Saturday, September 26, 2015

Satisfy sweet cravings at Dessert Caravan

It was a holiday yesterday as Muslim Filipinos marked Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice. But I, being a member of the media dishing out news everyday, still had to go to work. As I usually do on holidays, I tagged along my youngest child to the office and together, we discovered a new place to satisfy our sweet tooth - a cake shop called Dessert Caravan. It's on the second floor of Wilcon City on Visayas Ave. in Quezon City, quite near my place of work. On display were different kinds of cupcakes, mini cheesecakes and some muffins, 
plus a few slices of chocolate cake and tiramisu. 
Our orders:

Black Forest Cupcake, P50.
Mango Cheesecake, P65.
Blueberry Cheesecake, P65.
Brewed coffee, P75.
The cupcake at left is Apple and Banana with Dulce de Leche, P50.


Dessert Caravan at the 2nd floor of Wilcon City on Visayas Ave., QC

 I had the Mango Cheesecake and my son, the Blueberry Cheesecake. I was supposed to eat the Black Forest Cupcake, too; my taste buds wanted me to! But my mind got the better of me, firm that I should eat just one if I were to avoid an elevated blood sugar. The Mango Cheesecake was yummy! It was sweet, oh yes, but only a little. Curiously and interestingly, it was also a bit salty, thus all the more delicious! I tasted my son's Blueberry Cheesecake and I loved its smooth texture and subtle sweetness. To wash them down, I had a cup of brewed coffee and my son, hot chocolate (which I forgot to take a shot of). 
Before we were done, one of my friends at work texted me asking me to buy her three cupcakes so I decided to give her my Black Forest and ordered another Mango Cheesecake plus an Apple & Banana with Dulce de Leche cupcake. She took them home but I'm quite sure she loved them. I think you will, too! By the way, Dessert Caravan makes cakes upon order and they have beautiful designs and themes to choose from. But I must warn you, if you want to eat here, don't come hungry because all they serve are desserts and hot and cold drinks. In short, come only for dessert and have your meal beforehand. 
Don't expect a fancy setting, too, as the place is simple and quite small (just three tables!).
Well, happy eating, folks!

NOTE TODAY, Feb. 10, 2018:
Dessert Caravan at Wilcon City on Visayas Ave. has been permanently closed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good food, big servings at 8 Street Bites

Sunday as it was wont, was time to worship the Lord. I really prefer going to church on Saturdays as I want to reserve Sundays for household chores, but some errands would sometimes prompt me to go on a Sunday. Anyway, as we we needed to buy some things, my daughter and I went to SM Manila after worship service. In between shopping, we dropped by 8 Street Bites on the fourth level for something to fuel us up. It was my first time there, though I had been passing by this somewhat newbie (here in SM Manila and SM North Edsa) for some time. I was thrilled to see some pretty different things on the menu! 
And when our orders came, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
Servings were huge! We had:  

Street Bites Hamburger, P168.
Country Fried Chicken, P148.
French Fries, P28
Tiramisu, P68

Frostea, P48

Inside 8 Street Bites at SM City Manila

Another pleasant surprise when I took the first bites at our orders - everything was so good! 
I ordered the hamburger and my daughter, the fried chicken with milk gravy. The thick burger patty was perfectly spiced and grilled to perfection. There was coleslaw in it, slices of tomatoes, and crunchy onion rings on top. Yummy! I also raved about the fried chicken, which was delicious and not greasy even if it was battered, unlike those at some fast food chains. The milky gravy added some more goodness and enjoyment, making me want to take more bites. And there was a lot of chicken in an order that 
you'd be left fully satisfied and not wanting.
There was one thing that got me really disappointed, though - coffee was unavailable! Aaargh! It wasn't on the menu but it was written there at the counter, only it was not available at that time, I was told. I had to go down one level to get my coffee at McDonald's. Still, it was just a little trouble compared to enjoying the dessert to the hilt. Coffee and tiramisu was a perfectly lovely pair! I so loved the tiramisu at 8 Street Bites - just a bit sweet, thus, guilt-free. Meanwhile, my daughter's drink of choice was the Frostea, which, as I read somewhere, was much like the Slurpee at 7-11. And it came in a huge glass too! 
Well, I didn't find a thing to dislike at 8 Street Bites (except that there was no coffee!) and I urge you to try it, too, if you haven't. You'll thank me. Haha! Happy eating!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beyond Coffee adds excitement to U-Belt

Manila's University Belt is teeming with surprises these days - restaurants and cafes that offer such delightful food and drinks including various coffee concoctions. Last Saturday, my foodie discovery amazed me with such creative drinks that were eye candies and possibly a gift to the taste buds. I'm talking about Beyond Coffee on P. Paredes St, Sampaloc, Manila, near the corner with Espana Blvd. It is near both UST and FEU and opened just three months ago. My eldest daughter actually discovered it on Facebook. I looked it up and seeing those colorful drinks served in curvaceous glasses got me 
so interested and wanting to go! So there I was for lunch, together 
with my eldest and youngest kids. 
And we had:  

Herbed Pork Chop a la King, P155.
Fried Chicken Barbecue, P155. 
Pesto Carbonara, P155. 
Cheesecake frappe, P135.
Cappuccino, P85.
                                                                    Sola Iced Tea, P65 
Java Chips (This wasn't our order; I snapped at it at the counter)
Our lunch



