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Century Vienna Sausage

I've been trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle (minus the active part, lol). Since I don't have that much time to exercise (yeah, I have a lot of excuses, too tired, it's raining, i'm not in the mood, I have a lot of work to do, it's time for boyfie or family), I decided that I'll just lessen my food intake (which by the way is successful if I don't approach our dining table at home). So in my office pedestal, I have this wheat crackers and I just think of something to pair it with.

Today, I went to 711 and saw that they have the new Century Tuna Vienna Sausage. I've been hearing it advertised in my favorite radio program, by my favorite DJs, so I decided to buy it.

It tastes really good. I think I can finish 2 cans of it. Actually, just blogging about it makes me crave for it even more!

It has Omega 3 and DHA which are supposedly good for the heart, right? So I don't see any drawbacks. I didn't have the time to check it's nutritional facts, I'll be posting it as soon as I get the details.

It's cheap, 26 pesos in 711, in supermarkets it should be lower still. you get 14 1 1/2 inch sized Vienna sausages packed in a small can. It's really worth it's price, economically wise and taste wise.

Century Tuna Vienna Sausage

Vienna Sausage by Century Tuna

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Yakimix SM Masinag

My parents celebrated their silver wedding anniversary yesterday, so as a treat, we went to Yakimix SM Masinag to celebrate, after their renewal of marriage vows in the Shrine of St Therese of the Child Jesus, Antipolo.

Yakimix is a mix of 3 cuisines, Japanese, Cantonese and Malaysian(?). I don't really know how to differentiate the other cuisines, but I know the sushi bar is the Japanese bit. They also pride themselves of a Smokeless grill, so they have a raw food section aside from the cooked food and sushi bar.

Of course the restaurant line was long, so we had to wait for about 20 minutes to get in, but since it's inside SM Masinag, we roamed around the mall and just went back after a few minutes. They gave us free drinks while waiting in line too! When the drinks arrived, and they said it was free, everybody clamored for one. They were brightly colored juices with bendy straws. They looked so refreshing! I took the red-orange drink. Tasted like 4 seasons. The green drink was awesome! It was sour and sweet, don't know what fruit it is though. Kiwi maybe? There was a blue one, the classic blue lemonade, and of course, your regular brown iced tea!

When we finally got seated, I made a go for the sushi bar! Being the Japanese food lover that I am, I quickly filled my plate with all these sushis, makis and sashimis that I can fit my plate (and stomach). So naturally, after consuming everything on my plate, I was so full. So much for my diet! Anyway, I figured, the next time I'll eat there, I know which sushis and makis to take so I can take advantage of the smokeless grill.

I don't remember all of sushis and makis by name, they were tad too many! But I definitely want the one with duck (we think it's duck, it tastes like ham) on top, the one with the octopus on top, the warships (the ones that looks like it's salad wrapped in nori), the flavored scrambled egg (I already ate it so it's not in the picture), and of course both the pink salmon and tuna sashimis!

Yakimix Sushi Sashimi Maki
Yakimix Sushi Maki and Sashimi

They have a salad bar where you can choose from a variety of salads, veggies and sauces. I didn't taste any of the salads though. I wasn't able to snap a picture of it too, cause apparently, taking pictures isn't allowed.

They have a cooked food section where there were a variety of different Asian food. I didn't enjoy it much though. Funny though that the tempura seems to disappear within seconds of refilling it. I don't like tempura at all so it's fine by me.

For meat, they have these raw thinly sliced meats from fish, beef, pork and chicken. Most of the meats are already marinated, so when you grill it it doesn't taste bland at all.
Yakimix Smokeless Grill
Yakimix Smokeless Grill

