Agara Ramen: Fills the Tummy, Warms the Soul

If there is one thing I have been wishing to grow in number here in Baguio, that is for more ramen houses to open. Why? Well, hello! With Baguio’s perfect cold weather, having a bowl of hot ramen is what we need! Don’t you agree?

I am a self-confessed ramen person. I am fastidious with my ramen choices. I get easily disappointed if I learn that the ramen served looks and tastes like an instant noodle. My love for ramen is rooted in the fact that it is a culinary art – from the richness of its flavors, its aesthetics and the seemingly delicate techniques used on how they are prepared. A bowl of ramen holds a distinctive place in my tummy. When I slurp its soup and noodles, I feel the warmth filling my stomach, radiating happiness to my soul.I have always thought that Baguio’s weather is perfect for cafes and ramen bars/ restos. Unfortunately, we only have a few that serves really good ramen. I was delighted when Ramen Nagi opened but in the long run, one will feel burdened by the pricey cost of their ramen despite serving really good food. There are other Japanese restos here BUT the ramen they offer doesn’t come across authentic – taste most importantly.

So when I have heard of a new ramen bar (yes, it is a bar and not the usual resto) opening in my lovely city, Baguio, I got excited to try what they have to offer, hence I literally stormed my way one cold, foggy night. The place is called Agara Ramen, a 14-seater, industrial accented bar with a striking brick mural and tiled wall. Some people may have an impression that the place is a tad small in space but I think that is exactly what the owners have envisioned it to be (just like what most Japanese ramen bars are – small, intimate space for people eating ramen together).The menu of Agara Ramen is very straightforward. They offer 6 ramen styles. This includes the following:

  • Chuka Soba (a pork, chicken, fish, and vegetable broth noodles)
  • Tsukemen (a dipping ramen made with livestock, vegetable broth with soy sauce)

***These two are Agara Ramen’s menu flagship.

  • Tonkotsu Shio (sea salt base and pork broth) – if you like something light then this is for you.
  • Tonkotsu Shoyu (soy sauce and pork broth) – This I personally like.
  • Miso Ramen (strong pork miso soup) – My favorite. Because it is miso. I love anything miso.
  • Tantanmen (spicy pork broth soup in sesame seed paste) – Not my cup of tea, just because it is spicy.

Just like other ramen restaurants, you can also add tamago (Japanese soy sauce egg), chashu (braised pork belly), and/ or nori (seaweed). They also serve gyoza (dumplings) and karaage (fried chicken skin). All of these can be perfectly matched with a glass of Japanese barley tea (mugicha) or maybe a can of soda.My Agara Ramen experience was made more special because I got the chance to see how some of these ramen are prepared (and even eaten). The owner, Sir Ray Costa, gamely showed how it’s prepared. Please allow the photographs I took to further do the talking.As the weather here in Baguio becomes colder (and stormy), having a bowl (or two) of ramen is good way to quickly warm us up. I may just switch between ramen and some local noodles my brother makes (Ilocos miki). So if you are up for something “ramen-tic” belly-filling, and smile-inducing — a bowl of ramen goodness at Agara Ramen is what you probably need.

Agara Ramen is located at the Ground Floor of Rancho Guillermo Bldg. (beside Maybank), North Drive (where NBI’s entrance gate is), Engineers Hill, Baguio City. They are on their soft opening (grand opening will be on the 8th of September 2019). They are open from 11AM to 12MN (Monday to Thursday); and 11AM to 02AM (Friday to Sunday). You can also check out their social media accounts: fb.com/AgaraRamen (FB page), @AgaraRamen (both in Instagram and Twitter).So what are you waiting for? Fill your tummy, satiate your buds’ taste – “eats” a wonderful world after all. Take “eat” easy!

Sweets to Try in Baguio City

Sometimes, we do not need to stay too healthy nor focus on eating what is right to keep the body fit and functioning. Our sweet tooth is a part of this wonderful machine, so we have to honor it and spoil it from time to time… to time.

If you have a sweet tooth like me, then, you might want to try these palatine-satiating, delightful sweets once you are in Baguio. They are some of the perfect matches to your hot coffee or tea while reading a book, watching a movie or just lazing around while the weather gets all cool and cozy.

