Barney’s Burger Marikina

I’ll be very blunt on this one, I am not a fan of burgers. Of course I eat them, but given the choice between pasta or burger, I prefer the former. But for some unknown reason, my food compass kept pointing to Barney’s Burger one particular day.  Good thing it was an easy feat to bring my husband and kid since they are beef fanatics.


It’s a small joint that can seat about 7 groups. It’s easy to miss the signage, best if you look for a purple sign that says Alchemy(a nail salon) and to its left is the burger joint. We were a tad bit late for merienda and early for dinner so the place was empty except for us.



I was surprised at how affordable their burgers are. Price ranges from Php59-Php109 for a burger. You have a choice between Classic(1/4 pound) or Supreme (1/3 pound) and you can also add toppings. It’s more well-seasoned compared to Snack Shack’s, however, the downside is their burgers are not grilled, just pan-fried.





If you want fries with your burger, you can just add Php20 but I suggest you just pay Php40 for 1 whole order of fries since you only get a few strands of fries scattered to look generous if you just add Php20.

While we were dining, we observed that most of the people just order their food to go. It probably is a good idea as my family ended up smelling like cooking oil.

They also have Binggrae products for dessert to lose that greasy aftertaste.

There’s actually nothing special in their burgers but the place comes in handy if you want a quick bite that is filling and reasonably priced.

Barney’s Burger

21 Unit B Lilac Street Concepcion Dos, Marikina City

Mon – Sun
10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Call 212-1212 for delivery

Moshi Manju Korean Cake

Philippines has recently been swept by all things Korean. From Koreanovelas, K-pop to Binggrae ice cream products, Filipinos have embraced Korean culture with open arms. Another hit on the food scene is Moshi Manju.


Going to work, I always pass by Market Market and see the long queue in front of Moshi Manju. The sweet smell that comes from its stall sure is enticing. It’s freshly-made, hence the aroma.

After almost 3 years of being in the food scene, I’ve decided to give Moshi Manju a try.

I was surprised to see how much it costs, it’s very affordable. Only Php92 for 24 pcs, it’s a good pasalubong for the kids.

The sweet smell that permeates the second floor of Market Market does not mislead. It really is sweet. Sweet to the point that it made my tooth ache. This was just after 1 piece. Or maybe it’s because Dulce de Leche is not my cup of tea. I’ll try the Chocolate filling the next time and hope that I don’t get diabetes from it.

Moshi Manju

2nd floor Market Market

BGC, Taguig

Mall Hours

Casa Verde – UP Town Center

February is not just the love month for our family. It is also the birth month of my second mom, my mother-in-law. And a birthday celebration isn’t complete without dining out.

My husband’s family has never been to UP Town Center and we have been hearing good reviews about the restaurants there, particularly Casa Verde. On my Recovery Food blog entry, I mentioned that the wait time is looooooong for Casa Verde and that it’s near impossible to be seated immediately. Lady luck was on our side that day, we did not wait for more than 10 minutes. Yipee!

Once seated, we did not order our main meals right away as we were still waiting for one family member to arrive. My father-in-law decided to order fries for appetizers. We already downed 4 orders of fries and my cousin-in-law still hasn’t arrived. I can already feel the stares and the smirks of the food servers. Call me paranoid, but when all you ask for is water and fries (for a good reason, of course) and  you can see the servers look at each other and smile, you know very well what’s going on inside their loaves.

While passing time, we scanned the other tables, looking for something that would whet our appetite. One table, with 4 teenage boys, ordered the Mighty Ton. If you are not familiar with it, Mighty Ton is a big-ass burger. It’s a 12-inch burger with 1 kilo beef patty, lots of bacon, oozing with cheese, topped with lettuce, onion, mushroom and tomatoes. And don’t forget the fries. I was rooting for the boys to finish it, sadly, they were not up for the challenge that day and asked the leftover burger to be bagged.

On the other table was a giddy little girl, posing beside her Milky Way. How big is the Milky Way in Casa Verde? Let’s just say the glass is longer than a three year old’s torso.

Safe to say, the servings here are out of this world.

After a few more scanning, and lots of fries, my cousin-in-law arrived. She was carrying with her a cake and a bouquet of flowers as a gift for my mother-in-law. Casa Verde has a corkage fee, I’m not surprised. But they were kind enough to keep the cake and the flowers out of sight so as not to occupy space on the table since the restaurant is cramped.

Finally, we got to order.