The names of my kids' orders got me a little confused: Fried Chicken Barbecue and Pesto Carbonara. Obviously, Beyond Coffee wanted something new to offer, something far from the ordinary. And they succeeded, I must admit. I particularly liked the marriage of pesto and carbonara flavors in one pasta dish. It was meaty, too, with lots of cubed ham added with mushroom slices. 
This was delicious! 
I didn't really like the Fried Chicken Barbecue because I still want my chicken either fried or barbecued. My son, however, liked it so it's a plus point for this U-Belt cafe. My order was the Herbed Pork Chop which, I think, still had room for improvement. The taste was okay though a wee bit bland without the creamed sauce, but the slices  to me were too thin and the meat itself, dry. I would be a lot happier with thicker, juicy and tender porkchops. Well, the cappuccino saved the day for me 'coz it was good, only it was a little stronger that most cups of it I've had elsewhere. There's a lot of really fancy drinks here that I wanted to order and take a shot of but alas, I couldn't have a sweet drink for fear of my blood sugar shooting up. My son didn't want any of it, too, and preferred the Sola iced tea so it was just my daughter who ordered one of those yummy looking coffee drinks topped with a chocolate cookie and chocolate chips, which she loved. She cajoled me to try it, but with a stern warning to just have one sip because yes, it was a diabetic's nightmare-kind-of sweet!
And have you noticed how beautifully they serve the food and drinks using nice and one-of-a-kind plates and glasses? They make every serving "Instagrammable"!
Plus points, too, for the nice service and cozy ambiance. It was obvious that Beyond Coffee is a hit among students 'coz it was jam-packed with those uniform-wearing, backpack-carrying youths. I think, though, that their prices are a little too high, don't you think so too, considering that a slice of cake is P145-P155? A customer would well be shelling out at least P400. if he orders an entree, a fancy drink and a slice of cake for a single meal. For a student, that would be steep! Well, I guess some people don't really mind 'coz as I said, the place was packed when we were there. 
So grab some good company and enjoy the food and drinks at Beyond Coffee, guys. 
Happy eating! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Today's Word: Psalm 121:7

If you live in the big city, where crimes happen everyday, you know how it is to have fear walking alone on the street at night or riding a cab home from work. If you have children like I do, I'm sure you worry about them going home from school or work at night. But we don't always have to live in fear for our safety and even our very life, because we have a loving GOD and Father in heaven who is watching over us and keeping us and our children away from harm. 
When it's late and my teenage son or daughter is not home yet and I start to worry, I have to remind myself of GOD's promises like in Psalm 121:7. I then pray and leave my worries with the LORD. Afterward, I could rest assured that GOD is watching over my child 
and he or she will get home safely. 
Are you in a situation right now where you are fearful for the safety of your loved one or your own? Know that if you pray, the LORD will keep you and your family 
from harm and watch over your life. 
GOD bless you today. 

(Thank you, The 700 Club for this photo)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Scarsdale Artisanal Delights at SM San Lazaro

Last month, I discovered a foodie place that's not really new. Scarsdale Artisanal Delights, in fact, opened last year at SM San Lazaro. For some reasons, I just walked into it last August. However, I made up for the lost time and ate there three times in a month! I loved everything I've had so far at Scarsdale from the doughnuts to the sandwich to pasta and! And if you love Go Nuts Donuts like I do, you'll love Scarsdale's too, as the two are sister-restos. 
But as I've mentioned, there's more to Scarsdale than doughnuts. They have delicious pasta, soup, salads, and sandwiches that are unique as they're made not with buns, 
but with doughnuts, too! 
These are what my kids, friend and I have had so far at 
Scarsdale Artisanal Delights. 

Grilled Chicken & Fettuccine Pesto, P180.
Pulled Pork doughnut sandwich with fries, P150.

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwich, P150.

Panzerotti, P65.
Scarsdale Seasoned Fries, P40.

Maple Bacon Doughnut, P70.

Red Velvet Doughnut, P70.
                                                   Blueberry Cheesecake Doughnut, P75.

                                                                    Macha Freeze, P149.
Cappuccino, small, P89.

                                                                  Brewed Coffee, small, P59.
Mango Juice, P50.

At the counter: Left, Carlo's Favorite Croughnut; Right, Oreo Cheesecake Doughnut 


Scarsdale at SM San Lazaro
My little boy just loves the pesto pasta at Scarsdale. He had it on his two visits, though he always gave me the grilled chicken topping. I loved the toasted doughnut that came with the pasta, too. For dessert, my son loved the Red Velvet Doughnut, too, which had a creamy filling. On one visit, I gushed over the Maple Bacon Doughnut, which, to me, offered a new and unique doughnut experience as it's both sweet and savory. Perfect with a cup of brewed coffee or cappuccino! I also once had the Pulled Pork doughnut sandwich, which filling was adobo-like with its sweet-salty tang. An order of this comes with fries that is served on a coffee cup. I'd also ordered the Barbecue Panzerotti which is really empanada and it was delish as well. I liked that it was meaty on the inside and both flaky and a little crunchy on the outside. I was quite amazed, too, at its affordable price - five pieces at only P65! I just ate three and those were enough to make me feel full and satisfied. 
Meanwhile, my daughter went with me one time and she had the Blueberry Cheesecake Doughnut and Matcha Freeze, which both made her happy. A friend of mine, who was with me and my son during my first time at Scarsdale, had the Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich, 
which were both delicious, according to her, and indeed 
a perfect pair that was her lunch that day. 
Well, what's not to love at Scarsdale? I haven't found one and I definitely recommend that you try this place, folks. It has, by the way, a branch at Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong City, 
on the same building, I think, with S&R. 
Happy eating!