Saturday, October 26, 2013

The ultimate food trip in the City of Smiles



A Sweet and Sumptous Masskara: 

The ultimate food trip in the City of Smiles

(Also printed in The Daily Guardian Iloilo newspaper 

Masskara Supplement 2013 - October 19-20, 2013 issue

Click here: 

http://thedailyguardian.net/index.php/life-style/35089-places-for-october-19-20-2013-j)



FOOD. One of the few things that you will most remember about a place. A certain dessert or dish will bring back memories of a place filled with laughter and celebrated with loved ones. And as this FatGoddess hails from the la dolce vita of the Sugarlandia, let me share with you the best of what Bacolod can offer for your Masskara trip.

CHICKEN INASAL is simply synonymous to BACOLOD CITY.  Visit my favorite chicken inasal resto in Bacolod which is the Chicken House North (or just about any Chicken House branches -- Mandalagan and Singcang). You are sure of the best chicken and good service for your every visit. You can even get accustomed to the personalized service from  "self-assigned" waiters. 

I would usually order: Pakpak (wings) or Paa (thigh), Atay (liver), Spare Ribs (which is just ooooh-awesome at less than 100 pesos) and X number (secret) of garlic rice. But when eating your chicken inasal, don't ever forget to mix your own 'sawsawan' (dip). First, squeeze 2 - 3 medium-sized calamansi, then put some 'sinamak' (spiced vinegar) and just enough soy sauce to color. This is just one of those things that is part of enjoying your chicken.

If you would like to try another experience for this love affair called chicken inasal, let's go to the aptly called inasalan strip MANOKAN COUNTRY. One of my favorite in this strip is AIDA's who have been grilling chicken for more than 30 years just like the other stalls here.

They offer  paa (thighs) or pecho (breast) or any part of the chicken that is -- tinae (intestines), atay (liver), batikolon (gizzard), pakpak (wings) and some that I cannot translate like bul-o (errrr...) and isol (my favorite, but just discover for yourself what this thing is). Don't worry, the last 2 parts are edible and yes, they are still parts of a chicken.

Every guest or friend from outside Bacolod would ask me how to make these heavenly barbequed gifts. I would tell them its marinating the chicken with just calamansi, vinegar, soy sauce, tanglad (lemongrass), rock salt and garlic. It is also about grilling them the right way.

Before I clip my PAKPAK and fly out to the next stop, here is another lovely addition to the meal: Aida's GARLIC RICE. Warning: it does not always add up to 1 cup only! Try it yourself. Very important: Don't forget to drizzle (fun word to use) your rice with "THE" CHICKEN OIL, it is chicken oil colored in achuete or annatto seeds.

I know you are all dying to visit these places, but take note that Bacolod Chicken House branches are open for lunch and dinner while Aida’s and Manokan joints are all open until the wee hours of the morning.

For all chicken inasalans in the City of Smiles, patience is a virtue. They don't half-cook like some of the "fast food" chains do out there. They cook the chicken well before serving. Don’t forget to wash your hands before eating!

We are not at all CHICKEN... INASAL in this city! Check out the other places to eat that is easy on your pocket but offer the sweet life that Bacolodnons and Negrenses enjoy every day. 
Red Velvet Cake from Bob's (Photo by FatGoddess)
Follow me on Instagram for more food porn @teyteysev

Cakes at Bob's
(Photo by FatGoddess)
Broas in a cake?? @ Bob's
(Photo by FatGoddess)

Bob’s – Bob’s Restaurant has been here since 1965 and generations of Bacolodnons have had tons of celebrations, family dinners and Sunday lunches through the years. The must-orders are their Sate Babe, burgers and Tenderloin Tips (personal favorite gulp!) with the most refreshing Bob’s own Fruit Punch. Cafe Bob’s in 21st Lacson and in the malls also carry their wide range of fresh bread and pastries.

One of my Blueberry Cheescake sessions at Calea
(Photo by FatGoddess)

Calea  - Although you will be overwhelmed by the wide selection of cakes inside this pastry shop, I think they make the one of the best Blueberry Cheesecake in the Philippines. Just one last bite and then you will crave for more.

Quan Native Delicacies – Where did you buy that? Sa ‘quan’ ah... One of the different words in Ilonggo that you can never give a direct translation in any other language but you can always use when you can’t pinpoint something out. Quan, a pun on the Ilonggo expression for a word that may refer to something or someone or someplace is used in this store for native delicacies and treats. From piayas to cheese rolls to chicken pies to cassava cakes, sapin-sapin, inday-inday, to the marriage of the exotic Dinuguan and the finest Manapla puto. Quan is simply the answer of all kakanins when someone texted UNLI KAKANIN to the sweet heavens.

