Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lechon and pancit and lumpia! Oh my!

A few Saturdays ago, I had mass amounts of Filipino foods. Two rounds of brown eats in one day made for a very full and very satisfied brown girl.

I was invited by my aunt to partake in her hometown's fiesta. She's originally from a province in the Philippines called Abucay in Bataan. This is pretty close to where my parents are from in Pampanga, but they speak Tagalog instead of Kapampangan. The day started off with a very Catholic mass and lots of singing in Tagalog. (I was surprised I knew how to read it and remembered some of the words to certain songs.) Then a procession with this GIANT Virgin Mary:
I wasn't kidding...Ate P, do you miss this? Literally 3 feet tall.

For any big Filipino celebration, you can count on having lechon as a main course. For those of you not familiar with lechon, it's pretty much a whole roasted pig. Mmm pork, the other white meat!
Totally donezo. Crispy and delicious.

Here was my plate.
The pancit isn't the normal pancit I've been posting about before. This is still a noodle dish, but I believe the Kapampangans call it "pancit palabok" so it's made with a different kind of sauce and the noodles are almost spaghetti-like. Then the crab dish is kind of like a crab quiche. This was by far my favorite because I absolutely love crab even though it's a pain to sift through to get all that meat. Thank goodness my aunts did that already for this dish. Then, there's the meat from the lechon with a gravy-like sauce. I call it a sarsa which I think pretty much just means sauce. Lastly, there was the calgareta that my uncle made. Not sure if this was beef or lamb, but this was my second favorite. (Sorry lechon). From my uncle's recipe, he said it was really simple because you can now buy a powdered mix that's specifically flavored for calgareta and then you just add the meat with potatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, chickpeas and tomato sauce. Sooo good!

After these eats, I was off to make the regular pancit I make for my friend's graduation pot luck dinner. We also had some lumpia as well.
Pretty good spread, huh? Everyone brought something to the table.
This was a more Americanized plate as you can see with the salad and the tri tip. The salad was really good. It was spinach with candied walnuts, brie cheese and this poppy seed dressing. (Don't worry, I took several lactaid pills for the soft cheese.) Tri tip was beautifully pink. Then you have your standard pancit and lumpia that always makes an appearance. Then lastly, there was some siopao that the celebrant actually bought. Although they were packaged differently. I believe these were Chinese kind and were advertised as Bao Buns. Same dif.

Pretty good Filipino eats in one day ey?

Oh, lastly, here are photos of dessert. I can't recall where they're from, but so good! This chocolate one was for the celebrant. A beautiful and rich chocolate cake.
Congrats again S-bomb!

This teeny one, was for my friend who does not like chocolate. The debate's still out about letting him in the food circle. JK...hehe...His cupcake did look delicious as well.

Bar Food

Great ambiance, great service, great whiskey, delicious foods. This is my new fave hot spot on the west side. I had heard of Bar Food in the past, but made an appearance only a month and a half ago for the first time for a friend's birthday. When asked where to have drinks for my bday this time around, I suggested the same place.

Drinks were in order:
Can't recall which actual number drink this was cuz I only took one photo, but it was Irish and it was good. No chaser! I know I started with a Tullamore Dew and I stuck to Irish, so I did my fair share of drinking..ahem...sampling.

And here were the eats...

Rachel ordered this one. Grilled cheese with tomato soup. Isn't that divine?
Thanks for letting me be a photog with your sammie Rach! Unfortunately, I did not use the flash, but look at how the real cheese melts and stretches...I miss you.

I had this one to split with Bianca:
We also shared sweet potato fries that came with a side of spicy mayo and boy were they AH-mazing!

Then when no one was looking I ordered another bar burger without cheese and my friend's bf tried to sneak a bite! Shame! But I knew better and kept that sucker tightly held in my clutches. Here's an up close and personal for you.
Yes, this was my own full second burger, but to be fair, I only had half of the first one. That bacon jam that it comes with tastes so good. Mmmm...I'm not gonna lie, I could have had a third. Oh and don't mind the extra squished ketchup and spicy mayo sauce containers on the side. Or the almost empty whiskey glass on the side. Pretty tasty meal to end the evening. Burger and Irish whiskey, what else can a brown girl ask for?

Sidenote: I have frequented Bar Food a multitude of times after said bday celebration, even during Happy Hour. Cool vibe and free hotdog with every HH drink. Not bad, ey? Oh and I have also tried their potato puffs with curry aioli sauce. Good as well, but I prefer the spicy mayo that accompanies the sweet potato fries. Just ask for it on the side, so delicious.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

B2B stands for Burgers to Burgers

I swear that's pretty much all we ate last weekend when I was up for Bay to Breakers. First off, the drive up entertained a pit stop at an In and Out...My friend Chris and I inhaled our burgers and fries...Unfortunately, no photo was taken, so you can't tell how much of a fatty I was. That was burger 1.

Saturday actually consisted of a nice little bike ride to brunch. A repeat of Axis Cafe.

Burger 2 was actually only consumed by Chris.
This was a Bison Burger with a roasted garlic aioli sauce, port salut cheese, tomatoes and a side of house fries. No complaints from this plate.

Kristine had the Tiger Prawn Wrap.
This was a spinach flour tortilla with avocado, napa cabbage, tomatoes, creme fraiche and a side salad. Trust that the wrap was inhaled.

I had this to start my day, while the other two had coffees.

With that, I had the cod fish tacos filled with napa cabbage, salsa verde, guacamole and a side salad.
I licked my plate clean, it was so good!

We then made our way to our friend Lucy's to make our costumes. Naturally, when you're hard at work, you need sustenance.

And here's my costume.

Most of the crew in their gear for B2B. Front.


