Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fresh Twist with Pringles Lemon and Sesame

Whenever we’re shopping for groceries, I always look for the green can of Pringles since sour cream is my favorite flavor. A tip from my friend Pristine, however, got me curious and made me try the new Fruit & Nut line of Pringles.

I finally spotted the intriguing new flavors of Pringles at Rustan’s Fresh Il Terazzo since this new line is not readily available in groceries. It was a choice between Blueberry &Hazelnut or Lemon & Sesame flavors with me eventually buying the latter since I found the former to be a very weird junk food flavor to try.
At home, I excitedly opened my can of Pringles Lemon & Sesame(69php) but had to eat a few chips and allow the new flavors to settle in my mouth before I was able to decide if I liked it or not. Here were my thoughts:
  • It does taste like lemon.
  • The sesame flavor is nonexistent.
  • This is surprisingly good!
  • Uh oh...I can’t stop!!!
With this yummy development, I will try the Blueberry & Hazelnut flavor the next chance I get. While my love for the Pringles Sour Cream has not waned, this new flavor is a good alternative when I’m craving for something different.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Everything But The Steak at Wagyu Stone Grill


I remember complaining a few years back how far Eastwood is to where I live. Times, sadly, have not changed. Going to Eastwood is still a bitch but at least there’s something to look forward to every time I brave the commute given the numerous dining options in Eastwood as of late.

One Tuesday, I found myself in far-away Eastwood together with my mom and sister for an errand. It was nearly lunch when we reached Eastwood so we decided to eat first, buckle down to business later. Out of the countless interesting choices, we decided to dine at Wagyu Stone Grill.


Upon entry, I noticed that Wagyu Stone Grill looked chic and elegant as it should be given that a big part of the steak experience is the ambiance. Service was also impeccable with the wait staff promptly attending to our every need. When it was finally time to order, our attendant also efficiently answered our questions, proving that she was very familiar with the menu.


Green Pea Soup (included with any order of wagyu)

 At first, I was none too happy to learn that pea was the base of our soup but was thankfully proven wrong since the soup was creamy and delicious making me wipe out my bowl in record time. 


Green Salad with Poached Chicken (275php)
The vegetables were fresh and the fruits (mangoes and grapes) gave it the added flavor that brought this salad to a whole new level. This was excellent save for the small serving size. It looked more like a siding than a stand-alone dish.


Buffalo Wings (245php)

Seasoned very well. I would have wanted the skin to be a bit crispier but I reminded myself that we didn’t dine here for the wings.


New York Strip (220gat 1,295php)
What was supposed to be the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance of our meal. It was served on a stone grill with the attendant instructing us to flip the meat after 30 seconds to allow it to cook evenly. I have to say that I had high expectations with this dish for I was eating at Wagyu Stone Grill after all, where stone grilling wagyu beef is supposedly their specialty.
Funny that I had trouble cutting the meat during my first attempt. This spelled trouble; thus, I was no longer surprised when I was underwhelmed by the flavors of the steak. Our attendant, ever the attentive trooper, asked how our meal was progressing at this point, and my mom politely expressed our disappointment with the steak. She got us gravy (que horror!) to enhance the taste while explaining that it could be because they do not put spices on their meat save for salt and pepper.


Having cooked my fair share of steaks, I know that the true gauge of good meat is when it still manages to shine with just the most basic of ingredients. Wagyu Stone Grill, to my surprise, failed miserably in this regard. The steak was bland and nowhere near special. My sister and I even had to argue on who will get the last piece of meat since neither of us wanted to eat it anymore. (I lost the battle.)

Next time I am craving for steak, I would opt to cook the meat myself than head to Wagyu Stone Grill. Not managing to deliver on their “specialty” is a deal breaker.

Wagyu Stone Grill is located at A121-A122 L2 Eastwood City Mall, Brgy. Ugong, Quezon City.

Monday, June 14, 2010

S&R Calzone: For Mozzarella Lovers Only

Aside from the countless choices of imported goods, S&R also offers a good line-up of snacks in their food service section. Instead of opting for pizzas, I decided to give its ham and cheese calzone (119php) a try one day.

