie.

ON ATTEMPTS TO BE A PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY

tigger-alphablock-03I opened my year with a reading day at a public school, courtesy of my bestfriend, on my birthday. I also dabbled into a teaching session with kids living in Manila North Cemetery with the help of the people from ATD Fourth World (thanks, Laine, for this). Of course, everyone has heard of the terrible Yolanda/Haiyan devastation and at least for two sweaty days I got to assist in repacking goods for the casualties within the week after it happened. I also worked with organizations in collecting monetary donations for the victims. It’s an ongoing project and with that is the desire to be there until everything slowly rebuilds.

ON MY LOVE FOR TV SHOWS

What kept me glued: The Newsroom Season 2, big Sherlock re-watch before season 3, Scandal, The Blacklist (aha, my daddy issues — Lizzie IS Raymond Reddington’s daughter, dagnabbit), The Goldbergs, regained love for Mike & Molly. Plenty more kept me entertained. If you noticed, Homeland is conveniently missing. It was pushed back in my to-watch list until season 3 ended without me noticing. This year I plan to go back to it. Save money, watch TV! LOL.

ON ROMANCE

tigger-sleephearts-01Hahaha! Anong meron? 2013 actually started off fun then it became not fun and I admit it’s my fault and I was genuinely sorry. See, when there’s someone you think is available, then it turns out he’s no longer available, the next logical course is to stop. I did not. I had fun provoking and posting stuff because I know the girl was reading until it became a bit messy. Was it right? No. Was it fun? Yes, to an extent, THAT TIME. The “it’s never gonna happen” part was clear to me so I wasn’t provoking because of that; it’s that if you know me, at times I do not like the appearance of losing, or in this case, being caught off-guard and embarrassed like that. [What a vindictive bitch.] I did not regret what happened afterwards between the guy and me even if it’s just a bibliophile kind of friendship because we like very different things. Oh well, I just laugh at it now. I’m not doing it again though. I promise. Life is short to be spent doing things like that.

I may be shallow (and vindictive) at times but really, I also get pleased very easily and gets satisfied with small amounts of affection. That’s why simply acknowledging I was always there, as small a gesture as “favoriting” my tweets, always appreciating anything I do, it warms my heart. But it’s not meant to flourish anyway and there was never any indication it will. He’s back in Sweden and if he thinks it’s for the best, I believe it.

Right now, it’s simple but promising (and a tad funny in a giggling fit kind of way), this romantic landscape. I said it before and it’s still the same. I’m happy with whatever is there. I do not take myself seriously the way I did in my twenties; too much insecurity back then because of my weight and overall appearance, too much apprehension because of my supposed image — all deserves a “WTF was that?” right this moment and a shower of yucks.  If nothing’s going to happen, well, I have ways to make myself happy, hehe (I have my books and pirated TV shows, ano ba, get your mind off the gutter). 🙂 Plus I have my own problems to sort and maybe a man will just be a distraction this year (see plan of action in ON FINANCES, above). Let’s see. All I want to do this year is to have fun in everything I do. Nakakapangit ang stress.

ON WORK AND MY CAREER IN GENERAL

I tried applying for another job early in the year but was turned down. I took it as a sign to stay put and possibly do something more to polish my brand. I don’t know if it worked. Hahaha! I was sent for training so even if there’s nothing in print about having to stay, I still feel the need to be more productive to be worthy of the training I got, no matter how short it was. Ten years, man. I may feel lacking and ignorant and clueless at times but I also cannot deny my institutional knowledge and how useful I am in my organization. A decade. Wow. Of course, if a better opportunity comes along, I will definitely consider. “Better” is strictly relative and even when I’m in dire need, taking a job with a higher pay but is obviously not a good fit for me or it’s in a bit of a messy environment, I will pass. Happiness is more important. Yay, where did that come from? 🙂

ONWARD, UPWARD, FORWARD

tigger-confetti-01I plan to work harder (emphasis on -er, LOL) and just be happy each day. I will be out of the calendar, as a popular Pinoy joke goes, in a few days, and frankly, I do not feel any different. If anything, I feel more confident and secure than when I turned, say, 22 — that was the age when I said I’ll take my life more seriously — be it in my romances and hooking up, school activities, work plans — and look where it got me. Only the “work” part paid itself nicely. Gah. 🙂

2013, overall, you were good. Emotional, freaky, fun. Thank you.