1. Vizcos’ Strawberry Shortcake. An all-time favorite from among locals and tourists alike. This dessert makes use of fresh strawberries and imparts a creamy sensation that seem to melt in your mouth.

2. This avocado-flavored dirty ice cream at the Slaughter house. (well they also have strawberry and mango, but this is my ultimate favorite). If you happen to be in the area for their “bulalo and ihaw-ihaw” look for a local vendor of this ice cream who happens to be just hanging out in the area. Dirty has never been this delicious!

3. The egg tarts of Glycosweet. A small, hole-in-the-wall cafe near the Victory bus terminal (Manila-bound) bakes these small but mouth-watering sweets. So far, they are the best egg tarts I have tasted (besides the ones I have tried in Lisbon, Portugal).

4. Taro Ice Cream of Aura One Hotel. This surprisingly good ice cream topped with a taro chip, is not all smooth and creamy since a gritty feeling will be felt by your mouth. It comes from the bits of taro incorporated in this sumptuous dessert.

5. Ube Champorado of Lihim ni Maria. Another hole-in-wall cafe/resto in Baguio that offers dleiciously unusual desserts and drinks is Lihim ni Maria. I personally like their version of champorado that makes use of a local red rice from Kalinga infused with ube. You’ll end up saying “what a beautiful gastronomic experience” when you taste this.

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6. Sweet Stop’s Apple Brownie & Cassava Cake. This delicious duo are my favorite at this pretty cafe along Session Road. They never fail to compliment any of the flavored hot tea I drink whenever I come by to satiate my sweet tooth cravings. And, you get to buy these sweets at a very affordable price!

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7. Arcas Yard’s Kamote Pie. This signature dessert from the uberly cozy and relaxing cafe-restaurant along Ambuclao Road will never disappoint your taste. I like how soft and not so saccharine it is. It’s a perfect pair for my artichoke tea (an Arca’s Yard fave drink).

8. Mugwort Bread of Le Vain Cafe/Bakeshop. This is an interesting bread at least to me. It’s called a mugwort bread with walnuts, chestnut and red bean. i have learned wayback my Pharmacognosy days that mugwort is a natural anti-malarial but I never knew it is edible. So i did a little research and to my surprise, mugwort is indeed a famous bread from among Koreans and Japanese. Fascinating and delicious too!

9. Ube Taho. Well Baguio is famous for its strawberry taho for sure. But do you know that recently, a new flavor has been abuzz from among visitors? I have just tried the ube counterpart and I personally like it better than the much sweeter strawberry taho. I never thought ube would blend well with this soya product.

So whether you just want to cheat on your diet or maybe just wanting to give in to that outright urge to eat something saccharine, then give these lovely sweets a try. And I am pretty sure you’ll end up with a grin. 😁😁😁

Take it easy.

BADU: A Sumptuous La Trinidad Diner- Café (Benguet, PH)

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez

Most tourists/ visitors come to Baguio not only for its cool weather, but also for the various cafés and restaurants that offer palatine-satisfying cuisine. Nearby Benguet capital, La Trinidad, is frequented because of its famed Strawberry Farm. What most people do not know and recognize, is the fact that the region’s “salad bowl” is also home to an array of must try local eateries. Case in point is this very simple, yet gastronomically satiating diner – café along Km. 6 in La Trinidad, Benguet.badu7

BADU, may literally be translated as the local term for “dress”, however it is actually named after the owners surnames. This diner-café made its humble beginning in July 2016. One of the co-owners, Sir Abner Bayangan, enthusiastically talked about his eating place with a clear mission, and that is “to serve a 5-star menu to anyone and everyone at an affordable price”. It may sound too good to be true but one really has to pay them a visit and try the food they serve. Most of the meals in their menu are actually with a hint of Cordilleran flavor. Because of this, they have slowly attracted locals to come and dine their restaurant. They also boast off their signature cakes & desserts, and coffee & tea.

