Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pinay Foodie's Fourth Year Anniversary Post, a list of my favorites

It will be my fourth year blogging for Pinay Foodie and for this post, I would like to share some of my favorite restaurants and food finds. But before that I would like to share how Pinay Foodie, this food blog started.

History of Pinay Foodie

Thanks to my sis, Riza for this image :)

It started one night when I had an argument with my husband and during the exchange he reminded me that I always talk about wanting to write and not doing something about it. So with a mixture of rage, pride and sadness, I opened a Blogger account, thinking I could write about food because that’s something that interests me.  And since it was not well-planned, the best thing I could come up was Pinay Foodie. So there J

I have been writing for four years now and wow, it had been quite a ride and I'm still enjoying it J  

So those who have followed me regularly through the years and those who visit this blog once in a while, thank you, thank you  I know I’m not the type of blogger who posts often, responds to comments right away and doesn't ask questions from readers but every page view, every comment I get is cherished. Thank you  J 

I would also like to thank the restaurant owners, event organizers, PR practitioners who have invited me to their important activities and launchings, thank you too so much. It was an honor and a privilege to attend your festivities J 

Now, I’d like to share some of my favorite restaurants and food finds I enjoy.

My Top Five Unforgettable Fine Dining Restaurants this year 2013 and after four years of blogging:

1)    Beso – Though this is not your typical Spanish-looking restaurant, looking more like a bar than your garden variety resto but I love their Paella, the best I tasted so far and their platter of Jamon, thinly sliced and tasty.  Plus their different sangria, my nice excuse to drink J I also like their red-colored hue walls accessorized with a Matador painting, quite eye-catching.

2)   Kasbah- first Morrocan restaurant that I dined in ever. Quirky and cozy. It is true to itself serving authentic Moroccan food. I love their chicken tagine served on a claypot, like being transported to exotic Morocco. Their dim, ornate, hanging lamps is also a visual treat and accompanied with their live acoustic music, it’s a great place to dine in  with friends.

3)    Lorenzo’s Way-  With their elegant décor, their food is a good play of Filipino and Spanish cuisine. I like their attentive staff even if the resto is packed and their filling Costillas de Ternera and unique Bamboo rice. Definitely, a good place for family get-togethers.

4)  Guernica’s- Yes, another Spanish inspired restaurant. I love the old-style dining ambiance, like dining in a gobernadorcillo's place plus their sumptuous take on Lengua and their thoughtful soft-buttered pandesal bread basket on an embroidered panyolito.

5)  Sugi- For me, it is the only Japanese restaurant that has served consistent good Japanese food for years. I’m not a fan of sashimi or any raw fish so please don’t ask me about their sashimi but their California Maki and their Gindara are my favorites.

I know there are other great restaurants out there, some I have featured here and some I have yet to visit. But for me, these restaurants are on my unforgettable list. Most I can say have a bold ambiance to match their delectable dishes. Three are from Bonifacio Global City (Beso, Kasbah, Lorenzo’s Way), one from Santana Grove (Sucat) and one from Greenbelt in Makati (Sugi).

My Favorite Hole- in the Wall in Better Living Paranaque:

1)   Zubairih- not always an air-conditioned joint but their Chelo Kebab is a must if you want a filling Persian meal. And their shawarma is my benchmark for other shawarmas. So far, I have yet to find that exceed its taste especially  when this pita wrapped meat is combined with their white garlic sauce.

2)   Paulino’s Cassava Cake- the store is not much to look at but their cassava cake is the best I have tried and I’m not a fan of cassava cake. Moist and embedded with a myriad of flavors and textures, it’s hard to resist another slice once you've started.

3)    Sen-Lek- what can I say, I love their Pad Thai. Whatever branch of Sen Lek I’m in, from the open-air type in Better Living or the airconditioned one in Santana Grove, Sucat, their Pad Thai has an authentic flair to it, with their ingredients to the point of almost brimming. Their Thai iced tea is also a good, sweet finish to end any meal.

My Favorite Chicken Fast Food:

Chicken Bon Chon- Their soy garlic chicken has become a favorite of mine. The sweet and crunchy crust is unlike the usual batter of fried chicken I have been used to. The marinade is unique, not the usual salt and pepper rub making it hard to replicate. A store just opened in SM BIcutan and I hope more people will discover and appreciate it, to give themselves a welcome break from other fried chicken of other fastfood chains.

My Favorite Go-To Restaurant for De-Stressing

French Baker in SM Bicutan- Their Hickory Spare Ribs or their Chicken Cordon Bleu has always accompanied me during my not-so good days. If I want to indulge, I’d have their Beef Burgundy, their version of Beef Bourguignon. These dishes have sort of become my comfort food. All this while watching people pass by inside the mall or observe people meandering outside. It is near Book Sale and it has been my haven while reading a good book. I also love their butter croissants and their brewed iced tea.