On to a new year with hopefully better prospects, more hugs, more books, and more bacon. And French fries. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Judayski’s Best of 2012 (And A Few Unfortunate Events)

The year is about to end so what better way to bookend it than a list of great, wonderful things I experienced this year.  I may have had setbacks which I took really seriously but overall, it’s a very blessed year for yours truly.

best of lifeBest Event: Turning 30.  It’s just a number, yes, but it’s a big one for me.  I threw the  imaginary blueprint I formed in my twenties and created a new one in my head.  It didn’t feel much differently, save for new emotional depths I now have (I swear, hahaha).

Best Work-Related Event: More stability within my team, compounded by the addition of a new member.  I suffered a great loss toward the end of 2011 but five months later, I knew I made the right choice, considering all aspects surrounding  the dynamics of my immediate workplace.  Ah, basta.

Most Wasted Opportunity: I wasn’t able to sustain my social media volunteer work with Visayan Forum Foundation.  I thought it’s going to be breezy and handy but it didn’t come easy.  Maybe it’s the subject matter; maybe I chose an advocacy that while very timely and worthy, isn’t necessarily my cup of tea.  Sayang.  But now I know, and I can cross it off my list.

Best Azkals/Local Football Moments:  (1) Advancing to the semi-finals of the Suzuki Cup  (2) Global FC’s UFL championship game vs. Loyola Meralco Sparks last June — oh, my emotions that night, (3)  winning the Peace Cup.

Terrible Football Moments: (1) Loss to Singapore in the semi-finals stage of Suzuki Cup.  If we were trampled early on, it would have been easier to accept.  But I know everyone did everything they can.  (2) The sexual harassment case against Angel Guirado and Lexton Moy.  Come on, I’m a woman who will fight you to the death if you offend me, but I can also see what’s overreaction when I see one.  Enough said., (3) Global FC’s loss to Stallion FC in the United Football Cup championship.

Best Outcome of Football Fangirling: My football core group.  We dearly call ourselves Fandesals, the meaning of which will be kept to ourselves. 🙂 I love the friendship we formed that transcended football (o, Rach, transcend!).  I love all the games we watched together but the better part of it is our “debriefing” sessions.  I love you all, guys.

best of futbolBest TV show discovery:  The Newsroom.  Consider this: Aaron Sorkin.  News.  I don’t need to say more.  Runners up : Suits, seasons 1 and 2.  The Walking Dead season 3, after a crapfest called season 2.

Best (and Worst!) Physical Activity I Participated In:  Merrell Trail Run on June 2, 2012.  I thought my Corregidor experience was it but no!  For this one, we braved 10 kilometers of extremely muddy, mountainous trail in  Timberland Heights.  For four freakin’ hours.  It’s like a military bootcamp.  Immediately after that, I can barely feel my lower extremities.  When I got home after the event, I slept for 14 hours straight.  But the best part? The experience with my friends.  I will do it again, if the chance presents itself.  Seriously.

Best Out of Town Trip: Bacolod, last June.  Sure, it was for football, but it was also a chance to explore that interesting city.  We had an amazing host who brought us to most of the worthy spots.  The best part was the food trip.  I think I gained the size of a toddler after that trip.  Runner Up : Baguio in March with my Mom.  We stayed inside the Embassy compound.  The fact that Baguio is my second favorite city in the Philippines is why it’s great to begin with.  No ghosts, contrary to rumors, so it’s cool.

Best It’s-Long-Overdue Action:  I had glasses fitted.  I no longer squint just to read all my correspondence!

Best Charity Work Out of Just Using My Big Mouth: Sending five scholars to UP from the proceeds of our The Avengers screening.  I just sold tickets to a movie people wanted to watch anyway.  I’m so proud of my book club, Ex Libris Philippines, for staging this project.  Next year ulit!

