Monday, May 30, 2011

Carol's Texan 5: The Best Chicken and Ribs in this side of Town!

I love the smell of grilled pork barbecue wafting through the air from our backyard each time there’s a birthday celebration in the house. I am a huge fan of pork ribs and chicken  for the longest time. I crave for those sinfully delicious treats almost 24/7. But of course, finding the right place for the best mouth-watering chicken and pork ribs had been quite a challenge especially for food bloggers like me.

I’ve been looking for an establishment that has a distinctive, intangible quality, which makes their version of the dish stand out. Some smoke, steam, boil, roast, grill, bake, sear or fry their ribs to perfection—most of them use a combination of methods. In the end though, the very best ribs touch on all the tastes your tongue can take—bitter, salty, sweet, sour and savory. There’s something so satisfyingly primal about getting a messy, red smear all over your face, gnawing on the bone of the animal that’s feeding you.  (Oops, I don’t mean to offend vegetarians and the group like PETA). Oh, and as I write this, just thinking about those foods are enough to make me want to salivate.

A friend of mine (she’s actually a culinary classmate) claims that she’s finally found what I’ve been looking for in the city of San Juan. Somewhere in Little Baguio lies this secret spot called Carol’s Texan 5. She says the ribs will totally win you over. God knows how much I’ve been yearning to go in San Juan and taste it for myself.

A friend of mine (she’s actually a culinary classmate) claims that she’s finally found what I’ve been looking for in the city of San Juan. Somewhere in Little Baguio lies this secret spot called Carol’s Texan 5. She says the ribs will totally win you over. And the chicken is really juicy up to the last bite. God knows how much I’ve been yearning to go in San Juan and taste it for myself.

You could just imagine my delight when I found out that there’s a Bloggers Buffet invites from Carol’s Texan 5 organized by in cooperation with! It’s an exclusive event for bloggers where we could sample the signature dishes and other gustatory delights of Carol’s Texan 5. I immediately said, "I want to be a part of this!" 

I want to be invited to this Bloggers Buffet event because I'd like to meet the owner, Ms. Carol. I'm curious how she makes the best chicken and ribs in this side of town. Of course, without mentioning her secret recipes, but she could at least give me some good advice on how to make grilled meats juicier and tastier. Carol's Texan 5's dishes are personal recipes of the owner, that simply spreads by word of mouth and it's been a hit with her family and friends. Aside from that, there's nothing like having great foods enjoyed with the company of good friends from the blogosphere, right? 

I could vividly picture it out now: ultimate Texan spareribs are cooked low-and-slow over the grill, then topped with a zesty barbecue sauce. The result? Fall off the bone ribs that doesn’t need much sauce, they’re perfectly seasoned to peppery perfection and served with a side of chunky sweet potato fries or creamy coleslaw. Just looking at these photos are enough to bring you to gustatory heaven. Hmm...I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I hope to be invited....
Anyway, Carol's Texan 5 offers different services:Dine-In (To fully enjoy eating the best chicken wings and fall-off the bones ultimate Texan ribs)
  • Delivery (Yes, they deliver in selected areas such as San Juan, Mandaluyong, Ortigas and Pioneer areas ONLY.)
  • Event Food Booths (They have food booths for hire so you could still enjoy their great food at your chosen venue.)
  • Party Trays (You could order trays of your favorite Carol's Texan 5 dishes for special occasions.)
  • Function rooms (You could hold events at Carol's Texan 5 for small private gatherings and meetings.)
  • Kiddie Meal Sets (Yes, they have meal sets for the little ones.)

For more information and delivery services, 
please contact Carol's Texan 5
+63 (2) 727-3843 or +63 (922) 4850154

Carol's Texan 5 is located at 2F 713 J. Abad Santos Street, Little Baguio, San Juan. 
You could visit their website at
Facebook Fan Page:

Bon appetit!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vegetarian Food isn't for everyone

Veggie foods like Moussaka, Veggie sushi in nori wrap and rice.

