Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Burger Project

For our foodie project, this time let's talk about burger and fries! As I mentioned in my previous post, Erick and I are on the challenge of trying all the restos near our offices in Ayala Center, Makati. We're also on the lookout for new food and restos to try. 

CBD (Cheesesteaks Burgers and Drinks)

If you’re craving for burger and fries, look far no more because there's CBD. It’s conveniently located in the Ayala Triangle Gardens, perfect for those after wok meet-ups with friends. This burger joint is also one of our favorites besides that it is near our offices, it offers a good ambiance and moderate prices food in their menu. 

The ambiance is like the usual burger joints with big LCD screen tvs showing your fave sports channel. Here, you eat while watching tv  and lounge in their comfy couches.

CBD interiors
I tell you what’s are usual orders at CBD.

I usually order their CBD Burger with quarter pound pure and beef patty and their French Fries Original. The patty is tenderly cooked and juicy up to the last bite. 

CBD Burger + Shoestring fries
Their fries remind me of New York Fries and Dip (NYFD) without the dip because of its taste and fine cuts.

Leftover fries and a heart
I don’t have such big appetite and for a pocket-sized like me, the burger + fries combo never fails to make me full!

Erick usually order their Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket made from Angus beef. The meal already includes rice and coleslaw siding. This one too is one of CBD’s signature meals. The food presentation is nothing really to rave about but the food is..

Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket
I haven’t tried this yet but they have a local beer promo. For 35 bucks, you can get one local beer from 4-7pm daily. Sounds like a happy hour must be planned in the coming weeks. 
35 on all local beers!

ArmyNavy

Just last week, we tried ArmyNavy in Makati. I’m not so sure of the street because we kept on walking to find a place for dinner until we saw ArmyNavy. I think it's somewhere at the back of Robinsons Summit Building. I gotta ask Erick for the exact street. The place wasn’t packed yet at 7pm which was good.


Aside from burgers, ArmyNavy also offers burritos, soft tacos, quesadillas, and fried chicken on their menu. 

I ordered the ArmyNavy burger, which I think is their most basic burger. This classic burger is made with natural beef patties, then topped with fresh and crispy lettuce, tomato slices, mayo, and ketchup. The burger itself is already good and juicy and I loved their Sesame Seed Kaiser Bun. The moment I took my first the bite, I instantly tasted that their bun was good.


Of course, I wouldn’t miss ordering their Freedom Fries.


We also had ArmyNavy’s Libertea which is like Wendy’s famous lemon iced tea.

Erick had their Starving Sailor meal in steak. The moment he got his order, he couldn’t help but comment how huge the burger is.. just right for a starving sailor! I took a bite and it also tasted delicious and the overloading cheese definitely added more flavor.


One thing that I didn’t like about ArmyNavy is their service. It really took a long time for our order to be ready, We waited like almost 20 minutes for our food. Considering that the burger joint is a self-service establishment, they should be more quick in preparing the food. I noticed that one customer complained about ArmyNavy's slow service because they’ve been sitting there for 45 minutes and their order is not yet complete.

But for the quality of food and price, I am a satisfied ArmyNavy customer. 

Brothers Burgers


We have dined at Brother Burgers several times in Convergys Building in Ayala Ave. For me, Brothers Burgers still tops my list as my number #1 burger joint.

Last weekend, I was browsing through the net what activities Ericka and I could do for the weekend. I happen to browse that there was a Mega Food Sale happening at the Megamall that particular weekend. I checked on the participating stores and learned that Brothers Burgers was one of them. So off we went!

Brothers Burger promo was a 50% discount on the Big Brothers Burger (1/2 lb) for dine-in and take-out from 2-6pm. Since, it was 50% off, the half pound burger is only Php97.50. Yay!

We arrived there exactly 5:15 pm. The line was long. But since we were there already, we decided to take advantage of the promo.

Erick and I both order the Big Brothers half pound burger. This half pound burger is flame-grilled and weighs around 200 grams. It was topped with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mayo.

