Destiny, we believe (at this point, anyway), is the sum of one’s free choices after having been presented with infinite possibilities in life. In short, it is not predestined. It shifts and changes based on our choices. On the other hand, others say that as we go on through life, so many events would lead us to seriously question whether these events are mere coincidences. There is, indeed, a plan. If we choose to pursue this path, just for the sake of a lively long weekend discussion, we’d eventually end up narrating how we came to visit the Wooden Spoon restaurant. Continue reading The Wooden Spoon by Chef Sandy Daza
Fun. This is the main reason why we’ve always wanted to try Slappy Cakes since it opened in 2013. We’ve know from the start that it’s all about choice — choosing the pancake batter, choosing the toppings, choosing how big the pancake is, and choosing how cooked the pancake would be. Of course, it would been more fun if we’ve chosen to visit the very first Slappy Cakes store in the Philippines, the one found in Eastwood City. Still, as they say, good things come to those who wait. Continue reading The Slappy Cakes of Eastwood City
Good food requires no excessive promotion to capture the dining public’s attention. Good food speaks for itself. Satisfied customers, on the other hand, echo the message for their respective social networks to hear or, more properly, to taste. By word of mouth alone, without initially following what our noses tell us and without being hypnotized by some pretty ads, we get to follow the trail of whispers leading to good food, like the dish served at Shrimp Bucket Restaurant. Continue reading Shrimp Bucket Restaurant (UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City)
There are no accidents in life, it is said. This short and deceptively simple statement can very well suck us into a complicated debate on what it means. There are no accidents because a Higher Being guides man’s fate. Or there are no accidents because whatever happens, happens; it’s not an accident, but simply a fact. Perhaps our community members may be interested in further dissecting that short line, but for us, at least for this post, we’ll dwell on the fact that our trusted ran out of battery when we dropped by Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel in Quezon City. Continue reading Good Food at Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel
What’s in a name? Plenty. For one, a name could get someone bullied in grade school. And it’s interesting to note that apparently there’s a happy and positive correlation between a name and success. This is, of course, a matter ripe for debate. When it comes to food, the name of a restaurant has absolutely nothing to do with how it tastes (but the taste definitely has a happy and positive correlation with the restaurant’s success). Let’s take a look at a restaurant simply named BASIL. Continue reading A Restaurant Called Basil
There’s the story about how an ugly, slow caterpillar transforms into a beautiful, graceful butterfly. We know how the story goes. We know how the caterpillar eats its heart out in an eat-all-you-can vegetarian buffet, then “sleeps” inside “somewhere” (or “something”), while it is magically transformed into a butterfly. And if the process of this transformation is called metamorphosis, what’s the name of that “somewhere” where the metamorphosis happens? Continue reading Cocoon Boutique Hotel (Quezon City)
It’s inevitable that (almost) all of us have joined a club at one point of our earthly lives. Science club and all those clubs in school. Gym club as our hips grew bigger. Heartbroken club perhaps? But if there’s one club that could possibly count a huge number of members, that would be the Kanin Club. Continue reading Join and [Definitely] Enjoy the Kanin Club
Those who’ve grown up with the home-cooked meals, cooked with love by mom, would always take that meal as the standard by which to gauge any meal, even those cooked by chefs. Moms probably got the recipe, and the taste, from lola. And so we have lola’s cooking as the standard. So if you hear of a restaurant named Abuela’s (Spanish for “lola”), it’s easy to assume that the food must be good. Continue reading Abuela’s Coffeeshop (Cocoon Boutique Hotel)
There’s a new hangout in town, a night food market in the middle of the open space haven called UP-AyalaLand Technohub. It’s just across the street from the University of the Philippines Diliman, along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. The night food market, called Mezza Norte, is a splendid mix of tried and tested comfort food to the more sophisticated variants. Continue reading Mezza Norte Night Food Market (UP-AyalaLand Technohub, Quezon City)
That’s what the menu of the Boulevard Diner prominently states. Right under the name Boulevard Diner, revealing the three items that this joint is obviously proud of, are three words. Burgers. Wings. Spuds. Everyone knows what a burger is. Almost everyone knows that the term “wings” refers to chicken wings. Only a few know that “spuds” means potatoes, the most common of which is your french fries. Even fewer know about the Boulevard Diner.
We’re among those who have absolutely no idea what Boulevard Diner is. Until last weekend. Not until somebody told my companion, and until my companion told me, that there’s a great burger find at the Boulevard.
And, no, Boulevard is not a street. It’s not a road. Not a highway or an avenue. It’s not even a boulevard. Confused? Don’t be. Boulevard is a diner. And we heard there’s a good food find here.
Burger. The magic word. Our culinary noses are always on the hunt for great burgers. Big Better Burgers. Brothers Burger. The Burger Project. Charlie’s Burger. Wham!. Mushroomburger. Hotshots Burgers. Army Navy. We’ve figured many of these burgers. We can’t name them all and we’re still trying out other burgers.
This time around, our destination is 91 Xavierville Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. That’s the full address of Boulevard Diner.
We’ve passed through this stretch of road a number of times. We’ve noticed a number of establishments and the most memorable is not related to food. Xavierville is where the head office of T.A.P.E., the producer of the No. 1 Philippine noontime show Eat Bulaga!, is found. Xavierville intersects Esteban Abada Street and is near Katipunan Avenue, the home of Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College. At the far end of Katipunan is the University of the Philippines. No wonder that a lot of the guests at Boulevard Diner, we were told, are students.
Around 10 meters from the intersection of Xavierville and Esteban Abada is a sleepy establishment at the ground floor of a condominium building. We were on the prowl to find the Boulevard Diner. The big, bright yellow star first caught our attention, then the “Boulevard Diner” below the star. Bingo! Found it!
Also noticeable is the three-slot parking in front of the diner, which means that parking is probably a big concern, especially if you go here during peak hours. Vehicular traffic in Xavierville is not exactly light.
The place is quite. No other guests, which is good because this small diner would be really cramped even with around 15 people. The semestral break, with students staying home or going home to the province, allows us relative peace in enjoying the place. The place looks and feels sad, so it wouldn’t hurt if the place, by itself, is more perky.
The only staff on the floor, Jerome, immediately sprang into action the moment we came in. And even before he could give us the menu, we already have one word in mind — Gorgon-zola.
Gorgon-zola burger came highly recommended, the reason why we went out to search for Boulevard Diner. It appears to be a crowd favorite, as shown by its own star on the menu. This happy combination of beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion rings and, uhm, peanut butter (we forgot to ask if it has something to do with gorgonzola cheese), will forever define the image of Boulevard Diner in our minds. And stomach.
And to taste the other non-star items in the menu, we Mighty Mimic (lettuce, tomato, beef, cheese, bacon, gorgonzola dressing) and the Cajun Chix Burger (lettuce, tomato, cajun chicken thigh fillet, cheese). Throw in the chicken wings and the Freedom Fries to complete the food groups (we need to have poultry and more vegetables, you know).
And the verdict? The Gorgon-zola is, for its size, really good. It’s the smallest among the prime burgers that we’ve we’ve encountered. But don’t get fooled by the size (although, so it’s not “bitin,” can you guys make it a bigger?). This one has a seriously juicy, succulent beef between those sweet buns. The flavor is great. There’s a tinge of a strong beefy smell in the first bite, yes, bit the Gongon-zola tastes good. It’s a burger that we’d definitely go back for more.