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Here’s part 2 of my recent 3-week trip to the Philippines. This post will focus on the good stuff – street food. I’ll also conclude with some photos I shot during my trip of things I saw and places we visited. Now let’s get to it!

* in case you forgot $1 us dollar = $40-$44 peso

** most every piece of street food ranged from $3 – $5 peso (unless noted)

 

Street Foods:

 

a bbq stand literally 25-yards from our home. they wouldn’t start setting up until sunset and would stay open for a few hours.

street food_3

betamax & isaw (grilled chicken blood & chicken intestines)

 bbq chicken feet (adidas) & longanisa (pork sausage) with a sauce of vinegar, chili peppers and cucumber

bbq chicken feet & longanisa (pork sausage) with a sauce of vinegar, chili peppers and cucumber

 l to r: fried chicken breast, breaded and fried quail eggs, chicken skin

l to r: fried chicken breast, breaded and fried quail eggs (quek quek), chicken skin

 pick your own: fish balls, hot dogs, fish cakes

self-served: fish balls, hot dogs, fish cakes

Cherry’s cousin specifically brought us to this stall in the ili. There’s a bunch of toothpicks that you use to pick up any and all the bite-sized food you want. There’s a couple of different dipping sauces you can use as well, ranging from sweet to spicy. This is basically a self serve food cart where you stand and eat as much as you want then the vendor totals you up at the end.

 taste the rainbow

tapioca heaven

various fruit drinks

various fruit drinks

 pandan drink

pandan drink aka “green drink”

Plastic bags are the norm when it comes to juices and sodas in the ili as well as the barangays. It’s a definitely a unique thing to try for the first time. I dig it!

 fresh buko and fresh buko meat

fresh buko and fresh buko meat

home made buko juice: so presh, so represhing!

home made buko juice: so presh, so represhing!

burger collage

makings of a burger

We visited the ili almost every other day and each time we were there, this particular burger stand was always busy. The inviting aroma of oil and meat on the grill didn’t hurt either. I made it a point to try one of these burgers before we left. Their special was a “buy one take one” for $25 peso. Despite my better judgement telling me to avoid a place that sells 2-burgers for under $0.50, I couldn’t help myself. Assuming the ground meat was beef, they weren’t bad. The mysterious pink sauce however, I could have done without. It tasted like what I imagine Willy Wonka’s version of “secret” sauce would be.  I deduced that the other two sauces were mayo and ketchup. These burgers also included a small square of cheese, lettuce and cucumber slices. The cucumber was a surprising ingredient as I’ve never had one in a burger, but thought it worked, providing a nice cool element to each bite. Overall not the worst thing I’ve ever had, but I can’t say I’d order this burger again.

deep fried isaw via balay bistro in urdaneta $100p

deep fried isaw from balay bistro in urdaneta $100p

 palutan of bbq pork, onions, tomatoes and sauce of vinegar, soy and sliced chili

pulutan of bbq pork, onions, tomatoes and sauce of vinegar, soy and sliced chili

Pulutan which roughly translates to finger food, is commonly eaten when socializing and drinking with friends and family  around a table.

  beachside grillin: milk fish, squid and eggplant

beachside grillin: milk fish, squid and eggplant

ice cream!

ice cream: pineapple, pandan, cheese

when you buy an ice cream cone, you get one flavor - all three!

  only one flavor offered – all three!

homemade lumpia

homemade lumpia

impalate aka biko

impalate aka biko

hey buddy!

hey buddy!

One of my foodie goals on this trip was to eat the most popular street food in the country, balut! If you don’t already know, balut is a developing duck embryo that is boiled then eaten from the shell. Once you get over the visual appearance that is often off-putting, it really tastes good. You get all of the flavors you’d expect from hard-boiled egg and then the subtlest flavor of poultry on the back end. I’d definitely eat it again.

My Conclusion:

This was a great trip filled with memorable experiences and awesome food. I hope these two posts provided a glimpse into one small part of the Filipino culture, leaving you hungry to discover more on your own! I’ll end this with some of my favorite captures during this trip…

antong falls

antong falls

A large group of us hiked a few miles through fields, river beads and up rocks to Antong Falls. We had a couple of near death experiences as we tried to traverse the boulders while wearing flip flops, but we eventually made it. It was worth it.

carabao

carabao

adenium

adenium

sunrise via pugudpud

sunrise via pugudpud

milky waters before the storm

milky waters before the storm

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This past weekend a group of us got together to celebrate our friend, Renee’s, birthday. Of course it wouldn’t be worth talking about if it didn’t include food! Here’s what our day looked like.