Although we waited a bit long for our order to arrived, I was ecstatic to eat the half pound burger. Unfortunately, we forgot to take some pictures because we were starving already. Photos are grabbed from Brothers Burgers website.

Here's what we had.



We ordered finger foods like Brother French Fries and onion rings and iced tea to go with our food.


This blog post is making me really hungry now, seriously.. especially in this stormy weather..

Going Italian

If there’s something I look forward to after work (well aside from being free from work), it’d be the dinner dates with Erick :) I always get kilig when the boyfriend asks me out for dinner. Never mind the fact that we are each other’s constant dates and we’ve been together for quite sometime now.  

So anyways, we have a 40-day challenge of dining out in our fave restos and trying new foodie discoveries (fastfoods chains excluded) near our workplace in Makati . Why the challenge? Soon you will know why. For now, let’s just talk about food..food..and food. How’s that?
 

We started our small project, if there’s a better term to call it, about two weeks ago. We’ve gone out to a few restos already but I’d like to write first about the restaurants that mainly serve Italian favorites - pizza and pasta dishes.

No doubt, it’s everyone’s comfort food, and so are ours too. So let’s start..

Amici

Amici is our fave Italian resto. It offers casual dining with food served in moderate prices. They also have huge servings perfect for family and friends dining out or better yet a couple with large appetites. Since it opened its branch at the Ayala Triangle Garden, we frequent Amici when we crave for pizza and pasta ala Italian style.

Did you know that Amici first started as an Italian canteen in Don Bosco Makati?

On our table

Ravioli di Spinaci
 
It was the first time we ordered Ravioli di Spinaci and we were surprised that we actually loved it. The pasta pillows are stuffed with spinach and then topped with creamy white sauce. This pasta surely captured our palate on the first bite. For meatarians like us, we don’t mind eating vegetables if it is as good as this Ravioli di Spinaci,.

 
Capricciosa Pizza
 

Capriocciosa Pizza is topped with ham, Italian sausage, and black olives. The ham kinda reminded me of Aria’s Pizza in Boracay with Parma ham as toppings.

It would be a shame not to try their Gelato at all. After all, it was this home-made dessert which brought them popularity. Amici has a separate station for their desserts,.Gelato, Gelato cakes, Gelato shakes, and affogato..they have it all!




We had New York cheesecake gelato for dessert. My memory tells me that we had Pistachio but it doesn’t look like it was that.Whatever it was, it was yummy!




So if you’re looking for a good Italian treat for value-for-money food, I say it’s Amici!


Cibo

It was our Sunday movie date at Power Plant Mall in Rockwell and since Erick hasn't tried Cibo yet we decided to have dinner at Cibo before the movie.

The last time I ate at Cibo, I wanted to try Liguine al Nero but I didn't. I was afraid that I won't finish the pasta in saucy black squid ink. So this time, we decided to give a try Linguine Al Nero. The linguine is cooked firmly then topped with squid, squid-ink, and extra virgin oil and some anchovy and capers.




Looks can be deceiving

It was messy eating this pasta! But it has the right seafood flavor and spices. It's just a bit of salty for my tastebuds.




I dare you to try it!

For every bite, we had to wipe our mouth to rid off the black ink. hehe But it's worth to try this pasta one in a while. That is, if you are in a company of good friends and family. Totally this is not something to order on a first date!

For pizza, we had Praga Bianca which is topped with smoked cooked ham, mushrooms, and mozarella. Cibo's pizza is the best. Usually after two pizza slices already, I'm already full and sick of the taste of the pizza. We usually call it in Filipino - 'umay'. But with Cibo's pizza, we enjoyed eating it until the last slice. It doesn't give a tangy taste at all.




Two thumbs up for Praga Bianca!

Amici and Cibo are two restaurants that best served Italian favorites pizza and pasta and with their well-located branches within the metro, you can surely find no reason not to try 'em!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Birthday Wishlist

With a month to go, I am turning 26! Time flies really fast. I still feel like I'm 19 or so. Well, I look 19 they say. hehe It wasn’t that long since I celebrated my last birthday.