Best Achievement:  Successfully going through a six-month book-buying ban.  I’m so proud of myself.  I didn’t die!  However…

Tiny Bibliophile-Related Setback:  I was allowed to buy books on July 1 so between that time and this writing, I amassed 77 books already.  That number excludes the books generously given to me by my former boss, I won on giveaways, and given by friends as gifts.  I don’t know what to say.  This is my eternal love, in case you just met me today.

Worst Losses: Deaths of an uncle and an aunt who loved me dearly.  My familial setup is not your boring and conventional kind so growing up, having people who care for you genuinely is one of the best coping mechanisms. One of my bestfriends also lost her mother and as I said, this kind of loss for us is a different league of its own.  My mentor’s husband, with whom I shared the same birthday and never failed to make me remember it, also passed on.  A consolation in my heart is that I know, they are with my father now in heaven.  They can swap stories up there.

Worst Abandonment Experience: Denoy leaving for a new job over at the other compound — five kilometers away.  I know, abandonment is over the top, but what do you want me to use?  I was left behind?  Okay, that will do.  Seriously, when he left in July, I thought it’s going to be easy.  My friend got a job he actually wanted to do!  But hey, it wasn’t easy.  Imagine losing the most constant, everyday fixture in your life for five years.  It helped that I avoided going to the 2nd floor since he moved.  For a time I was at a loss, even if I know he’s just a phone call away.  It sounds corny, but even if we annoy each other most of the time, he’s like a gum under my shoe that just won’t go away.  I still miss him especially when there’s something — serious or shallow — I want to tell, a guy problem I want his opinion on…and then I’ll realize he’s not there anymore, available by 11:30 a.m.  I have other male friends but they can never replace him.  Anyway, lately, I think I have accepted it fully.

Best Full-Size Aortic Pump Moment: I have moved on from SG.  After a year.  He’s not coming back and even if he does, it’s better this way.  I never regretted the last seven years (especially since not every single day of those seven years was just about him — I had diversions, LOL).  But seriously, it’s fine now.  I know that the lines will always be open, and he constantly proved that to me, so I take comfort in that and I’m ready to face the other direction.  Time to find a new one.  Pwede na. Bigyan nyo na ako ng listahan ng pagpipilian.🙂 I have short-listed names.  Hahaha.

Super Duper Bestest Part of 2012:  I’M STILL ALIVE.  Healthy, employed, loved.  Nothing can beat that.

So, how’s your 2012?

Tartare!

I may have broken my promise to not eat any pork, chicken nor beef for this entire week but I’m proud I didn’t entirely swallow what I said.  I did try to stay away. 🙂  Anyway, last Wednesday, I met up with my friends in Gateway and at Teriyaki Boy, I discovered what would be a new favorite, even when this season of meat abstinence is over.


Tempura Tuna Sashimi Tartare (P145)

This dish is originally served spicy but since I’m not a fan of such, I asked to make it non-spicy.  The serving size was enough for one person and if it gets any bigger, you will get tired of it.  The tuna sashimi could have tasted a bit fresher but it’s acceptable.  The Japanese mayo was not too much (I’m a mayo lover but I do not like stuff swimming in it; it’s like a stroke waiting to happen), and the tempura flakes were crunchy enough.  I’m very satisfied and I’ll definitely eat this again.

I ate this with cubes of agedashi tofu which is my constant favorite at any Japanese restaurant.

I also shared Philly Cheese Steak-flavored maki rolls with my friends.  The name almost says it all – just add sesame seeds in the mix.  It was good.  However, the cheese lover in me still prefers Uncle Sam’s Maki in Tempura Japanese Grill (shrimp, cucumber, mango, Philadelphia cheese in every roll topped with Japanese mayo and bacon bits!).  This dish is P185 for 8 rolls.  It comes with a dipping sauce of melted cheese.

Teriyaki Boy has other interesting rolls in the menu so I will try them out soon.  I heard they also have good ramens.

