Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

“Eat the spaghetti to forgetti your regretti.”

Coming from having a burger style pizza a week ago, Jen and I craved for the usual style of pizza that we know about. Either that New York style or an authentic Italian one. We chose the latter.

And we ended up asking the Grab driver to bring us to Evia where Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen is located. The original one is in Aguirre Street, in BF Paranaque which we saw twice, passed by it after we visited some restaurants from this popular street, it is actually included in our Bucket list and in one of my category “When in Aguirre street”.

Typically, when we are handed the menu, we browsed on it and asked the attendant their best sellers. For the pizza, they suggested the “All meat” and “Mama Lou’s special”. We opted for the former.

We also had the mozzarella sticks called in advance although they served us some complimentary breads with olive oil and balsamic dip while waiting for our orders. We also ordered for their seafood home-made pasta.

Ideally they have it all, when it comes to Italian dishes: Antipasti, Zuppe, Insalate, Pasta (oil or tomato base), Pizza, Risotto, Pollo, Carne, Sea food and Desserts.

I should agree that if you’re craving for Italian food, you won’t regret trying theirs.

I am thinking of coming up with my top 10 mozzarella sticks and I think I’m including Mama Lou’s version.

The pasta tasted delicious, there are shrimps, squid rings that were cooked just right. They surrounded the whole serving with mussels and clams and Jen took charge of them. ehehe!

The pizza includes pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage and bacon, there are no ground beef though. Don’t miss the arugulas. =)

The dining hall is quite large, there are enough tables for big and small groups, they occupy 2 floors in Evia actually and I saw it during peak hours that both floors are jam-packed.

There are touches of vintage stuff probably to coincide with the theme, they used bricks on their wall, some beautiful plates were mounted on one wall, neatly arranged wine bottles in the bar which if emptied they utilized as water bottles too. =)

You might ask that smiling woman is Mama Lou. Yes it is her. =)

There are equally amusing restaurants in the area, though Mama Lou’s stand-out in her own special way.

Jen liked Evia as much as I do so I’m expecting she’s eyeing another visit of these days. I might bring her to Another Story too. =)

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WATAMI – Casual Japanese Restaurant

Watami – Casual Japanese Restaurant

“Japanese food makes me feel particularly good.” ~David Mitchell~

Jen and I haven’t been hanging out lately and when we did. She suggested to veer away from our usual favorites.

After we got the stuff we need from some specialty shops at Shangri-la mall, our feet led us to this casual Japanese restaurant: Watami.

When it’s casual, does it mean that there would be no Geisha’s to serve you, there’ll be no Tatamis but the usual dining tables, still if it’s a Japanese restaurant, I normally think of the sublime execution of an authentic cuisine. Which is why it is one that always fascinates me. Refined, unmatched manner of preparing and serving each entree, this specific Art and not to forget that Japanese hospitality which is popularly known as “Omotenashi”. Lastly, theirs is healthy.

We’ve been to Akira and Sumo-sam in the past so Watami deserves a try. Besides, we haven’t had Japanese food in a while. =)

This friendly barker helped us decide right away after reviewing the menu that’s displayed outside. There was no mention of miso soup from the menu so we asked him if they have my favorite soup and they have it in 2 variants. A plain one and another that is spicy.

This is faultless, all of the restaurants I’ve tried didn’t fail to pour their guests some cup of tea.

Watami is one of the many restaurants under the Bistro Group:
#tastethelove

 – Plank Sourdough Pizza – Conrad Hotel Manila
 – TGIFridays and Italianni’s – with more than a dozen branches all over the country
 – Fish and Co – Mall of Asia and Trinoma
 – Krazy Garlic – Greenbelt 5
 – Bulgogi Brothers – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Harbor point, SM Lanag, Mall of Asia
 – Village Tavern – Bonifacio High Street
 – Modern Shanghai – Mall of Asia
 – Tonkatsu – Ayala Cebu
 – Buffalo Wild Wings – Glorietta 1, Conrad Hotel Manila, Estancia Mall, Uptown Mall, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Texas Roadhouse – Uptown Mall, Conrad Hotel Manila
 – Denny’s – Trinoma, Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Baker & Cook – Conrad Hotel Manila, U.P. Town Center

Sometimes, it is slightly annoying that while you’re enjoying your food, an attendant will approach you to offer the advantage of getting the Bistro Frequent Foodie card or popularly known as BFF Card.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.bistro.com.ph/

But come to think of it, if I review all of their restaurants, they are the most frequented and been thriving all these years and some of the best restaurants in the country. I must assume that those annoying attendants are one of their most effective Marketing Strategy for a continuous growth and carry one brand after another.

