Sunday, April 28, 2013

BRGR: The Burger Project

In the spirit of letting voucher deals dictate our restaurant choices, we took a voucher deal for a place we have been looking forward to try, BRGR: The Burger Project! It had been sitting in our to-do list for a while, but it's not conveniently located for us, so we were glad to have a reason to undertake the voyage.
BRGR the burger project
The word "project" is rarely associated with anything this delectable.
Now, this place may not have the best burgers in town, but what sets it apart is how personal the experience is. What's the best burger on the menu? It's whatever the hell you want it to be! You are only limited by your imagination, and I was really looking forward to what Alvie and I were going to come up with. But before we get into that, here's the side dish we ordered.

BRGR the burger project
DESIGNR Fries: Animal Style, P135.00
We liked this and the fries were great, but we had a problem with the fact that the special BRGR sauce was a bit too much like Thousand Island dressing. Its taste overpowered the taste of all the cheese, which was surprising. It was still enjoyable, but I found myself wishing I tried the Chili Cheese or Truffle fries instead.

brgr the burger project
The JOAQR, P230.00
Step 1: Choose a BRGR: Tofu - P95
Step 2: Choose a bun: Oatmeal - P20
Step 3: Choose a cheese: Bleu - P35
Step 4: Choose your premium toppings: Fried Portobello - P40
Step 5: Choose your basic toppings: Egg - P20
Step 6: Choose a sauce: Wasabi Mayonnaise - P20

My aim was simple: To make the best and weirdest burger I could from this menu. After all, with all the regular, boring food in the world, crazier is better. I was proud of my first burger, The JOAQR (I'm so creative), and I think I did a good job. It did taste strangely great, and greatly strange! The only conflict was that the wasabi was so strong, I didn't taste the bleu cheese anymore. Alvie did though (and didn't like it), so at least I know it was in there somewhere. I loved the Portobello mushroom (was quite small though), the egg and the tofu all together in this bewildering burger. Alvie has the total opposite philosophy and wasn't a fan of my unorthodox creation. Here's hers:

BRGR the burger project
TBD, P285.00

Step 1: Choose a BRGR: 100% Angus Beef - P135
Step 2: Choose a bun: Oatmeal - P20
Step 3: Choose a cheese: Mozzarella- P35
Step 4: Choose your premium toppings: Bacon, Onion Rings, Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms  - P25 each
Step 5: Choose your basic toppings: None - Free
Step 6: Choose a sauce: BBQ Sauce - P20

This still-unnamed burger (Haha) was great too. Three premium toppings and no basics! Yum! The sautéed mushrooms weren't the regular button mushrooms too, they were a much better kind. The patty was nice and thick, but lacked in its own flavor. I suppose that when you order this, you're gonna have to make up for that with your other options. This particular combination did that, thanks to the mushrooms and the BBQ sauce.

I was very satisfied with the burger project experience. The DESIGNR fries are interesting, and so are the wide variety of drinks to go with your burger. We had the PINO Brewed Iced Tea (P55) and we liked it, too. In a place like this, you really are just limited by your own imagination.

DESIGNR Fries: Animal Style: Good
The JOAQR: Great (I am biased)
Alvie's TBD: Good for me, just Okay for Alvie
PINO Brewed Iced Tea: Good

A sign stated that you actually have 259,200 possible combinations to a single patty. A single patty. If you start thinking beyond that, the options are limitless. Would you like a tofu, chori, or chicken burger? Or all three patties at once?

BRGR the burger project
I'm a proud burger innovator.
I have a couple more combinations I still want to try based on the first visit alone and you might too! If you're too hungry to think or just want to go for their more tried & tested burgers, they also have preset combinations for you to order.

Keep it up, BRGR! You're doing it right!