My friends and I were pretty fortunate that we have chanced upon Sir Abner in his food place. For me, the next best thing to eating food, is talking about it.  So, I personally love how passionate when the owner started sharing stories about BADU. So while waiting for our food to be served, we got the chance to know more about BADU. Aside from wanting to serve quality food at affordable prices, Sir Abner said that he wants BADU to be a place where people can spend time talking with each other, eventually starting a community, and remember happy moments.

BADU may not be as fancy looking as other cafe – restaurants within Baguio and La Trinidad, but its simplicity and the FOOD experience make up for it. Besides, investing on the grandiosity of a place can be superficial in the long run.

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Now on with the FOOD experience at BADU: As I have mentioned earlier, most meals and even pasta have a touch of Cordillera. In particular, the food we’ve tried has “kiniing”.

“KINIING” 101: According to “Slow Food for Biodiversity”, “kiniing” is a cured pork product made from meat obtained from locally raised native black pigs. To prepare the product, the lean parts of the meat are thinly sliced while guava leaves are first boiled in salted water. This decoction is removed from the fire, the guava leaves are removed, and the water is transferred into a container where the meat can be soaked for a few minutes. The use of guava leaves acts not only to scent the soaking water, but also creates a smell that drives away flies or other insects that might destroy the meat. It also helps to harden the meat.   Next, the meat is smoked over pinewood to help preserve it and add flavor. For tastier kiniing, the meat is hung in the “suuban“, the top of the clay stove used for daily cooking, for a month or two.

My personal verdict: Generally, all “kiniing” food were surprisingly good. I like how the kiniing blended well with the white, creamy sauce of their “Kiniing Alfredo Pasta”, the “Kiniing Poppers” (a local wine-infused kiniing) tasted really good, their signature meal called “Badu Rice” is definitely a hungry-man’s meal as it contains 3 different dishes (a Szechuan flavored pork dish, a stir-fried vegetable dish, and my favorite of the 3 – a kiniing-stuffed chicken cordon bleu). But from among the meals served, my taste buds would agree with my stomach that the “kinisig” – a kiniing-infused sisig was the star of the table.

And for dessert, we got to try an array of their saccharine delights. They have various ice cream cakes (in vanilla, chocolate, and matcha flavors). But the matcha cheesecake, ice cream cheesecake, and lemon cake all made me want to forget a possible surge in my blood glucose level. They were that good!

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It was a gastronomically delightful afternoon with new found friends at this modest place. Thank you to Sir Abner for sharing his place of love, bravery and community to us. Thank you for reminding us who also dream of owning a cafe/ restaurant someday, that putting up such business isn’t all about profit… that money will follow when we do things right. (Thanks too, to Momshie Sheryl of I am Storyteller for inviting me to join you). Shout out also to Chiki of Turistaboy, Relyn of Hello, Relyn, Demy, Shemen, and Sir Kurt (my pleasure to meet you all).

So, the next time you are in La Trinidad, whether you are there to visit the Strawberry Farm and Stobosa Houses, or climb Mount Jumbo and Mount Kalugong, drop by BADU and experience their food.

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BADU is located at the 3rd Floor of Amos Bldg., KM6 in La Trinidad. Your landmarks include the last gate of Benguet State University (this is the gate closest to its athletic/ playing area), and its walking distance from the entry point of the Strawberry Farm. You can also visit their website HERE.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

South Palms Resort Panglao (Bohol, PH)

Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.

Sumptuous and Paradisiacal: Two words befitting to describe my visit at this prime Bohol resort in the island of Panglao called South Palms.

4South Palms Beach Resort is a 9.3 hectare tropical paradise within a 45-hectare spread of a beachfront property. I have to say it is one of the ultimate beach destinations in Bohol as it boasts off a beach with the longest coastline in Panglao. Unlike other beaches teeming with people, Bolod Beach of South Palms guarantees a relaxing leisure walk along its white sand-dotted shoreline, and enjoyable swimming in its azure to turquoise waters. Definitely PARADISIACAL!

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The resort rooms display local artistry, with utmost relaxation and a stunning view of the beach as footpath provides easy access to the lovely coast. Each of these tropically adorned rooms have AC system, a flat-screen TV, a personal safety cabinet, coffee-and-tea making amenities, and a private bathroom with toiletries and hot/cold shower facilities.

