About Me

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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Foray Into The Non-Gourmet - Good Eats in Baguio's Slaughterhouse

Bulalo - bone marrow, beef and beef tendons, boiled for hours on end

While last week's Foodie adventure revolved around international street food, this week was all about exploring what's in our backyard.

For this week's The Mediocre Wanderer, we brought our youngest, MAX and ourselves to the Baguio Slaughterhouse.

While one may have bloody visions of the city's abattoir, the area to go to for sumptuous grilled meats, soups and authentic Filipino dishes is here, minus seeing an actual meat processing zone.

grilled pork belly

There are two "zones" in the Sto Nino (aka Slaughterhouse) Compound. If you get to park near the basketball court, you could check out the various food stalls on the other side of the court. The food is good, however, one must be prepared to encounter cats, dogs, dirt floors, makeshift tables and chairs as you eat your meal.

condiments L-R fermented fish paste (for the eggplant ensalada), Philippine lemon (calamansi) with bird's eye chilies (for the bulalo) and blood sauce (fresh blood coked in a little vinegar) for the grilled pork belly

We weren't that ready to introduce MAX to that version of the compound, so we headed to the tiny parking lot, a little past the basketball court and parked conveniently at the front of the Balajadia Kitchenette.

bulalo soup for starters

The Balajadia Kichenette is one of the 10 or so stalls that look like your standard Filipino canteen or karinderya.

grilled eggplant with tomato and green mango slices, like an ice cold glass of Coke, goes well with everything we've ordered

Teaching our autistic son to not always rely on fast food while we're out has been one of the driving forces behind this foray into the non-gourmet.

The place is spotless, service is quick and pleasant and most of your basic creature comforts to enjoy a good meal, is there (lots of ice for your drinks, various condiments for all the basic Pinoy sauces you'd want to use on your viand..etc.). Prices are reasonable, and the food,  fresh off the grill or hot from the kitchen, is sure to delight.

the pictures on the wall are of local celebrities who have visited the kitchenette

Here's a look at their menu:

if you think Butt and Balls is an odd entry in the menu, ask what Soup #5 is all about


MAX loved his meal and so did we. From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

World Street Food Congress 2016 - Manila, Philippines

Today marks the last day for this 5 day long event. 25 International food hawkers (together with a few from our own country, the Philippines), will be bringing their cuisine for your pleasure.

Seafood tempura (softshell crab, eggplant nd calamari)  with 3 kinds dip (salted egg yolk, black pepper and chili crab)

For those who still want to catch the event, it opens at 12 NN today, but will remain open til 9 PM only.

Venue's at the Bonifacio Global City (in Manila) - Federacion Drive cor 9th Ave. Can't miss it, with all the big tents pitched in the former vacant lot.

Here are some quick observations from yesterday's visit:
1. Despite the free entrance, we weren't faced with a mob, getting in. Free Listerine mouthwash was handed out there too.  Parking was quite ample too.

2. Despite everyone's advice on getting there early, we ended up going there around 2 PM (as opposed to going there before the 12NN opening). There were plenty of bar tables and tables with chairs that were available. Problem was, most of em were under the sun.
vacant tables - too bad they're under the sun

3. Lines for the food stalls were organized, and the vendors themselves were systematic and quite fast in assembling our orders. The longest line when we came over was that of the churros sundae from Churros con Loco (USA).

the lines were quite decent when we showed up 2 hours after the lunch hour/opening time

 4. Prices were quite reasonable, at least for the items we got, which ranged from 300 - 400 pesos.

Murtobak Makobar - think huge soft dough pancake with crisp edges, topped with lots of butter, nutella, crushed Oreos, cheese and crushed strawberry Peppero

Bali BBQ Ribs - 380 php

1. I get the whole outdoor concept. It is street food after all. However,  wish the area had a little more grass on it's grounds. The dust swirling about as the wind blew was not pleasant. It blew on your food and everything around you, including yourself. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes both from the sun and from the dust.

while the food concessionaires had their stalls on top of a wooden platform, the surrounding area had dust and soil galore

2. In relation to the heat (despite the windiness of the place), industrial fans or anything to keep the temperature down could've helped too. Had there been more greenery in the place, it would have made a big difference.

sunglasses - not just as a fashion accessory, but a survival equipment

It was worth visiting, even if the heat and dust made us get takeout instead.  Did we love the food? Yes. Would we want to go back if they hold it again in the same venue? No.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!!