Fellow Blogger manilenamom enjoys her food with gusto.

Life is sometimes unfair. How can anyone enjoy all her food without gaining weight? I've tried almost everything there is in order to lose some of my unwanted pounds. But to no avail. I either end up with extra more pounds or be confined in the hospital. I've tried the 3-day-diet, after six diet, popcorn diet, mayo diet, southbeach diet etc. as well as Lesofat and Xenical,  Biguerlai tea and all kinds of tea and coffee drinks that promises to make you slim. I also did exercise, taking badminton, karate, swimming, skating before and lately running. 

I wish I had a fast metabolism. Oh, I wasn't born fat. I had a normal body. But years of couch potato lead me to this body size. Whew! I also had a weakness on food. I pity foods that are left on the table. I recently tried on vegetarian diet, but sorry, I don't think it's for me. My stomach turned up side down upon getting home after eating vegetarian meals. They are delicious in their own ways of course, but it's just not for me. 
Wish me luck as seek to find the one that'll make me lose a few pounds. Or better yet, I may have joined Pinoy's edition of Biggest Loser next season.

My Chowking Favorite

Chowking's Combo Meal B: Wanton noodle dish pairs well with asado siopao.

I know I had been disappointed with their halo-halo. But if you think I've vowed not to return to Chowking, think again. I may be forever disappointed with their halo-halo, but not with their other foods. I like their Combo Meal B: wanton noodles paired with merienda sized asado siopao, and drinks. It's the perfect meal for the upcoming rainy season.  I like putting a dash of few fish sauce on the wanton noodles, sprinkle ground black pepper on it and mix a few teaspoon of the siopao sauce on it. Yes, the asado sauce. And last but not the least, I asked for chili garlic oil, just a few drops of it is enough. It tastes a mixture of sweetness, tangy, salty, spicy and sour all together in one superb noodle dish. 

When friends of mine saw me doing all these stuff to my wanton noodles, they all said "Eeeew! What are you doing with your noodles?" I had to explain that this is the way I enjoy Chowking's noodle. I asked some of them to try it, and I was surprised to learn they liked its taste. Eventually, they concocted their own noodles dish using the same procedures. Aha, talk about food experimenting! Try it yourself, who knows? You might also get addicted with just one sip of the hot noodle dish.

Chinese style chicken with chicharap on the side and gravy for P69.
My Mom and Kyle recently ordered Chowking's Chinese style chicken. The good news is, this chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The bad news is, it had taken for like 45 minutes before it was served on our table with my Mom and nephew starved to death awaiting their food. The staff didn't tell them how long they need to wait for their order. When it finally arrived, the Chowking's manager had been apologetic. Talk about good food and bad service...Hmmm...If ever, I might go back to Chowking again but will immediately asked how long before the food will be served. I think every customer deserves the right to be informed. Can you imagine how long one needs to wait if you dropped by Chowking to order that food for takeout but you're such in a rush that you only had 30 minutes remaining for lunch? And if they never asked if you're willing to wait for 45 minutes, what will happen next? 

So much for good food...I hope that through this blog post, Chowking will be able to make their food service fast and ensuring quality food to its loyal patrons and customers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ilocos Empanada: Crunchy on the outside, flavorful on the inside

The facade of Ilocos Empanada along Scout Tuason in Quezon City

I had never tasted Ilocos Empanada before. I wonder how it differs from the ordinary empanada I've eaten in the neighborhood. I also wonder why it's quite expensive for P50(1 egg, 1 longganisa). But you could also order for double longganisa, I'm not sure though how much you'll be adding. You see, this Empanada trip had been on my friend's treat so since I had arrived late that day, I did not have any idea how much she had paid for an additional longganisa. Anyway, the first thing I noticed was its HUGE size and serving.

The sign says it all: Ilocos Special Empanada for P50.

