Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Must-try Mang Jimmy's

To students studying near the Old Balara area (like UP, Ateneo, and Miriam), and even for some folks there, this food place is always the place to be when all is lost (aka when there's no budget haha). Whether it's an all out dinner party with friends or a simple "inuman" session with your co-workers, there's probably one place that comes into mind - Mang Jimmy's.

The place is not what you would expect it to be. It's not pleasing to the eyes. It's just an old house with a not-so-pleasing front lawn, which they turned into a food place. When you go there, you won't be seeing neatly designed chairs and tables, not even a cemented floor. You'd even question yourself if the place is sturdy enough. There probably won't even be a parking space for your car. But, what matters most is the food, right? And believe us when we say that what makes people come back here is the delicious and mouthwatering food.

If you're lucky enough, you'll see Mang Jimmy himself manning the cashier's table. You'll also see different pictures, new and old, of local celebrities who tried the food and who keep coming back to Mang Jimmy's for it. Most specially, you'll see people (a lot of them haha) having fun and enjoying their Mang Jimmy's experience, not even having to worry about how much they're gonna pay. And that's what you should do when you go there - have fun and savor the food.

An added plus to Mang Jimmy's is the free (yeah, you got that right, FREE) and unlimited (yes, it's also unlimited) rice, perfect for those really hungry guys. The food is very cheap yet relatively big in servings. Almost all their food are served in sizzling plates. The have liter-sized softdrinks for customers of large groups. Basically speaking, Mang Jimmy's makes your experience affordable, because it continues to offer ways for you guys to make your bill shorter, without cutting down on the flavor and the servings of the food. They even had a promo before, giving customers one free dish for every 3 dishes ordered. However, the last time we went there, they don't offer it anymore. But, you can't consider that as a huge loss on the customer's part since the food is still the same. It's still cheap, delicious, and it still has the same servings. You'll definitely be surprised when you order a lot, because you only have to pay a small price.

Here's what we ordered (and the best-sellers of Mang Jimmy's, too):

Tapa Mix, 100 php

Glutton Guy: The best of all the best-sellers. Mang Jimmy's Tapa Mix is simply delicious. It's one of those dishes that will satisfy you, and yet when there's no more, you're tempted to order more. The tapa has a great taste, perfectly irresistible. It's also not too hard, so it won't give you a hard time of chewing your food. Not ordering this would make your Mang Jimmy's experience incomplete. : )

Glutton Girl: I am not fond of beef, but I kinda liked this dish. The meat was so tenderly cooked that one would not have any trouble chewing it. The fact that I was able to eat this is a good thing, since, again, I really don't like beef, for personal reasons.

Lechon Kawali, 120 php

Glutton Guy: This would not be the one for diet-conscious people, but believe me when I say that you've gotta try this as well. It's very very good. I know it's greasy, and the skin is not even that crispy. It's just the same Lechon Kawali that you can find anywhere else. But there's really something about this Lechon Kawali that makes it all worth it. Why not go and try it out for yourselves to see what I mean? : )

Glutton Girl: SUPER DUPER GOOD. Clearly, this is my favorite of all the dishes we ordered. The meat just melts in your mouth, while the crunch to the skin is still preserved. But yeah, I agree with Glutton Guy, it's not for the health-conscious. Heart attack, probably?

Sizzling Sisig, 100 php

Glutton Guy: It's very different from the original sisig that I taste elsewhere. However, this sisig is still one of the best. Upon serving it, there's a raw egg on top of the dish. The Mang Jimmy's sisig has a dark color as compared to the original one. Add some calamansi and this dish is all set. Of course, it's best when it's still sizzling. This dish is probably good for 2-3 persons. So, it really really is cheap. Make sure to mix it while it's still hot so the raw egg will be cooked. It's also good to add a little bit of soy sauce. Even if you put the condiments or not it's still good, though. Truly, another best-seller from Mang Jimmy's. : )

Glutton Girl: Yummy and very hefty of a serving for 100php. Two people can share with this viand (but clearly it was not enough for me and Glutton Guy HAHA). It was good but too much of it made me feel a bit dizzy. I also didn't like the fact that it was too fatty. I like the sisig where there's more crunch and less fatty parts. But I guess this is how sisig is really done? I dunno.