Teriyaki Boy has many branches in Metro Manila and in selected provinces in the Philippines.  You can view their latest menu here.

Taipei Trip! (Part 1 of 2)

I spent two days in Taipei with my friends Rach and Yummy Friend (YF).  We got cheap tickets for approximately P3,720 per person from Cebu Pacific.  The flight times were all in the middle of the night.  If you’re in for slightly less expensive travel, it’s acceptable.

We stayed in Rainbow Hotel at the Ximen area of Taipei.  Rach recommended it having been to Taiwan six times before this trip.  I like the location being in the middle of many shops and bargain finds and it’s a short walk to the train station, too.

Day 1, January 16

This is Rainbow Hotel, the place where we stayed. Photo credit goes to the Rainbow Hotel website.

We arrived in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport around 12:30 a.m..  Since it appeared we’re the only flight who came, lines at the immigration and baggage claim took a short time.  We lingered a little because we were waiting for YF’s umbrella which never came out; he had to check it in separately when he forgot to remove it from his carry-on bag.  Too bad for him; the umbrella’s quite pricey, of a style that’s hard to find, and worse, he hasn’t used it yet. 🙂

The arrangement we had with the hotel did not provide airport transfers* so we took the airport cab to Ximen.  It’s around 30 to 45 minutes to get there, depending on traffic.  Taipei is much like Manila, although it’s cleaner and the roads are definitely better.  Anyway, we paid NT$1,200.  It must be a fixed airport rate because if you opt to compute it, you have to add 50% on top of the meter fare plus the toll fee, which you wouldn’t know how much, as the cab was equipped with an e-pass that just beeps when the car passes by the toll booth. Anyway, it must be around the same  or a little higher than the actual fare, but at 1 am, who has the energy to compute?

We checked in and settled a little after 2 am.  The hotel arrangement did not have free breakfast, too*, so after we freshened up at 10 am, we went down and started exploring Ximending at 8°C!  It’s a little cold for our tropical country-born bodies. 🙂 We chose a carinderia-type eatery named 365 where we ordered chicken noodles, seafood noodles, oyster cake, radish cake and two kinds of fried rice.  The food’s great.  I have to single out the sauce used in the radish cake; it’s just tops!   The total bill for our breakfast was NT$290.  Not bad!

365 breakfast Ximen
Our first breakfast in Taipei; yours truly and Mali Bay boy

After eating, we walked around.  Taipei stores open at 12 in the afternoon.  Some open at 11 am and these shops are few enough, you’re bound to miss a lot when you try to do your shopping at this time.  We entered Eslite, a small mall which has a Muji inside.  The Muji branch was as big as the one in Rockwell but the items are way, way better.  For one, their food shelves are so extensive!

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Lemon Chicken Love

 

Luk Yuen’s Boneless Chicken in Lemon Sauce (P240)

This post was brought to you by a sudden urge to eat Luk Yuen’s boneless chicken in lemon sauce.  I know this craving won’t be sated until tomorrow, and that is if I’m lucky enough to be near a branch.  The nearest I can think of is the one inside Cash & Carry in Palanan.  I’ll sleep on this urge and I’ll just dream of the crunchy on the outside-soft on the inside-perfect dash of lemon taste of this dish.  Aaah. 😦

 

Comida: Burgers & Sandwiches

Time for another food post.  Here are pictures of burgers and sandwiches I came across with recently.  Drooling is allowed.

Murray & d’Vine‘s Beef Burger with Cheese (P325)

This is what the burger looks like up close.

Look, a heart-shaped burger!  More than the adorable presentation, this burger is very good.  It’s very filling and it has no tangy taste.  There are other burger varieties in Murray & d’Vine’s menu.  Will definitely try them out when I visit next time.

Murray & d’Vine is in Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. You can reach them at (02) 856-3723.

Chili’s Cajun Club Sandwich (P360)

On my latest visit, I didn’t eat this, Raft3r did. It looks very appetizing though, doesn’t it?  It’s officially described in their menu as, “A traditional club sandwich with a kick, stacked high with grilled chicken, topped with crispy bacon, cheddar, Swiss and jalapeno Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato.”