They also have a variety of luxurious recreational activities and facilities that range from ball games, different water activities (snorkeling, SCUBA diving), and even day tours to other Bohol spots. Truly an ideal place for family and friends!

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And, if you intend to come in group for a business meeting or a company outing, the beach resort is also a perfect venue as they also have conference rooms and function halls. While I was strolling along their beach area, I was thinking that it is a great area for team building.

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Another thing I like about South Palms is that they have their own restaurant. A seafood restaurant at that! I am a seafood lover so I may have a little bias here. Its resto is called Oceanica Seafood Restaurant that serves both local and international cuisines. It is an open restaurant meaning you have a wonderful view of the sea (and the pool) while you are eating. It is in close proximity to the resort’s pool bars (which offers a selection of refreshing drinks). Here are some of the really palatine-satiating food I have tried at Oceanica:

Manok Inato – a local dish of grilled chicken cooked in coconut milk with aromatic spices. First time to try this and my palate agrees that it is tasty! Then there is this “Gambas-al-ahilo”, a prawn delicacy that is both sweet and spicy. I am a seafood lover so yes, I love this one. Both dishes were a great match to my “inun-un” or crab meat rice. I also had a healthy and refreshing salad called “Watermelon Summer” salad made of lettuce, mango, and watermelon. I had cucumber lemonade for drinks, an all-time favorite drink of mine. So, it is safe to say that I really had a gastronomic experience at Oceanica. As I have said earlier, everything is SUMPTUOUS!

DSC_00743Other features of the resort include the following: a souvenir shop, an ATM, a spa, a gym, laundry service, and outdoor pools. Wi-Fi access is almost everywhere (even along the coastline, I love it!) There is a free public parking that doesn’t require reservation. It is good to know that they have a 24-hour front desk, a 24-hour room service, provides airport transfer and shuttle services (that is if you want to go to Alona Beach), and they even have currency exchange. I am also pleased to know that they have facilities for guests with disability.

 

South Palms Beach Resort Panglao is indeed a destination to keep in mind when in Bohol. I can even imagine it as a lovely setting for a romantic date or beach wedding

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Please refer to the images below for their rates and some promos:

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Sweet Stop (Baguio City, PH)

I am certain that I have a sweet tooth. And I like eating individually served desserts because I find it more fun to eat. I also love spending some time writing my thoughts, reading a book, or just allowing my mind to think about random things. And I love doing these things together a cup of tea or coffee.

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I recently discovered a small café along Session Road that presents all the good things I look for in a food nook. Sweet Stop along Session Road in Baguio City is my new favorite place to go to especially during the late afternoon. They offer a delectable range of the finely baked (and really affordable) goods, snacks and drinks. They also have all-day breakfast meals (which I yet have to try).

 

I personally love all the pastries I have tried especially their apple brownies, and green tea and strawberry cupcakes. (Well I have a very soft spot for anything matcha!) The butterscotch and cassava cake I have tasted also go well with whatever tea I chose to drink with.

From among their drinks, my palate agrees that the blueberry frappe is wonderfully thirst-quenching. I happen to have tried also their sardines pasta and I must say that anyone who likes their food spicy, must try this.

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I kind of like how simple everything is inside Sweet Stop. And it is a plus factor for me that it is located at La Azotea. Why? Spending some time at this dessert shop in the afternoon or early evening means being treated with free live music from a bar in the same building! Sweeeeet, ayt? (And did I mention that they have very polite and attentive staff? They do!)

 

So if you are in for some saccharine goodness that will satiate your palates’ cravings, stop in to taste what this café has to offer. Whether it is a “me time” on your part or you want the company of your friends or some family members, Sweet Stop is definitely a great stop!

Sweet Stop Baguio @ the Main Floor, La Azotea Building, Baguio City

Telephone Number: 423-3738/ 619-1229

Facebook: Sweet Stop Baguio

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Update: I got the chance to meet the very lovely owner of the cafe Ms. Theresa and her daughter, Andrea one afternoon. I have learned that they personally do all the baking! Now that is wonderful. Kudos for putting up this barely 3-month old, cozy cafe.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJUAN.