Love BRGR: The Burger Project? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

38 Jupiter St
Bel-Air, Makati
(02) 550-1781
Operating Hours: 11:00 am - 12:00 mn
Facebook: BRGR The Burger Project

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S&R: My Favourite Pizza

My top three favourite types of food, in order, are: Sashimi/Sushi, Steak, and PIZZA. The best around for me is the huge 18" New York-style pizza S&R serves.
s&r membership shopping
This cheese pizza alone beats 99% of all other kinds out there.
Chances are you've seen these big warehouse-type branches around Metro Manila. The great fast food they serve here isn't very easily accessible, because you need to be a member to enter and purchase anything they have to offer. You'll need to be with a cardholder, or become one yourself. Membership costs 750 pesos a year, but luckily for me, my dad and Alvie are both members (Mwahaha).

s&r membership shopping
Bottomless Drink, P45.00
A very reasonable 45 pesos gets you unlimited access to any drink from their vending machines. Different Coca-Cola sodas and juices are available. When I was younger, I used to mix them all into one incorrigible sugary mess. I don't recommend this, but if you're curious, go ahead! Haha. During our recent visits, they didn't seem to have their mixes right and some sodas were very fizzless (Did I just invent a word?). I recommend taking a sip and making sure the soda is good before filling up your huge cup with it.

s&r membership shopping
Chicken Caesar Salad, P169.00
You must be either clinically insane or extremely disciplined to order salad in the midst of all the luscious pizza around, but if you do, you'll find it's actually quite good! It has chicken, cheese, cherry tomatoes and very tasty Caesar dressing. It's a good, light meal, but one that is almost impossible for me to choose at 169 pesos when an order of pizza goes for 99. Haha.

s&r membership shopping
Cheese Pizza, P499.00 for a whole or P89.00 for a slice (1/6 of the pizza)
Alvie was going to take another picture, but I could no longer keep my shaking hands from grabbing a slice. Hands down, this is the best pizza for me. The crust is perfect and the cheese is pleasantly sweet and gloriously gooey. I enjoy having this with hot sauce, or when I'm feeling particularly self-destructive, lots of mayonnaise (they go really well together).

Other great flavors I recommend are the Garlic Shrimp and the rare BBQ Chicken variants. Calzones, which are kind of like pizza sandwiches are also available and equally delicious. The thing about their pizza, though, is that it isn't good cold. It must be the cheese because even out at room temperature, once cool, the pizza becomes very rubbery, so if ever you take some home, remember to serve it warm. :)

Bottomless Drink: Good - excellent value for money, but the drink quality is very unpredictable.
Chicken Caesar Salad: Great
Cheese Pizza: Excellent

S&R also has great beef/chicken baked rolls, roast chicken, hotdog sandwiches, and burgers. No matter how often I eat here though, I never order them because I could never resist the call of the pizza and calzones. They are that crazy good. We love the food here so much that we often forget S&R also has a grocery!

Love S&R food? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

32nd St., 5th Ave.
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(02) 888-0640
Facebook: S&R Membership

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Angeles City, Pampanga: L.A. Bakeshop and Susie's Cuisine

Alvie and I were out in Angeles City, Pampanga one day to visit a friend and dropped by two great food places before heading back.
angeles city, pampanga
A beautiful day in Angeles.
L.A. Bakeshop

We were introduced to a the most magnificent of cheese breads in the area, and this certainly warranted a visit! After conveniently locating the place with our handy-dandy Waze, I stepped in to grab some goods.

l.a. bakeshop
L.A. Bakeshop
This unassuming little venue offers the best cheesebread I have ever tried (beating out Mary Grace's version)! They pride themselves in being Home of the Original Cheesebread, and based on how good it is, I believe them! Unlike the more common variety, this bread is coated and not stuffed with cheese.

l.a. bakeshop
Well worth it at five pesos each.
We had some pieces freshly baked and loved it. This makes a great and affordable pasalubong from Pampanga. We also had the Spanish bread (P6), which was above average, but not very remarkable for me since I'm not a fan of the pastry.

l.a. bakeshop
Cheesebread, P150.00 for a box of 30, or P5.00 a piece.
It comes in a nice box perfect to bring home. Make sure you eat it warmed and I guarantee it's so much better. :)

