Thursday, October 15, 2015

J Co’s Alcapone Donut: A donut to remember

There are various kinds of donut, many have colorful toppings, some have zany shapes and sizes while others  have its thick oozing filling. What is not to love about these delightful creations displayed in rows for your exciting selection. Yes, what is not to love right? But though there is an expansive choice for me, there is only one kind of donut that I’d like to order again and again if I have the chance and that’s the Alcapone donut of J Co.

And because I only write about what I really like unless I was invited to an event so I can’t this pass up. I had to write about it since I just ordered a small box of it, all Alcapone baby J And it’s all mine, haha J My hubby and kid like the glazed kind which is a little boring for me, sorry, so this box is mine.

So what can I say about this fascinating donut. Aside from its notoriously unique name, it is a combination of subtle flavor and textures. The donut itself is soft which I like and topped with a thin spread of white chocolate and crunchy small almond chips. No fanfare here, no fancy colors or outrageous toppings.

As you bite, you can feel the crunch of the finely chopped almonds and taste the mild white chocolate flavor. I like the combination of the texture of the almonds and the softness of the bread. I also like the subtle sweetness chocolate, not saccharine sweet, just right, blending well with the fine almonds.

I don't have a sweet tooth but this right here is my favorite donut. There comes nothing close to it in my book maybe one kind with a certain kind of filling but this one I’d like to order one box of, always. I like it because it seems to have more substance to it not just frills and mind blowing sweetness. But that’s just me.

That said, I feel sad eating my last Alcapone donut in the box.  It’s like seeing someone special off at the airport gates. You know you'll see each other again if you make an effort but for now, it’s alright just to miss each other for awhile. I guess, I’ll have to miss this Alcapone donut until I come across another J. Co outlet again. For now, I’ll have to enjoy the last morsel of its soft bread and last bit of almond chip in my mouth till we see each other again, can’t wait J

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Papa John's Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza: One guilty pleasure

In our busy life sometimes we ease our stress by having some kind of guilty pleasure. Some have their massages, their chick flicks, their invigorating liquor, their chocolates or sweets but me aside from a bag of Cheetos with Jalapeno, Pringles in ranch dressing or a bite size piece of Mr. Goodbar chocolate or an occasional mojito, I think I have discovered another one for myself, Papa John’s Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza.

I’m not a big fan of pizza and the only one I quite liked before was the shawarma pizza from another pizza place so it was surprising that I found another one I would also like. Anyway,  I “discovered” this pizza by accident, someone gave me a small box of it for a birthday. At first glance, I didn’t take note of it, just an ordinary pizza with some white sauce drizzled on it. Not the usual red sauce pizza with toppings brimming at the top. Actually, it looked simple.

But I guess, simple appearances can be deceiving . And just one bite, I knew I liked it. The crust was warm and tender, not too thick nor too thin, just enough to hold the white shredded chicken meat and bits of bacon embedded on it. Drizzled on top of it was its coups de grĂ¢ce, its ranch sauce. It wasn’t too strong, just enough lather to blend well with the fine chicken meat and bacon bits. Maybe its understated layer of pressed fresh garlic, tomatoes and onion also contributed to its amazing flavor.

One tip of advice though when ordering it for delivery, make sure their ranch sauce is drizzled on top otherwise, the pizza loses its tasty appeal. Because it happened to me twice, one of their branches forgot the ranch dressing on top so I had it returned and they gave me back one with the dressing on top. 

So that is that. Another food discovery, another guilty pleasure I can indulge in when I feel stressed out.  A slice of this pizza and a can of ice cold Coke, regular not diet. Because if you have to indulge, indulge in it like you mean it J

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tea and muffins in Crimson Hotel's Lobby Lounge

I discovered these luscious strawberry muffins during my me time in the Lobby Lounge of Crimson Hotel in Alabang. I had it with my green tea and it was great. I’m not a fan of pastries especially muffins but these ones I liked. It wasn’t too thick yet it had enough strawberry flavor to carry it through. I can’t believe that I would like it a lot. Not too strong a flavor and not too thick or crumbly, just the way I like it. It had the right amount of finesse in flavor and scarlet colored panache to make it one of my favorite strawberry muffins… like I had any comparison for it at all J

It was a surprising treat for me since I have been swamped lately from driving my son to his new school everyday (30 minutes to an hour depending on the traffic) on top of having no assistant/yaya these past months. Having to deal with a child’s sensory issues while driving can be a little stressful. He hates traffic (who doesn't?! ) and having someone having a meltdown on the backseat is not exactly a leisurely drive.  So having some tea on a weekend and partaking these delectable muffins was a little respite which I appreciate a lot.

So I was glad to have another chance to visit Crimson’s Lobby Lounge again but this time I also ordered a piece of blueberry muffin with of course, my favorite strawberry muffin. The blueberry also tasted good but I like the strawberry one better. It was nice to have some Me time in a nice place like this with elegant interiors and quiet ambiance, far the harried life of most Moms like me, a little escape even just for a few minutes, a little time-off to recharge one's drained batteries so one can start afresh for the coming week. Every Mom deserves that I think J

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sisig House: Going back for their tofu sisig

There is a food stall I come back to when I go to Shopwise Sucat and this is Sisig House. It offers different kinds of sisig, pork, chicken, tuna and tofu sisig. I have tried all of it but only one has captured my heart, the tofu sisig. Though, I also like their pork sisig but the tofu sisig is what I liked best.