 

Vanilla Café (Baguio City, PH)

Since I left Baguio 2 years ago, more and more cafes and restaurants have sprouted in the City of Pines. Whenever I go home, I make sure to visit one of them. My previous stay led me to try Vanilla Café. Tucked in an unobtrusive place along Ignacio Villamor Street in Baguio City, lies this dining place that is being gradually recognized.

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My initial impression is that Vanilla (Bean) Café offers a homey, comfortable for those who would want to just hang out or those tired folks looking for something refreshing to the senses. With the café’s vividly decorated, pastel interior, anyone who enters this abode will surely be delighted. Ironic as it may sound, but I adore how inequitable everything viewed and that it actually made the cafe organized. I personally love the dining area outside where one can marvel at Baguio’s pine trees and smell the cool, fresh air. One’s palate will feel the excitement even more once they get to see the display of saccharine goodness – from cakes and other pastries. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Since I was alone, I can only order a meal that’s good for my tummy. With so many foods to choose from, it was a bit challenging as I wanted to taste all of them. In the end, I settled for a pasta called Spanish Armada (a linguine pasta with sardines, black olives my love, and egg – which by the way made everything in this pasta beyond palatine satiating to my taste), frozen strawberry shortcake for dessert (I am big fan of strawberries that is why I chose this), and a pot of warm Earl Grey tea. It was one, gastronomic meal!


I would definitely come back and try their other food offerings when I go home to Baguio. In the meantime, let the photos in this short write-up entice you to give them a visit. They are open as early as 6am until 12 midnight!

Vanilla Café
Kamiseta Hotel,, Ignacio Villamor St, Baguio, Benguet, Philippines
You can also check out Kamiseta Hotel as the café is its resident food place.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Baguio Holes-in-the-Wall (Benguet, PH)

“The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” -Mark Twain

Holes-in-the-Wall: these are out-of-the-way, small places like cafe, bar or restaurants that are not considered to be fancy,expensive or unpretentious… Places to eat where they impart a more homey vibe.

You see, I love eating, and I want to enjoy eating all through my lifetime. Despite my lean frame, I actually eat almost everything (well except those with fresh vinegar). I believe that the next best thing to eating food, is talking about it. And that exactly is what this write-up is for. This blog will be constantly updated whenever I get to visit a hole-in-the-wall gastronomic hub in the City of Pines.

BEANS and MUGS

Address: 2nd floor of Filipino – Chinese General Hospital’s drugstore, M. Roxas (Trancoville), Baguio City, Benguet.

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This tiny cafe that offers some of the better freakshakes I have tasted, is hardly noticeable. I think my room is even bigger than its space. Nonetheless, I like its simplicity. Found at the 2nd floor of a drugstore and is in very close proximity to a hospital along Trancoville, Beans and Mugs have so far delighted my sweet tooth for its Matcha Freakshake and Strawberry Freakshake.

YAMASHITA JAPANESE NOODLE HOUSE

Address:Beside the famous 50s Diner, Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio, Benguet

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I am a self-confessed ramen lover. And for the longest time, Baguio didn’t have a single ramen house. And so when I have heard of Yamashita, I was more than delighted. It is just a small restaurant with chairs and a single long table in front of the cooking area. Nonetheless, the wakame ramen I have tried is satiating enough for my palate. Moreover, I think the price is reasonable!

GLYCO SWEETSHOP

Address: 72 DPS Compound Access Road, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

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One of my all-time favorite desserts shop in Baguio. Glyco Sweetshop’s cupcakes are some of the best. I particularly love their green tea cuppies. The Portuguese egg-tart is also something every visitor should taste because of the delightful balance of sweetness and the right crust texture. Despite the bakeshops name (glyco which means “sweet”), the desserts they offer aren’t very sweet which to me is a good thing.

GAME and GRUB BOARDGAME CAFE

Address: 2/F 111 Jungletown Rd, Baguio, Benguet

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I love their specialty drinks (shout out to Mango G’s!). They charge customers Php50 to rent boardgames. So while waiting for your order, might as well explore all the board games you could play (although my friends and I opted to play cards without bet!) Food prices in general isn’t that bad.

