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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Gustav Cafe – The French way

Gustav Cafe

“Eating and reading are two pleasures combine admirably.” ~C.S. Lewis~

Each time we passed by this restaurant with a miniature Eiffel tower in front, we always thought of French cuisine. And of course that famous Civil Engineer who did that equally famous landmark in France – Gustave Eiffel. He was also involved in the construction of Quezon bridge and San Sebastian church here in our country. It was always our topic.

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Until one late afternoon, Jen and I were too tired to proceed inside Festival Mall to feed the hungry wolves in us after exploring the new wing and Landmark Department Store which opened to the public late last year. We ended up taking another wing and and another (it was huge) and we landed just in front of Gustav Cafe following the end portion of River park.

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Out of hunger, we entered the cafe without debate and I heard Jen saying: “As long as there’s pizza.” And I said: “Okay, pizza.” (with eyes rolling)

Upon checking their menu, as expected most of them were in French: “Fish ala Vie”, “Prawns Thermidor”, “Pork de Oignion”, “Bearnaise”, “Pizza le poulet”, and more tongue twisting terms. Ahahaha!

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Still, we muddle through to pick our favorites:

Spicy Gambasetti for Jen,

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Mushroom in cream pasta for me,

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Pizza Le France (take away for my son)

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Pizza Le-Blanc for Jen again,

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Roast beef open sandwich for me…=)

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I especially loved the dough of this bun and discovered that it is made by them, however, I craved for more gravy for my roast beef, it is a little bit dry, and asked the attendant if I can request for more but he said that it is portioned. I didn’t insist to talk to the Manager even if I’m sure, the Manager can provide it, anyway, I still have my pasta.

We didn’t try their drinks, they have frappes, smoothies, beers and cocktails. Because we intend to get our coffees from another cafe that we spotted earlier. =)

After getting our take aways, it is evident (because we were soundless! ahaha!) that we were satisfied by this “first try” as most of what we ordered were flavorful (except for the dry roast beef), most expectations met and we were assisted by the staff accordingly.

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It is worth another try, they have this wide selection of appetizing line-up. =)

Bon appetit!

You will find Gustav Cafe at Ground Floor, Water Garden, Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City (just across the parking lot). Other locations are: Kings Borough, San Fernando Interchange, Dolurez, San Fernando, 2000 Pampanga and McArthur Highway, Angeles City

 

Peperoni Pizzeria: “Appetite for Life”

Peperoni Pizzeria

“Stress and pizza cannot co-exist.”

When my son is still in my tummy, I crave for pizza a lot. I would try any kind. Even those that you can buy from the streets. We even prepared a DIY at home several times.

My friends were telling me that when my baby grows up, he would definitely love pizza too.

And I was able to prove it, he was a pizza addict. You could just imagine the grin on his face each time he discovers that we’re ordering a box or two of pizza. It really spells h-a-p-p-y all over his face.

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Yes he is!

There’s this one pizza parlor at Uptown Mall which I find really cute, there’s a signage that says: “All we knead is love.” Upon reading it, I instantly thought of pizza, and yes they sell pizzas. Wood fired pizzas. The store’s name is “Peperoni Pizzeria”.

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I heard that they originated from Singapore. Their first branch here in the Philippines is located at Greenwood and this one that we visited is at BGC (Bonifacio Global City).

What’s best to pair it are pastas right? So we tried two kinds. Carbonara with its’ creamy white sauce and tasty bacon, and we all like the red sauce since the taste of tomato sauce goes well with our pizza.

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On a day like this, as simple as it is, I knew in my heart, that in our own little ways, we were able to make my son happy as I catch glimpses of his smiling face looking at us in random.

When we’re about to leave, they are currently preparing one order at the working area.

We have a very limited time to go around this mall but it was a generous amount of quality time that we spent together since we do not go out as often.

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By the way, my son can consumed an entire box of pizza with 10-12 slices of his favorite variant all on his own. =) We don’t mind, as long as he is happy. As Peperoni Pizzeria’s principle says: “Appetite for Life”.

Photo below grabbed from:
http://www.peperoni.com.ph/about

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN – Taking Italian food seriously like Italians do

California Pizza Kitchen – Taking Italian food seriously like Italians do

“Italian food is all about ingredients, and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy.”~Woflgang Puck~

At Alabang Town Center, there is a wide array of Italian restaurants which you can choose from, such as Italiannis, Brooklyn Pizza, Amici, Cibo to name a few. When one I frequented. California Pizza Kitchen. It has been there as long as I can remember. I even have a photo with a friend at CPK more than 10 years ago.

So what’s the secret of a place to keep on thriving and remain strong despite of the numerous newly-constructed restaurants which offers the same products like they do.

Yes, CPK originated in the USA, created and owned by Americans, who put some tweaks on this traditional Italian dish and really took it seriously.

I think they do not stop researching for trends, they update their menu and they give out promotions during occasion constantly.

Their nachos now are colored when more than 10 years ago it’s just the usual yellow orange-colored chips. The ingredients they used are fresh and even the condiments are always updated, when it’s just Tabasco in the past years, they sense the demands of picky eaters and Sriracha or Cholulas are always ready on their tables.

Even the logo speaks for a thousand descriptions bringing you to this state where the legendary palm trees abound among other famous trees in California, from there to almost every part of the globe including the Philippines. =)

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From 1985 to 2012 to present. =)

And of course not to forget mentioning the training they provide to their people extensive enough to keep customers coming. They keep this ROCK principle (rock philosophy: respect, opportunity, communication, kindness). Allowing their people to be inspired while at work.