I had The Dax which, according to their menu, is a combination of USDA eye fillet steak topped with brown sauce and onions, paired with tavern shrimps with tartar sauce. Served with rice and veggies.I highly recommend THE DAX. When you order a steak, they would ask you how you want your steak done, which should be automatic in any reputable restaurant but is not always the case. I requested for medium rare and it was perfect. The beef was tender and not overly-seasoned to the point that you cannot make out the basic taste of beef.

Husband ordered Brian’s Ribs which is the bestseller in Casa Verde. It’s baked pork ribs with a sweet, tangy piquet sauce served with rice, corn & carrots. Whoever Brian is, his ribs were too sweet for my liking, though I would still give it a score of 3.5 since it’s very tender and the serving is humongous.

And our not-so-little boy got himself Roasted Seasoned Chicken for dinner which is described as “Chicken quarter spiced with our secret seasoning, roasted and served with mashed potatoes and vegetable medley.The roast chicken is well-seasoned and juicy, perfect for kids who don’t to spend their energy on chewing.


Too bad we were not able to sample their desserts as we planned to indulge our sweet tooth in Cold Stone instead.

It has been more than a month and my husband is still raving over Casa Verde’s food. We would definitely be back and try the Mighty Ton and Milky Way with my brother with a big appetence for food in tow.

Casa Verde

UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave.

Diliman, Quezon City

Monday – Sunday

11:00 AM -10:00 PM

02 3644154

Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant in Laoag

When the family goes out of town, we make sure to dine in restaurants that best represent the local food. When I Googled for good places to eat in Laoag, I got Saramsam Cafe as the top choice. We had a struggle finding the restaurant. Google gave me a Rizal Street location. After using Google Maps with GPS, and help from the local policemen(who actually was about to apprehend us for “parking” on the street then figured out we were lost) , we were able to get to the right location. 10897006_10152524037542680_8730871177734588588_n Hidden in the middle of Balay de Blas Pension House and Manong Sam’s Pasarabo and Convenience Store is Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant. The entrance leads to to the modern room, probably the reception area of Balay de Blas. There is a small door to the right that leads to the restaurant proper. There is a huge difference of scenery when you step inside Saramsam. It’s as if you are transported back to the 1800s. And it actually feels like home, or maybe it’s just because we are a big group and we managed to occupy the whole second floor:) 10420197_10152524035712680_3568594781043163895_n 10940499_10152524035787680_7924015378534030980_n We were attended by 2 waiting staffs and I very much commend their professionalism. They were very quick on their feet and knowledgeable with the food. You can rely on their recommendations and would also tell you how to “properly” eat the food. Now, to the food. For starters, we ordered Saniata, which is spring roll filled with Dragon Fruit flowers. Sadly, it was gone way before I could pronounce its name correctly. 10955195_10152524037932680_6350813870748020647_n We also ordered all the pizza varieties that they have. Crowd favorite was the Poque-Poque Pizza. You can never go wrong with Poque-Poque and whoever thought of putting it on a pizza is a genius. 10363827_10152524038312680_7494124640012722653_n The Pinakbet Pizza came in as a surprise. We ordered it just for the heck of tasting it but, surprisingly, it was good. Add a few drops of Bagoong Isda to make it more like the viand. 10952865_10152524038617680_2475318247626293022_n The Dinardaraan Pizza was also a hit. I never liked eating Dinuguan and tried the Dinardaraan Pizza just for the sake of trying it. It was not too salty and does not have the metallic taste that I always imagine with Dinuguan. 10945584_10152524039272680_1875108710125159767_n What I thought would be a hit was the Longganisa Pizza, sadly I did not like it. I can still smell the “pig” while eating the longganisa. I am at loss for words on how to describe it, just imagine pork that has not been well-sauteed and still smells fleshy. 10341983_10152524039742680_1200078460367180292_n They say most of the dishes are good for 1 person, I beg to disagree. Their servings are heaping, specially with the pasta. I ordered the Saramsam Pasta which has tomatoes, bell peppers, mango, shrimp and cilantro. This is a pasta that not everyone would like. The flavor is quite simple so make sure you mix a few drops of bagoong and chili oil to add more flavor. Think of it as salsa with pasta. 10945605_10152524038682680_4349309287123067653_n I persuaded my son to order the ever so safe Chicken Pesto Pasta. Chicken chunks were big and aplenty. I don’t think they used pure Basil though. I tasted a bit of Oregano which gave it a kick. 10922726_10152524038807680_4726648298929345255_n The third pasta on our table was the Spicy Sardinas Linguine. It’s a dish with no pretentions. It’s an oil-based garlicky pasta, with diced tomatoes, cucumber and fresh red onions, topped with Spanish style sardines(my foodie brother swears it to be 555, but I wouldn’t know as I don’t eat 555 sardines). 10940581_10152524039277680_453830848220887512_n Of course, I would not be caught just eating my order. I had to try what my cousins are having so I went table-hopping:) Insarabasab is what greeted me on the other table. It’s grilled pork with onions which my mom prepares when she’s too lazy to cook. It’s nice to have an Ilocano mom, you know. 10947279_10152524037957680_7285259929493800557_n The next table had Bagnet and Poque-Poque. If you go to Ilocos, it’s a must that you eat Bagnet, highblood or not. Nothing compares to the golden, crunchy pork crackling of a skin that would leave you salivating for more. Add to that the KBL(Kamatis, Baggong and Lasona) in the middle and you have the perfect recipe for weight gain. Poque-Poque is an Ilocano dish made of mashed eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, onion and scrambled egg. 1901373_10152524038422680_537229972670023428_n 10955587_10152524038432680_7618195604973954562_n