I’ve been thinking the past few weeks what I want to have or do on my birthday. It’s funny that I wrote the list a few weeks back and checking them now I could cross out a few things already since I already got it or I’m having it soon! Anyways, here’s my wishlist.

1) Longchamp Le Pliage bag in Curry


 

After almost months of thinking whether I should buy it or not, I realized that I want it badly. I thought that my liking for this bag would just go away but it didn’t. I found myself staring at the Longchamp bag of every girl who wears it –whether in the mall or in the streets. So to save myself from being very envious of others, I bought my first Lonchamp Le Pliage in Curry. I got the one in medium short handle. Buying the bag wasn’t that simple because of its rare color. But I finally managed to buy from an online shop who sells authentic Longchamp bags. So, LC bag..checked!


2) New phone

Since I broke my phone, I’ve been borrowing Erick’s old phone. Thanks love! But yeah, it seems that I’m getting a new one in a week or so. And it’s the HTC phone that I’ve been wanting to get. The good news is I’m getting it for a much lower price. Thanks Ma! Yehaaaaaaa..



 

3) Maxi dress and cute wedges

I've always wanted to wear maxi dresses but I was afraid that it will just swallow my petite figure. But I’ve been seeing petites wearing them and they look all stunning in these dresses.


 

I haven't found the perfect dress yet but I want it in blue color with V-neckline so I can look taller maybe. hehe And yes, I'm also looking for that perfect wedge sandals to pair it with. This calls for shopping!

4) A relaxing massage

I'm gonna treat my bestfriend Yana to a good massage when she comes home from Dubai for her vacay. We've always wanted to go to spa together but we haven't had the chance to when she still worked here in Manila.



I scored a great deal at Deal Dozen for a relaxing 60-min massage with foot ritual, and free delicacies at Tocarre Spa for both of us. We can also use the steam, sauna, and jacuzzi rooms. I am excited to try this! It's a spa-date with the bff.

5) Dinner with family and friends

A birthday is best celebrated with the persons closest to you such as your family and friends. So yeah for my birthday, I’m gonna treat my fam to a simple dinner.



And yes, Erick and I plan to have the Spirals buffet dinner at Sofitel on my birthday night. Weeeee!


6) DKNY Be Delicious in Fresh Blossom


 


For perfumes, I'm into fruity and floral scents. DKNY Be Delicious in Fresh Blossom is a combination of both. I love the smell of apple and this scent is a combination of apple and sweet flowers.
 

My current bottle is already empty and I'd like to see this pink bottle again in my dresser =)

7) Beach vacation

This one's have been planned way ahead. Since my bestfriend Yana is coming home soon and I will be celebrating my birthday, we decided to have a trip with our friends. Where else? But to our happy beach in San Juan La Union. We never get tired of always going to this beach. This beach is full of happy vibes, happy surfers, and happy times.. thus we call it our happy beach! So La Union waves, be ready!





And adding just one more wish. Luke Landrigan, can you paddle my board? hahaha 


Aside from surfing, we will also stay for a night at Thunderbird Poro Point called the Santorini of the North and then go to Baguio for a day tour. Just 3 weeks more to go!




8) Pink lipstick

 


 I want something with a shiny finish, doesn't dry the lips, and long-wearing.. How's that? Check Covergirl, L'oreal, and Maybelline. Their lippies are not that expensive :P

9) Room makeover



 

When we moved in to our condo, my supposedly lilac-painted room turned into light green. Well that's because the designer didn't get the instructions to paint it in lilac. And they didn't want repaint it. Argh!

So I've been been thinking of decors and wall designs to complement to my light green walls. Maybe a a purple wall decal stickers would do. Or how about deep purple bedsheets and curtains? Think. think. think!