They offer other sizzling dishes that are also light on the budget yet delicious and heavy on the stomach. Don't forget, rice is free so this could be a feast for you and your friends. They also cater to parties and they offer take out services.

Mang Jimmy's is another food place that's worth trying, especially when you're really hungry and have a limited budget. This place might not offer you the comfort because of the kind of worn-out ambiance. But we assure you that despite it's physical structure, it'll offer you the best in Pinoy food.

Rating: Budhalicious!
(Mang Jimmy's is located at Old Balara, Quezon City. It's just behind MWSS that's behind UP Diliman.)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Customized Fro-Yo???

Well, we did say that we're going to try and visit all the Fro-Yo places that we can visit, right? So, here's another Fro-Yo place for you guys that you'll surely love especially for its uniqueness.It's not your ordinary Fro-Yo place, since in this store, you make your own Fro-Yo.

In Frutti FroYo, your dreams of creating your own masterpiece can come true. There's no limit here. Whatever you want, you can place, thus making it "customized".What do we mean by this? Well, basically, what you have to do is:

1) You choose your Fro-Yo (Whatever flavor you want...You can even choose 2 or 3 flavors in one cup)
2) Fill your cup depending on how much Fro-Yo you want
3) Choose your toppings (Whatever toppings you want and how much of the topping/s you want)
4) Weigh your creation at the counter
5) Pay for your finished product

That's how simple it is in creating your yummy Fro-Yo here.  There won't be anything, or anyone, that's going to stop you. Simply put, you're the boss here.

The place is very cozy and nicely designed.  It's perfect for friends who want to sit down after a long, hot day and have a nice and delicious dessert together. When you look at it, it will be like you're inside a Fro-Yo laboratory, since Fro-Yo machines will be there, ready for you to create your very own frozen yogurt. The place's interior design is also cute, yet a bit "girly". When you sit down, you'll feel more comfortable in talking and sharing your experiences for the day, probably because of the good vibe of the place. Here are some pictures of the place to show you what we mean.

Frutti FroYo offers a lot of flavors to choose from. They have vanilla, chocolate, cantaloupe, and many more. They also have a wide variety of toppings. All of these you can mix and match.

Anyways, here are snapshots of our "lovely" and yummy creations:

Frutti FroYo Frozen Yogurt, 18 php per ounce

Glutton Guy: One of the best Fro-Yo's I've ever tasted. My only problem is the pricing. Since they price their product by the ounce, it's really hard to measure exactly how much you're gonna pay. They just let you fill your cup with Fro-Yo and toppings, without you realizing that you're actually gonna have to pay a lot already. You'll just be surprised at the price when you weigh your Fro-Yo. However, they do make up for their pricing with the taste of the product itself. The Fro-Yo, together with the toppings taste really great. With Fro-Yo this good, there's no wonder why we can't help but fill our cups. : )

Glutton Girl: I love how they have made a lot of flavors out of yogurt. It showed that you can opt not to have the original flavor. Although honestly, in my opinion, I still love the original yogurt flavor. It's tarty flavor is what makes yogurt different and unique. But the concept is very very original. I think kids will love it because of the fact that they get to choose their own yogurt flavors and toppings. But with this freedom comes big responsibility (in terms of paying the price HAHA). It tends to be a lot more expensive than the normal froyo around. I paid 200php for mine, so guys, my tip is just be careful when putting the yogurt and toppings. Don't get carried away by the fun part, because you might just pay big time (like me huhu).

If you're in for "a unique swirling experience", why not try Frutti FroYo's frozen yogurt. It's a treat that you definitely would not want to miss. You'll surely be satisfied with their unique and yummy dessert. What's even better is the fulfillment of eating you own personal creation. Who knows, you might find the "expert Fro-Yo maker" inside of you. We're pretty sure that you'll leave the place with a smile. Heck, even the cup can attest to that hahaha

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Frutti FroYo is located at the Petron Gas Station at Katipunan, Quezon City. It's at the 2nd floor, above Chowking and the Adidas store.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tao Yuan: Where Singapore meets the hungry Pinoy

When you think of Singapore, one of the things that come into mind is the good and comforting food. Well, you don't have to go all the way to Singapore just to taste delicious Singaporean cuisine. If it's good Singaporean and Chinese food you're looking for, why not try Tao Yuan Restaurant at Manila.

