Vanilla Cafe in Baguio City

I would like to believe that I have some level of proficiency on determining what and how good food would be like.  My taste buds know how to ascertain and adjudicate what good food is.

And though I love cakes and may seem to have the sweetest tooth on the planet, I have never been a fan of Red Velvet cakes.  And though I have yet to encounter a Red Velvet cake that makes my taste buds do a double-somersault with one and a half twists in the free position, I think I just had one that is the most remarkable.  

red velvet… it tastes delicious or it tastes beautiful

But my appreciation of this Red Velvet was not due to my taste buds doing a standing ovation but it was my sense of sight that makes me rejoice and be delighted towards the cake I was consuming.  I was at awe about the look, design and colors of Vanilla Café inside Kamiseta Hotel located in Baguio City, the tourist summer capital of my country. 

I guess this is the cutest café I have seen in Baguio.  The interiors were so stunningly pretty, it will definitely put some very sweet delicious smile on every one’s faces.  The café was so visually attractive, the happiness it ignites would surge towards all the other senses making all dishes they serve to be so happily pleasant and appealing.       

Vanilla Café have seem to possess some enchanting potion that smoke-screened my usually resplendent sense of taste.  I actually could no longer recall if the Red Velvet I had was good or mediocre but what I know is that I was smiling while consuming it inside Baguio City’s lovely and bewitching Vanilla Café.     

Hindi lasang masarap.  Pero lasang maganda!

Three Meal Periods at the Number 2 Restaurant in Alaminos Pangasinan

This blog post officiates my being an avid fan of Celia’s Café, the number 2 restaurant according to TripAdvisor in Alaminos Pangasinan.  Number 1 restaurant of course is the old and tired Maxine By The Sea located at Lucap.  Though run-down and the food served were average, Maxine By The Sea is the leading restaurant in Alaminos.  Its TripAdvisor’s number 1 because it is located at a wharf near the dock where tourists would have to take a boat ride to reach the majestic Hundred Islands.  It’s one of those rare eateries whose reason for being number 1 is not their food nor their service but its location.  I still remember way back in the early 90’s was the first time I dined there.  It was also my first time in Hundred Islands!

me, my sister and a few of my monster pamangkins

The number 2 restaurant on the other hand seem to possess the thrilling potential of becoming the leader among restaurants in Alaminos.  Celia’s Café seem to capture the urbanized and the ruralized feel.  Their ambience and facilities are homey yet urbanite.  Because of the modern feel of the ambience, you will never miss the feeling of being in an urbanized city when you dine there.  But their warm service is naively bucolic.  Celia’s Café are manned by gentle and courteous lads, which reminds you that you are indeed in a countryside away from the jungles of Manila.

But what I particularly love about Celia’s Café is the food.  It’s surprisingly delicious!  During my recent revisit, I again ordered the Pasta Longganisa for lunch, the one I ordered the first time I dined there.  All I can say is that it is consistently luscious.  The only thing that changed was the bread.  It is because it is now tastier and more delicious.  The focaccia bread was so good, I ordered extra and even ordered take-out so as to bring it back to Manila!

focaccia inside a bag (my take away!)
yum!

And since there seem to be no agreeable restaurant establishment in Alaminos except for Celia’s Café, me and my family returned at dinner time.  We ordered the platter in which, one order is already good for four (4).  I was especially impressed by the flavors of the Chicken Platter.  It is because each dish in the platter tasted differently.  It was unlike the platter offerings by other restaurants in which each dish seem to taste the same with other dishes in the platter.  The Southern Style Fried Chicken was of a totally different flavor from the Chicken Salpicao and the Chicken Salpicao was of a totally different taste from the Pork Tonkatsu.  And what is best about the platter was the generous serving of rice!  To top it off, we were surprised to find out that our ordered platter comes with a whole serving of soft and chewy pancakes!

The following morning before heading back to the jungles of Manila, me and my family returned to Celia’s Café to have breakfast.  I had the big fulfilling English Breakfast, which I guess is the only English breakfast dish served in the whole of Alaminos province.

Enough said and I am impressed if you reached this point of this blog.  Hahaha!  I think I already said that I am a fan.

Tagahanga! Dats mi!

Xoho Café: A Funky Treasure in Tel Aviv

One of the many beauties of travelling in a foreign land without a set and pre-arranged tour package is that you got to explore and discover treasures of the city that you visit.

Case in point was the first breakfast me and my sister had here in Tel Aviv.  Armed only with a google map, a dash of courage and heaps of appetite, we walked through the city streets of Tel Aviv to get to Xoho Café, the ranked number one recommended breakfast café in Tel Aviv by Tripadvisor.

Discovering Xoho Café was a bliss.  As soon as we entered the café we were barged with a laid back yet cool and hip ambiance and deco. And from the funky interiors itself, it looks like the owner is someone who is so young, vibrant and creative I stopped wondering why this establishment was ranked number one by Tripadvisor.

thank goodness we arrived early, people were queuing up when we left the cafe
thank goodness we arrived early, people were queuing up when we left the cafe
nice...
nice…
lata!
lata!
funky toilet
a collage of the super funky toilet

My beautiful first impression of Xoho Café was even substantiated by the divine dishes that me and my sister ordered.  When I asked the young server what to recommend, she simply stated that the Juanito Burrito was something not to miss in their café.  My sister on the other hand settled for the delectable Sunny Side Up served with a bunch of toast, labaneh, olive oil and zaatar.  The food was fantastic!

heavenly, juanito burrito!
heavenly, juanito burrito!
yum!
yum!
xoho cafe experience!
xoho cafe experience!