Store Hours  so that you'd know when your cravings get satisfied.
 I had also been lucky that my good friend Lourdes was able to take photos of the empanada while it was being made. She said that it's good to have your orders done before your very eyes so that you could be assured of freshness with the best quality of taste still intact.

The first step on making the famous Ilocos Empanada.

Mix in all the ingredients like Longganisang Vigan.

Fold it up...

Make sure it seals well.

And voila, it's all ready for frying.

Tadah! Time to put on a paper to lessen its grease.

Yup, it's so HUGE in size and serving.
Ilocos Empanada is best paired with sukang Iloco (Iloco Vinegar) although some would like to experiment and use some ketsup on them. Ilocos Empanada had monggo, longganisa from Vigan, shredded raw green Papaya and eggs along with some spices.

Still trying to figure out how to eat it...
Lourdes wanted her empanada on the oiled paper and she had eaten this as if she'd had a McDonalds' apple pie. I wanted to eat it using fork and spoon. Whatever way you decide, you'll surely enjoy eating this crunchy, full-packed Ilocos empanada. It's enough to fill your empty stomach. It was my lunch for that day, before I ran to another commitment. And I had never felt so full eating only empanada in my life until that day. I've instantly became a fan of Iloco Empanada. I vow that someday I will return here with my Mom and nephew in tow. So that they too, may experience the joy of eating empanada.

Ready to attack the huge Empanada!

Water please! The Iloco Vinegar had red chili.

Woot! Be careful though that Ilocos empanada are deep fried, so if you're not up for something oily, better not try this at all. Don't put too much Iloco Vinegar as well. It doesn't taste like any ordinary vinegar. I prefer ketsup with Iloco vinegar on my empanada. Btw, did I mention that Ilocos bagnet are also available here? Next time, Lourdes and I would want to try that out too.

Purple Plum fairy wishes to thank Ms. Lourdes Vindollo-Labii for providing the photos and treating yours truly to a wonderful meal. 

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Open House on May 29!

Yes, guys...The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf will be giving complimentary drinks as they launch their newest drink, espresso & cream ice blended. Visit their facebook page for more details. Just drop by any The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branches except Taft. Visit them from 10Am to 12nn only.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bounty Fresh Chic Moms Club Launch

Four popular chefs even shared kitchen secrets.

We were recently invited to the launching of Bounty Fresh Chic Moms Club held at the posh Salon De Ning Restaurant Bar in Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.  The Bounty Fresh Chic Moms Club website launch was hosted by TV personality Ms. Issa Litton.  Bounty Fresh was awarded in 2009 Asian Livestock Awards with high distinction for the following categories: Industry Leadership, Technological Excellence and Food Safety. 

The author with sexy and witty host Ms. Issa Litton.
Bounty Fresh Chic Moms Club is an online website specifically for moms. It is a site loaded with helpful articles and unique recipes using Asia’s Best Chicken, Bounty Fresh.  What’s more, members who signed up can join the monthly promos for a chance to win fabulous prizes that suit every mom’s chic lifestyle. They had a member-get-member program in-exchange for discounts when buying Bounty Fresh chicken like Chooks-to-go.

Bounty Fresh Ambassador Ms. Lea Salonga rendered a song.

On the event itself, five lucky moms were awarded with cool prizes—designer bags like Louis Vitton, and Gucci bags.  Winners were based on the most number of LIKES voted by fellow members in the past few months. Bounty Fresh Ambassador and official endorser, international star Ms. Lea Salonga also graced the said event and even rendered a song.  Popular chefs were also present like Bruce Lim, Melissa Sison and sexy chef Sau Del Rosario. They had shared important tips and secrets on how to properly buy and maintain the juicy tender goodness of chicken. “Bounty Fresh is the best because it’s vacuum sealed. When you open the vacuum packed, the chicken’s juice are still intact, unlike other brands that are somewhat dry,” shared Chef Sau del Rosario.

Bounty Fresh Brand Manager with the winner of Chic Moms Club designer bag.

Bounty Fresh Brand Manager congratulates the winner of the Gucci bag.