People who know me well knows that for me, a meal is not complete without desserts. I prefer cakes and pastries, but in the absence of both, anything sweet or saccharine would do. And, of course, any respecting restaurant would not leave dessert out of their menu. And what interesting desserts Saramsam has.


Malunggay Sherbet was to die for. I was expecting bitterness from the Malunggay leaves which was oddly missing. It was creamy for sherbet standards but who am I to complain. The food server suggested I put calamansi on it but for me, it’s best enjoyed without the calamansi as it overpowered the malunggay taste.

10952094_10152524039692680_3292476650293228940_n Another frozen good they have is the Dragon Fruit ice cream. Dragon fruit’s flavor is delicate and light so expect the same with the ice cream. 10952131_10152524039982680_8864948607957608379_n For those who prefer a more “traditional” dessert, try Kalti (Ilocano fondue). Simply put, it’s a deconstucted banana/kamote cue. You are served with fried saba and camote bits and you are supposed to dip it in a muscovado syrup. The syrup also has rice flour balls(Carioca) in it. Price is reasonable, place is fantastic, service is superb. We experienced first-hand the raves we saw on the Internet. Thanks to Google for suggesting this quaint place in Laoag.

Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant

F. R. Castro Avenue 2900 Laoag City

Phone: +63 77 771 5825

Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm (resto) 9:30 pm – 2:00 am (bar)

Recovery Food UP Town Center

Time not only changes people, it also changes places. UP Town Center has been a big change from the old UP Integrated School. You cannot even see traces of the old high school building anymore. What was once a school has been transformed into a big dining space with many restaurants to choose from. We wanted to try Casa Verde to see what the hype is all about, but we were #13 on the waiting list, and knowing that we can’t wait that long, we opted to try Recovery Food. Good pun as I was with friends who are trying to “recover” from some of their life’s experiences.

Foodies claim that Recovery Food  serves perfect hangover foods, types of food you usually crave for after a good night’s drink.  Most of their entrees can be considered breakfast food as well.  Think of it as Kanto Freestyle Breakfast, the pricier version. But don’t be misled by my last statement, price is affordable, the most expensive food on the menu is only at Php 285.


I opted for their bestseller, Tapa de Morning. For meals ordered with egg, you have the option to have it scrambled or sunny-side up. Rice can be brown or white, your choice. And it also includes a serving of ensalada. Their tapa is deserving of the “bestseller” title. It really is good, the beef was very tender. It’s on the sweet side but has a hint of asim for those who like their beef tapa soaked in vinegar(like me). The egg was served fluffy and is not overcooked.

One of my friends ordered S.S.T (Spicy Sweet Tuyo). It was also on the sweet side. The saltiness is not overwhelming. He definitely enjoyed his meal, he even asked for an extra order of rice.

Unfortunately, I was not able to taste their Amadobo which my other friend ordered. It’s a slightly dry adobo, not much sarsa with it.

When ordering, I think the half serving is good enough for a normal eater; the Full Recovery would leave you gasping for air as it is very filling.


Please feel free to enlighten me with their other dishes on the comments section so I can try them next time.

Recovery Food

UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave. Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Open 24/7

For takeout/pick up orders, just call 0917-6293171.

Tiyo’s Cuisine by Chef and Brewer Marikina


We went to Tiyo’s on a Saturday night without a reservation. Parking could be a bit tricky since this is a residential area and their designated parking spaces are limited. The parking attendant was quick to secure a parking space for us in a privately owned parking space. Turns out, they rent their neighbors’ vacant lots when parking space becomes scarce.