The place is kind of hard to find, because it's almost at the end of the road. It took us loads of walking before we reached the place, and by the time we reached the place, we really were hungry. We think you can get to the place though by riding a "padyak" or a taxi if you prefer a more comfortable vehicle. We just don't know how much it'll cost you since we just walked to get there (and boy were we tired).

When you get inside, you'll feel the formal-like ambiance since it really looks like a high-end Chinese restaurant.  And believe us when we say that you'll really feel out of place because everybody seems to know each and everyone inside. Some would stand from their tables and go to other tables to talk. There were some expensive food on the menu, but there also some dishes which are light on the wallet and big in servings. They offer free tea and peanuts, by the way. Wanna know what we tried? Well, here goes:

 (By the way, you might want to reconsider on ordering drinks since theirs cost 100php each. And that's just softdrinks hahahaha)

 Lak Sa, 328 php

Glutton Guy: I really liked Tao Yuan's version of the Lak Sa. It's taste is very authentic. You can taste the nice blend of the coconut milk and the spicy seafood flavoring which I really love. It was the exact taste as the original Singaporean Lak Sa. The thing that it lacked though was the seafoods. The one I ate before was full of seafood like cuttle fish, shrimp, and oyster. The Tao Yuan version lacked seafoods because there were only shrimp and squid balls. It was still good nevertheless. : )

Glutton Girl: At first I was afraid of this dish because I really had no idea what it was. When I tasted it though my thoughts about it completely changed. It was really really good. The spicy flavor of the soup was tolerable and the noodles were really firm. The shrimps and other ingredients that are in the soup were also good. It's one big bowl of comfort food for me. Overall, I think it's a Singaporean dish worth trying.

Hainanese Rice, 50 php

Glutton Guy: Personally, I don't think it's worth it. It was just like buttered rice. It doesn't have any distinct taste. So I think it would be better if you would just order regular/plain rice. : )

Glutton Girl: When I read other blogs about it saying that it's really good, I expected it to be a good one. However, there wasn't anything special about this rice. It was just like normal fried rice that I could make at our house. Add the fact that it costs 50 php, I'd say that I would go with Glutton Guy's suggestion of just ordering plain rice.

Hainanese Chicken, 445 php (Half)

Glutton Guy: I really liked this dish. What I really don't like about the usual Hainanese chicken is the gingery flavor. Tao Yuan's version was not too gingery, which is why I liked it. True enough, it's also another dish you've gotta try at Tao Yuan. : )

Glutton Girl: What I love about the dish is the tenderness of the chicken. The half chicken is actually good for 3-4 persons. The sauce was good and the just like what Glutton Guy said it wasn't too gingery. Plus, it was beautifully presented.

Beef Tenderloin with Special Sauce, 328 php

Glutton Guy: This was my favorite amongst all of the dishes we ordered. I really loved the sauce and the beef was very tender. Plus, the servings was big. I'd have to say, it's another must-try for you Glutton Guys out there. : )

Glutton Girl: I really loved this dish. It's also my favorite. No wonder that sauce is so special - it was really really good. The beef was very soft and perfectly cooked. It was like a better version of beef with broccoli, minus the broccoli. This is probably one of the dishes that I would order again upon my return at Tao Yuan.

Mango Dessert, FREE

Glutton Guy: I liked it very much. It's free, so I just appreciated the generous gesture. Anyways, the mango was really sweet. You can tell that it was juiced out from fresh mangoes. It was a really sweet end to a glorious feast. : )

Glutton Girl: Just when I thought that nothing is free anymore. And this is one delicious free dessert. The mangoes were sweet and were pureed evenly. There were no mango lumps, which was an added plus. The tapioca was soft and good as well, a perfect add-on to the dessert. One word to describe it? Lovely.

Don't forget that they also offer delicious Chinese food. They offer hot pots, dimsum, live seafood, and even shabu-shabu. There's a lot of dishes to choose from at Tao Yuan so you'll never run out of good things to try.  So next time, if you're up for some good Chinese or Singaporean food, why not give Tao Yuan a try? Bet you'll love it there. We did. : )

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Tao Yuan Restaurant is located at General Malvar Street, corner A. Mabini Street, Malate, Manila. It's just near Pan Pacific Hotel and in front of a Korean store.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Taste of California Berry

Frozen yogurt is the biggest fad to date, and as food bloggers, our goal is to eat in all yogurt places in town and test which is the best among them all. This one is named after a popular state in the USA, making it sound international, even if it is actually a local company.

