Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Maginhawa Food Festival

I've been meaning to do a food tour at Maginhawa St., Quezon City ever since I first heard of it.   My first UP Teacher's Village food tour was with some church friends, back when my 10 year-old daughter was to celebrate her 7th birthday.  Hubby and I decided to have lunch meeting with some of our party organizers at Gayuma ni Maria.

Years went by, still yearning to do a trip back there, which may be more like a field trip, cause we live far south from Q.C.   However, an invitation came for a food review at "the" Maginhawa St., finally and it was from Galli Village Cafe.

Furthermore, my itchy feet made a way for the family to travel to Malingap St., one of the streets adjoining Maginhawa to check out Chef Edward Bugia's  π Breakfast and Pie on its soft opening.

That was it!  Among the twenty or so number of cafe's and restaurant, and now foodies still counting, I have only been to three of them.

However, it took me years to finally give it a go, and what luck, I was able to lure two of my cousins to come with me.  

It was just so timing after, months of asking my cousins for this, it still took as quite some time to finally decide on the date.  It was so timely that Quezon City was having their 75th year anniversary and this was celebrated with an organized with Maginhawa St. Food Festival.

It was such an exciting time with them, we intended to try as many  food establishment as we can on a predetermined budget.  On that note, we literally scoured the whole field for what supposed to be a total food binge, so we started walking early, way before the ribbon-cutting program preceded.   

The whole two-kilometer or so stretch from Masaya Street all the way to V. Luna Extension, was closed to traffic, although motorcycles, tricycles, bikes and certain official cars were allowed in.   Food binging was just so proper since it was awfully hot walking from one end of Maginhawa to the very end of it.

As early as 9:00 a.m., people trickled in and food stalls were ready with their concessions.  

At first, it was hard for us to choose which resto to go in first, so we just stride along the road as I took photos of interesting establishments I'm coming back for.

Mandi Persian Grill
120 Maginhawa St. Teachers Village East Diliman, Quezon City
Tel Num: 799-9387

Jek's Ku-bo 
77 Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Diliman, Quezon City
 Tel Num.: (02) 434 – 7362. 

I've read that they serve the best Palabok, Puto Pandan and Dinuguan in town.

106 Maginhawa St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel. Num.:  435-4912, 245-2623

Lechon Pugon
164 Maginhawa St., Quezon City

This one I have to take note of, as Hubby and I are on a search for Chao Long, Puerto Princesa-style, because we can't forget about from Bona's Chaolong.

The three of us, Shiela, Steven and moi, decided to have a light breakfast first, so I led them to the compound where Van Gogh is Bipolar is.  Thus, our restaurant crawl began here.

The Blacksoup Cafe and Artspace

Tucked inside the compound, at the ground floor of Maginhawa Building, this cafe cum art gallery is known for nightly artistic gigs such as poetry reading, photo exhibits, story-telling and movie screenings.

The eclectic mix of art pieces and installation make this venue interesting yet it also have that homey ambiance.

Set menus and daily specials were written on blackboards.  The walls on the side of the open kitchen and bar have been concealed different wall papers and are ornated more with weird artworks such as this clock.

Old and collective posters, paintings and photos are on the other side of the wall.

I'm guessing you are thinking that I'm trying to get a good shot of my cuz here, noh?  Actually, I was trying to capture him and one of the owners of the cafe.  If you are like me, kid of the 80's, you might know who the guy on the background is.  Yes, it's Kuya Bodjie of the iconic kid show Batibot.

It was hot outside, so instead of having coffee, I opted to refresh myself with a cold glass of Lemongrass Tea (P 40).  Though it was too mild for me and it needed a little more of sugar or I would prefer honey.  I reckon it's an infusion of lemongrass leaves mixed in water.

Steven, Bembem as what we call him, had this Grilled Cheese Sandwich with chips for only P 50.  Nothing too special with this I think.  

The healthy me won and ordered a plateful of Blacksoup Greens and guess what, for a mere price of P100, for us to share.  This one is a winner!  A must to order along with the Blacksoup Pasta.  It's a tweak on Thai salad for the Filipino palate.  Look how these glorious iceberg lettuce were mixed with pomelo bits and cashews.  What made this Pinoy is the crunchy adobo flakes giving the saltiness and added texture to this refreshing dish.  The muscovado dressing gave another interesting take to this.

Grabbed from Steven's IG account
Shiela however wanted pasta, and made quite a good choice on Ala Victoria (P 160).   The creamy sauce base was flavored efficiently with Hungarian sausage and have extended with some peas, corn kernels and carrot bits.

