Friday, August 24, 2012

The 411 on Pho' Hoa

For our blog's sake (and yes! my taste buds' as well), I vowed to expand my horizon on food. We have featured different Asian cuisines in our blog already -Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. I'll be featuring Vietnamese this time. Ate Faye took me to Pho' Hoa as my post-birthday gift.

The ambiance of the restaurant is simple and clean. There are other diners when we got there but we were easily accommodated on a booth at the corner. Ate noted that the background music would've been better if it was more ethnic instead of instrumental American love songs. But I dig the fact that instead of the usual condiments, theirs are Vietnamese hot sauce and my favorite...Hoisin sauce

Anyway, it was my first time to try their cuisine so I took a while before placing an order. Everything in their menu was mouth-watering! Here's the catch: It's also good for you! Their motto is healthy eating; Their food items have symbols on the menu: Heart means 'Healthy choice', star for 'Popular choice', red pepper for 'mild spicy', and green bell pepper as 'All veggies'.

For our appetizer, we had Goi Cuon or fresh spring roll shrimp and pork. We were a bit disappointed with the serving size that included eight tiny slices of spring rolls. But it was fresh and chewy. It's delicious-ness was highlighted by the peanut dipping sauce!
Price: 129.00
Category: Healthy, All veggies, & Popular choice
Rating: 4.25/5

Ate Faye went for their Com Ga Nuang Cha Gio (Whew!) which is Vietnamese for grilled chicken and fried spring rolls. Aside from the big serving, the chicken was grilled nicely; giving a flavorful barbecue taste. The sweet vinegar sauce cut the deep-fried taste of the spring roll.
Price: 250.00
Category: Popular choice
Rating: 4/5

Mine was Pho Do Vien. It's their seafood noodle soup which they serve with fresh lemon slice, bean sprouts, and mint leaves on the side. The vermicelli noodles had a bite to it and topped with squid ball halves, juicy shrimps, fish fillet, onions, and green leafy vegetables. The ingredients complimented the savory soup well.
Price: 285.00
Category: Healthy choice
Rating: 4.25/5

More food firsts next time!


Pho' Hoa - G/F Trinoma Mall, North Ave. Cor. Mindanao Ave., Quezon City

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Published in 2003 and penned by Mitch Albom, this book stayed on the New York Times Bestseller list for 95 weeks! An inspiring novel that has a refreshing take on a person's journey through life and death.

Eddie, an amusement park maintenance personnel, died while trying to save a little girl from one of his park rides. He reviews his 'useless' life with the help of the five people he meets in heaven. They are somehow connected in his life, having met them before or not.  Each person who welcomes him there has a lesson for him to learn or realize. Eddie is taught the following: 1. There are no random acts; 2. Sacrifice is a part of life; 3. Forgiveness is a must; 4. Love doesn't end; and 5. Your life has a purpose.

'Fairness, does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young.' -The Blue Man

As with most inspirational novels, this too has a lot of 'quotable quotes'. What separates Albom's is that he wrote it simply and directly. He expressed his messages without being condescending and refrained from being too preachy. Eddie died before he realized these five lessons, but maybe we'll learn them while we're still living.

A touching story willing us to hope and believe that everyone has a purpose in life. Definitely, a must read! I can't guarantee you won't shed a tear, though.

Rating: 4.75/5


Saturday, August 18, 2012


I've been regretting something lately. I should have bought tickets to Maroon 5's concert in the country this September, that is! Boy, they sold out like hotcakes! It's no mystery though. This pop rock band has gained a lot of fans ever since their debut in 2002... 10 years later and these guys are still making good music!

This is evident in their latest album, Overexposed. It includes the much popularized, dance-able "Moves Like Jagger" and heartwarming "Payphone", featuring Christina Aguilera and Wiz Khalifa, respectively. Other songs that I like are the reggae-infused "One More Night", disco-feel "Ladykiller", and emotional "Sad" and "Daylight". But the ones on top of my list are the sweet ballads, "The Man Who Never Lied", "Wipe Your Eyes", and "Beautiful Goodbye". 

The lyrics are about love, heartbreak, and adultery. Interestingly, all songs in the album are co-written by Adam Levine who also renders his sexy, funky voice as the band's lead vocalist.