Cheesebread: Great (Excellent when freshly baked)
Spanish Bread: Good

Susie's Cuisine

Wanting to try some good local cuisine, we dropped by the homey establishment that is Susie's Cuisine.

susie's cuisine
Susie's Cuisine
Pasalubong options everywhere, this was a tourist-friendly place. There was a nice canteen-style setup and we got right down to eating.

susie's cuisine
Malabon, P50.00
I don't know who Susie is, but she knows how to cook! This might just be the best Pancit Malabon I have ever tried. It was very flavorful despite being without its usual best parts, which are the chicharon, tinapa, squid and shrimp. I'm not sure the same philosophy applies, but the noodles had an al dente quality which added to the experience. I actually misunderstood Alvie's order because she preferred the Palabok, which looked just as good. For fifty pesos, this is a steal. Even if they sold it at double, the price would still be fair for me.

susie's cuisine
Tibok-Tibok, P20.00
Tibok-Tibok is a traditional pudding from Pampanga. It tastes like a much-improved version of the Maja Blanca we are more familiar with. Made from carabao milk (my favourite kind), it was deliciously creamy. As you can see, there was more than enough of the sweet coconut toppings too. Yum!

I was looking forward to trying their local version of Paella, called Bringhe, but it was out of stock. :( Maybe next time.

Malabon: Great
Tibok-Tibok: Very Good

We thoroughly enjoyed our very short visit to Angeles City. We were also planning to visit the recommended home of the original sisig, Aling Lucing's, but unfortunately, sundown caught up with us and we ran out of time. Obviously, there is still so much more to enjoy from this lovely place.

What places do you love in Angeles? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

#792 Sto. Rosario St.,
Angeles City, Pampanga
(045) 304-1382
Facebook: LA Bakeshop

#36 Hilda St., Nepo Mart,
Angeles City, Pampanga
(045) 322-4775 / 888-0034
Operating Hours: 
Mon - Sat 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sun 7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Tamagoya! Noodle House: Boost Your Stamina

Tamagoya! Noodle House is another hidden little gem in Lower Antipolo, just along the same road as L.A. Diner.
tamagoya! noodle house
Bright, festive lights along the dim street.
We barely got there in time because we had to venture all the way from Taguig, but it was well worth the trip for a nice dinner with Alvie's family (Thanks, Dichie!). When we did get there, the appetizers had already been ordered.

tamagoya! noodle house
Yaki Gyoza, P98.00
Japanese Pan-fried Dumpling. There wasn't anything "yaki" about this gyoza at all, I found it to be good! I do not really like gyoza, but I think this may be the best I have tried. It was flavorful and had great texture. My only point of reference is that it's way better than what is served at my favourite Japanese buffet, Saisaki.

tamagoya! noodle house
Gyu-don, P158.00
Beef w/ Rice Bowl. Gyudon is also something I have never liked in Japanese cuisine, because the flavor bores me and the cut of beef is always way too thin to be appreciated. Alvie does like the dish, so I agreed to split to give it a try. It had adequate flavor, but I craved for something a little more exciting. Adding chili oil helped a lot for me, but I wish they had chili powder like what is usually provided for Katsudon.

tamagoya! noodle house
Stamina Ramen, P168.00
Noodles w/ Chili Miso Paste Base Soup. This is a usual favorite in Tamagoya, even if I am not a big fan of ramen. I do not know if the name comes from the fact that it energizes you, or because you'll need stamina to get to the bottom of this spicy bowl! Either way, it's a truly delicious task. The broth is pleasantly spicy and almost creamy. We've been to this place several times and if you enjoy spicy food, I recommend this affordable bowl. I wouldn't normally say that 168 pesos is cheap, but that puts this at less than half the cost of most of the other ramen places out there.

Yaki Gyoza: Good
Gyu-don: Okay
Stamina Ramen: Very Good

If you're ever in the area or want to travel to a budget-friendly, delicious ramen place, I suggest dropping by nice, cozy Tamagoya!