 

10) Nicholas Sparks' books

I've been collecting all his novels since I was a teen. I have the books: The Notebook, The Wedding, A Bend in the Road, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, True Believer, and Dear John. And all of these were given as gifts!

I don't have yet his recent ones, so please if you can give me as gift one of his new books I'd love you for that! Nicholas Sparks tweeted that he will be here in Manila on October 27-28 and will be signing.. I must be there with the new book of course!
 


 11) Birthday staycation

 















Last year, I celebrated my birthday in Bangkok with my closest girlfriends and boyfriend. This year, I'm looking into a low-key and more quiet celebration. So I thought, why not a staycation here in Manila? With good deals offered by various groupons and local travel expos, we can surely book something nice within the metro.

Also, I'm not so keen on traveling on my birthday anymore because I could not just enjoy that much. I kept thinking about home. So I'm keeping my itchy feet within the vicinity of Manila only!

It'd be great to have all of these on my birthday to distract myself from the thought that I'm actually turning a year older.. and soon to be in my late 20s..haha So go ahead, take your pick! It shouldn't cost you a fortune :P And if you're feeling generous, why not add other gifts that I would fancy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Till we meet again Camiguin! (Day 3)

On our second and last day in Camiguin, we visited the other remaining tourist spots.  Despite our bad hangovers, we woke up early for our half-day tour before we catch the ferry back to CDO.
We dropped by first at Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross. Here, you can see the life-size statues portraying the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are actually 14 Stations of the Cross but since we were pressed for time we just stayed in the first few stations.

Another groupie shot
Well, this picture still makes me laugh although it was taken roughly two years ago...haha Did it come true, TJ??!!!
Praying hard, I must say! 
Have you ever seen a sunken cemetery? Well, there is one in Camiguin. The cemetery have been submerged in water when the Mt. Vulcan erupted in the 1870s. It was said before, that during low tide the gravestones can still be seen. But the volcano erupted again sinking the gravestones deeper. 

A large cross has been built to mark the site that was once a cemetery. Quite surprising but this place is actually a popular and unique diving site.

Sunken cemetery
A few minutes away is the Catarman Church ruins or more commonly known as the old Spanish church ruins. It was a remnant from the devastating volcanic eruption during the 1870s. Up to this day, only the wall structures are existing.

We also spotted here one the largest trees we’ve ever seen! 

Feeling insignificant...
On our way to Sto Nino Cold Springs, we made a quick stop to view Tres Marias, one of Camiguin’s volcanic domes.

The water at the Sto Nino Cold Springs surely woke up every sleepy inch in me. It was ice cold on a cool September breeze.

Acting cool in the cool springs. hehe
There are fingerlings swimming in the clear water and they sometimes nibble our feet.  It was fishtantic! 

Fish-a-fish-a-fish
Because all good things must come to an end, our Camiguin trip ended with that. Two days of staying in the island wasn’t enough but it was just enough to make me adore Camiguin.


We traveled back to Benoni Port where we caught the ferry going to CDO. By noontime, we were back in Balingoan Port in CDO and our driver was waiting for us. We then have to catch our flight from CDO to Manila at 4pm.


Before boarding the plane
I wished we stayed longer, see more of Camiguin, and feast on lanzones and Vjandep pastel...
But that also gives me a reason to come back to Camiguin. 

I gotta see this island the next time I’m here!

Mantigue Island
Counting the days...

*One of my goals for my blog this year is to write all my travel posts since I started traveling. This is a backlog post. To the best of my memory, I've written this Camiguin post which happened in 2009. Better late than never!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Camiguin Escapade (Day 2)

It’s very usual for me to wake up early while on vacation. I don't wanna waste my time sleeping instead of preparing myself for the day ahead. So waking up early on this day wasn’t new to me. Well besides that, we had to because we will be traveling from Cagayan de Oro proper to Balingoan Port where we had to catch the ferry to CAMIGUIN! Yes finally Camiguin!
Ready for the day!