Overexposed has not yet lived up to its title, as some songs are still unfamiliar to the public. But they had just launched the album last June so I'm definite that the songs I've mentioned will skyrocket the charts in time. And for now, I have to settle listening to them through my iPod and save up for their next concert. If only this blog has sponsors. Lol! Just kidding! 'Til next time! :D


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tip of the Icebergs

Last last week, my sister and I were at the mall with our mom and dad. Ate Faye was craving for ice cream while our parents wanted heavier meals. I wanted both. Haha!

We were passing by Icebergs so we decided to check out their menu. To my surprise, it turns out they have more than just desserts to offer. Here's what we ate:

Super Halo-Halo
So they served the desserts first before the main courses; However, we didn't complain. Their halo-halo was too enticing not to eat right away! You really get the value for your money with all things going in it: 1 scoop each of ube and cheese ice cream, gulaman, saba, peach, macapuno, nata de coco, leche flan, langka, cornflakes, and real corn! Yummmy!
Price: 108  
Rating: 4/5

Ham, Mushroom, and Cheese Omelette
Ate Faye, who's a big fan of eggs, ordered this and became a fan of this dish as well. The omelette is like a big, warm blanket with ham, button mushrooms, and gooey cheese inside. She particularly love the tomato paste sauce that compliments it nicely.
Price: ₱148     
Rating: 4/5
Cheesy Beef Lasagna
My lasagna was served in a deep, hot dish. True to its name, it was cheesy and beefy! I like the combination of flavors, the saltiness of the beef, the tang of the tomato, and the earthiness of the herbs. The pasta was also cooked al dente.
Price: ₱198     
Rating: 3.75/5

Classic Banana Split
We devoured this delicious dessert into splits! Their banana split had, of course, a split banana topped with scoops of vanilla, strawberry, and mango (instead of the usual chocolate) ice cream! Then topped with luscious whipped cream, nuts, and a maraschino cherry. I could bathe in this!
Price: ₱178    
Rating: 4.25/5

Lechon Kawali and Mighty AJ's Burger Meal
Daddy ate a hearty slab of crispy and juicy lechon kawali on rice with sweet gravy and atchara. Mommy's meal was a decent burger with 100% beef patty, lettuce, cheese, and tomato. It went with a side dish of fries and mayo/mustard dip. Both dishes were good enough for Ate and I but when we asked them to rate it, they gave each a mere 3. Haha! My parents are tougher food critics than us, eh?
Price: ₱188 (Lechon Kawali), ₱168 (Burger)
Rating: 3/5

To sum it all, our dining experience had been fun. Not only because of the great meal but also since we shared it with family. <3


Icebergs - UGF Main Bldg. SM North EDSA, Quezon City

Saturday, August 4, 2012

One Fine Night

Posing with her Blizzard
Last night my friend Che and I met for dinner. We decided to eat at Recipes by Cafe Metro, a restaurant that serves Filipino dishes. We shared an order of Chicken Sotanghon Soup and Lechon Kawali with Kangkong. The food was okay. Nothing sensational or anything but the servings were big and the place nice and quiet. The price on the menu ranges from  110 to 280. I'd rate it as 3/5. For dessert, Che bought Dairy Queen's Blizzard. Hers was Double Dutch and Butterfinger for me.

In between bites and slurps, we discussed family, work, future plans, and juicy gossips. We didn't see each other for about six months so there was quite a bit of catching up to do. I had to remind her of the time because her sons will be waiting for her. She said she ordered a present for her father. Someone will deliver it to her in half an hour and asked if I could I wait with her for a while. I said, 'Of course'.
Book-inspired cupcakes

 I was delightfully surprised when Che handed me one of the bags the delivery person gave her. It was a dozen of Alarma's cupcakes decorated with books on top. Her 'Belated Happy Birthday' or 'Happy Belated Birthday' gift, she said. I didn't know what she told the baker but I truly liked the design concept. Very creative. It didn't hurt that the chocolate-banana cupcakes were delicious. What a fun way to end the evening. Thanks, Mare! Sa uulitin! ;p


Recipes - 2nd Level Trinoma Mall, North Ave. Cor. Mindanao Ave., Quezon City
Dairy Queen - 2nd Level Atrium Trinoma Mall, North Ave. Cor. Mindanao Ave., Quezon City