 

Serious Biscuit: Can’t go wrong with a biscuit brunch and you definitely can’t go wrong with Tom Douglas 😉 The Serious Pie & Biscuit location on Westlake Ave is a fairly large restaurant offering two levels of dining that also doubles as the Dahlia Workshop.

pulledpork_1

 special: pulled pork, slaw, fried egg $9

Cherry went with the special which featured a pulled pork and apple slaw (I believe?) topped with a fried egg. The pork was rich and flavorful and also carried an extremely subtle hint of sweetness. The slaw was fresh and bright and to top it off, the fried egg was the ideal touch. Not to be overlooked were the biscuits served here, which were perfectly baked. The outside was borderline crunchy and the insides were a soft and buttery delicious.  I’m regretting not ordering a few to-go! Poor me, I’ll guess I’ll just have to come back…

zach_1

the zach: fried chicken, black pepper tobasco gravy, bacon, egg $13

If you know me, then you know I obviously with went w/the “zach.” The bacon was thick cut and the chicken was cooked excellently. It had great bite despite being doused with gravy and the meat was very moist and tender. You can’t tell by the picture, but there is an egg under all that greatness that provided an additional layer of texture and flavor. I would have liked for the gravy to have provided a little more flavor and heat. Tobasco sauce definitely punches one in the face with its bright vinegary spice; so understandably, the gravy was toned down a little. But if you advertise “black pepper tobasco gravy,” I would think the heat would be present…no worries though, they offer a variety of hot sauces to quench your heat thirst.  

collardgreens_hamhock

crispy hamhock, collard greens with smoked onions $10

 eggdish_1

wood-fired skillet baked egg: applewood smoked bacon, roasted kale, crimini mushrooms $9

Our friends ordered the crispy hamhock and collard greens biscuit as well as the skillet baked eggs. I should have taken an “after” picture,  because judging by how clean their plates were, it’s safe to assume they were delicious!

 

Chihuly Garden and Glass:

chihuly_ceiling_2

 chihuly_star

group_4

rylie_chihuly 2

rylie is clearly uninterested

This is an awesome exhibit featuring the work of local artist, Dale Chihuly. I won’t regurgitate who he is and what he’s done… there’s google for that. But I will say his work is amazing and I would highly recommend this place as a, “must visit” stop in Seattle!    

 

Los Agaves:

 tacos

tacos: adobo chicken, al pastor, la lengua $2 each

After spending the afternoon visiting Chilhuly and wandering Pike Place, we decided to grab a quick bite before we headed home. Los Agaves is literally located in a little crevice between a seafood and dairy stand. At $2 a taco, what’s not to love?! I was pleasantly surprised by how good their beef tongue was. It was cooked perfectly – extremely tender and flavorful. I would highly recommend it for anyone able to look past the fact that they’re eating cow tongue. Ohh, and their “spicy” is exactly that. They poured some salsa verde atop each taco and as took my first, it was like the green light at the Indy 500 for my sinuses and the pores atop my head! With my taste buds burning, my eyes tearing, and my mind asking for more, I was very pleased… we all have a little sadist in us.

 

My Conclusion: I’m not ashamed to admit that despite being born and raised in Seattle, I still get very excited, eager and wide-eyed, each and every time I get to explore the city…  kind of like an a teenage boy going to a gentlemen’s club  for the first time.  

group_1

my peeps

 

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I wasn’t joking in my previous post when I said we came here twice in two days… this place is that good! For this visit, Cherry and I both tried the poke bowls which consist of 1/3 lb. of poke, one scoop of rice and a choice of side.

 

The Food:

shoyu poke (ahi, shoyu, green onion, onion), white rice, seaweed salad $9.50

Shoyu poke is a traditional style of poke in Hawaii. The simple ingredients do a wonderful job enhancing the natural and delicate flavors of the ahi. Da Poke Shack doesn’t lie when they promote their foods as, “Always fresh, never frozen.” The ahi was amazingly fresh and most likely brought in that very morning. Unfortunately the poke was too salty for my taste – some shoyu’s are saltier than others. I was still able to taste the freshness of the ahi, but it was tragically overshadowed by the shoyu sauce. The seaweed salad is of the typical variety you can find in most restaurants and grocery stores – bright flavors and very green!

 

pele’s kiss (ahi, spicy sauce, onion, green onion) white rice, seaweed salad $9.50

 Pele’s kiss was very good! The spicy sauce had creamy texture with great kick and reminded me like a spicy tuna roll (without the rice and nori.) The onions added a countering texture that balanced the ahi very well and provided a bright crunch. This was one of my favorite flavors offered at Da Poke Shack. For anyone unfamiliar with Hawaiian religion, Pele refers to the goddess of wind, fire, lightning and volcanoes… needless to say we were touched by a goddess 🙂

 

My Conclusion:

If my reviews and pictures of Da Poke Shack haven’t prompted you to book for the next flight to Kona, Hawaii then maybe these pictures will. I dabble in photography whenever I can 😉

 

kona side sunset

hibiscus in alii garden market, kona hi

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