We rented a Toyota Vios taxi to bring us to Balingoan port which is a 1.5 hours drive. We paid Php1500 for the one way ride and we contracted the driver to fetch us the next day once we’ve returned from Camiguin.

The ferry ride took more than an hour.


We finally arrived in Benoni Port in Mambajao, which is the capital of Camiguin. The sight of the Sleeping Pregnant was a view to behold! See it?

Our first glimpse of Camiguin Island

Camiguin is said to be the island born of fire. There are seven volcanoes in the island and there are still several volcanic domes. Aside from its fine sand and white beaches, the island is known for producing the sweetest lanzones in the world. The Lanzones Festival is celebrated during October of the year and our timing was just right, it was the harvest season for lanzones.

We were fetched by our tour guide in Benoni Port. He drove us to our accomodation. We stayed at
Enigmata Tree House Ecolodge. This lodge was highly-recommended by one of my backpacker friends who also stayed at the tree house.

Enigmata

Tree house

I say that we had the very unique experience in staying in a real tree house. What are the chances that city folks like us will sleep in a tree house for a night? We had the Eagle’s Nest Suite which is the topmost and largest room. It has a huge receiving and dining areas, a bathroom, small kitchen, and a room with two beds. What was really unique about our accommodation is that there is a small nook at the top room which you can open and you’ll see the canopy of trees. Really cool.
The bed is very inviting...isn't it?

Aside from being a lodge, Enigmata Tree House is an artsy-fartsy place. They have an art gallery, library cafĂ©, and a garden. It is an artist’s haven.
Every nook is interesting

Enigmata Tree House only serve vegetarian food and we had veggies, brown rice, and pizza for lunch.
Our no-meat lunch

After eating, we were picked up by our local guide to finally start with our tour. Since we only have half-day to go around Camiguin, we decided that we'll go to Katibawasan Falls, White Island, and Ardent Hot Sping that afternoon, as suggested by our guide.
Camiguin map of interest

Our first stop was Katibawasan Falls. The water from the falls was flowing thinly and kept being blown by the wind.
Obligatory group shot :)

I found a big pumpkin which I almost wanted to take home!
Pumpkin me!

Then, we were off to the famous White Island. We rented a small boat that would bring us there. We paid Php700 for the roundtrip transfers for six persons.

We conquered the island!

White Island...One of my fave places in PINAS!

White Island is a small piece of sandbar that formed into an island. It has no vegetation nor any plant life. It was formed from dead coral reefs that piled together forming into one tiny island.

The White Island offers a great view of the Sleeping Pregnant.

with the Sleeping Pregnant in the background

I can’t describe how much I was awed by the simple beauty of the White Island. So go ahead and see the photos..


Sandbar

I love it here!

We made the most of our time in the island, even with the scorching weather. You can just imagine how dark I was after I came back from this trip. With no shade to hide under except your hair!
with constant travel buddies. we're counting places!

Power 4!

Ahhh, this was pure beach bliss! I wish I'd never leave Camiguin.
Camiguin is LOVE!

We left the island around 4pm and then we proceeded to Ardent Hot Springs.

The warm water from the spring was just exactly what we needed. Having done rafting the day before left us with aching bodies. The temperature of the mineral pool can reach as high as 400C. It was soothing just soaking in the hot spring with the cool night breeze :)

Soaking in the warm water

After a quick dip, we had dinner this time at Vjandep Restaurant which is famous for their pastel - soft buns with filling.

I can't remember what I ate but I'm sure I finished it.


No leftovers please.

We surely love drinks after a meal.
Kampay!

Before we could finally rest, this gecko kept on pestering us by its croaking sound.
Tukooooooo

I must say that night was a blur. I only remember beaching at White Island and sleeping soundly in our tree house, only to wake up the next day with a thought that it was time to leave Camiguin.
Our session in blur

But hey, not just YET.

*One of my goals for my blog this year is to write all my travel posts since I started traveling. This is a backlog post. To the best of my memory, I've written this Camiguin post which happened in 2009. Better late than never!