 They have a dessert bar that has 4 flavors of ice cream and your choice from a variety of toppings. They also have some fruity pops for people like me who doesn't like ice cream. There are fruit bowls as well, with sliced Hami Melons, Papayas and Dragon Fruits. They were okay, but it would be great of they were cold, like iced. The ones on the bowls were just a little cold.
yakimix ice cream desert
Yakimix Ice Cream Desert
 They also have different pastries available, though judging by how they looked, they don't look top quality. Sure they look appetizing cause of the wonderful colors, but they don't look moist nor rich. I tasted their bite sized crinkles and from that, I know that I would just regret eating any of the desserts. The cakes look dry, and their mousse cakes look like cheesecakes. Good thing I read the label, or else I would have barfed up my lunch. I'm not a mousse person at all. Their leche flan is okay. It tasted like regular leche flan but it had a lot of air pockets inside, so it's not really smooth to the tongue, and do I need to mention that it doesn't melt in your mouth? I guess, from a person who bakes, I've been very stringy on how desert tastes like.

yakimix pastries desert
Yakimix Pastries Desert

The ambiance is great. I really love their chandeliers and their ceiling, which had me and boyfie thinking of having a similar design to our ceiling when we have our own house.

yakimix chandelier ambiance
Yakimix ambiance
Their crew are very nice. They smile and are very accommodating. You can see their manager walking around and when you talk to him he really does listen and takes customers seriously. We were dining with our Parish Priest and my dad asked if there wasn't a discount for the parish priest (You can see our church from the windows of the restaurant), I think he was seriously thinking about giving him a discount.

Over-all, I'd say I want to eat there again. I prefer this branch since it's nearer, plus there aren't that many patrons (yet). The restaurant is like a mix of Saisaki and Tong Yang. It would be the best place to go if you want to eat at both restaurants

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Cafe Lidia

Two of my church friends and I went to Cafe Lidia to have chit-chat over dinner. I've been hearing great reviews about Cafe Lidia -  most of them coming from my mom, that I didn't hesitate to agree with the girls when they decided to have our rendezvous there.

It's a little difficult to find at first. It's located at 64 Calderon St., Calumpang, Marikina, so if you're not familiar with area, and you're driving there, you might get a little lost. If you're a commuter, then it's easier for you. You just tell kuya tricycle driver to drop you off Cafe Lidia.

Cafe Lidia has this rustic appeal to it. Just outside, you'll see red bricks and arches. Kinda reminded me of a posh saloon. When you enter Cafe Lidia, it's like you've been transported to a different world. The interior is simple yet eloquent. It has this a simple, radiant, elegant ambiance that you don't normally find in Marikina establishment. People from Marikina are simplistic and have this homey-frugal approach when it comes to dining establishments.

Though Marikina is rich in food market - food peddlers, food kiosks, canteen-type or turo-turo, they usually don't decorate. Just a few tables, chairs, and an electric fan would do. Cafe Lidia seem to have deviated from Marikina's traditional food service and whipped up an affordable yet chic Italian restaurant.

The waiters were really nice. They're funny and chatty. They also know their products well because when you ask them what their best seller is, or what food they want to recommend, they have a ready answer, with an explanation. They don't answer the usual "lahat po masarap" (everything is yummy) when you ask them "ano bang masarap dito?" (which food is delicious here, or what's your best seller). I had a lot of questions about their menu since I'm not a huge fan of Italian food. I wanted to order buffalo wings, which from what I heard was their best selling appetizer, but thought that I'd save it for next time.

Being the fish lover that I am, I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Fish Fillet which was a pan-fried cream dory with parmesan cheese on the breading, topped with this Italian, semi-sweet red sauce.

My church friends ordered Baked Penne and Penne ala Vodka with Bacon

The Baked Penne had this Italian-Filipino zestiness to it. It was sweet, sour and meaty. A very hearty taste.

The Penne ala Vodka with Bacon leans on a more zesty, citrus-y flavor. I guess this is due to the vodka. You won't taste the vodka at all and it will definitely tickle your taste buds with this new flavor in pasta.

A friend suggested we order pizza, so we did. The house special has everything in it! It was so delicious! Too bad I didn't have too much room to eat more than 1 slice. What with dessert coming up?

I love dessert! My mouth was watering when I saw their desert rack. The cakes absolutely looked scrumptious! I had this triple chocolate dream cake. I dunno if I was just full or the cakes weren't that yummy as I expected. The cake wasn't that yummy. The chocolate wasn't that rich. It tasted a little flat for me.