Personally speaking, I have been a regular customer of TGIF and TEXAS Roadhouse. I’ve tried Fish & Co when they still have one at Alabang Town Center. I even got this chance to see some contestants of “American Idol” (Jessica Sanchez’s time) since they held one of their activities at Italianni’s when they had their concert tour years ago.

So even if we haven’t seen and tasted our orders yet, we’re counting on that we will enjoy this early dinner. Later I learned that there are more than 700 branches of Watami all over the Asia Pacific region.

Take a look at what we’ve had:

Chasu rice for me and Jen, special curry Udon with cutlets for Jen and assorted tempura for me. Prior to deciding what to order, I had a miso soup called in advance.

All of these except for my soup were recommended by the attendant who took care of us.

The Chasu rice is truly delicious and its’ flavor matched my tempura. Jen’s Udon is tasteful too but is a little spicy and the hint of curry is just right, it is very mild. I enjoyed my tempura, however, I missed something from the sauce that came with it.

Over all, it was another gastronomic experience. Not to forget mentioning the intricately planned interiors of this casual Japanese resto.

I’ll ask Jen to try the sourdough pizza from Plank and pastries from Baker and Cook soon. =)

Aside from the New Wing of Shangri-la Mall, You can find Watami at the following locations:
– Greenbelt 2
– Mall of Asia
– Uptown Mall

Itadakimass! =)

Why BURGER GEEK?

Why BURGER GEEK?

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”

My sons’ girlfriend and I were trying to to look for a place to try at Molito’s in Alabang since we are free that weekend.

a boutique mall
Molito is a Boutique mall down in south.

Out of the many establishments to choose from, we filtered our choices with just two: Burgers or Pizzas. And at last, we found and opted for this odd though uniquely named burger joint: The “Burger Geek”.

facade

It sounded cute, it brought to my mind bevy of millennials enjoying each other’s company. It is so them. My kids. The ones born during the early 1990s. That one of a kind generation! The babies of the Gen X which where I belong! =)

my kids

Burger Geek is just small in terms of space, you can call in advance to reserve a table. Still, they were able to splash the desired effect of the theme that they’re trying to imbibe.

mural burger

different elements concept
Courtesy of: http://molito.com.ph/dining.php?tab=burgergeek

This mural resembled the Periodic table of elements only that each letter represents ingredients and tools that they use in their kitchen.

menu

So here’s what we’ve got:

nachos burger geek

Echo my son opted for the “Hangover” (because the ingredients of the patties has beer in it), I had my usual nachos and our baby girl ordered for “B+” (B stands for bacon) =).

We were served with a complimentary prawn crackers which is known locally as “Kropek”.

kropek

It was a short dining experience but was very memorable as I was with my son and someone very close to him and me as well. They are my family.

iced tea
It is bottomless. =)

I’ve always known the importance of spending quality time with kids because we are not the only one who’s busy, they are quite busy too and to find time being with each other allows us to create memories that we can look back at later in our lives.

We intend to do it more often, and had plans laid out already, different activities to bond aside from eating. =)

I assumed that Burger Geek have a specific market that they want to target, however, I guess they attracted several markets due to the uniqueness and tastefulness of their food.

kinda eyesore
Slightly “eyesore” (in my opinion)

It is located at: 16A, Molito Lifestyle Mall, Madrigal Ave, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. You can contact them thru: 02-801-2903 and/ or email them at: burgergeekph@gmail.com

They are open daily from 11:00am to 11:00pm

burger geek map
Courtesy of: http://molito.com.ph/

 

Luna Cafe…

Luna Cafe…

“Coffee and friends, make the perfect blend.”

On my way to work, I spotted this newly-opened coffee shop in our hometown. Luna Cafe. It looks cozy from the outside, and I saw some splashes of the color pink inside. I instantly wanted to pay visit and check their menu so I scheduled it immediately over the next weekend.

Facade… They’re on the second floor.

I have been on the look-out for a coffee shop ala “Starbucks” that’s just near my place, like a rendezvous. I think this one’s the nearest so far. I have a leaning with “Picked” but it is 2 rides away from where I lived. And Starbucks is an hour drive from home.