Stylish designer bags in a row were all given to lucky Chic Moms Club.
They gave away five Bounty Fresh coolers with chicken on them to five lucky people from the media, but the luckiest guy that day was none other than my fellow blogger and friend, Jason Biadog who won a stylish Samsung Galaxy Tab in the raffle.  With a fab group like Bounty Fresh Chic Moms Club, more moms can easily relax and enjoy hanging out at the kitchen. Btw, membership to Bounty Fresh Chic Moms Club is FREE. All you need to do is REGISTER. 

Check out their website for more details...

Purple Plum Fairy thanks for the invites. 

Yummy Magazine Event

Before summer officially bids us goodbye, Yummy Magazine invites everyone to attend their Yummy Eats 2011 event to be held at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City from 10AM to 6PM. There will be lots of fun and surprises in store for everyone including food demonstrations and exciting freebies and goodies await everyone. Entrance is P100 if you have a copy of the May issue, but if you don't have a magazine, you can purchase a ticket for P150 only. For everyone's convenient, Yummy Magazine is going to be available at the entrance. There will also be on-stage games and hourly raffles. So come one, come all...This is one event you shouldn't miss...See you there!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Salon De Ning Restaurant and Bar: Posh Bar for Royalties

I had the opportunity to get inside the luxurious Salon de Ning Restaurant and Bar.  I heard it’s a really expensive bar that only those well off and elite socialites can afford.  I had seen this on the television show Mel & Joey on GMA 7 and it was discussed that renting this place for like three hours can amount to Php100,000. Yes, for an exclusive use of the venue for only three hours.  It doesn’t even count the foods and cocktail drinks you would consume while inside the said bar.

I’d like to think that if you’re truly into something as lavish and grand as having to celebrate a party in a grand way—then, Salon de Ning is the place for you. Seeing the unique shoe collection inside (sorry, I had not had the chance to take photos of those) may make one feel like former first lady Imelda Marcos. You could also dream of becoming a princess or a queen. For guys, there are a few boxing mementos on display as well as boxing-ring like background in one of Salon de Ning’s spot.
The place is complete with a wide screen for private functions and other occasions.  I got the chance to get inside Salon de Ning when I attended Bounty Fresh Chic Moms event. International star Ms. Lea Salonga even sang at the said event, proving that it’s such a place for music royalties like her.

Ms. Lea Salonga rendered a song.

I could compare Salon de Ning’s designs and style with the former Club Embassy at The Fort. Just like Embassy, Salon de Ning’s interiors boasts of its trendy and unique pieces making them cool fashion statements. There were crystallized colorful embellishments and chandeliers abound. It is where the royalty of coolness and elegant party.

The posh boxing themed room in Salon De Ning.

 Salon De Ning Restaurant and Bar is located at the Manila Peninsula Hotel, Makati City.

Agave Mexican Cantinna: Mexican Foodie at its Best

The facade of Agave Mexican Cantinna

I had been a huge fan of spicy foods.  I love jalapenos and kimchi. So when I was told, we’d be going to Agave Mexican Cantina recently, I knew exactly what to eat. I had to gobble on piles of nacho, quesadillas with guacamole (mashed avocado with tomato salsa) and calamares with dip and pair it with a tall glass of bottom less iced tea.

An order of nachos was enough for three to five people.  It got loads of jalapenos, black olives, cheese, chicken bits, red beans and tomato salsa.  It’s really a treat eating such with your friends while updating stories with each other.

 Quesadillas on the other hand had melt-in-your-mouth cheese and honest to goodness salsa with guacamole on a bed of shredded lettuce.  Hmmm…thinking of such is enough to salivate me now while I’m typing on my PC.

The squid calamares is crispy up to the last bite. It is pleasingly firm and it goes well with its signature mayo dip.  The drinks are good as well. Wolfing down huge chunks of quesadillas and calamares with nachos and jalapenos, bottomless iced teas and lemonades are your best bet to help you with the extreme hotness of jalapenos. 