Pit stop after B2B at Magnolia's where we all ordered the burger, but I had mine sans cheddar. This was called the Half Pound Prather Ranch Hamburger.
Totes delicious and also burger 3, but not the end.

On our drive back to L.A., we made an appearance at Carl's Jr. and this was burger 4. Fortunately, we were able to hold out until only about 100miles left out of L.A. Unfortunately for Chris, my Jalapeno burger came with the cheese I specifically asked to NOT be added. Pathetic.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bday eats

For a typical Filipino birthday, you're supposed to have noodles. So what did my bday eats consist of...

Pancit of course! Here's a repeat photo:
And some lumpia:
There was also some nilaga with loads of baby bok choy, carrots and potatoes, but we devoured it before any photos could be taken. This was all foods on Sunday, which coincidentally, I shared with Mother's Day. Hurray!

And here was the break time snack for K and I while we snuck out to go shopping, err window shopping.
Kristine got the pomegranate flavored yogurt while I got the new chocolate one and both with rice cakes...mmmm....sooo good and refreshing!

The night before, we went to a pretty cool whiskey bar called 7 Grand in Downtown L.A. for drinks and ended up eating these:A taco truck strategically placed just steps from the entrance/exit of the bar? Yes please! (p.s. I was really craving bacon wrapped hot dogs, but that was at the end of the block the other dice)

There were some peeps that couldn't make it to Downtown, so repeat the following Wednesday and I had not one, but TWO of these:
"Thank you Bar Food, not only for your fine Irish Whiskey, but for delicious delights that help absorb it." (I think I'm starting a whiskey trend that I only follow.)

Oh and did you think I ended without a cake for my bday? Think again. The little sister bought me a whole plethora of highly concentrated dairy eats from Whole Foods... Mass lactaid pills were present before consuming these babies:
Check out my excitement! Even the father in the background had a taste.
I had a small piece out of every single cheesecake, plus an even bigger slice of the fruit tart with all that cream and didn't get sick thanks to all those pills...mmm...Win Ethel!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

NYC State of Eats, err Mind

I had a blast in NYC! It's an amazing city and I was "oo-ing" and "awe-ing" at pretty much every turn, building, subway station and even drug stores...You know Duane Reade is kinda popular there. They're "kind of a big deal."

But before I go off tangents, I would like to say thank you to my fabulous NYC tour guides Elise and Kyle, not only for housing me for 5 nights, but also for an amazing first time NY experience. "Unforgetable, that's what you are..."

Walk through Central Park

We ate at Joya in Brooklyn after walking on this bad boy. Elise has the food!
Drinks at Boat Basin
More drinks back at E and K's
Then out for more! Sorry no photos there...

Sunday started off with brunch eats at Kingswood
Asparagus with prosciutto and poached egg...mmm...heaven when it comes to poached eggs.

Then a refreshing banana cashew shake from One Lucky Duck with cashew milk...sooo good...sadness no photo of the shake. (E's vegan-ness is totes sneaking up on me...and kinda like it...hehe)
Times Square...kinda like Vegas on crack minus the actual casinos
Eats at Blossom, a must see vegan hot spot.
This was the Seitan Marsala which consisted of sauteed kale, roasted fennel, yukon gold mash potatoes, seasonal mushrooms, pan sauce and it was just divine! This was the first time I had ever had seitan and let me tell you, pretty good! It had a chicken-like consistency and texture. Me likey!

Monday consisted of going to the MoMA and seeing Van Gogh's famous Starry Night.
Poor Elise, I kept making her inch her way towards the painting even after a security personnel had just shoo'd someone else to back off. My bad girl.

Then after that, I got another treat! Eating at the infamous Candle Cafe. Unfortunately, I have no photos cuz I kinda went camera crazy at the museum. So check them out on E's blog and she's got tons of other food photos that I failed to take or put here. Fail Ethel. Oh, but here's another vegan eats from Whole Foods...I could've been a vegan convert in NYC. Everything I ate was delicious!
Ok, skip to my 4.5hrs spent on Tuesday at the American Museum of Natural History and my final night in NYCizzle.
Strolled one last time through Central Park, then to Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Union Square and eventually for drinks and apps at Sidebar.

There had to be hummus...AND guac. Perfect combo!
Finally, after a few, I got dessert at One Lucky Duck around the corner. Had to try the oreo cookie and the mallomar...mmm...sooo good! This was the last of my vegan eats...good bye NYC, I shall return to conquer more of your eats!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Before heading to NYC a couple of weeks ago, I had a great dinner at my friend Rachel's place. I was really craving pizza, so I made the bold move of asking a cheese loving person if they would mind substituting regular cheese for a dairy-free, vegan cheese. Because she's such a great friend, always up to try new foods cuz she's a foodie, she was game for trying Daiya.

I picked this number up at the Whole Foods off Wilshire and 23rd.
Mmm...non dairy cheese! The star of the show.

Also at Whole Foods, I picked up whole wheat pizza dough. We rolled this flat to fit on her baking sheet and smothered it with Trader Joe's pizza sauce...

Rach sprinkling Daiya generously atop the pizza sauce....we didn't dare leave any red sauce part uncovered.
I thought that since we were going diary-free, vegan status on the cheese, why not have some bomb salami to go on top. Oh and the mushrooms were just cuz Rach and I love mushrooms...Oh the fungi, how we enjoy thee.
Baked at the go-to temp of 350 degrees for about 15-20 mins.

Good idea on the freshly baked corn off the cob Rach...pretty...
This of course went on top of our spinach, tomatoes, avocado salad combo to perfectly compliment our pizza slices..
And just like it says on the label, Daiya totally melted and stretched like real cheese! What say you about how this mozzarella "cheese" taste Rach? Totes good to me! =)