Exhausted but satisfied with our late dinner. :)
Love Tamagoya! Noodle House? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

2 Soliven Ave, Mayamot,
Antipolo, Rizal
(02) 861-8631
Operating Hours:
Tue - Sun: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Facebook: Tamagoya Noodle House

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Kasbah: A Moroccan Lunch

Kasbah has been around for almost a year now at the Fort Strip. Despite seeing it almost every day, we had never gotten around to trying the place out, mostly because it seems pricey and we're not familiar with the cuisine anyway. All I knew about the place was it seemed like a good place to enjoy some shisha.

We came across a Groupon voucher and decided to take the chance to give the restaurant a shot.
Kasbah on a hot, sunny day. All this picture needs is some sand to complete the mood!
We stepped in to escape the harsh sunlight and were welcomed by a nice atmosphere. I do not know the first thing about Moroccan design but the place looked positively foreign, and I appreciated that. We picked a table, gave our voucher, and waited. Since we gave our only copy of the deal we bought, I had no idea what food was coming for our meal. Strange, but hey, I enjoyed the element of surprise. I do not know why we were never given a menu. Was it an eat-your-food-and-leave kind of thing? I was in a hurry to get back after lunch so I was okay with not perusing the menu. That does mean this post won't have prices for the food, though. Sorry!

Super sweet, almost nectar-like Iced Tea.
Being someone who loves flavored drinks (as healthy as water is, it couldn't be more lame), I was pleased to see that the meal comes with Iced Tea. It was excessively sweet, but this is better than the opposite, and at the least, it didn't taste like the usual powdered Nestea drink I have grown so tired of. They apparently have new Summer Lunch Specials set meals now, which look interesting, but I find 480 pesos to be a bit too expensive for a regular lunch out, especially if you're not particularly a big fan of Mediterranean food. I'd personally rather walk down to Racks with that amount of cash and have a feast, but that's just me.

Spiced Hummus and Pita Bread
I don't know why, but I like it when pita bread is served in cloth. Haha. Hummus, which is processed garbanzos, is always something I enjoy, and this was no exception. This nicely prepared hummus was mixed in with some spice which made it even better. I found the pita bread to be quite dry, thick, and flour-y, though, so I only partially enjoyed this appetizer.

Tabbouleh Salad
This was one time I really felt savvy about nothing because though the name sounds familiar, I know nothing about Tabbouleh. I can't tell you if this was good Tabbouleh, but I can tell you I didn't like it that much. It was like bunched-up moist herbs and tasted about as grassy as it looks. I had to finish this one off myself, lettuce and all, because Alvie wouldn't go further than one taste. Luckily, it's about as heavy as air. Haha. The lemon improved the taste greatly for me.

Grilled Eggplant, Grilled Fish Mahi-Mahi, Grilled Chicken Roulade, a Tomato and Rice.
We were already slightly full from the pita and leaves when the main dish came. I liked the faint, exotic spices that came with the fish and chicken but I wish they were a little less faint. The entrées were a tad too bland for us. The eggplant did have a nice grilled flavor, but was also lacking in taste. We had to resort to our own personal fixes to enjoy the dishes. I asked for hot sauce and Alvie, table salt. With my tongue singed enough, I was able to savor the meal better. I preferred the chicken, but wasn't happy to find out it was stuffed with a prune. I am proud to say I can and will eat almost anything, but prunes are one of the few things I will never (EVER!) touch. Fortunately, it's easy to pick out and continue to go about your business. :)

Iced Tea: Okay
Spiced Hummus: Great
Pita Bread: Bad
Tabbouleh: Bad (I don't know this dish, so don't take my word for it. I do know what good Pita bread is though. Haha.)
Grilled Eggplant: Okay
Grilled Fish Mahi-Mahi: Okay with hot sauce
Grilled Chicken Roulade: Okay with hot sauce

The voucher cost us P400.00, so for the new experience, it wasn't bad. It's available here if you'd like to see more detail or stay tuned for the next similar offer:

It was still an enjoyable lunch, but it's quite pricey for food that is exotic and not overly delicious. It's especially difficult to choose a place like this when you have a nice place like The Kebab Factory nearby in Burgos Circle, or a cheaper Shawarma Guys just around the corner (that I have yet to try). I can't say for sure if we'll be back but I am not closing the door on Kasbah just yet.