Chili’s Patty Melt (WITHOUT chipotle onions) (P280)

Onion-allergic that I am, I had to have those chipotle onions removed from this sandwich.  What’s left were beef,  bacon, and two kind of cheese.  I was too full so I didn’t eat it at the restaurant yet it surprisingly still tasted great the morning after.  It came with a tangy garlic dressing which I’ve always loved anyway, so no complaints there.

Chili’s has branches in Greenbelt 5, Greenhills, and Tomas Morato.

Cafeccino by Dome‘s Surprise Burger (P430)

This came highly recommended by my friend, Sandy.  At first glance, it’s your typical burger – thick, medium well patty, cheese, bacon, mushroom, lettuce, dressing.  What’s the surprise there? Well, see the thick burger patty up there?  Sandy said it’s bursting with cheese when you take a bite! This burger is so filling, it’s good for two people, and it comes with thickly sliced french fries.

Cafeccino by Dome is in Eastwood Mall Promenade, Eastwood City Cyberpark, Libis.  They can be reached at (02)470-3950 and (02)470-3722

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Until my next food post.  I’m thinking of cakes and other dessert items. Bon appetit!

Biggest Loser, dungeon edition

Two weeks ago, my team and I started our Biggest (Weight) Loser contest.  It will run for three months.  No rules nor prescribed regimen.  Even medical procedure is allowed and we only included it because we know no one can afford to do it anyway. 🙂

We had our initial weigh-in and whoever loses the least number of pounds (not necessarily who’s the heaviest) after 3 months will treat the team for lunch or dinner and must spend a certain dear amount (meaning no Jollibee nor Yellow Cab and the like).  If someone gained weight after the initial weigh-in, the treat should cost a little higher. It’s a pretty inexpensive bet but it’s money nonetheless.

We had to take this drastic measure because we all gained weight horribly and it’s not funny anymore. I have always liked my curvy self, but I joined this ‘contest’ for health reasons. One of the many wonderful things my late father passed to all of us, his children, is rheumatism and on occasion, gout; my latest check up told me I’m almost there unless I change my lifestyle. Our family doctor told me I gained 34 pounds in four years. That’s a lot, and something must be done about it. As for my teammates, it’s a classic case of lack of control. Plus we noticed that as we got older, it really became harder to shed unwanted pounds.

I cannot speak for all of us but I don’t know why I, in particular, gained a lot this year. I observed that 4 years ago, humility aside, I was more financially liquid. So it means I was eating out a lot more, I was consuming more utterly sinful, preservative-filled, and calorie-bursting foods, yet my weight didn’t shoot up this high in the scale. Do you think they have a long “gestation” period that only after several years would they show up in your body? It seems like it.

What’s more odd is that I got bigger after I started running. It could be about overcompensation — like, after running 5k, my mind would tell me to eat a lot because I’m hungry from all the running. Yes, I should eat, but not exactly devour food like a vulture. Although I don’t know how much more I’ve been eating. I’d like to think I am eating the same amount as I do when I’m not in my post-running state, and I mostly eat within an hour after running — they say it’s still acceptable for the body is still burning fats. So I’m still pretty lost there.

Anyway, the game is on and I don’t know how I’m faring. I don’t aim to lose a lot of pounds. In fact, my ideal weight is 120 pounds but I view it as skinny. I would like to retain some flesh, little flabs here and there. Narcissistically speaking, I don’t want to be “just right” or “skinny” because I feel most people are like it, and I cannot stand out that way. Admit it, I’m easier to describe because I’m on the heavy side. Plus real women have curves. And we’re more fun to hug! 🙂

Come November, I will update you on the result of our contest. Some said I can easily spare the money needed from my year-end bonus so as not to stress myself, but frankly, I know I will not lose 🙂

P.S. Why dungeon edition? Well, if you know where my office is located, you would know. If you’re a fan of The West Wing, think of the office of Ainsley Hayes and Joe Quincy, although probably not that geographically deep from the entire office building. 🙂