Eat here and your stomach will thank you for it.  Agave truly satisfies even the most discriminating palate.

Agave Mexican Cantina Restaurant is located at Tomas Morato (near Tomas Morato Circle) beside Kalye Juan on Sct. Rallos Street, Quezon City.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lucky Me's Special Kari and Po- Ku Instant Noodles

Lucky Me's Kari noodles in all its curry goodness.

With the presence of tropical storm Bebeng hitting the country this weekend, I see no other reason why I should not give in to a steaming bowl of Lucky Me's instant noodles. I recently found out they have new flavors: Kari and Po-Ku, both with Asian flavors in mind. Kari really tasted like the way japanese noodles had curry powders on it. So if you're up for a hot, hot bowl of noodles, Kari is your best choice. It really had that Asian touch--Indian to be exact. For in every sip, you know you're being transported to Mumbai. You won't go wrong with its aroma's too strong to resist.

Lucky Me's Po-Ku instant noodles is perfect for the rainy season.
Po-ku is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends over a chit-chat. It tastes like bones and bones of pork steamed into a soup thereby having its richness and goodness of a real hot pot soup. It is an honest-to-goodness soup for the rainy season. And I was burping with pride after devouring my bowl of this wonderful soup. I heard my stomach thanked me for it. And I know you would too. The best part? They're both easy to prepare and had the Lucky Me NAPA seal of approval, which meant it had no MSG. 

Lucky Me's Kari an Po- Ku are now available in the supermarkets and grocery stores.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chowking Halo-Halo: Not as delicious as they claim to be!

It looked yummy outside but it isn't.

My entire family and I recently went to Batangas. And upon our return to the city, since it was a hot and humid day, we all decided to drop by the nearest food chain serving Halo-halo. We settled for Chowking Metrolane branch because of its proximity.
I guess because we were about twenty, it had taken quite a while before the halo-halo arrived on our tables.  Chowking’s halo-halo was indeed pleasing to the eyes. One would think it is truly an enjoyable feast because of its toppings served on the new tumbler glass. Little did I know I was in for a major disappointment.
Chowking’s Halo-halo may seem grand because it had a scoop of ice cream, beans, red tapioca balls, pinipig, monggo beans, among others. But all those stuff would be put to waste upon seeing the HUGE and BULKY ice you’ll have to go through to be able to enjoy the said summer concoction. The ice was so huge that it will probably take you like forever to melt it and before you knew it, the halo-halo would then be tasteless.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that halo-halo must all have ice shavings—yes, shavings and not bulky ice like the way almost all Chowking branches do it. In order to enjoy eating halo-halo, you have to stir the ice shavings and mix all the toppings together (that’s why it’s called halo-halo, if roughly translated means: mix-mix). But the question is, how do you mix it when all you have are enormous ice shavings heavily pressed on the glass tumbler thereby making it more difficult to stir?
We called the attention of the Chowking service crew regarding the way they served their halo-halo. We were even asking for some milk (it had actually lacked in milk and sugar) but we were told they’re going to ask for some extra charge. We bought around twenty orders of halo-halo (worth P65 each) that were all tasteless (it was probably due to that huge ice shavings) and they were asking us for an extra charge for what like two spoonfuls of milk?
I hope that through this blog post, Chowking will soon wake up and stop the taint in their brand name. It is really disappointing for customers like us. I used to like Chowking for a good number of reasons, but if they will continue to serve halo-halo as sloppy as the way they do now, then chances are, customers like us will no longer visit their store.
I remember celebrity Gerald Anderson once had this TV commercial about Chowking’s halo-halo where he claimed it’s the best and no.1 halo-halo in the country.  I’d say, liars…Where’s the truth in advertising? We all learned our lesson well. Next time we crave for halo-halo, we better head off somewhere. Even our neighbor, Mang Bobby’s halo-halo tasted a whole lot better than the ones served at Chowking’s.  The best part? It is cheaper for only P15 per order.