Monday, August 30, 2010

burp: create your own burgers at BRGR: the burger project

since we had been spending a lot of time at the farm (my friend adrian's garden, which we have turned into a mini farm), we thought we'd mix things up and go someplace else for dinner.

so last saturday, we went with adrian's suggestion to bring our monstrous appetites over to BRGR: the burger project in quezon city. i had no idea what was in store for us; the mere mention of the word burger compelled me to say yes.

BRGR is a small and bright burger joint along maginhawa street in teacher's village. the decor was playful, and the interiors kept simple. we walked up to the counter and were each given our own clipboards and marker. attached to the clipboard was an order form, where you can check the ingredients that you want on your burger.
the idea of making my own burger filled me with both thrill and dread--i mean, sure, it's exciting that i could put whatever i want on my burger, but when faced with the choices that BRGR has, it was actually a difficult thing to do, especially when you're hungry.

my order form ended up being the messiest, with a lot of corrections and crossed-out ingredients. i was so befuddled that i actually submitted my form without a choice of patty (you can have up to three 100% beef patties, or a tofu patty). i was initially lured by the idea of a delicious blue cheese burger, but that flew out the window the minute i saw "egg" as one of the choices.

my burger project at BRGR.

in the end, i opted for a single 100% beef patty with a fried egg, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, onions, lettuce, and tomato on a potato bun. i ordered a side of potato fries and a glass of their vanilla milkshake. these extras caused my bill to reach Php400. pricey, yes, but if you loved your meal, price is nothing.

a word of caution: it's very easy to get carried away with your BRGR creations. choosing a lot of ingredients can drive your bill up, so keep a drop of practicality if you don't want to part with your cash (but where's the fun in that?). the average cost of a BRGR is about Php 280, if you skip the milkshake (Php145) and keep your ingredients to a minimum.

taste-wise, though, i only have one thing to complain about: the sauteed mushrooms came out tough when i bit on them, but they were still very tasty. other than that, though, my burger rocked. it took me a long time to finish it (it was very, very heavy), but the price and time were all worth it. the milkshake did NOT help matters any, but i wouldn't have missed that drink for the world.

we left BRGR with all of us clutching our tummies and breathing heavily after the battle that we just subjected our bodies to, but we all had big smiles on our faces.

so next time you're feeling hungry AND creative, head on over to BRGR: the burger project, and whip yourself up a burger that you can be proud of.

view more photos of our food trip at BRGR: the burger project.

restaurant information
BRGR: the burger project
122 maginhawa street
teacher's village, quezon city
mobile number: (0915) 520-2266
business hours: 11am - 11pm daily

Monday, August 23, 2010

planetzips and brigada finale at b-side

despite the rain, brigada's 5th anniversary celebration at b-side was a success! :)

here's one of my favorite performances of the night,
featuring one of my good friends, des uy, dancing to brigada's beats:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

intramuros with our mabuhay guide

our friend, bryan ocampo, is part of the mabuhay guides, a group of pinoys who have been trained intensively in the art of tour guiding in the philippines. he offered to take us on a free tour of intramuros last saturday, and what ensued was a fun and interesting morning filled with rizal trivia and other philippine historical info.

our first stop for the day was fort santiago, and while i've been there a number of times, that day was my first time to enter the rizal shrine. it's a museum that houses plenty of rizal artifacts, including photographs, paintings of rizal, and even rizal's vertebra (strange, right?). my favorite area was the staircase, which doubled as a gallery of paintings of rizal as portrayed by different artists.

san agustin church was closed for lunch, so bry took us on a tour of casa manila first. no photography allowed, and i wouldn't have been able to take anyway, because bry was sharing plenty of interesting details, including the placement of the rooms, the little details in each room, how the room you're entertained in by the head of the house signifies his relationship with you. having a guide with you really changes the entire experience. the displays take on a lot more meaning.

jose rizal's business card

after casa manila, we had lunch at barbara's, and went back to san agustin. we entered the church, and learned about the architecture. bry then took us to the different exhibitions in the museum, pausing to expound on an artifact or two. it's funny, i've been to the san agustin crypt a number of times, but if bry (and susie) hadn't pointed it out to me, i would never have known that THE juan luna's remains are in that crypt.

now, i didn't tell you what i learned exactly, because that would be giving it away. :) if you want to learn what i learned, the best way to do so is to go on a tour yourself. so why not contact bryan ocampo to find out more about our history?

see more photos of our intramuros tour.