You know, we finished everything in no time, but we made sure we still have plenty of rooms down there, after all we needed to hit the sunny street with just one umbrella.  

We wanted to try Van Gogh is Bipolar and found the owner moving in some of his displays, and we were told they were on vacation.   I silently said, "what on an event like this, you decided to just have a vacation?"  So we just had to somehow appreciate the art installation outside the garden, different kinds of shoes painted in white and hanged.

On to our next foodie adventure...

The Sweet Spot Cafe

After reaching the end of Maginhawa St, we found the 189 building, and gahh!!! it's a jem of a foodie building on its own.   What have you, probably all that is in my "to-visit checklist" is there, such as the Breakfast Table, Krazy Katsu, Via Antonella, the Wicked Kitchen and The Sweet Spot, plus more!  

The Sweet Spot is a coffee and pastry shop which features chic, industrial design elements.  I was instantly drawn to their gray painted concrete walls with cute hand-painted artistic finish all pertains to what they live up to - serving up for a sweeter gastronomic lifestyle.

The two photos above are from their second floor seating area.

The three of us were just glad to be inside cooling down with our cold coffee concoctions, coz outside was just hot, but brimming with all activities and people were starting to come in drones.

Though they have quite an impressive savory menu, we went straight to the counter and started started to choose our drinks.   

Here are unnamed frappes, forgive me for not being able to remember them, hopefully my cousins could give me hand on these.

The two ordered Blueberry Cheesecake and Classic Chocolate cake slices.  I liked the cheesecake better than the choco cake probably because I found every bite too sweet to partner with my mocha.  I don't want to end up coming home with a sore throat though, so we have to let go of them and leave the cafe without finishing them up.

Though we felt a bit bloated (or may just me) after an experience at the previous cafe, we couldn't resist exploring the whole building and yay, finally I found The Breakfast Table.   I love, love the interior design and concept of the restaurant, I don't mind eating breakfast food all day, lol, and wait till you see how they set up the table.

Don't you just love the whimsical take on the interior elements.  From the cozy, country feel with the distressed tables and chairs to the crafty cut-up jeans place mat and those cute blue mason jars made into flower vases.  I feel very much at home here, this is my kitchen style and I just felt so inspired, sadly, we still couldn't take yet another bite, so we decided to come later and scout the building first.

And you know what, now i know where to buy this chocolate and coffee flavored coconut jams.  We already had finished a big jar of my fave coffee coconut jams which I purchased at WOFEX

After seeing some businesses at the building we decided to go out and be in the happenings.  Along the street are stalls for food and non-food concessions and what's great was that Quezon city organized some stalls for games, with token prizes such as a scoop of ice cream, a shot at the photo booth and more.

While going back to Masaya St. we chanced upon this kitschy stall selling tacos.  For one I was ensnared by the scent of the crispy pata and seeing a good number of people ordering from them.  Upon closer view, I saw they were preparing unusual taco fillings.  The list includes Crispy Pata Tacos, Beer Battered Hito Tacos and Crispy Pata Kare-kare Tacos.  All served with Dirty French Fries, all reasonably priced.

Look how enticing their Crispy pata is.  Apparently they had to cook it traditionally as opposed to using an electric fryer, since the electricity that was supposed to be provided was still unavailable.

For the curiosity sake, I ended up ordering Beer-battered Hito Tacos.  I don't eat hito however, seeing people order this and munching on this, made me wanna try it.  So here it was!  The paper thin taco sheet with a huge slab of finely coated hito with beer-batter, fried into crisp, was laid on a bed of fresh lettuce and salsa, drizzled with garlicky melted cheese.  I have never tasted tacos this great.  It was a weird but genius kitchen invention.

I found the two hesitant to order, so I had it cut into three, it was so big for me after all, and since hubs isn't with me, I bought him Crispy Pata Tacos. And he loved me for that...hahaha.

The busy gang of Chabby's at work
I can't wait to try their other offerings but for now, they just intend to join bazaars and food fairs only.  To know more about where you can savor their Tacos, you can add them at Facebook : Chabby'sPH.

You see some good things need to end, I needed to be at home before 3 pm, since I need to attend to some errands with hubby, so we ended the day there...(sob).  Here is the thing, I will not wait for the next QC Food Fest to enjoy another Maginhawa round!  Who's with me?


I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, care for a comment?