Saturday, October 18, 2014

QC Food Festival 2014

It was an overcast Saturday last October 11 and it drizzled every now and then but these didn't dampen the spirit of foodies from all over the metro who eagerly trooped to Maginhawa St. in Quezon City for the first ever Food Festival here. The event was part of the celebration of Quezon City's 75th founding anniversary this month. Indeed, what better place to hold a food fest than Maginhawa St. which stretch has metamorphosed from a quiet community into a food mecca over the years. Many of the residences opened up their garage or ground floor to serve food to the hungry, mostly students from the neighboring University of the Philippines. I've eaten twice in this area but it was only last Saturday that I got to walk the long stretch 
(it was so tiring!) and see the many restaurants there.

It was amazing how many foodie places you could see in one street offering all kinds of food like Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Persian, Italian and others. There are various Filipino restaurants, categorized according to regional or provincial cuisine. I saw two that specialize in dishes that trace their roots to Quezon Province, for instance - Cafe Quezon and Bowl & Brew - which got me so excited as I hail from this beautiful place in Southern Tagalog. If you're planning to go on a food trip to Maginhawa St., you'd go crazy 
trying to decide where to eat! There's just too many choices!

Anyway, I was invited to the QC Food Festival by one my friends and together with some others from media outfits, we gathered at Hillcrest Wellness Cafe, which for me is a very interesting place because one, it is owned by a Baptist pastor (I'm a born-again Christian and we consider Baptists and Methodists as siblings in the faith) and two, it offers healthy food which appeals to me because I am now trying my best to eat healthy, being recently diagnosed with diabetes (sigh..sigh). Anyway, food (and drinks!) was really good here at Hillcrest. I especially liked the Chicken Pesto Pasta and Herbed Chicken Sandwich plus the Banana Oat Smoothie. The pesto was oh-so-flavorful without overwhelming the taste buds. If you'd consider, it was really a  bit (just a wee-bit!) bland, allowing you to adjust the taste as they put small jars of salt, pepper and parmesan cheese on your table. I didn't have to add salt, though, because the taste was just right for me. It was in fact, perfect!. And it wasn't just the food that I liked at Hillcrest Wellness Cafe, even the ambiance was relaxing and cool, considering the subdued colors of the walls enlivened only by some hanged artworks. However, it could be a bit cramped when many customers are inside. Also, it could help if the service could be a little faster. Anyway, thanks much for our lunch/snacks. Mwaah!

Beef and tomato pasta
Chicken pesto pasta
Herbed chicken sandwich

Banana Oat smoothie

Mountain blend coffee

Iced tea (I failed to ask what made this green)

Bible verses and wise sayings dominate this part of the interior

After Hillcrest, we decided to check out Gayuma ni Maria but after a long and tiring walk, we didn't like that we were inside a jam-packed place and would have to wait to be seated so out we go and proceeded to The Sweet Spot where we had cakes for dessert - Chocolate, Red Velvet and Carrot. All these were lip-smackin' good. Not that I ate a whole slice, of course. I only ate one spoon of each cake.(sigh..sigh)  The place is pretty cool, too, perfect for
 friendly and romantic dates.

Carrot cake. Love, love, love!
Red Velvet Cake
Chocolate cake
Inside The Sweet Shop

As it was already dinnertime when we finished at The Sweet Spot, we headed to Jek's Ku--Bo where I had hoped and imagined to finish a steaming bowl of beef bulalo but alas, there was a looong line of customers and we were running out of patience so we walked and walked again, searching for another place to eat. After some time, we stopped by Pan de Manila for some of our favorite pandesal (for the next day's brekkie), and then ended up at the eatery at the end of the loong street - Rodic's. All restaurants were full of people and as Rodic's was the last one on that street, we had no choice but to wait for a table because even it was jam-packed! Not bad, though, because I had wanted to try Rodic's, too, which tapsilog is a byword among UP students. Finally, we got to try it ourselves. It was good and the serving was huge. In fact, my daughter (who, together with the bunso, I tagged along, I failed to mention) 
and I just shared an order. Diabetics can't eat a lot anymore, you see.. sigh..sigh

Pork barbecue and rice

Rodic's famous Tapsilog

Anyway, by the looks of it, the QC Food Festival was a huge success, with restaurants putting up tables out on the street and throngs of people ogling at and eating those delectable-looking food that I imagined to be yummy and filling as they were eye candies. The overall mood was very festive and indeed it was a lot of fun seeing all those peeps searching for new foodie places to try or going back for their favorites. I am so looking forward to the 2nd QC Food Festival in 2015. Cheers!         

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