TAZA MIA – Another local entry for coffee lovers…

Taza Mia – Another local entry for coffee lovers…

Just last week, we just had nachos with artisanal coffee at Taza Mia which is located at SM Sta. Rosa, Laguna. This is my __th coffee for the week on top of my usual intakes at home. Which is kind of crazy to think about.

taza lights
Storefront… those lights I so like! =)

Though, having tried this with a long time friend cum foodie buddy (travel buddy too), is a time well spent away from the stress of life. Besides, she likes what I like and wherever I drag her, she is so willing to go and even if it’s not more of her, she is always willing to give it a try. To be adventurous is cool.

While we were checking their menu, it is on an easel at their storefront, what I tried to find first is if they have nachos. And they have it so off we go to this 2 seater sofa and wood-finish laminated table and placed our order immediately.

taza easel
Nachos? Check!
taza menu
Choices!
taza logos
I like their logo..=)

It’d be always this usual combination. Our choice of coffee, nachos and blueberry cheesecake. According to the attendant, they run out of the cake and so we just had nachos. I had their roasted caramel iced coffee and Jen grab a fresh brewed in butterscotch variant.

taza coffee
Best choice! =)

We liked it that the salsa is served separately with the nacho chips. It’s tidier to consume and not like those that salsa were already there as toppings. It usually consume too much tissues.

taza nachos
Very tidy!

Now comes the verdict on the coffee. I really like what I had. Jen liked her choice too.

I also discover in amazement that beans of Taza Mia is sourced-out locally, specifically from Lipa, Batangas. And with their ambiance, the great taste of their coffee, I think they would succeed in being a local chain of cafes in the country.

Looking around, the shop was well thought-of. From the interiors, their menu, their furniture, the tableware are personalized/ logoed, they have paper mats and tissues with their logos on it, and of course, one of the most important criteria in judging a restaurant, is the stance of their staff.

taza liner
Done professionally..
taza interiors
Cool..
taza mugs
They have merchandise too..

Long way to go Taza Mia! Another Pinoy pride! =)

ps

They’re planning to put up new branches in the northern part of the country, they have almost 10 in the southern part and counting! =)

Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

And so it seems that the popularity of Authentic Filipino restaurants like Dencio’s and Gerry’s Grill reached that leverage of being imitated by many.

The tarpaulin ad of “Kuya J” is so distracting when we passed by SM Dasmarinas, Cavite on our way to visit some clients.

It is almost lunch-time and we opted to have our lunch there after one more client visit.

The temperature lately in the Philippines is so unbearable as we are not used to it, even if we are a Tropical country, with scorching winds, even if we’re in a province, it made us rush to the nearest mall. And to the nearest food stall.

And we ended up at “Kuya J”. Upon review of their menu, it is like a newer version of what you will see from Gerry’s grill or Dencio’s.

kj menu
Mini mini mini mo!

And while I was reviewing the menu, my colleagues are interviewing the attendant if the “J” stands for Jericho (he is the official model of their ads, he is a famous heartthrob in our country), just like asking if Jericho owns “Kuya J” and we were informed that he is just a model and the restaurant is owned by a Chinese Businessman based in Cebu.

kj lovely ladies
Two lovely ladies!

And we’ve had what?

We opted to try their Kare-kareng Bagnet. I (or we) didn’t like the shrimp paste (bagoong) that much.

kj kare
Yum!

We also tried their Pinakbet. And we liked it.

kj pakbet
Veggies!

We also had Crispy beef tadyang (ribs).

kj ribs tapa
Crispy ribs!

I personally like the vinegar, it has a tasteful flavor. I am not much into vinegar sauces, but this one I was able to tolerate.

For dessert, we all wished for the fried halo-halo, it is not just available at that time so they ordered for the real one.

halo 2
Photo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/KuyaJResto/

 

It was a winner. We especially liked the milky ice, it is so fine and no feel of ice bits.

kj halo
Truly a Summer treat!

Since we didn’t get our fried halo-halo, we asked the attendant if there’s a corkage should we bring food from another establishment, and they said it’s okay.

Calling it a hefty lunch essentials. We had our finale. Two different cakes from Cakes by Kat.

kj cake
We opted for cakes!

We had Chocolate indulgence cake and of course, blueberry cheesecake.

kj choco cake

kj bb cheesecake

And we’re back to work with smiles.