 My friend ordered the almond marjolaine cake. The top's already been eaten in the picture though. I wasn't able to taste it, but from how it looked, it looked interesting

Over all though, I love the food and ambiance that Cafe Lidia offered. I sure will be coming back to eat more.

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Taco Bell Beef Grilled Stuft Burrito

I had a burrito this morning thanks to my super sweet brother who watched the Westlife concert last night. Maybe it's his way of appeasing me cause I can't get to see their concert. Boo!

Anyway, I discovered Taco Bell because of my boyfriend (he wasn't my boyfriend then). He asked me if I have dined there, I told him I haven't, so when the budget permitted it, he treated me there. That happened months ago, but my goodness! I have to say, hands down, the BEST burrito I've EVER TASTED!

I have this really long story about by quest for the perfect burritos. If you don't want to read it, skip to the review :)

My fetish for burritos started with cartoons and kid shows. Growing up I saw shows indicating characters getting LBM with burritos. I got really curious about it, cause why would people risk having LBM just to eat it, right? It must be really good.When I got older, this cute show came up, Kim Possible. Her bestfriend, Ron Stoppable and his naked mole rat, absolutely loved Mexican food, which revived my curiosity for burritos.

I had a classmate in college who bought  a burrito from a kiosk (I think it was Tia Mia or Tia Maria. I forgot) in the school carpark (Yeah, our school car park have food kiosks and even restaurants). I forgot if she bought me one or she just let me taste it, but I gotta tell you, it was awesome! That was the first time I fell in love with burritos. It had this nice "Mexican" taste that I call. I can't describe it fully, it's like this chilli-beef (not spicy beef okay, chilli as in the food chilli-con-carne). Too bad for me it was way out my budget. It was 90 pesos. And for a student on a budget, that's too much.

There came a time when a batch of students have their entrep week, so they're selling all sorts of stuff. One of which including a microwave-ready burrito. It costs 50 per piece (Cheap ha!). It was just a small burrito but it was bursting with the Mexican flavor that I told you earlier. Plus the texture was a little rough, like it had beans on it! (the first one I ate only had rice). I loved it so much that I ate one everyday, and after entrep week was over, I set aside a portion of my allowance to eat the burrito from Tia M(ar)ia.

After I graduated, I haven't had a burrito for more than a year. I didn't actually miss it since I was too busy with work, then one day, I saw this burrito in 711. I was like, OMG! Burritos! There were 2 types. One was a breakfast burrito and one was a "Mexican" burrito. I tried both, but to my dismay, it was a far cry from the burritos I had back in college, but it did revive my craving for burritos.

After a few weeks, my officemates decided to have food from Army Navy delivered and to my pleasant surprise, they were selling burritos! Even though I know I'm really short on budget, I had to try it out. It was so expensive. (145-165 pesos), but so what? It doesn't matter if I can't go home later, I have to try the burrito. To my disappointment though, there wasn't enough Mexican Flavor Oooomph to make me smile. I was really really disappointed.

I told my then future boyfriend about how disappointed I was with all the burritos I've been trying so he brought up the idea of Taco Bell again (he brought it up a lot of times before. He didn't know I was a burrito addict). By then I was so intent on finding the perfect burrito, so I said I wanted to give it a go. I had apprehensions before because I thought Taco Bell was a very expensive restaurant.

So we went in, and I was surprised at how it looked. It was going for a rustic-festive design. Polished cement floor with festive-colored walls and banderitas. I can't place the term for it. Not really homey, not elegant. But I know it was a happy place. As we approached the register, my eyes were widening with awe with the mexican food pictures. I can't wait to dig in.

The girl at the register was very helpful. I can't seem to find what I want, so I told her that I want a burrito with rice and beans, and she happily offered the Grilled Stuft Burrito. The price was 99 Pesos for the beef! I was like, WOAH! expensive much! But what the heck. The last one I tried was more expensive anyway. I stayed away from the chicken and the steak variants cause they were more expensive (their full menu). Future bf ordered a taco.