Luna Cafe happens to be sitting beside another coffee shop. I just wondered why the owner of the place allowed tenants in similar businesses, it should be offer a variety as they will both benefit from it, looking at it, the other coffee shop looked gloomy, there was no guests at that time. While there are 2 tables occupied at Luna cafe.

Their interiors is the typical shabby looking, modern take of whats’ eclectic since they combined industrial chairs with girly and chic pieces, there are even flowers mounted on their walls that are made of papers. It actually added charm to the place or could be, because I just love the color pink.

My instant favorite is this wall. It inspired me to mount photos of those personalities that somehow inspired me and impacted my mindset, the likes of Mother Theresa, Frida Kahlo, or maybe even a photo of Madonna along my own portrait. Ahaha

Jen got quesadillas, as always, it has become her favorite. I tried the chipotle, because It reminds me of someone very special looking for chipotle when he visited the Philippines a few months ago.

Quesadillas..

We also wanted to try the mozarella logs, which also reminded us of the mozarella logs from Spatzle. I think I want to go back.

 

One of Cafe Luna’s best sellers are their artisanal coffees, intricately prepared in an artistic way, good to look at but you will always wonder if you’re going to eat all those decors since they are edible. Or should I leak the dripping chocolates on the sides of the mug.

I had avocado and Jen had their best seller specialty coffee: Cadbury Nutella.

The serving time was a bit longer than usual, so I again questioned what if it’s peak time. Jen asked me to not complaint and told her I will complaint, I am just sharing my views just with her. Or maybe they should have this standard spiel of informing their guests prep time of each item that we ordered.

Anyway, I just took photos of each corner to kill time, I even went out and took this pretty windchime, a hot air balloon, which is made of glass. It’s sound is so pacifying as soft wind came in that late Saturday night.

Their line-up isn’t pricey and I think is worthy for another visit when boredom at home hits me or should I need a little change in my environment. Anyway, it’s just 15 minutes away from home.

Cafe Luna is located at: Pacita Avenue, corner 16th avenue, Pacita Complex, San Pedro, Laguna.

Some photos courtesy of: http://www.decobake.com.ph/luna-cafe

Little Flour Café

Little Flour Café

“Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone, It had to be made like bread, remade all the time, made new.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin~

It was just accidental that I discovered Little Flour Café, it is the brainchild of Wild Flour Cafe, that charming country-style bakery which instantly became famous for the Cronut (Crossant + Donut) craze as they were the first one to do it, but I remember a hotel in Makati did Dossant (Donut + Crossant) too. Still, they captured the discriminating taste of Filipinos (4 branches in less than 3 years) but with some tweaks that are intentionally executed to create a signature distinction, still, both has achieved the same recognizable theme.

Very country-side signage.
“Off-mall.”

However, it saddened me when the “Pistachio Au lait” isn’t available during our visit.

Originally, I was eager to witness how those chairs were hung and instantly created a different and unique form of art.

One of my fascinations.

It isn’t peak yet, there are a few guests in some tables, so I was free to have my photo taken with those hanging chairs. You know how much I love chairs!

It’s almost lunch, so we kinda have like a brunch:

I had my mushroom bowl, it is packed with roasted mushroom, pickled vegetables, grains with fried egg. It is a bit spicy for me but I can manage. Besides, I am in front of half a dozen sweets ordered for me by my other-half.

My mushroom bowl…

They also do coffee art. You can even request your name be spelled on it. =)

Latte art. =)

These pastries that we personally choose from the display area, with an attendant who helped us decide by describing each and what sells best, so we came up with 5 different items. Both of us love “ube” (purple yam) so we get that one too. They call it “Ube Bomboloni”. Bombolini are doughnuts in Italy.

Neatly arranged goodies.
Are those flowers for sale too?
There are jams too. =)
Almost half a dozen goodies in front of us.
A very simple menu board.

There is a waiting area furnished with different types of chairs, in anticipation of guests waiting to be sitted while waiting during peak hours.

Nice chairs.

With its’ cozy interiors and well-appointed furniture, it is surely a place to linger with both colleagues and friends. And of course with a loved-one. =)

=)

PS

They also have special wines and beers. =)

But no Blue moon. =( Just Stellas.
Little Flour Café is at the ground level of World Plaza Building, 4th Avenue, corner 31st. Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

         You can contact them at 02-777-7383. They’re open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm                 daily.