In a different occasion, we’ve tried these equally delicious treats:

kuya-j-crispy-pata

kuya-j-salad

Happy tummies! =)

There are more than 50 branches of Kuya J nationwide. One could be just near you. =)

MTV Cafe…

MTV Cafe

There is one cafe in our town that I always passed by but since it is in somewhere in between where I live and where I do my grocery every weekend, I haven’t got the chance to stop by and check it.

myv cafe
MTV Cafe..

One afternoon, when my mom attended an activity out of town with her siblings, I was too lazy to cook dinner and foodie buddy and I opted to find some place cool to dine.

We thought of MTV cafe to veer away from the usual “inihaw” stuff (grilled fish, grilled chicken, grilled pork, etc.), and even quick-service restaurants that are scattered in our neighborhood. MTV cafe could be an option.

There were only a few guests when we arrive, and the attendant directed us to the counter. We are to place our orders there and not while sitted on the table.

organo poster 2
Healthier coffee… #organic
menu
Choices..
menu board
Chalk menu board.. =)

The atmosphere is comfy, though the interiors isn’t not as grand or impressive. Just the usual benches facing 1 seaters and some coffee tables for two, 3 to be exact.

lotus
Lotus candle holder..
for twos
Coffee tables..
accent piece
Their greens matched..=)

Not too many offerings in the menu too. Though what we need are there.

Jen had the buffalo wings.

buffalo wings
Chicken wings that isn’t too spicy..

I opted for the Isabela longganiza. The attendant claimed it is better than the famous Vigan longganiza.

longga
Isabela longganiza..

For a starter, we had their nachos first.

nachos
I’m not so happy with it..=(

And for thirst-quenchers, we had iced coffee.

Ice cafe latte for me. And Black forest for Jen.

our coffee
Syrup pleease..
syrup ko
Oh, there’s my simple syrup..

Service is good, however, my longganiza was a bit burned. And the nachos I think lacks the usual ingredients. I was looking for shaved cabbages, lots of tomatoes, maybe cilantro if they wanted to be authentic and cheese. Where is the cheese? The cheese sauce is okay, though for a cheese lover like, I find it incomplete without some grated cheese on top of it. I also noticed that the oil that they used for the Nachos salsa tasted like re-used oil.

I can be corrected when I’m wrong. I’m so sorry for being the pickiest kid on the block. Still, the service masked my discontent over their food. Not that really bad.

MTV cafe can be an option if you just wanted to have coffee – hot or cold. Their coffee is from Organo, while syrups is again by Torani.

toranis
Toranis!

It is located at: #15 Oliver compound., Barangay Landayan, 4023 San Pedro, Laguna

CARPE DIEM – We just seized the day!

Carpe Diem – We just seized the day!

When hunger strikes. The brain works a little less better. We were near BF Paranaque, famished and opted to have a quick lunch over this place which I’m eyeing (Alezon cafe) in Aguirre street and we told the driver to bring us to “Commune cafe”. I got mixed-up and later recalled that it’s not Commune cafe but Cafe Alezon. Since we can’t of course find “Commune” at Aguirre, we ended up at “Carpe diem.” Jen, foodie buddy hungry to death almost killed me. Ehehe! She and the driver. Oooops! sowee!

front
Facade..

So it was a blessing in disguise. Carpe diem is so cozy, quiet and gives the feeling of being at home. Each guest has a world of their own and the attendants are “super” courteous or probably because boss is present. No, I guess they are naturally like that, because their boss is as nice too.

clothespin
Christmas feel..
christmas pillows
Loved the pillows!
cd 2
Courtesy of Carpe diem’s Facebook page.. This is the interior of the shop.. We had one of those soft couches all on our own. =)

So right away we head to their menu board, and I ordered for Carbonara and Jen had Marinara. I hope Miss Spaghetti is happy! =) And we ordered for our coffee as well.

torani
Wow Torani!
drinks
They gave me my simple syrup just in case..
couches
Ours..=)

And voila. Happy tummies!

menu board
Carbonara for me..
carbonara
Mine!
men
Marinara for Jen..
seafood marinara
Jen’s..
jen unhappy
Isn’t she happy!?
jen close up
Close up! She is happy! =)