Bf was raving about how good the first taco he bought from taco bell was. He was reliving the story to me and I was getting really really excited. When they called my name I was jolted back to reality. I opened the wrapper of my burrito and I can smell how good it was.

My fingers were all tingly, I was shaking a little, I took a bite and flavor exploded in my mouth. It was like the angels were singing! Hallelujah! I found the perfect burrito! As I eat the burrito, bit by bit, the flavor gets better and better! It's the perfect blend of sauce, beef, rice, beans and veggies! I was in 7th heaven. In cloud 9! I was so happy I could have died!

Sure enough, bf and I set aside money to indulge in burritos. The 2nd time we visited there, I ate 2 burritos! bf had the Cheesy bean and rice burrito. I had the Beef Grilled Stuft and the Steak Grilled Stuft. YUM!
The price was totally worth the taste.

My Score:
Taste  - 25/25
Presentation - 23/25
Ambiance - 23/25
Price - 25/25
Total = 94

Scores Explained:
I'm giving the Beef Grilled Stuft Burrito
  • 25 for taste cause for me, it's the perfect taste of burrito
  • 23 for presentation because the burrito isn't messy to eat (unlike other burritos). The tortilla bread was properly wrapped, and the paper wrapper itself looks nice
  • 23 for ambiance because the restaurant looks good with its numerous couches and festive colors, but the place is too heavy for the eyes
  • 25 for price because the price is so worth the taste, and you'll definitely be full after eating one burrito. Only eating machines like me get to devour 2 burritos. But mind you, after that 2nd burrito, I couldn't stand up

Contact Details:
I usually dine at the Taco Bell in Gatway mall. I have tried eating in Taco Bell Trinoma too. Haven't tried the one in Food Express (Gateway mall) though.

You can check out their website here: http://www.tacobell.com.ph/our_menu.htm

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Stall 37 Japanese Maki

I'm a sucker for Japanese food, so when I saw this stall selling maki, I bought one right away! I bought this 150-peso tray that has 3 kinds of maki. One was maki that had half a crabstick, a bit of rice at the bottom, then the rice and crabstick was tied together using nori. The other maki is your typical california maki, the last one was like california maki, but instead of having the orange caviar outside, the caviar was inside the maki roll, together with mango, cucumber and crabstick, rolled in nori.

The maki tasted like regular maki. It was a little expensive for my taste though.

They also don't provide this small cup for the soy-sauce. Which is weird, considering that they should have provided it, instead of just soy-sauce in a small platic tube (for ice candy). Also, the maki wasn't cold, which is really really bad. Though there isn't any fresh food in the maki, It should have been at least a little cool, right?

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Stall 43 Summer Salad

Stall 43 was this sad stall. Not much people because the stall looked empty. They have lined up various plastic boxes of fresh garden salad. Being the garden salad lover that I am, I went to the stall and bought a salad for 50 pesos.

For 50 pesos, there sure was a lot of vegetation. Though I'm comparing it to Wendy's and KFC's salad, which are a tad expensive.

The veggies on my salad are plain green lettice, tomatoes, carrot sticks and onions. The dressing was pureed yellow mangoes.

The veggie selection is okay. A perfect blend of tangy veggies. The vegetables doesn't look that fresh, like the salad was already made for about 2 hours but it's okay. I would have wanted my salad cold, but I don't mind it in room temp either. What really bugs me is the dressing.

At first I was like, "What, mango dressing?" but then, I thought it was worth a try. A taste of summer, right? There wasn't anything special to the mango dressing. It's just pureed mango. Fine. One more problem, there wasn't enough dressing for all the vegetables. BUMMER! I love my salad to have just the right amount of dressing, maybe a lot of dressing. What's irking me is that the dressing barely covered half of the salad (not really cover as "cover", but enough for you to taste the dressing and the salad). It was a disaster. Good thing I was hungry, so I was able to finish the salad, even if it's like I'm just eating plain, raw vegetables.

I wouldn't recommend it at all. All the contents of that salad, I could have made at home. It would have been fresher and had more dressing.