Kitchen at the Organic Farmer’s Market – Found just behind the Provincial Capitol building, the organic farmers’ market is home to the different associations that support organic farming in the province of Negros Occidental. One of the main thrusts of the province is to provide for its own food and that food which is organically grown. The canteen is provided by these fresh and natural ingredients to produce dishes like Native Chicken with Monggo or even the organic fruits and veggies shake which is surprisingly filling at only PhP 40.00. You can also buy some fruits, seedlings, plants and herbs for your backyard garden at affordable prices.

Grilled Spiced Pork Belly with Mango Chutney
served with Wild Rice and Organic Salad
@ The Negros Museum's Museum Cafe
(Photo by FatGoddess)
Museum Cafe – Beside The Negros Museum is its Museum Cafe. You can dine inside with the paintings or al fresco under the trees and umbrellas. Run by Dutch chef and his Filipina wife, this unique cafe offers gourmet and artisan food that use locally available ingredients like Bago sea salt, fresh cow’s milk from the northern city of Sagay, organic pork from northern farms and fresh fish from Escalante. Ask for the Cafe Specials, which varies every week depending on the availability of the ingredients that are used.

Felicia’s – The Lacson family is one of the first families from Iloilo to live and do business here in Bacolod City. From heroes to streets, now the family shares their pili bars and the new generations’ French macaroons. Same as the other taga-Bacolod and Negrenses, they share their age-old recipes and family’s favorites with different desserts and dishes. Well no better way to find Felicia’s in 6th Street Lacson.

THE NAPOLEONES. Take a bite. @Roli's (Photo by FatGoddess)

Zoom in. Drool over a box of Napoleones. @ Roli's (Photo by FatGoddess)
Roli’s – Napoleones. It will change your life.
Chili Garlic Shrimps cooked the way you like it at Aleah's Tulahan
in the original PALA-PALA in Bacolod City. (Photo by FatGoddess)
Pala-Pala – A strip of carinderias situated within a good 300 meters aways from the Provincial Capitol  where you can ask them to cook fresh fish and seafood bought at the adjacent fish market. You can ask them to cook them in whatever way you want at very affordable prices.  Stretch your 1,000 pesos and see how many can eat and still be full (burp!).

KANSI. (Photo by FatGoddess)
Kansi – It is the Ilonggo-version bulalo or beef soup soured by the endemic Batwan, a sour fruit that only grows in Western Visayas. All beef, bones and marrow are boiled for more than 10 hours to soften and to almost melt into the distinctly soft sourness of the batwan. Famous for its kansi is Sharyn’s Kansi House or Eron’s found in the old Chinatown of Bacolod in the Shopping Commercial Complex.


1Lord Byron’s Baby Back Ribs – You will scream OH LORD when your mouth kisses these sweet baby back ribs in their own special sauces which come in sweet and spicy variants. Just beside the tennis courts of the homey neighborhood of HomeCite, you can find a shack of finger-lickin’, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.


Pendy’s – Where do I start? Several times  I have tried to explaining Pendy’s to some of our guests and cousins from all corners of the world and I have yet to succeed. Just order the burger steak and/or spaghetti and/or fresh lumpia or just order anything! You will never go wrong in this restaurant. If you are a visitor, you can also buy the yummy Lenguas de Gato or find a can of Dulce Gatas (OK not really a can but a container of this heavenly gift) in the pasalubong area. Pendy’s is just beside the ABS-CBN Bacolod complex and you won’t miss it.

21 Restaurant – In the 90s, this used to be a bar by night and a restaurant by day. For the past few years, they have concentrated solely in bringing to life Filipino food to a whole new level. One of my personal favorites here is the Lengua which is cooked for several hours and softened to bring out the taste of ox tongue. The sauce is perfect in consistency, every single time I eat them. Another one of my favorites is the Leche Flan. I am serious with my leche flans let me tell you, well for those I have eaten and will probably eat in the future. Soft leche flan and swimming in syrup. The top is not burnt. So it is just but perfect. Okay enough said. Just go to the corner of 21st Lacson Street and there you will find the lighted sign of 21.


These are a few of my favorite places in Bacolod and Negros Occidental. I know the ride can be swift and hungry but I hope you get a slice of MY sweet life this Masskara! Halong!

XL XL,
FatGoddess



Places to go during the Masskara:
-        Lacson Tourism Strip (Lacson Street)
-        Bacolod City Government Center (Circumferential Road)
-        Bacolod City Public Plaza (In front of the San Sebastian Cathedral)
-        Araneta Street for the Masskara Streetdancing
-        The Negros Showroom (ANP) (Lacson Street)
-        The Negros Museum (Beside Hall of Justice, Gatuslao Street)

Night life:
-        Art District
-        Lacson Tourism Strip

Side trips in Negros Occidental
1.     The Ruins in Talisay City (Tourist Spot)
2.     Cafe 1925 in Silay City (Food)
3.     El Ideal in Silay City (Food and Pasalubong)
4.     Old Houses of Silay City – Paris of the South (Tourist Spot)
5.     Balay Negrense in Silay City (Tourist Spot / Historical)

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