Unlike the usual sisig that is dried Sisig House’s tofu sisig has this thin mayo-like sauce that covers the pieces of small, white cubed tofu. It comes with rice if you want and placed in a small carton that costs P65. But don’t let its simple appearance fool you because what it lacks in shiny packaging more than makes up for its engaging flavor.

Topped with chicharon bits, slivers of green sili, chopped onions, a pinch of dried liver spread I think and slightly drenched in their own sauce, the ordinary tofu becomes part of a sumptuous ensemble. It may not have foie gras or caviar or any fancy ingredient that would herald such a praise but sometimes simple flavors just excite you, sometimes they just make you want to have a second serving and extra rice on the side :)

Maybe what I liked about this sisig was its different take on the usual one, it had its own version. It went out of the box, totally divergent :) Unlike the  usual sisig made up of a pig’s facial parts, yes, facial parts like the ears and some, the tofu sisig is the healthier version yet, it still tastes as sinful.

I think the sauce was what made it special and how it coalesced  with other elements like the crunchy chicharon that gave it texture, the liver bits that added depth into it and the sweet/sharp flavors onions that complemented the zing of the green sili. They all combined to present you with flavors that complemented each other. Added to that is the slight sourness of the slice calamansi that cuts through the slight richness of the sauce :)

This tofu ricebox experience is quite ideal if you have your rice piping hot and delicate. Maybe you can ask the attendant to have it re-heated if you found yours a little cold and if you don't like onions like my husband does I think you may also ask them to hold it instead.

It’s nice to know that  there is a place you can go to if you have some sisig craving. More than that, it's also nice to know that you can order a bigger size if you are craving for more than a ricebox. Sisig House has their barkada box too that is good for two to three people and also a party size placed in a bilao worth P500 and P700. Now, you can share sisig, be it pork, chicken, tuna and my favorite tofu to your friends and family.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Afternoon Tea with my son in Raffles Makati

I've always wanted to try afternoon tea. I've always wondered about those scones which I've always read about, the nice tea set, the three-tiered tray of pastries, the conversations during tea time with the ladies, the whole concept of it.

One day, I finally had my chance to try it in Raffles Makati. Though, it was not with friends, I had a better companion, my son. I’m happy to note that he was able to sit still most of the time while we were having tea. At first, he was a little fidgety but when I ordered his fries and iced cream he was able to enjoy tea time with me. He even got his own cold tea.

Yes, you can ask to have your tea cold. I ordered their Harney & Sons Sweet Paris and their Fruit tea. The Sweet Paris had a black tea base while the Fruit tea was I guess fruit based? haha.. Okay, I forgot what the attendant told me :)

I loved both tea, the Sweet Paris was a gold-colored liquid that was mild and refreshing while the Fruit tea reminded me of strawberry juice which my son liked.

Then there were the petite sandwiches like the cucumber sandwiches which I only read about in books. At Raffles, there were tuna, cucumber and I think salmon sandwiches. It was cut in different shapes which was quite creative and at the same time a little filling and they all went well with the tea.

Then finally it arrived. The three-tiered tray, the queen of the show where the tiny sandwiches were just the front act and this grand mama was the star. Yey, I was finally having afternoon tea like the British :) I remember imitating their accent dismally in a restaurant once to my husband’s horror.

Anyway, the queen arrived with her assorted pastries. Of course, I tried the scones first. Scones, yes like the one I've always read about, yahoo! And the first thing I noticed was how soft it was because I always thought that it was hardened bread but this one was not.  I spread a sort of liquefied strawberry jam on it and I guess, their version of clotted cream to the soft bread and it was tasty.

There were also various sweet breads. Noteworthy was this bread they called stolen bread on the second tier which tasted a little like fruitcake, though a little milder. I also liked the chocolate-coated pastry on the top tier. It wasn't too sweet and had this mild coffee flavored taste to it. Nice touch too were the assorted chocolates with the pastries.

I’m quite glad to have tried my first afternoon tea with my son. I’m also glad it was in an elegant ambiance during the holidays with piano music playing holiday tunes in the background. It was a great way to spend the merry month of December and end the year. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chooks to Go,a sweet roasted chicken alternative

My son doesn’t eat the white meat portion of a fried chicken or roasted chicken, only its outer, more flavorful parts. For the longest time that was the case until he tried Chooks to Go roasted chicken. I have seen Chooks to Go stalls for a while now but haven’t tried it myself.

Then one time while my son was in his ABA therapy session and I was wandering around Puregold and chanced upon the stall of Chooks to Go with its roasted chicken and liempo. I decided to order a roasted chicken to see if my son would like it and when its enticing aroma wafted inside the car and my son couldn't resist smelling it, I knew he would like it.

