Sunday, January 15, 2017

Visayas Ave. comes alive with Grub Hub

Visayas Ave. in Quezon City has practically been my second home as I have worked here for almost 13 years now. Though it's not exactly near our residence, I love this place and wouldn't want to trade it for any other in the metro. For one thing, because there's a lot of spaces planted with plants and trees here, pollution isn't much of a problem. I love going out of the office to take a walk after it rains to take in 
the fresh smell of wet grass! 
What's more, the whole stretch of the road is fast becoming an "eat street" with a lot of restaurants opening up in the past few months. Now, there are even two food parks to embark on a food trip in -- one opened last November while the other one is yet to start its operation as of this writing
On the first working day of 2017, my daughter and I went to the already open food park called Grub Hub at the corner of Visayas Ave. and Congressional Ave. This place is very impressive - well thought out, I could say because of its clean lay-out and orderliness. The colorful murals speak of the owners' artsiness and give vibrance to the park. I love, too that there are two mini bahay kubo or nipa huts that can seat four people each. I'm a rural person, that is why. I love anything that reminds me of my coastal hometown in Quezon province. This week, I went back there twice, with my youngest child the first time and with an office friend on the second, so I was able to try 
more offers from the other stalls. 
There is about a dozen food stalls at Grub Hub offering various cuisines like American (burgers, fries, waffles, etc.); Italian (pizza, pasta), Mediterranean (kebab, shawarma rice), Japanese (sushi, etc.) and Filipino (bagnet, inihaw na isaw, etc.) 
So far, these are what we've had:

California Rolls from Aji Sushi, P89. 

Taco Lumpia from Mrs. Lumpia, P159. 

Assorted "ihaw-ihaw" (barbecue) from Mang Larry's, P10. each

Tinapa Lumpia from Mrs. Lumpia, P129. 

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings from St. Mick's Wing Bar, P180.

Chicha Bagnet from Chica's Chicharronia, P165.

Beef Shawarma Rice from Mrs. Lumpia, P145.

                    Banana Caramel Waffle from Vinsky Big Tummiez, P120. 

                           Filled Churros from Vinsky Big Tummiez, P115.
                      Lust vanilla milkshake from Wicked Kitchen, P170.
                                                 Some of the stalls inside Grub Hub
                                      In and around the food park 
                                             Air-conditioned area                                         

                                                                 Open-air back area

             Grub Hub on Visayas Ave. corner Congressional Ave., Quezon City

We loved the Shawarma Rice from Mrs. Lumpia but forgive me for saying I thought the Tinapa Lumpia was a hoax because while it was indeed flaked fish that was inside the fried rolls, there wasn't any of the smokey flavor of "tinapa" (smoked fish). Maybe they ran out of it? In that case, they should just have said it was not available. Tinapa is one of my top favorite all-day breakfast fares and I was so looking forward to having it lumpia-style so it was disappointing to learn I got duped. 
Thankfully, my daughter loved the Shawarma rice, which I tasted and approved of. Days later, my son and I ordered the Taco Lumpia also from Mrs. Lumpia and we both loved it, having lots of meat and cheese toppings. We thought, however, that it was wrongly named. It should have been Nachos Lumpia or Lumpia Nachos because it was nachos using fried lumpia wrapper instead of corn chips.
Anyway, the fried chicken wings from St. Mick's Wing Bar lacked in oomph because there wasn't any crunch to it like it had been cooked for some time before it was served or it wasn't fried long enough, but at least the garlic parmesan flavor 
was present and it was good.
Mang Larry's is of course that popular ihaw-ihaw (barbecue) stall at UP Diliman and its patrons are surely happy to find it here, too, at Grub Hub. My daughter and I loved the "isaw" (chicken intestines) and "tenga" (pig's ear) bathed in lip-smacking, spiced vinegar. I saw fellow diners in the other tables having lots of these ihaw-ihaw with beer. Perfect match, I know, although I shun alcohol. 
My friend ordered the bagnet with rice and had churros for dessert. She said the bagnet was good with crackly skin. She wanted her churros with vanilla filling but it wasn't on the menu so she settled for chocolate and cheese. 
I had the Banana Caramel Waffle topped with a scoop of green tea-flavored ice cream and felt the sweet guilt afterwards. Tee-hee. The lovely milkshake adorned with a beautiful marshmallow crown and unicorn lollipop was my son's and he raved about it for being not too sweet but uber delicious!
I must admit that some of the food we've tried at Grub Hub aren't great but good enough to fill up. However, the place itself compensates for the lack in the taste department. There's good feel all around because there is art, nature (there's plants and trees although some are faux) and yes, nipa huts, which, for me, give the place a relaxing vibe. Overall, I consider Grub Hub a great food destination to bring family and friends over for a time to bond and catch up over a meal. 
Fortunately for me, I could be there any work day!

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