Love Kasbah? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

The Fort Strip
7th Avenue Corner Katipunan Circle, Taguig City
(02) 553-4499
Facebook: Kasbah The Fort

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

Image from here.
Stuffed from wolfing down Chili's burgers at today's Annual Big Mouth Burger day, we headed on to the movies to see one of this year's most anticipated blockbusters!

Iron Man 3 is the first sequel to Marvel's great superhero mashup, The Avengers. Tony Stark, who has never stopped innovating since the last time the heroes saved the world, now has to face the very mysterious and powerful villain called "The Mandarin".

I'm going to start by saying this is the best Iron Man movie so far. The story is great and adds depth to the character of Tony Stark (and Robert Downey Jr.'s acting) and what drives him. I really liked The Mandarin, played by the non-Chinese Ben Kingsley and how he challenged our hero. I find myself laughing though, when I hear him speak with his Joker-ish accent, especially the line that was featured in the trailer, "You'll neverrrr seee me coming...".

In the past movies, Iron Man rarely ever seems to have a hard time saving the day. I love how, as suggested in the trailer, he is now pushed to much lower depths than ever before. There is a good amount of drama, action, and comedy in this tale. What I found to be lacking in this film is an awesome soundtrack of heavy rock 'n' roll hits like in the first movies, but this was one of the only flaws for me.

Other Notable Cast:
Gwyneth Paltrow - reprising her role as Pepper Potts
Guy Pearce - playing the role of a fellow scientist, Aldrich Killian
Paul Bettany - only as the voice of Jarvis
Don Cheadle - as Tony's friend, James Rhodes
Jon Favreau - I know this guy from Friends as Monica's boyfriend
James Badge Dale - You might know him as Chase from 24
Rebecca Mader - I'm not sure about this because she's not listed on IMDb, but I think I saw Charlotte from Lost
Stan Lee - Of course.

Verdict: 4/5 - The best Iron Man movie so far. I am really looking forward to the next Marvel movies to come.

With great movies one after another, it looks like Marvel has finally figured out how to make 'em good. This movie really breaks through all expectations set by the trailer and is a solid superhero movie. Go watch it!!! I shouldn't need to tell you this, but stay on until after the credits. ;)

Loved Iron Man 3? Hated it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

Friday, April 19, 2013

Movie Review: Oblivion

Image from here.
I love good Sci-Fi movies and Tom Cruise is my favourite actor of all time (no homo). I was really looking forward to this! We made last-minute plans to watch it one afternoon and had to race to Walter Mart Makati to catch the screening. We were about ten minutes late so we missed the start. :(

Earth has successfully fought off an alien invasion but it was an extremely Pyrrhic victory. The planet is no longer inhabitable and the human race has moved on to outer space. Tom Cruise is Jack Harper, a technician on clean-up duties in what is left of our world. Interesting events then happen one after another and the rest is Oblivion!

This movie was much better than I expected. Although the scale wasn't as grand as I would have liked, the movie amazed in its own right. The tech was very cool and there were several visually stunning scenes. The protagonist, Jack Harper is very likeable and is someone you can easily relate to, despite the vastly different circumstance. What I love about the movie is the unexpectedly deep and interesting plot. After some twists and turns, I was already on the edge of my seat. It didn't stop there as it surprisingly had even more up its futuristic sleeve.

A great movie is one that keeps you engaged and really gets you thinking. From Jack's perspective to all the different aspects of the story, there's definitely much to ponder about in this film.

Other notable cast:
Morgan Freeman - "The voice of God" himself is in the movie. I won't get into details about who he is.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - I have no idea how to pronounce that. He is better known as Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones.

Verdict: 4/5 - Definitely a movie to see for a good Sci-Fi tale. Tom Cruise knows how to pick his movies and this is no exception.

Loved Oblivion? Hated it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 4

Image from here.
Are they ever going to get tired of their boring old posters? Thank the heavens we're finally at the last of the Paranormal Activity movies (so far).