TRAVEL SIPS COFFE

Address: #11 Marcos Highway, Baguio City

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A coffee shop that is an ideal stopover, near 2 hospitals in Baguio. It is conveniently located along the main highway. They serve both hot and cold drinks (and some desserts too). Just like most cafe’s in this write u, it is small with few seating options. Nonetheless, it has a pretty cozy ambiance for you and your friends to chit chat for a few hours.

CHEF’s HOME

Address: 13 Outlook Drive (corner Romulo Drive), Baguio City (near The Mansion)

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This food abode owned by a Malaysian chef (Chef Alvin Emuang) has established itself as one of the best places to eat in Baguio City. Offering an array of authentic Asian cuisine, the very modest restaurant (that looks more of a carinderia) is heaven for good, good, good food. Looking into their menu, a typical Filipino could obviously say that most of the foods aren’t the usual ones we eat everyday. To most, the, the taste could be very strong – spicy, sour, sweet. But for a person who likes trying out almost everything, I say EAT and ENJOY! I personally love their ROTI! So yummy!

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Let’s Eat: Masa Mexitalian Grub (Baguio City)

Because of my undying love for pistachios and sundried tomatoes, I went on to try a relatively new restaurant in Baguio called MASA: Mexitalian Grub. Since it is just near our place, I opted to walk my way.

I saw a post a pistachio pizza post while browsing my Instagram one time. I was kinda disappointed when it wasn’t a food offering around Manila area. Out of nowhere, I went on to google “pistachio pizza Baguio” and to my surprise, a Baguio-based food blog site mentioned that there is this resto that offers such pizza. I went to check on the address and I was delighted to know that it is near our place in Baguio.

Next thing I know, I am already in Baguio, walking my way to this eating place. It wasn’t difficult to locate it as I am pretty much knowledgeable of the area. I was there just in time for their opening hour. I immediately noticed the interior filled with wooden chairs and tables and the large handwritten menus hanging on the wall.

Going over the menu, they do not only offer Mexican and Italian dishes, but they also have Singaporean meals. (They call it Hawkers meal), and they’re pretty cheap — even their Chilly Crabs). Since I was there for one ultimate mission (that is to taste their Pistachio Pizza), I shrugged off the idea of trying any of the Hawkers meals.

So, I happily told the lovely woman at the counter that I am having Pistachio Pizza, and Prawn Feta Pasta and Lychee – Grass Jelly for dessert. There was a hint of surprise on her part. Maybe she was wondering if I have someone else with me because of my order. While waiting for my food, I took a few pictures.

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After around 15 minutes, my pasta was served. For Php180, I think the serving is just right for one person. I couldn’t wait for my pizza so I started eating. And wow! I love everything about it — the cashew, the flavorful shrimps and the feta cheese AND the al dente pasta! Just perfect! So far this is the most al dente pasta dish I have tried here in Baguio. My taste buds are enjoying every bit of my pasta when my pizza came out. Upon gazing at it, my eyes (and stomach) started to feel giddy in a good way. The sight of the grated pistachios and sundried tomatoes and bacon and pesto and mozzarella — made me even more excited. I instantly grabbed a slice and with eyes closed, I masticated it slowly. It was so good. Really good. I don’t know how to better describe but I hope you (my readers) are convinced that the pizza is really good. (So you better storm your way to Masa after reading this, okay?)

The pizza is good for 2-3 person so it’s understandable that I wasn’t able to dig in everything. I almost forgot I still have my lychee – grass jelly for dessert. I would have wanted to try their other offerings like the spicy wings and nachos but I was already full. I will most certainly come back here. Food is palatine satiating and worth your money! So there.

MASA: Mexitalian Grub is located at #65 M. Roxas St. (Trancoville), Baguio City. You can take a cab or a Trancoville bound jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off the “talipapa” or in front of Cecilia Commercial Building. Across this building is a black gate that houses MASA.