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Stall 27 Mongolian Food at Rastrillo

Stall 27 was the first food stall I bought food from when Rastrillo opened.

It's mongolian-style. There are bowls of what you can put on your bowl, then have them fried by the cook.

There are a lot of toppings that you can add, it's like your typical mongolian restos. The best part is that it's only 100 Pesos!

Mongolian Base food
For your base, you can choose from rice 3 kinds of noodles. I forgot which kinds of noodles cause I'm a rice fan. Anyway. You have a nice variety of base. which you can also mix together if you want

Meat choices are the usual meat choices. Beef, pork, chicken and squid and tofu

There are a lot spices and other toppings available. You have the typical diced chillis, peanuts, onion, garlic, sesame seeds, tomatos and other greens.

You have the typical sauces, you have to tell the cook which sauce you like. The list of the sauces is not available, which is one of the downsides. I chose terriyaki sauce.

All in all, I must say I had a great experience with my mongolian bow. It was yummy! Though I over did the chillis so my bowl was flaming hot!

For a hundred bucks, I sure did get more than my money's worth! YUM!

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Rastrillo. Street Life In-front of Tektite-Ortigas

Rastrillo is a make-shift street food heaven every Friday. They close down one of the streets perpendicular to our office building at 5pm, and food connoisseurs peddle their goods on the street. It started last Friday (April 8, 2011). We're really hoping that it stays for a long time. Haven't tasted everything there yet. There's not much choice because it's just a short street, only a few (maybe 10-15 connoisseurs), most of them sell barbeque. Being the foodie that I am, I'll probably set aside money to taste everything there and tell you about which things I loved (and hated, if any). I'll try to feature each stand in my blog

When (date): Every Friday (No definite schedule of when they'll stop. Hopefully, they won't)
When (time): 17:00 to 3:00
Where: Philippine Stock Exchange Center Ortigas (AKA Tektite Towers) Open Parking

Price Range
Most food items start at 100. It may seem like a large amount, but I swear, all the food looks so scrumptious, and probably taste great as well, that you wouldn't mind paying those hard-earned hundred bucks! I know I didn't!

Food Range
The first time I went there, these are what I saw:

  1. A lot of barbecue stands. Barbecue here in the PH is way different from the barbecues I get to watch on the Lifestyle Channel. Here we don't usually grill slabs of meat. Barbecue here are like kebobs, minus the veggies. It's just pure meat on the stick. Also, the meat variety here is different. Of course we have the traditional pork (which is what we call here barbecue) or chicken meat (Didn't see chicken in Rastrillo though). But we also have the weirder variety, like the Isaw ng Manok (Chicken intestines), Isaw ng Baboy (Pig intestines), Dugo or Betamax (Pig blood, shaped like miniature betamax tapes), Adidas (Chicken feet), and jumbo hotdogs. I'll try to sample all these barbecue stands, though I think they'll taste the same.
  2. Rice Meals. There are a lot of stands selling rice meals, ranging from traditional Filipino catering/carinderia food to mongolian rice bowls
  3. Drinks. From water to booze. You'll find it there. Almost every stand sells drinks. There also stands that only sells drinks
  4. Dessert. There's this one stand that stood out, selling pastries. But there are other stands selling desserts as well
  5. Pizza and Pasta. Filipinos love pizza and pasta! Some stands sell pasta and rice meals. Pasta here in our country is usually considered as a snack, so usually you get to see stands selling rice meals (which are considered full meals) also sell snack meals like pasta. Also I saw people eating this huge slab of pizza (like the ones in Sbarro!)
As far as I can remember, these sum up what my eyes feasted on last friday. I'll be going later again for an early dinner while waiting for my college friends to arrive in El Pueblo (we're having a reunion!). So expect a review on one or a few of the food stands there.

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711 Beef Pares Pinoy Rice Meal

Since 711 is very conveniently placed near the office, I usually go to 711 to look for affordable food. I remember 3 weeks ago, I was really out of money, and I needed to eat. I forgot my packed lunch (yeah, I know, that was stupid of me) so I was so worried about what and where to look for food. I need lunch that is at 50 pesos, tops!