Paranormal Activity 4 is set 5 years after the second movie. The story revolves around an average suburban family who, this time around, are not moving into a new house as with the other films, but have new neighbors in town, instead. As time progresses and as expected, all sorts of crazy ensues.

It was barely watchable for me. The only real reason to watch this is if you've spent all those hours watching the first movies and are curious about what happens next.  On the plus side, unlike the last movie, characters here are back to being slightly interesting.

Some aspects of the film are unrealistic, like the excessive involvement of the Microsoft Kinect. Add to that, the fact that the plot is getting increasingly out-of-this-world with every new movie. I think the charm that the series had was how subtle and low-key the events and scares were, and with each new movie it seems they are drifting further and further away from that.

Verdict 2.5/5 - Can only be appreciated, if at all, by fans of the earlier movies.

Loved Paranormal Activity 4? Hated it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

Recipe Attempt: Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cup

This is Savvy About Nothing's first ever recipe attempt! We take a recipe and try our darndest to get as close as we can.
That looks good. 
The recipe was something Alvie saw from the online repository of all things girly, Pinterest.
The link to the recipe is here:

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup – the original microwave cookie recipe

In the recipe, prep time is 5 minutes and cook time is 1 minute. I think we might have spent twenty minutes fumbling over ingredients. Haha.

1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
1 Tablespoon of firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 Drops of Vanilla Extract
Small Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 Egg Yolk (discard the egg white or save for different recipe)
Scant ¼ of All Purpose Flour (slightly less than ¼ of a cup)
2 heaping tablespoons of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

1. Start by melting your butter in the microwave. Butter should just be melted, not boiling.

I don't know why I even needed to take a picture of butter and a microwave.
2. Add sugars, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.

I actually screwed up my recipe-reading responsibilities and forgot about the vanilla at first but we added it later on. Haha.
3. Separate your egg and add the yolk only to your cup. Stir to combine.

You can cook/microwave the egg whites you leave behind for a healthy snack. Like we care about  stuff like that right now.
4. Add flour, then stir again. Measure a scant, slightly less than full, ¼ cup of all-purpose flour.

That's kind of what it should look like so far.
5. Add the chocolate chips, and give a final stir. Now your mixture will look like cookie dough.

No chocolate chips, so we ravaged a small Ghirardelli bar. Sabi ko 'Sayang!'
6. Cook in microwave 40-60 seconds, start checking for doneness at 40 seconds. Mine takes 50 seconds. Do not cook past one minute, just like a regular cookie, this will continue cooking as it cools. If the cookie is dry or cake like, try less time.

Before baking: That doesn't look too appetizing...
7. Serve warm.

A far cry from actual cookie dough or chocolate chip cookies, it wasn't good as we thought it might be. Nonetheless, if you are stricken with a sudden craving for some cookie-esque goodness, it's worth making. Also fun if you want a quick "baking" experience like we did!

We ended up getting tired of the taste so we a la mode'd it up with a scoop or two of Magnolia's Kesong Puti ice cream, which we happened to have at home. It was slightly strange-tasting since that particular flavor is quite salty, but it was still a huge improvement and tasted much better.

Try it out yourself and let us know how it goes! :)

Thanks for checking out our first recipe attempt post! We might come up with new ones cause it's fun. We get to learn to cook, we get to eat, and we get to write about it. Three birds with one stone!

- Joaquin

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Racks: My Favourite Ribs

This is a post I've been looking forward to write! Our dad took us all out to dinner one Sunday and the restaurant we happily chose was the home of my favourite ribs, Racks!
The Fort Strip branch of Racks
This place has always been one of our family's favourites, with the best value for money I know of for ribs. We started off with something I hadn't tried before.

Old Fashioned Biscuits, P135.00
This looked like a great appetizer since it reminded me of Popeyes biscuits, which were moist, soft, and delicious. Racks version wasn't as good, but it was okay. The taste was great but the biscuits were a bit too thick and dry. Though, I guess that's just me because we had two orders and ate them all up! We also ordered the delightful default appetizer for Racks.