Both of our choices tasted really good. Jen’s red pasta was a little bit spicy and mine has a creamy taste that isn’t so tiring. I especially loved the garlic bread and ordered for another. The second one they served has more garlic on it so Jen had to help me consumed it. =)

Over-all rating. It’s worth a second or third visit. =)

menu on table
Always ready for additional orders.. this is under the glass top tables…=)

I secretly planned to have dessert from Larcy’s cupcakes, which happens to be just a few blocks away from it. But time is of essence. We can’t afford to stay longer due to several activities waiting for us dinner time.

tin cans
They have Al fresco…
wifi
And free wifi..=)

So till then, Carpe diem and Larcy’s. This is by the way “Food spotting at Aguirre”.

cd 1
Photo courtesy of their Facebook page..

Visit Aguirre and you can spot anything your heart desires. I’ve tried the following already:

1. Toho Antigua – Authentic Chinese restaurant
2. I love yo – Frozen yogurt (although it seems they’re no longer there)
3. Pilot branch of Conti’s

And next on our list is Larcy’s, Cafe Alezon and Mama Lou’s.

Bon appetit! =)

GERRY’s Grill… Tatak Pinoy =)

Gerry’s Grill… Tatak Pinoy!

I had this urge to blog about Gerry’s Grill. They have been serving the Filipinos since the late 1990s. They opened their pilot branch on Valentines’ day and the rest was history.

When it comes to the staple Filipino dishes, Gerry’s is normally on top of the list. It is affordable. And their place isn’t hard to find. As they are mostly everywhere.

They have branches in the USA, Qatar and in Singapore. And they are in all over Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon.

Guests flock their place. Recently, we waited for an hour to be sitted. I even wondered if there are no more other choices than to wait for almost an hour when there are thousands of restaurants in Manila?

Well, for one, the waiting time is truly worth it. Let me count the ways. The staff of Gerry’s are very-friendly. They dont’ mind being called on for several times when guests will ask for this, for that, etc.

Maybe, it is part of their training, the Filipino hospitality – intact. Maybe, this is what they are known for. Good service. There are more than 50 branches in the country.

And their food. They didn’t change a bit all these years!

For the draft of this blog, I have accumulated different photos in several and different occasion. I just wondered why I didn’t have a photo of the famous “Bulalo” and the “Crispy pata”. As these have been a top lister when ordering entrees from Gerry’s. They are also famous for their “Binagoongang rice”.

The Crispy pata is actually one of the first that I have tried before. However, it was Sisig that became my favorite. Originally, Sisig is supposed to be just an appetizer. But it tastes so good, piquant in taste, so it is normally paired with rice and is best with their different soups. The Bulalo (beef shank soup) & the Sinigang (tamarind soup using either pork, or beef and/ or fish). Even with the Pinakbet, I specially love it being paired with the Sisig. So here are some of their offerings:

gerrys
Tatak Pinoy..

I have to grab a photo from foodspotting.com. I must have been so engrossed after being served with their Kare-kare. I totally forgot about taking its’ picture.

kare
Courtesy of: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/634966-gerry-s-grill-starhub-centre-singapore/items/1035-kare-kare

This one I tried when I craved for the scallops I get from Vismin. This is good, though the cheese toppings competed with the natural taste of the scallops. I like it best baked only in butter and garlic.

baked scallops
Baked scallops…

So here’s the super famous, not just with me, but to everyone I think. =)

sisig
Famous sisig… I think this is one of their best sellers..

Once we partnered the Crispy pata with Laing. And seriously, it is a great medley. Laing is a specialty dish from Bicol.

laing
Laing! (–,)

Recently, I tried something I haven’t tried before. The chicken kebab.

chix kebab
Chicken kebab..

And when everyone is having beer, I tried their fresh mango juice.

mango juice
Everyone’s drinking beer. But me and my son opted for fresh mango juice..=)

And a dessert aside from banana caramel. Their banana split.

bnana split
Well… in exchange of the beer. We had our dessert..=)

There are several branches that I’ve visited. My favorite is the one in Tagaytay. Probably, because me and my mom were with my late father then. The place initiated a niche in my heart for my dad. I had to bring him then to Gerry’s per his request. Mom wants it at Josephine’s. But papa then was the boss! =)

So if you haven’t tried it at Gerry’s. Please do. It is truly “Tatak Pinoy!” =) Everything is delicious! =)