Friday, August 6, 2010

bacolod food trip for a day

we've done cebu before, so this time, we went for bacolod!

this plan was hatched years ago, when our friend adrian shared a dream he had of going to bacolod for the day just to have authentic chicken inasal. susie and i just laughed at him then, not realizing he was serious.

this year, we thought we'd make his dream come true. so, a couple of months back, we booked tickets to bacolod, taking the 6am flight, then going back on the last flight. on the day of the trip, adrian was obviously excited. he prepared by not eating any chicken dish a week or so before the trip.

upon landing, we went to chowking in front of the former city hall. we landed in bacolod too early, that chowking was one of the few places that was open on a sunday morning. it was our way of lining our stomachs for the chowfest that was to come.

come lunchtime, susie's brother took us to manukan country, where a row of inasal stalls can be found. aida's was the favored stall, and so we sat down and finally ordered the very thing that we came there for. of course, it didn't help that aida's had a poster inside the store saying "aida's chicken is now at makati square."

they have it in makati square?!

still, though, that didn't keep us down. bacolod will always have better-tasting chicken inasal than manila. i couldn't wait to have that tasty pecho, the "motor oil" mixed in with every spoonful of garlic rice i shovel into my mouth. lookit at our chicken inasal orders:

delicious chicken inasal at aida's in bacolod

there's really nothing like the taste of freshly cooked chicken inasal from bacolod's manukan country. to make up for the long trip he made, adrian devoured four sticks of inasal: pecho, native chicken, isol, and another pecho, or i think a leg. he found the native chicken very tasty, and still speaks of it to this day. he was so happy about his meal, and by the price of the chicken, that he paid for all of our orders. we really should exploit this generous gene of his more. :p

so, with that crossed off our list, we all felt like there wasn't really anything else we should do. until we got to calea, dessert-maker extraordinaire. unfortunately, we were all bushed from all the eating, so there are no pictures of calea goodness to be shared. i wouldn't have been able to do them justice, anyway. i think, though, that anything you order from calea is sure to hit the spot. and that's coming from someone who doesn't have a sweet tooth.

susie's brother and his wife took very good care of us--picking us up at the airport, taking us to places other than manukan country, and letting us snooze off when we were all wiped out after the heavy inasal lunch. before sending us off, they even fed us leftover lechon, which was absolutely delicious.

seriously, eating in bacolod is such a pleasure. you'll go back to manila a few pounds heavier, but you'll be a very happy fatty. for this very reason, i vow to come back, but for a longer period this time, to make sure that i sample every tiny bit of yumminess this city has to offer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

philippine airlines' great miles getaway

i just came back from the mabuhay miles center at pasay road, where i spent a good six hours in line just to book a ticket using my mother's mabuhay miles.

i found out about the great miles getaway promo of philippine airlines via email, and they told me that miles are now at 70% off! it came at the right time, since i needed to book susie and myself tickets to hong kong for the europe trip in october. airfare to european cities from hong kong are cheaper, so i decided to transit via hong kong this time. even with the taxes we paid for the redeemed tickets, it still out came out cheaper than buying tickets from manila to a european city.

booking and ticketing period for the promo is only from august 2 to 4, and travel is until december 7 only. i decided to go straight to the mabuhay miles center this morning so i can book and pay for the ticket already. when i got there at 830am, the line snaked from the second floor to the parking area of power realty building. the maintenance personnel of the building told us that people had started lining up at 5am. i expected a lot of people to be there for this promo, but i wasn't ready for THIS.

a few minutes later, i was finally ushered into the packed ticketing office on the second floor. i was given my transaction number: 5147. i looked at the screen to see what number was being accommodated then: 5023. niiiiice.

during the wait, i had made friends with rheean, who was also there to claim her tickets. she told me that she was able to book tickets over the phone, although she had to stay on the line for 8 hours. apparently, the promo started at midnight today, so she called the mabuhay miles hotline at 12, and was accommodated at 8am. it was an incredible feat, staying on the phone for 8 hours, but her tactic paid off: she was able to secure roundtrip tickets to hong kong for her and her baby, as well as osaka tickets for her and her friends.

while waiting, i asked my mom to try and book my dates over the phone. i was really lucky that she was able to get through and secure flights for the dates that i needed--i owe my mom a lot for this (since she also gave me her miles). at 230pm, my number was finally called, and my transaction went smoothly. at 3pm, i was able to have lunch.

it was one hell of an experience, but quite worth it, because I GOT MY TICKETS! i paid php 9806.00 for both susie and myself, which already includes travel tax. i'm hoping PAL comes up with a way to make their great miles getaway promo less of a hassle, but if this is how it goes next time, i've got a slew of tricks up my sleeve to make it worth my while.

this signals the start of the preparations for europe 2010. next up: visa application requirements.