What we're actually talking about is California Berry.  It's actually one of the fast-growing Fro-Yo brands in the country, having a current total of 10 branches. With it's mouth-watering and creamy Fro-Yo, who could resist such a tempting dessert topped with delicious sliced fruits and crushed cereals of your choice? It's not only for people who want to have a delicious dessert, it's also for people who are health-conscious yet still want to place ice cream in their diet.

Their yogurt flavor offers are not as much as Golden Spoon's, but its competitive advantage lies in its cheaper price.  For as low as Php 60, you can already have a taste of California Berry's delicious frozen yogurt. Add an additional Php 30 for 3 toppings and you'll have a perfect Fro-Yo that's delicious, cheap, and healthy. Toppings range from candies to cereals to fresh fruits like cherries, sliced peaches, and sliced kiwis. Their Fro-Yo's are available in 2 flavors. They have the original flavor and the green tea flavor. However, both are satisfyingly delicious. Here's some pictures of our mix and match of the toppings:

California Berry's Frozen Yogurt, 60 php (Small), 85 php (Medium), 115 php (Large), additional toppings - 30 php (3 toppings)

Glutton Guy and Glutton Girl: As much as we'd like to give individual comments, we think that there's no more need for that since we both feel the same way - California Berry is heaven. Whatever toppings you place in your Fro-Yo, it would still come out delicious. The fruits are guaranteed fresh. The cereals are still crispy, so there is no hint of it being an old stock. The Fro-Yo itself is the highlight, being creamy and delicious. It would really satisfy your craving for a healthy dessert. : )

California Berry's frozen yogurt is simply a delectable dessert that's worth trying. If you happen to be near one of their branches, why not go and take a visit? You'll then see why we keep on telling that it's one of the best Fro-Yo places in town.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(California Berry has 10 branches: 1) Madison Square, Greenhills-right after you pass Greenhills Shopping Center, 2) Silver City mall, Ortigas, 3) The Paseo Center, Paseo de Roxas, Makati, 4) Kopi Roti bldg., Tomas Morato, 5) Lower Ground Floor, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, 6) 4th floor, Robinsons Galleria-Near Cinemas, 7) 4th floor, The Block, SM North Edsa-Near Cinemas, 8) Ground floor, SM Southmall-Accross Starbucks, 9) Lower Ground Floor, SM Manila-in front of BDO and Watson's, 10) The Fort Strip, Global City-Behind Embassy)

Countryside Goodness :)

Looking for awesome Filipino dishes that's light on the budget? Well, we have just the food place for you. If you want really, really good and cheap Pinoy dishes, head to Countryside Restaurant at Katipunan Extension in Quezon City.

Many celebrities have been raving about this underrated food haven, some of which were John Lloyd Cruz, Kim Chiu, and Gerald Anderson. If you drive by this humble-looking place in Katipunan extension, you might not notice it until you see the cars lined up outside. You will go, "What's in this place?". We couldn't blame them though; the place really serves good food!

 Want to know what's good here? Well, here's what we ate:

Pork Barbeque

(Their barbeque is the most popular dish, but they also some exotic but yummy dishes that will definitely make you come back.)

Glutton Guy and Glutton Girl: What else is there to say but "barbeque heaven". No wonder it's their best-seller. Heck, this really is Countryside's pride. It is really good. We can't determine though what marinade they use. Usually, the barbecues we taste are sweet or a bit spicy. But, theirs are just different, in a good way. You juast have to try this. Missing this can make you miss the whole Countryside experience. : )

Igado, 70 php

(Igado is a dish from Pampanga, made of stuff we really don't know. It tastes really good though, despite its ugly appearance.)

Glutton Guy: It tasted wierd, but in a positive way. There's a sour taste in it. Glutton Girl was really promoting this dish. So, we tried it. And I have to say, it wasn't that bad after all. It really tasted good despite the appearance of the dish. You'll just have to order another one since it'll all be gone after a few minutes hahaha : )

Glutton Girl: I love this dish. Wouldn't want to know what it is made of, though. I just love it. Period.