I went to 711 looking for soup or some soft food that could fill me up. I was hungry, but my throat was so sore that time. I had to find an alternative to my typical rice meal. Though, of course I couldn't find anything that could fill me that was within my 50-peso budget. I don't like consuming too much cup noodles (which by the way was what started my sore throat).

So after walking down the 3 aisles of 711 and debating with myself if I'd rather be grumpy with hunger or eat cup noodles, I decided to  check out the cooling shelf where they keep the "fresh" foods or the perishables. I was looking  at the boxes of rice meals, and to my surprise, saw this 39-peso beef pares meal. I was like "WOW! freaking 39 pesos only!!!!" So naturally, I bought it. Forget my sore throat. I need to eat, and this IS cheap.

So I patiently waited for my food to heat up, 90 seconds was all it took! Yay! Beef Pares in 90 seconds! I took my food to one of the 711 tables at the back of the store, and started to slowly chow-down the beef pares. I wasn't expecting the food to be yummy at all, which is good cause I wasn't disappointed. The pares was a little bland, and that's saying something, coming from someone who likes the taste of bland food. Yet again, I wasn't expecting great flavor, what with 39 pesos?

The food was placed in bristol-board box. Inside the box, on the right-hand side, is a small bristol-board box that houses the beef and the pares sauce. If you're the type of person who consumes more ulam or viand than rice, then you're in a for a disappointment. You only get 3 chunks of beef which looks tough and dry, but is actually tender. It seemed to me that you have to properly portion the ulam so that you'll have enough for your rice. There was a lot of sauce, which is a good alternative for the lack of ulam, but again, it's bland. When mixed with rice, you just get a faint pares taste on the rice, there was more rice taste than pares taste. The rice was soft. Not at all dry, which is great.

As for whether I was satiated or not, well, I wasn't, but that's okay. I'm trying to lose weight anyway. It's enough to not feel hungry, but not too much to make you feel full.

Overall, my experience with the 711 Beef Pares Pinoy Rice Meal is okay. In fact I bought one this morning for breakfast. I highly recommend it for people on a budget who don't mind eating just enough.

Now for the grade:

Taste - 35/50
Cost - 20/20
Presentation - 21/30

Total: 76/100

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Century Tuna Mayo Spread

I had a loaf of bread last week that I needed to consume. Since I wanted something with bread, I went to 711 and looked for sandwich spreads. I saw this Century Tuna Mayo Spread beside the liver spreads. Naturally, I was curious. I love tuna. I was thinking along the lines of a tuna sandwich, so I was thinking, JACKPOT!

The can has this ring on-top, similar to what canned sodas have, only bigger. Like the ones in vienna sausages. It's easy to open, which is great, since I think I'll die of tetanus if I use the can opener in our office pantry. The downside of the can though was the can structure itself. I used a butter knife to scoop out the spread, which is what we normally use for spreads. It was hard to scoop the stuff out when I was running out of spread.

The consistency of the spread was a little runny. When I saw it, I was dubious with the amount of tuna and mayo in it. I mean, I buy tuna, I buy mayo, I make tuna spreads out of the tuna and the mayo, but it wasn't runny at all. There were very few chunks/flakes of tuna on it. There was actually a point where I was wondering why aren't there much tuna chunks/flakes in it. Makes me think that the tuna in that spread was probably the wasted tuna crumbs they get from flaking the tuna.

The taste of the spread is consistent with how the spread looks like though. It didn't taste anything special. Heck, it tasted like liver spread. And honestly, if I wanted liver spread, I'd buy liver spread, right? I was looking for the "tuna-sandwich" taste but I didn't get it at all. Let alone the "tuna" taste.

On the bright side though, since Century made it, it's a hit for health buffs. It has Omega 3 DHA, low in cholesterol, 0 trans fat and no preservatives. They're also marketing it as a sort of pate. They have recipes in their website. You may want to check it out: http://www.centurytuna.ph/allmayorecipes.php

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