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Update: As promised, I went to eat again here at Masa when I went home to Baguio this weekend and tried their Beef Ribs. And wow! What a soft and palatine-satiating ribs they have. (Now, Kanto has a competition in the house). I also tried their Manzo Pizza. There is so much more to try so I’ll be back again soon.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebriwan.

The Tasting Room of Baguio Craft Brewery (Benguet, PH)

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water — a vital ingredient in beer. – Dave Barry

I am NOT a beer lover. And so I do NOT drink all sort of beer. I’d rather drink some hard liquor than beer. But when a friend of mine told me to try out a relatively new “beer house” in Baguio City last year (July 2014), my nosiness made me try out the place (and eventually, liking beer for the 1st time).DSC_1523

And so, off I went to this “not your typical kind of beer house” along Marcos Hi-way. The moment I set my foot, I felt the cool and homey vibe of the place. It was literally cool since the building i situated a place where fog hovers and a great view of Baguio residences can be seen from their terrace. The homey feel comes from the conspicuously Cordillera feel. I adore the fact that there were a lot of wooden decors and huge barrels that serve as tables. The menu at the bar was written on chalkboards.

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The Tasting Room of Baguio Craft Brewery is considered to be Baguio’s first and only craft brewery with freshly-brewed beer with 16 rotating taps. This microbrewery is a brainchild of 6 individuals from 3 countries, who decided to put this place in Baguio for its distinctive artistic character plus the cool weather that is deemed favourable for brewing. Baguio Craft Brewery was formally launched in June 2014.

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Despite not being a beer person, I was prompted to taste their various beer offerings. The crew of Baguio Craft Brewery were very convincing and accommodating that I ended up ordering a glass of Kiwi Beer and a glass of Passionfruit Beer.

They also have beer-perfect dishes like Buffalo Wings, Moroccan Spicy Shrimp, Mini Burgers, Fish Tacos, Hungry Bacon and Hungarian Sausage. (I did try their sausages) The price range of these dishes is from P180 – P350/order.

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The selection of beers were named after elements of the Ifugao mythology, and are collectively called “Mythic beers”.

  • Dalom (an underworld deity) is a brown ale (a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers’ yeast).
  • Daya (the Ifugao spirit of the forests, the rice terraces and the mountain streams), this is “a tribute to the realm of the endless mountain spring.”
  • Kabunyan (the Cordilleran term  for a divine creator) is a “light, cloudy and inviting” wheat beer, named as a “tribute to the sky realm in the region above.”
  • Lagud (deity of crops and harvest), a strawberry beer, is a “tribute to the realm of growth and vibrancy.”
  • Pugaw (an Indian pale ale), means “from the earth,” described as “rich, complex, and pleasantly bitter.” It is said to be a tribute to the soil where grains and hops grow.

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There are other beer flavors with captivating labels like The Englishman in New York American Pale Ale, Ida Raspberry beer, Ripe Passion fruit beer, Kraken Baltic Porter, Message in a Bottle Black IPA, Hop Attack, Zigzagger, Luscious Lychee, Niyog Stout, and many more. These beers are makes a distinction by degrees of bitterness and alcohol content.

Pharmacy 101: Wayback Pharmacy school, I’ve learned the concepts of ABV and IBU. Here’s a brief description for our better understanding of beers. Cheers!

A.B.V. (Alcohol by Volume) is the measure of how much alcohol is in the beer, the higher the number, the more alcohol there is by volume. Lagud Strawberry beer (and other fruits beers) has 5.4% ABV while Stout Crusader has the highest at 8.5%.

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I.B.U. (International Bittering Unit) is the measure of how many hops (a f flavorant accountable for the bitter component in beers, and is from a plant called Humulus lupulus – ooops that is Pharmacognosy-slash-Botany 101) and how bitter the beer is. Hop Attack is said to have the highest at 94.8. So there…

A glass of their beers has a price range of P160 to P230.

And so, if you happen to be in Baguio (or you are planning a Baguio weekend getaway), include this beer place in your list. Cheeeeeers mate!!!

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Baguio Craft Brewery
RKC Building, 120 Marcos Highway,
Km 4, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines

Websitehttp://www.xavierbier.com/