The Onion Brick, 195.00
The Onion Brick has a very modest name. As you can see, it could have easily been called The Onion Wall. We absolutely love these pseudo-onion rings. They taste great, and they are so pleasantly crunchy that they get pretty addictive, especially when paired with the Racks barbeque sauce that's on the table. Now, finally on to some "racks".

Racks Sampler, P1080.00
This awesome platter comes with four types of grilled goodness.
Clockwise from the left are:
- Beef Ribs: tender, a bit fatty but in a good way
- Racks Classic Pork Ribs: this doesn't come with any big bones so it is a lot of meat, also slightly fatty
- Racks Baby Ribs: the leanest, and softest meat in the bunch, the favourite of the most. These ribs most exhibit the fall-off-the-bone beauty.
- Hickory Smoked Chicken: delicious but not as good as the other three for me. A nice break from all the greasy meat.
Everything on the platter was great! They also have that smoked, meaty taste that you'll love. For added flavor, they go spectacularly with the Racks Barbeque sauce. I especially love the extra hot version. The Racks Sampler comes with two side dishes and a choice of garlic or corn bread. I prefer the corn bread because it offers a nice sweet palate cleanse when you're tired of all the oil. Or I usually wash it down with a bottomless coke (P85).

Mac 'N Cheese and Baked Beans from the sampler, and Java Rice, P40.00
The rice was good with the ribs, but really isn't necessary since everything is already quite heavy.

Racks Original Barbeque Sauce
Keep an eye out for this pair. They will vastly improve your meal!

Old Fashioned Biscuits: Okay
The Onion Brick: Great
Racks Sampler: Great

As expected, a great dinner at Racks.
I always leave Racks satisfied, a bit too bloated from overeating, and with a mild case of onion breath (thanks, Onion Brick). We've been enjoying it every once in a while since the opening of the very convenient Fort Strip branch. I can easily call the ribs they serve my favourite (New Orleans comes second with their Cajun-style ribs). Not only do Racks' ribs taste great, they are quite reasonably priced, too, especially if you share orders. Deeeelicious!

Love Racks? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or you can just tweet me!

- Joaquin

G/F The Fort Strip (at 7th Ave. & 28th St.),
Taguig City
(02) 519-6751 or (02) 519-6755
Operating Hours:
Mon - Thu: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sun: 9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Facebook: Racks

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Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 3

Paranormal Activity 3
Image from here.
Not another one!!! We followed along and watched the third installment of Paranormal Activity after recently watching the previous one.

Paranormal Activity 3 goes back a whopping 18 years further back in time and is a prequel to the prequel that was Paranormal Activity 2. Here, you gain insight to the twisted background of the focal family of the series.

I actually liked this movie the least from the series so far, and it isn't just because it is rumored to be the scariest (I promise!). As nice as it was to learn more about what led to all the dark events that came to be, the characters in this movie were a lot less relatable and interesting. If there was a perfect example to describe a movie that is simultaneously creepy and boring, this would be it. However, the movie did employ some cool new camera angles to give you more of a fright, and that was a refreshing change.

Verdict: 2/5 - Unless you're really desperate for more of the subtle scares from the first two movies, or curious to know more about the main characters, I wouldn't recommend watching this.

Alvie is insisting we watch the 4th... and there's a 5th one coming up? When's it gonna end???

Loved Paranormal Activity 3? Hated it? Let us know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

Sunshine Kitchen: Get your Sunny Side Up

I happened upon this restaurant's Facebook page and seeing that it's just along Fort Strip, which is very near where we work, we decided to go for a visit one Friday. It is quite hidden and once there, the only evidence we saw of the place was their tarp outside, which we strangely never noticed in the past. We headed up the stairs near Pasto and finally saw the elusive establishment.
Sunshine Kitchen's sunshiny kitchen.
It had a nice, bright, rightfully sunny atmosphere and we took our table near the window for even more refreshing sunlight. The waiter told us they have been open since February 27, which surprised us because we've never heard about it or seen it passing by. Apparently, we weren't the only ones behind on the news since it was very empty for Friday lunch. There was only one other table being served when we arrived.