Lechon Kawali

 Glutton Guy: Whenever I see Lechon Kawali on the menu, I just have to order it and taste if it really deserves to be called lechon kawali. Countryside's version is super delicious. The skin is crispy and it is perfectly cooked. Plus, it's worth the price. It's another must-try, guys! : )
Glutton Girl: I loved the lechon kawali. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. It's yummy. :)

All of the food they offer are very affordable and yummy. We couldn't stress enough how good the food this place offers. Try it out for yourselves! No wonder people come back for more. We surely will! (P.S. We're sorry if we didn't place the prices of the bbq and lechon kawali. Unfortunately, we forgot the price. However, we do assure you that it's affordable and worth the price : ) )

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Countryside Restaurant is located at 228 Katipunan Avenue, Blue Ridge, Quezon City. It's just beside Kopi Roti and near Banapple.)

Stack 'em up!

Burgers are very overrated, isn't it?

Think again.

Stackers Burger Cafe offers you a different kind of burger experience. And by different, we mean it offers you new ways on enjoying their good old burger.This 24-hour (Yes, it's open 24/7 hahaha) burger place offers delicious and as they call it, "Auss'mly" good food perfect for the hungry stomachs. It's another food place that gives value for your money because of their big servings. Aside from the burgers, they also offer other diner foods such as fries and chicken. Of course, the burgers are still the main attraction of the place. It wouldn't be called a burger cafe for nothing, you know.

The place has a nice ambiance. It's not your ordinary burger place because you'll really feel comfortable, not only because of the place itself, but also because of the courteous people that'll take your order and serve your food. Plus, it's really hard not to notice it because it's really visible in the area. The fact that it's open 24/7 gives people, especially friends or teens who like to gimmick during the night, a chance to taste their delicious food. I have to say, it's not your ordinary-normal-patty-lame-dull-burger; It's your burger with a twist. 

So, without further a do, here's what we tried and tasted:

 BBQ Burger Bowl, 155 php

Glutton Girl: I ordered ranch barbeque burger bowl. It's so strange to have a burger patty on top of your salad, but the combination actually tasted good. The ranch dressing with barbeque sauce was a refreshing twist from the typical Caesar's or Thousand Island dressing. The burger patty was also cooked very well; not raw, which I really liked.

Fried Mozzarella Sticks, 115 php

Glutton Guy: I've already tasted other versions of these fried mozzarella sticks. However, this version is one of the best I have tasted so far. The sticks are super crispy outside, and the cheese melts and oozes from the inside. It's perfectly cooked and the taste is delicious. The dip that comes with it is also delicious. The dip balances the flavor of the cheese sticks and gives an added kick to the appetizer. : )

Glutton Girl: I begged Glutton Guy to buy this. He treated me to mozarella sticks, which I super duper love. I love cheese in general, so I might be biased. Their dip was different too. It wasn't the typical salsa dip. I loved this appetizer so much.

Jack Burger, 225 php

Glutton Guy: This was my order. I have to say, I was really shocked when the order came. It was a really big burger hahahaha What I want in a burger would be mushrooms, melted cheese, crispy bacon strips. it just coincidence or does this burger have all that I want in a burger? The bacon strips are really crispy - true to its word. The cheese is really good and the mushrooms are perfectly cooked. No wonder it's a burger that's worth the try. : )

Chicken & Fries, 95 php (1 pc.), 168 php (2 pcs.), 205 php (3 pcs.)

Glutton Guy: Another order of mine. (What can I do? It's all part of my job as Glutton Guy, right? hahaha) And once again, another excellent dish. The chicken is perfectly cooked. It's tender and it's crispy. What's also good about it is that it's really a big piece. It's not like the little piece that you get in fast-food chains, another perfect example of your value for money. The fries are perfectly cooked as well. They're not greasy and they're not soggy. They're not too salty as well. They also offer the chicken with rice, in case you really are hungry for a big meal. : )

So what are you waiting for? If you're after an Auss'mly good meal, an Auss'mly delicious food with an Auss'm price, Stackers is the place to go. Whether you're with family or with friends, you'll never go wrong with this burger cafe. We promise you that you'll leave the place with an Auss'mly satisfied appetite and an Auss'm stomach.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Stackers Burger Cafe has 2 branches. One is in the ground level of The Venice Piazza, another is in Eastwood City Walk, in front of Il Pirata and beside Agave.)

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