The calzone looked promising since it was oozing with mozzarella cheese. Unfortunately, the mozzarella was the only good thing about the calzone for the bread itself was a bit dry. It was hard to swallow without a sip of drink to go with it. S&R also scrimped on the ham which led to a bland sad calzone. Will skip the calzone next time I visit S&R.
On a side note, a trip to S&R is never complete without buying roasted chicken.

For 229.95php, this is a steal since it’s arguably the most flavorful roasted chicken in town. Sauce not needed!

S&R has 4 locations. Visit snrshopping.com for more information.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our First Time at Bali Palace


It’s no secret that Curls and I are massage enthusiasts. A month isn’t complete without us meeting up to indulge in our favorite relaxing activity. We usually hunt for new Thai massage places to try but decided to give something different a go one Sunday night.

We went to a joint that specializes in Balinese massage therapy, Bali Palace. Balinese massage is an ancient traditional massage technique from Indonesia. What makes Balinese massage unique is that it brings together several practices such as massage therapy, acupressure, reflexology, and aroma therapy.

Here’s an account of our experience at Bali Palace.

INTERIORS
CURLS: I was so impressed with the interiors of Bali Palace. It may look expensive since the interiors were superb making me hesitate to go inside at first. Good thing the security guard was very helpful and informative.

GLUTTON: Indeed! Bali Palace looked good with its Balinese inspired interiors. Dum and I have had our fair share of seedy massage places; thank God this was not one of them.

WAITING GAME
CURLS: We had to wait for at least 20 minutes because there was no massage girl available. I was just wondering why because the customers were not as many that we had to wait that long. But well, I am on my understanding mode that I did not even complain.

GLUTTON: Bali Palace earns the dubious record of letting me wait the longest out of all massage parlors I’ve been to. Good thing Dum was entertaining enough to make me forget that we were waiting for a long time as patience is not one of my virtues.

ROOMCURLS: The room we had was perfect for tomboys...not for us! At least the cushions on the floor were soft.

GLUTTON: It was too late when we realized that we were billeted in a couples room! As we were already settled, we no longer requested to be transferred to individual rooms. The couples room was at least big.

THE MASSAGE
CURLS: When having a massage, I always choose the oil massage rather than the dry massage because I think it's more worth it. My Balinese Oil Massage (1 hour at 220php) was more expensive by 20php compared to Dee’s. At first, the massage was weird. She was concentrating on my toes and fingers which I found super weird. But as it progressed, I was satisfied with everything- massage girl's strength on me, ginger oil which heats up after being applied on your skin, and the strokes which are quite new compared to the usual Thai Massage in Tonton's and Pattaya. Unlike Thai massage, no participation required from the customer which means you can take a nap while having the massage except when you have to flip to the other side.

GLUTTON: I, on the other hand, have always preferred my massages to be dry so I chose Balinese Dry Massage (1 hour at 200php). Unlike Dum’s oil massage, I soon learned that Balinese and Thai techniques are somewhat similar except that Balinese massage involves less stretching. Balinese massage also gives much importance to the fingers and toes which I didn’t appreciate. I felt that other areas of the body which are prone to aches and pains should have been given more priority. My 1 hour Balinese massage, sadly, left me feeling bitin. I didn’t want the massage to end not because of pure bliss but because I felt that some kinks in my body were not given the proper attention.

AFTER THE MASSAGE
CURLS: The massage ended with a yellow/rice tea which is what I miss in Ahavia.

GLUTTON: A tip bag with the name of your massage specialist is also thoughtfully placed on the tray with the tea.

VERDICT
CURLS: Overall, I was satisfied with the massage! I can't wait to go back to Bali Palace next month.

GLUTTON: While I still prefer the techniques of Tontons, I see myself going back to Bali Palace because of its cheap rate and superior interiors. Next time, I’ll just opt for a longer massage.

Update: Here's Bali Palace's list of services:
photo


Bali Palace is located at107 D. Tuazon Avenue, Sta. Mesa Heights, Barangay Lourdes, Quezon City. Call them at 3536182.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rib Nights at Texas Joe's

I was in Subic last Labor Day Weekend. See what I was up to! This is the last of 3 parts.