What struck our interest were the food pictures on their Facebook page, with unique pizzas and some Spanish cuisine. I find that there is a great lack of good, affordable Spanish cuisine around so I had high hopes for this one.

Callos, P260.00
Having missed our chance at callos during our dinner at Peri-Peri Grill House, we easily chose to have this for our appetizer. The bread went perfectly with the callos with its splendid texture. The callos itself was good, and had a good balance of ingredients. It is far from the garbanzos-overloaded nightmare some restaurants call callos. While it was fun munching on this, we immediately noticed that while it was flavorful, it was quite salty, making it difficult to savor the actual taste of the dish. The tripe could have been more tender too.

Cabanatuan Longganisa Paella with 2 Fried Eggs, P480.00
Sticking to our Spanish theme, we ordered the paella. I have been craving for good Paella for a while so I was looking forward to this. The menu described it as good for two, but if this is all you'll order, I think it'll be just barely enough. As you can see above, it looked very appealing and I enjoyed it. Since it had no seafood though, (my fault for assuming) it did not satiate my craving. Nonetheless, it was still quite flavorful and I loved the crispy grains of rice that lined the sides of the paellera. Yum!

Sunshine Pizza, P550.00
The friends we had lunch with ordered the sunshine pizza and when I tasted it, I slightly regretted my order. It was my personal favorite of the day. It is described on the menu as having "marinara, Cabanatuan longganisa, porchetta, mozzarella, ricotta, bell pepper". They forgot the egg! It looked great and tasted delicious.

Callos: Good
Cabanatuan Longganisa Paella with 2 Fried Eggs: Good
Sunshine Pizza: Quite Good

Sunshine Pizza is a nice addition to the set of restaurants available at the Fort Strip for their sunny place and interesting food. We enjoyed our meal, though we found the paella and pizza to be a bit pricey. I saw that they have Rabo de Toro, a rare Spanish dish so I want to come back and try that out!

Love Sunshine Kitchen? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or you can tweet me!

- Joaquin

Update: We came back! Here's the second review:
Sunshine Kitchen: Second Dawn

2nd Level, The Fort Strip (at 7th Ave. & 28th St.),
Taguig City
(02) 847-2791 / (0929) 8139775
Operating Hours:
Mon - Wed: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Thu - Sat: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Facebook: Sunshine Kitchen

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

App Review: Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.

Raising those beloved virtual pets of old? There's finally an app for that!
tamagotchi l.i.f.e.
It's going to be difficult to screw this up.
Everyone knows Tamagotchi. It was a craze back in the 90's and every kid in school wanted one of them portable pixelated virtual pets who do nothing but eat, sleep, and poop.

Case in point: My pet with two out of the three.
Admittedly, I am one of those who missed playing this game and I was looking around iTunes and Google Play for any app even reminiscent of the classic experience. Unfortunately, none of the available apps were official nor came close, so I was glad when I heard from my brother that this app is available, and free too! (However, only for US and Canada accounts)

Released in time for the Tamagotchi's 16th birthday, L.i.f.e. stands for "Love is fun everywhere", which sounds cute, but weird. It plays pretty much exactly like the old one with a few added features like being able to "collect" Tamagotchi types for your journal, and changing your backgrounds. It neatly comes with two views and control schemes. The default one is as above, while another available view is that of the original, with a lower resolution, complete with the shell for even more nostalgia.

My pet smiley.
As fun as the app is, I might eventually get tired of it before I complete what the game has to offer. This could be remedied by adding more evolution types, food types, games, and social features. (Seriously, my tamagotchis are getting real sick of bread and candy). It does not nearly have enough content as it should have but this app, which runs very smoothly and looks good, is a great start.

The dreaded PSOD.
Verdict: 3.5/5 - Could be much better with the mentioned updates and improvement, but it is a fun, solid app to start with.

Love Tamagotchi? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below or just tweet me!

- Joaquin

Google Play: