Posts Tagged ‘international’

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.





sunrise via pugudpud

sunrise via pugudpud

milky waters before the storm

milky waters before the storm


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Continuing on from my previous post…

After a food-coma inducing lunch, fast forward 5-hours where we meet up with our cousins and hit up the Summer Night Market (not to be confused with Richmond Night Market.) They are open in the summer months from May until September every Friday & Saturday from 7pm – 12am and on Sundays 7pm-11pm. Located in the industrial part of Richmond, right on the banks of the Fraser River is a foodie’s and bazaar lover’s paradise – literally countless booths of both food and goods. You could be eating a plate of BBQ squid while shopping for hand-knit beanies from Ecuador, cell phone covers, socks and jewelry, then turn around  and watch local musicians and performers showcase their talents on the main stage. One year they even had a “Reptile Man” with live snakes, lizards and other reptiles and amphibians on display!

entrance into a foodie’s playland

The Food:

 top wok

chow mein & assorted dim sum $6.50


Strictly on portion size to price, the chow mein plate at Top Work is the best deal in the market. You get a gigantic portion of freshly made chow mein and four pieces of fresh dim sum (2 shao mai & 2 xia jiao.) The chow mein is simple and fresh. From a flavor standpoint, nothing fancy just soy sauce and some veggies but the fact that you can see everything being prepared and cooked before you is very appealing. Their dim sum is also tasty and filling. The xia jiao or shrimp dumpling wrappers were perfect – translucent but thick enough to maintain integrity and not break upon picking up. Both the shao mai and xia jiao were flavorful and ample meat filling – much better than some restaurants that specialize in solely dim sum. There’s an option of having “non-spicy” or “spicy” sauce brushed atop before they serve you. I went with “spicy” but it lacked the heat I was looking for, hence the drizzling of Sriracha sauce.

the original hurricane fries

potato preppin’

parmesan garlic/white cheddar  1 for $3 or 2 for $5

 cherry gettin’ ready to chow down 

One of the more visually interesting and appealing things offered here. A hurricane fry is literally a whole potato that’s been skewered and then cranked through, for lack of a better word, spiral looper and then deep fried. You then get a choice of about 15 different flavors of which they dip the outside layer in. The result, a freshly made potato chip that was literally a whole potato five-minutes prior. These hurricane fries are thickly cut and fried perfectly – providing a crunch but also maintaining a soft middle. You can choose two different flavors for each potato, we happened to go with milder white cheddar &  bolder more savory parmesan garlic – which resulted in a delicious combination.

ef . tee

crispy pork belly crepe 1 for $4 or 3 for $10

When I think of a crepe, I think of a light and slightly sweetened batter that is evenly cooked and thin with various fillings wrapped inside. At ef.tee,  they took a different approach using a chinese pancake – slightly thicker and more savory. If you asked me, it looked more like a taco. The filling used was a combination of crispy pork belly, sautéed bean sprouts and a little hoisen sauce underneath. The pork belly was tender and moist while the skin had excellent crunch and provided a great bite. The combination of meat, bean sprouts, and hoisen sauce reminded me of mu shu – immediately being transported back to my my childhood when my grandmother would make it for family dinners. Despite some misleading wordings, the final critics are the taste buds, and these critics were thoroughly pleased.

dan dan’s smokehouse

firin’ it up!

 beef enoki 3 for $3 or 6 for $5

At Dan Dan’s Smokehouse, they were serving a variety of BBQ influenced comfort foods; pulled pork sandwhich, nachos, BBQ turkey legs and beef enoki? Aiming to try something unique and not commonly found, I went with the beef enoki. Enoki mushrooms wrapped in short ribs and grilled on a cast iron plate with a minor amount of BBQ sauce squirted on top as a finishing touch. The beef was cooked perfectly and had a little char on the outside that provided nice texture. The mushrooms were well cooked and provided an additional layer of texture with also a mild crunch. The BBQ was mild and highlighted the main ingredients nicely without overpowering everything. If you ask me, any time you see an Asian man sportin’ a Cowboy hat, you’ll never be disappointed!

happy lemon

“no sugar 100% natural”

 enjoying my lemonade while groovin’ with the band

One of the more overpriced stands at the market, but after an hour or two of walking around and stuffing your face, nothing satisfies like a big cup of ice cold lemonade. At Happy Lemon, they offer five different flavors, and they’re all equally satisfying (I’ve had the strawberry and limeade in the past). The passion fruit flavor, although present was heavily overshadowed by the extreme tartness and sourness from the lemon, which was as subtle as a gong going off during a Church Service. I personally enjoyed it – I love sour/tart candies. Cherry on the other hand, can’t hang so she deferred most of it to me 🙂 One thing I found misleading is how they advertise their lemonades as “sugar free 100% natural.” They must place the huge gallon pump jugs of artificial flavors in an exclusion list.

some bbq skewers: too full to try 😦

sea of hungry patrons

 more booths and more people

view of sunset on the banks of the fraser river

cherry sportin’ a rainbow robbery mask – handmade from ecuador!

My Conclusion:

Summer Night Market has been etched into our summer musts for the last three summers and rightfully so. The food is cheap, selection is vast and the scene is ever growing. Also, the waits for food were surprisingly short – even with the mobs of people bustling all over, each booth manages to get you in and out quickly. Must be that Asian work ethic, eh!? Despite pushing the physical limitations of our stomach to the brim, Cherry and I were unfortunately only able to sample a fraction of what is offered here. If you ever decide to partake in Summer Night Market, you need to bring two things; cash and your appetite!

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