So these are some of what they have in their menus:

I am not so much a fan of barbecue flavored stuff, but this hand-tossed pizza had me craving for more. I am used to pepperonis, so this one is new to me, and I really liked it. It is flavorful but not tiring and its’ spiciness is something I can tolerate. I’ve shared before I am not into spicy food, but this one is okay with me. =)

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The usual item that we asked to “advance call” is the nachos, we had this dip I so love, I wanted to do it at home. It’s their spinach artichoke dip, healthy and fun to eat too.

 

We tried one of the pastas too, vegetable primavera, which is also a healthy option.

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The flat bread with four cheese dip: hearth-baked mozzarella, queso quesadilla, smoked Gouda and Velveeta is so addicting.

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I learned from the Restaurant Manager that Velveeta is a brand name compared to an American cheese, which texture is softer and smoother than a processed cheese. It is supposed to be consumed in moderation due to its’ high sodium content and preservatives.

While Gouda cheese is all natural from cow’s milk. Aside from the calories it’ll add to your diet, and fats, it’ll give you a little amount of calcium too. So, not bad.

The menu says “green mango salad” though I had yellow mangoes in it and I didn’t bother to contest it, it tasted really good, crunchy, fresh, a little bit funky like I’m a veggie lover all my life remember?

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Anti-oxidants. =)

So if you happen to visit Alabang Town Center and loves Italian food, you will have a lot of choices, and I’d like to personally recommend that CPK would be one of them. Happy eating!

You can find them in the following addresses:

  1. Alabang Town Center
  2. Greenbelt 5
  3. Bonifacio High Street
  4. Shangri-la Plaza Mall
  5. Century City Mall
  6. Promenade Mall
  7. SM Mall of Asia

You can also find them from time to time, offering promotions at Metrodeal (http://www.metrodeal.com/) if you want to enjoy great deals.

 

MONALISA RISTORANTE..

Monalisa Ristorante

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy pizza, and that’s the same thing.” ~unknown~

Holding such admiration to the diversity of cuisines from different countries. There is one particular country that I truly admire. Italy. Not to miss mentioning the beauty of their country gifted by God with such a vast pulchritude, breathtaking landscapes and naturally loving people. A country which I long to see with my own pair of hungry eyes. It has been a dream for years yet unfulfilled.

I also have a special liking and amazement for their food. Though they aren’t a big fan of risotto. And ironically, even if I am a typical Filipina who can not skip rice in my meals, but I can do if it’s pasta and/or pizza.

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I must admit, I am a pizza junkie. While I was pregnant, I craved for pizzas the whole time. I go for any brand. Even those stalls that sell cheaper pizzas topping it with just ham and cheese. We even bought ingredients once and did our own. We called it pizzacho. Because we already have a name for the baby in my womb. We named him Echo.

Having Alabang as my rendezvous, I keep on searching for a new and cool Italian restaurant until I came across Monalisa Ristorante. It is tucked in a corner at the second floor of Commerce center. And not the typical artisanal pizzeria, theirs is authentic Italian.

Commerce center is a mall sandwiched by two other malls: Festival mall and Alabang Town Center. There is something very special with Commerce Center. When you can’t breath due to the stream of townies either at Festival mall and Alabang Town center. Check it out and you’ll appreciate the ambiance of the whole place. There is privacy as well though it isn’t as big like the two malls that I’ve mentioned.

I kept falling in love with Alabang every now and then. As a teenager, I grew up there until Festival mall spawned. Alabang Town center did several expansions too, still, there are other options to choose from when you’re in Alabang. There is Civic drive where popular restaurants like Neil’s kitchen, Kanin club, Contis among others are situated. And several hotels for a cozy shop to sip coffee or teas plus your favorite cake or pastry or a spread from their “Eat all you can” menu.

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My knowledge of Commerce Center is accidental. Due to traffic, I opted to walk from Festival mall to ATC and in passing, there it is quietly sitted across Acacia hotel. The name: Monalisa Ristorante sounded very interesting. And from afar, you can see that the interior of the place is impressive. The murals in the ceiling is visible and enticing too.

As we’re about to enter this place, a huge reproduction of Monalisa will greet you with her famous mysterious smile. There are more murals inside. Some of which are paintings from the Renaissance era.

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Like a habit that’s hard to break. I took photos while we’re waiting for our food. Jen is already used to it. I take photos of my own too which is called “selfies” or photos of what we’re getting are “food porns”by the millennials. Sometimes, Jen take my pictures too.

 

 

And when there is an available attendant to take our pictures, we normally asked them to capture us together.

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We asked the RM to tell us about the “Create your own pizza”.

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Their best sellers and if they have Stellas per Jen’s request. Well, they don’t have that beer from Belgium. Jen was offered to try the wines. They have a nice cellar just across their kitchen counter.

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We opted for that “Create your own pizza” thing. You will choose 4 toppings and these are our choices:

– mushrooms

– pepperonis

– bell peppers

– cheese (a special kind)

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For pasta we had Pollo pizimente as recommended.

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It’s just good to know that each place we visit has something special to offer. At Monalisa, I like their dough, it is a bit gummy and tasty. And it’s made from wheat bread which made it a healthier treat. Their cheese (s) are awesome as well.

From the ambiance, excellent service of their people, taste and presentation, Monalisa Ristorante is my kind of Italian restaurant. I will visit again one of these days. 😊 They have zuppa, seafood pasta, house specialty and calzone!

PS

And they bake their own breads too. Their complimentary bread came with three different dips: butter, pesto and tomato sauce..=)

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Monalisa Ristorante is located at: Building 1 Commerce Center, Commerce Avenue Corner Filinvest Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781 Metro Manila .You can contact them at: 556 – 0708.