Texas Joe’s is a new restaurant in Subic creating a lot of buzz. It’s an authentic American smokehouse which prides itself on having the best pit-smoked pulled pork, sticky ribs, and tender briskets in town. It also has a bar, aptly named TJ’s Salon, making it ideal for a night of drinking and unwinding. A pool table and flat screen TVs greet patrons upon entry to the joint.


 
Texas Joe’s, however, is also appropriate for families with its big servings, kid-friendly menu, and welcoming servers. Kids are also given a set of crayons to keep them distracted while waiting for their food to arrive!

Since we were still full from our late lunch that day, we decided to order light and just had chicken wings and the house specialty, ribs.

Complimentary corn bread was served while waiting for our orders. This is a welcome break from the usual bread baskets we are accustomed to.


Texas Tornado Wings with Carolina Honey Sauce (239php)
  Good. It has a woody, smoky taste and the wings were succulent and well-marinated. Only gripe is that a non-wing portion found its way to our table. They probably ran out of wings.


Joes Spareribs (549php)
We went for the large order (5 bone) which is good for two hungry people. Texas Joe’s ribs are imported from Brazil and it showed since the ribs were very meaty while still maintaining its tenderness. The ribs were also pretty tasty, consistent with the restaurant’s philosophy to only use aged hickory wood in the cooking process.

The ribs didn’t really need additional flavor but it was interesting to experiment with the different rib sauces available. They have Texas Joe’s Original Barbeque Sauce for a tangy flavor, Sweet Carolina Sauce for those who prefer their ribs extra sweet, and Habanero Hot Sauce for a spicy kick. I personally enjoyed eating the ribs best with the Sweet Carolina sauce but others in our table begged to differ. Best to try it yourself and decide.

While I can’t say that Texas Joe’s spareribs were the best I’ve eaten, they do offer a superior version of this old time favorite. On my next visit to Subic, I will drop by this restaurant again to try their other specialties.

Texas Joe’s is located at Bldg. MC12, Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales. Visit http://www.texasjoes.com/ for more information.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cheap Steals at Pure Gold Subic



I was in Subic last Labor Day Weekend. Witness what I was up to! This is the 2nd of 3 parts.



There’s a new Pure Gold complex in Subic and it’s so big that it’s hard to miss. After a few hours resting in our hotel room after our Tree Top Adventure, I decided to head to Pure Gold Duty Free Subic since I was curious what this huge depot in a new location offered.




The S&R Food Service at the entrance instantly caught my attention as it signified that there’s something different about this outlet. True enough, Pure Gold Duty Free, upon closer inspection, is actually a cross between a local Pure Gold outlet and members only warehouse store, S&R. The store has a good balance of local and imported items with clothing, footwear, perfume, and cosmetics thrown in the mix.



Pure Gold-Subic reminded me more of an S&R though since some items that I thought are exclusive to S&R are also available in Pure Gold Duty Free. The layout of the store and the overall shopping experience are also undeniably S&R.

Having just shopped at S&R a few weeks back, I realized, after exploring a few aisles, that prices in Pure Gold Duty Free were a great deal cheaper compared to S&R. I took this as my cue to hoard on items that I regularly consume. Here’s a portion of my loot bought on the cheap:

AVEENO DAILY MOISTURIZING LOTION 36 OZ TWIN PACK S&R: 1299.95php
Pure Gold Duty Free: 940php

IVORY BODY WASH (709ML)
S&R: 249.95php
Pure Gold Duty Free: 169.20php

CADBURY DREAM WHITE CHOCOLATE 220G Other Groceries: 200++php
Pure Gold Duty Free: 155.57php

Pure Gold Duty Free is a must visit for any visitor of Subic. One gets to buy imported items at more affordable prices, without the costs that go with membership shopping.

Note: The exchange rate at the time of purchase was 44.76php to $1.00.

Pure Gold Duty Free Subic is along Rizal Avenue and Argonaut Highway (in front of Petron) Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

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