Upon stepping out of Xoho Café with the smile on my face, I can simply say that this café is a perfect combination of good food and funky design.  Thank goodness to Tripadvisor, google map and our heaps of appetite, we discovered a treasure called Xoho Café.

Mapapa-shalom ka sa sarap!

The Steak & Cheese Sandwich That Made Me a Sandwich Person

inside the new ca expressExcept for burgers, I have never been fascinated with a sandwich.  I have always accepted the notion that I am not a sandwich person.  I’d rather be the one who prepare my own sandwich and not get from a store or order it from some fancy restaurant.  Because of this, I have always considered that for me to be fascinated on a sandwich served in a diner or a cafe, such must really be very good.

The supposition of me not being a non-burger sandwich person has however been changed.  There has been one sandwich that has finally mesmerized my sense of taste.  It is the Steak & Cheese Panini Sandwich served in Café Adriatico Express.

If my restless cravings and squirmish budget permits, I would at times order a Steak Sandwich in Café Adriatico at their Malate branch.  But the one they served in their new outlet located at the ground level of The Block in SM North Edsa, Quezon City were further improved.  They added loads of mozzarella cheese and used a tasty kind of Panini bread instead of the usual white bread.  Moreover the new sandwich version is served with potato fries and pickled red onions, the latter is actually a genius add-on because it is great palate equalizer for the very savory flavor of the sandwich filling.

yummy!
yummy!

The appetizing presentation, the perfect portioning and the toothsome taste were right on target.  My taste buds were not jumping for joy, they were instead doing two and a half back-somersaults with two and a half twist on a ten meter platform dive!  This sandwich is definitely very delicious!

Ansarapsarap!

Fixated with the Café Scene

cafe scene: my fave eac painting
cafe scene: my fave eac painting

Without clicking a single brain cell, my automatic response was the “Café Scene”.  This was when I was asked which among the Emilio Aguilar Cruz (EAC) paintings featured in the newly launched Dimasalang Artists Collection was my favorite.  The Dimasalang exhibit is a newly launched exhibition of gorgeous paintings by 6 artists at the National Museum of the Philippines.

photo grabbed from national museum of the phiilippines fb page
photo grabbed from national museum of the phiilippines fb page

In fact, before this painting made it inside the museum of all museums of the Philippines, a lot of people actually owns a mini-copy of it tucked inside their wallet.  This is because a couple of years ago this painting was chosen by Mastercard to be one of their credit cards’ cool designs.  Here’s a link when I wrote about this: A Painting In My Wallet.

pautang!
pautang!

To even prove my point that I indeed is a fan of this painting, the cover of my 2011 journal which I brought on my second trip to Australia was the photo of this magnificent painting.

my 2011 journal
my 2011 journal.  this notebook kept me sane during a long train ride from sydney to gold coast.

Maybe the reason why I love this painting is because it captured the feeling of people who loves to celebrate food with friends and family.  I guess, it can basically represent my being a social person.

Sosyal kasi ako. Kaya layk ko ‘yan. (saying this in pa-sosyal tone)

A Cute Café For Overgrown Children

It was one café in Bangkok that I promised myself to write about when I get back to Manila.  However, it has been more than a week already but the only description that I could think about this café is that it’s cute.  That’s it.

I know “cute” is not an appropriate adjective to describe a café, a restaurant or any dining place.  But that’s the persistent thought that lingers inside my crazy shell.  And ironically, nothing else would crop out of mind to further describe it.

mr. jones orhanage
mr. jones orphanage
the cute view from my seat
the cute view from my seat. i wanted to bring home those toy soldiers
though i still fit in, their cool looking seats were a little tight
though i still fit in, their cool looking seats were a little tight and narrow
creative cafe concept

The place is called Mr. Jones Orphanage, a cute café whose theme was like a toy workshop adorned with adorable stuffed toys, miniature toy soldiers, a train track and giant wooden wheel-parts of a wristwatch.

At first glance when we passed through this adorable café, I thought it was a toy store.  But when we passed through again after shopping (inside Siam Center), we were like overgrown kids who could no longer resist to settle our big asses on the available seats.

Their menu was a dessert lover’s paradise.  They have wide selection of cakes, fruit pies, milk shakes and cookies.  I ordered a slice of orange cake plus a cup of cappuccino.  The cake was okay though I tasted better versions of it.  Nevertheless the cappuccino was superb.

a slice of orange cake
a slice of orange cake
nice looking cup with a superb cappuccino
nice looking cup with a superb cappuccino
a cute message on my cup
a cute message on my cup

Overall, being at Mr. Jones Orphanage was a cute dining experience.

Di lang pambata, pang-damulag din!