At first, my son only ate the roasted outer parts of the chicken then the next time I saw him he was already eating the white portion as well. I was glad. I surmised that maybe when all the outer parts were gone he accidentally bit on the white parts of the chicken meat and liked it. Now, he can almost eat the whole roasted chicken by himself, of course I only let him eat portions at a time during the entire day.

Honestly, I’m not into fried chicken or roasted chicken much. But I like Chooks to Go roasted chicken not because my son has adores it.  But I like the way its subtle sweet flavor permeates into its inner white meat. It is also tender and succulent and you can’t seem to content yourself with just one piece. I like eating it without rice sometimes sneaking my way to have another piece because my son has hoarded it for himself.

Often children go for the fried chicken’s crunchy breaded outer part because it is often the tastiest part of the fried or roasted chicken while the inner white portions seldom have any flavor. But this seems to be not the case for Chooks to Go. They have infused their mild sweet blend into their roasted chicken’s white meat, letting you enjoy the whole roasted chicken. And because of this, Chooks to Go has become one of my choices to bring on a potluck party or something I can buy as a treat for my son.

To end, I wrote this post because I’m happy that my son has increased his eating repertoire. It may not be a big deal for others but for me who has a son who has autism, it really is.  Many children with autism have a certain fixation with a particular type of food. Some only eat sinigang or arroz caldo or only meat products like hotdog. I’m just glad that he overcame that. You see before he didn’t eat rice just crackers and bread but now he does and now he is also eating chicken, all portions of a chicken. So thank you, Chooks to Go, thanks for coming up with a juicy way of roasting and blending your chicken, my son quite likes it J

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Some New Food Finds

Here are some food discoveries that I had lately:

When I feel a craving for street food, I go to this food stall called Egg Station for its five pieces of orange-hued kwek kwek dipped in chili-laced vinegar. I sometimes ask the vinegar to be separated if the sales clerk is willing because there is the tendency for the outer orange crust of the kwek kwek to become detached when immersed in the sauce for too long.

I like it when the kwek kwek is newly-cooked because the crust has a little crunch to it and once dipped in the vinegar, the richness of the quail egg coalesces well with the tartness and spiciness of the vinegar giving you a burst of flavors. So simple yet so tasty.

But I guess nothing beats the ones sold in the streets where the vinegar sauce is a little stronger and fuller in flavor. Still, this Egg station stall still satiates one’s craving for kwek kwek.

And after the rich and spicy flavors of these fried quail eggs, I would often wander to this other stall in SM Bicutan, the Famous Belgian Waffles for some comfort food. Here, I like to order their Peanut Butter Belgian waffle. A bite from this freshly cooked warm waffle with their own blend of peanut butter feels comforting to me.

Maybe because it brings back memories of childhood when I used to delight in a spoonful of peanut butter and savor it secretly. Maybe peanut butter does that to you bring back memories of carefree times, of pigtails and cartoons, of playing patintero and taguan on the streets (which sadly, kids today may never experience)  and all is lacking is a glass of milk. Anyway, I consider this as one of my comfort foods. :)

Another new food discovery I had was this Bangus sisig of Reyes Barbecue which was a surprising treat. I love sisig and to have an alternative to pork sisig is great. This sisig was topped with raw egg and a drizzle of mayonnaise. It also had slivers of green onion and pieces of bird’s eye chili or siling labuyo to give it some heat.

Though some people may not like fresh egg or mayo on their sisig, me, I embrace it. There is something so indulgent with the mixture of egg and mayo on top of a sizzling plate. It is almost sinful yet it creates a combination of flavor that is sumptuous. It almost tastes  like the real pork sisig minus the guilt. 

That being said, one java rice wasn't enough for me the first time I tasted this dish. Okay and the next time too :) Good thing, it had bangus meat on it not pork because I only had to contend with having eating more carbs than extra fat. Hay, bangus sisig I can’t resist you.

And lastly,there's this plastic jar of cookies that made such an impression on me despite the fact that I‘m not fond of cookies. I don't have a sweet tooth but this one is something unforgettable.

This jar of almondine cookies of Conti's, this unassuming lot of thin off-white colored cookies hid a tasty texture of almonds embedded inside them that is hard to resist. It looks so ordinary yet it tastes good. It leaves you fighting the urge to get one more cookie from that small plastic jar. I know the fight to resist carbs had been futile to me lately. 

There is something about this almondine cookie that resonates to me. Maybe its simplicity, its lack of trimmings, that beyond its smooth surface lay a hidden surprise, one that makes you sit up and say to yourself, "Whoa! this didn't look like much yet this is something different but good".  It’s like your bigger piece of smooth lengua de gato that has short almond slices inside them. Indeed, never judge a cookie by its appearance. You can be surprised :)

It had been awhile since my last post and I hope to make it more consistent. I had been attending some SPED classes lately and my days had been hectic. But I miss writing, I miss posting pictures so I'll try to give it more time. And one thing I'm excited about is posting more food adventures with my son who has autism. I think this would make this blog more meaningful to me.

Thank you for reading and here's to more food adventures and discoveries :) Chow! :)