My Favorite “Fast Food” when there are less people inside (it’s almost always packed)

Goldilocks- Nothing can beat their Dinuguan for me. This pig’s blood stew is a gustatory deadringer of my Lola’s Dinuguan in Batangas. Too bad, I didn't learn how to cook it. Moreover, I also love Goldilocks Lumpiang Sariwa and their medley of  desserts like ubeng halaya and cathedral windows gelatin. Must try too, are their macaroons and crema de fruta. Their food is affordable and the taste is no-nonsense, no pretensions, just good food anyone can enjoy.

My Favorite On-the go Snack

Quickmelt’s Asado Roll- it may not be bursting with meat at the seams but the soft bread makes up for it. It's not too thick and even without the filling it is already a delight. I can eat two or three if I’m really hungry, too hell with  the carbs J

My Favorite Non-Coffee Drink

Coffee Bean Tea And Leaf’s Moroccan Mint Latte- tastes like a minty chocolate drink that is actually tea-based. But the minty flavor is not as strong, making it not only tasty but soothing too. I like it with their baked New York cheesecake.

My Favorite 3 in 1 Coffee

Nescafe’s 3 in 1 Brown and Creamy- Yes, I’m not a fan of coffee but I like Nescafe’s 3 in 1 Brown and Creamy coffee mix, a confusing reversal of my denial that I’m not a coffee lover. Maybe there's hope for me yet, coffee addicts. It's my coffee of choice during my early morning writing sprints. Not too strong, not too sweet. No need to tweak it. I know my husband has a stash of it in the office, to think he’s the hardcore brewed coffee drinker.

My Favorite Ice Cream

FIC Strawberry Ice Cream - Smooth and fine, the strawberry part is spread out evenly, no chunks and thick bits and not too sweet as well. It is my go-to ice cream after a heavy meal and has been part of my dessert selection when I’m having a get-together. It is also my son’s favorite ice cream.

Nestlé Temptation’s Italian Coffee Affugato is a new find. Coffee flavored ice cream layered with nuts and bits of chocolate chips has a more sophisticated taste and could very well be found in upscale restaurants. But I’m glad I can enjoy it at home, it is also my hubby’s favorite ice cream.

My Favorite Pancit & Burger Combo

Little Quiapo Pancit Palabok- This palabok reminds me of the palabok of my youth. Almost drowned in what seems like annatto-colored sauce, it is lightly flavored with aligue and a hint of squid. It is also quite better when squeezed with calamansi as it lends an appetizing contrast of flavors.

Little Quiapo’s Burger- this tastes like your typical homemade Filipino burger inside an ordinary hamburger bun. But it's that quality that draws me to it, no frills, no mustard, no sour pickles, just tomatoes and cucumber. But what I really like about this burger is its coleslaw siding that’s a tad sweet and also refreshing, a good complement to this  homestyled burger.

My Other Favorite Pancit

Pancit ng taga Malabon- There are Pancit Malabons and there are Pancit Malabons. But my favorite is this, Pancit ng taga Malabon. Laden with sliced boiled eggs, crushed chicharon, shrimps and other ingredients on top of its orange hued noodles, it has incorporated a little acidity in its aligue sauce to temper its own creaminess, a little something that makes this pancit more appetizing than others.

Favorite Cake

Mocha Crunch of Goldilocks- my favorite roll of Goldilocks cake I like to bring during get-togethers. The icing is not too sweet, not too thick and the cake is steeped in soft mocha flavor that goes well with soda or coffee/tea.

My cake last Mother's Day :)

Yema Cake of Cake Planet- I call this my indulgent cake.  Think thick swirls of caramel on top of a rich chocolate cake, need I say more?  This cake has a luxuriant feel to it that its richness makes it capable to leave a trace of chocolate in your tongue. I like its sweetness though some may find it a little sweet for their taste. But I like it the way it is, rich and indulgent. Definitely, not your average cake.

Favorite Chicken Inasal

Inasal Chicken Bacolod- Marinated with what seem to be like flavored vinegar, the grilled chicken part makes a transformation from an ordinary grilled chicken. Bathed in orange succulence, its meat has retained  its marinated flavor that when dipped in a combo of soy sauce, vinegar and a crush of chili, its burst of sour, salty and spicy flavors makes you want to order more rice. And most of all, their chicken oil, that orange-tinged oil drippings from their grilled chicken, that almost molten orange liquid you can drizzle on top a mound of warm rice is what makes this chicken inasal one to go back to again. Its flavor just heightens this dining experience.

Whew! That was a lot of food J I hope you enjoyed reading it and again thank you for following me all these years. And for my future posts, expect me to feature more restaurants and food finds that you might want to try yourself.  And hopefully, more recipes too. Cheers and Happy Eating J 

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