Food attendants were very attentive and quick to act on requests. The place has a homey feel, it was just like going to a relative’s place and sharing a good Sunday dinner. They serve huge portions. One order is good for sharing if you’re not too hungry. We had their Salmon Sashimi, Nachos and Four Cheese pizza for appetizer and boy did that start my appetite! Every bit of those appetizers were to die for.

Salmon Sashimi that melts in your mouth

Salmon Sashimi that melts in your mouth




Four Cheese Pizza

For the main course we had Tenderloin Steak, Angus Tapa, Cordon Bleu and Fried Chicken.

The steak was cooked just right, with the right amount of rare in medium rare.

Very Tender Tenderloin

Very Tender Tenderloin

Cordon Bleu would have been the bomb if paired with mashed potato or plain rice, but since they served it with fried rice(I did not see it stating it’s fried rice), the fried rice overpowered the tender taste of chicken.

Cordon Bleu

Cordon Bleu

The Fried Chicken was bland, though. Even my kid who likes eating pasta without the sauce says it did not have any taste at all.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

Grilled Squid would remind you of the seaside. The grill marks are enough to make you salivate. And it’s not rubbery! Plus the sauce goes well with the slight bitterness natural to grilled food.

Grilled Squid

Grilled Squid

The Angus tapa was too sweet for our liking, it should have been called Angus tocino instead.

Angus Tapa

Angus Tapa

To sum it all, some items were reasonably priced as they are worth a bang for your buck, others are just plain meh. You might want to stick to the best sellers to be safe specially that it’s a little bit pricey compared to other restos in Marikina.

Tiyo’s Cuisine by Chef and Brewer

29 Almond Nut St. Marikina East Subd.

San Roque, Marikina City




Bag of Beans Tagaytay

When I do my food-tripping, I usually scout for nearby restaurants first. This is my first time to go out of the metro just to eat. Since this was a special day as it’s my sister-in-law’s birthday, I’m much obliged to travel.


Bag of Beans is one of the must-try restaurants in Tagaytay. They are famous for their freshly-baked breads and their brewed coffee. They have a la carte meals but being the gluttons that we are, we chose to try their buffet instead. Breakfast buffet starts at 6:30AM-11:00AM for just Php495/head, Brunch buffet is served from 11:00AM-3:00PM for just Php595/head. We arrived there around 10:30 AM so we just took some photos while waiting for lunch to start.

I must say, the place is beautiful. Together with the calm, cool breeze of Tagaytay, it’s a perfect place for a weekend getaway. It’s very rustic and shabby chic which makes it very homey. The place has a huge seating capacity; however, expect to wait before being seated as crowds come here in droves.


The brunch buffet started at 11:00 AM as expected. You need to go to the main hall, which is enclosed, where the buffet is set up. If you want a more relaxed vibe, better to sit outside the main hall, but if you want easy access to the food, you know where to sit.



In all honesty, I was a bit disappointed with their food. I was expecting too much. For Php595/head, the selection was not enough for me. As they say, you won’t be heartbroken if you do not set your expectations high. For brunch, what was on the table (as far as I can remember) was:

Plain Rice/Garlic Rice/Chicken Tinola/Chicken Adobo/Beef Tapa/Mashed Potato/ Daing na Bangus/ Menudo/Fish Fillet with Tartar Sauce/Creamy Fish in White Wine/ Longganisa/Hotdog/Buttered Vegetables/Salted Egg/Chicken Curry/Beef w/ Mushroom/Kare-kare/Sauteed Mushroom with Garlic/Spaghetti /Carbonara/ Lechon/ Grilled Chicken/Garden Salad/Mangga’t Bagoong/Ensalada/assortment of breads with Strawberry Jam/Nutella/Peanut Butter/ Waffle/Crepe/Rice Puddings/Cakes/Desserts in shot glasses/assorted fresh fruits/Brewed Coffee/Hot Chocolate/Iced Tea/Lemon-infused water/Cucumber Lemonade

DESSERT- the most important part of a meal

DESSERT- the most important part of a meal

My sister-in-law, who suggested the place, swears that the breakfast buffet is far better than the brunch food that we had. I would still go back here if I was in the area. Maybe, just maybe, the a la carte meals that they serve are more prepared with love. They won’t have many good reviews if they can’t back it up, right?

Bag of Beans Tagaytay

General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay City(main)


Aguinaldo Highway near Tagaytay Rotonda, Tagaytay City(with Taal Lake view)

(046) 413-4356

6:00 AM-9:00 PM

Monday – Sunday