Thursday, February 9, 2017

Visayas Ave. sizzles with The Food Hive

 Food parks are the "in" thing these days in the foodie scene, aren't they? They're all over my Facebook feed as many of my young friends go to them with their group of friends and post enviable, drool-worthy pictures. Huge crowds are often seen in these parks, and people have reasons going: food choices are many, prices are reasonable, the ambiance is casual and fun and conducive to hanging out with friends. Most close down very late at night or even early in the morning, making these places food the perfect "gimmick" spots for the 
millennials and the yuppies.  
Happily, in Visayas Ave. where I go to work, there are now two food parks. Grub Hub opened in November 2016 while the other, called The Food Hive, started operating around middle of January 2017. My daughter, friends and I wasted no time and immediately tried the food offered at this newbie, and we were 
delighted at our discoveries. 
These were our orders and the stalls where we scored them: 

Bubble Wraps
Specialty: Egg waffles that can be had plain or with fillings

Chicken Bubble Wraps, P185. 
Yummy-looking and yummy for real, only, the fried chicken fillet was too salty. I removed the batter and it tasted a lot better. The bubble waffle was delicious, I could eat it on its own, 
with a dab of butter, perhaps.

Specialty: Bulgarian dishes

Kepapche, P169. 

These grilled minced and spiced meat formed into sausages called kepapche (or kebapche) are much like the Mediterranean kebab both in taste and appearance. The chef who prepared it was Bulgarian so maybe, that's how they call kebab? The meat was mildly spiced but still very flavorful and went nicely with a cup of rice. Kepapche, the chef said, was supposed to be served with potatoes but they still weren't done preparing them, I was apologetically told. No regrets, though, 
I was starving and needed rice!

Pappare Ristoranti
Specialty: Pasta-to-go

Reginette ala Pesto, P195. 
I loved this, it was delicious! The pesto sauce had a delicate balance of saltiness and basil flavor. I only wished there was a piece of garlic toast on the side. And it was fun eating pasta from an upside-down pyramid carton using chopsticks! You can eat while holding the cone if that's how you like it, but you could get and use a wooden mount for convenience. 

La Carnita
Specialty: Mexican food

Grilled Nachos ala Bomba - P195.
This is a huge order of nachos that can be shared by two to three people. This is not your ordinary nachos, however, as it is said to be the first ever grilled one ever made available in a foodie place. When an order is placed, melted cheese sauce, mozzarella and cheddar are pan-grilled together then poured over nacho chips, as you watch drooling. Hehe.. 

Crispy Taco - P90.
This one's really good and quite unlike most tacos I've had in other places. I can't figure out what exactly makes it taste different but it's obvious that La Carnita has its own distinct and stand-out recipe. The taco does not bank on a generous topping of cheese to be tasty, but on the spices themselves that give so much flavor to the meat. The meat, by the way, isn't ground but cut up into small chunks. Well, that's what "carnita" means in Mexico -- roasted or braised meat cut into small pieces. 

Soft Taco - P90.
Friend's order that I didn't bother to pay attention to because I was deep into my crunchy Taco. I guess she liked this one as I didn't hear any complaint.

Specialty: Iced tea and other drinks

Strawberry Tea, Grande - P95; Cucumber Basil w/ Lemon, tall - P75. 
Juicifi is the only stall inside Food Hive that exclusively offers refreshments. Their Cucumber Basil with Lemon Juice is very refreshing and not to mention, healthy! However, I wanted to have iced coffee on that particular visit but was told it wasn't available yet although it's in the menu. I hope I could have it already on my next visit.

In and around The Food Hive

Upper Level

View from the second level

The Food Hive is at #80 Visayas Ave., Diliman, QC

As I said, food parks are the trend nowadays and new ones open up every so often. But I see what sets The Food Hive apart from the others: the dishes are all of high and good quality. Why? Because the stalls are owned not by just any businessmen but by chefs, some of them already a household name being celebrities. There's Po Bo (short for Potato Bomb) that is owned by Chef Rosebud Benitez and serves potato dishes. There's also Wingfather that serves chicken wings in various flavors and owned by Chef Luigi Muhlach, the son of Janice de Belen and Aga Muhlach. Also, there's Blaze, which offers sisig, among others, that is owned by Chef Ed Bugia -- the man behind Pino and Pi Breakfast and Pies, among his other ventures. And the list goes on.
I hope to try the food offered by the other stalls soon. It's a good thing I could go to The Food Hive anytime I want during work days as our office is just a stone's throw away.

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