Thursday, August 8, 2013

Friuli Trattoria -- for the nth time

Summary: Affordable Italian comfort food. Bring your friends or a non-maarte date.

If there's a restaurant I'd never tire of visiting, it's Friuli. If you're special in my life, chances are, I've eaten with Friuli with you (if I haven't, let's set a date soon).

Friuli is located in the humble street of Maginhawa, QC -- the popular home of many other culinary delights perfect for UP Diliman's stereotypical artsy-hippie-laidback counterculture.  Friuli serves funky and affordable Italian food. Funky because I love the sound of funky, never mind that it doesn't seem to say anything.  And affordable, because it's affordable compared to the there-goes-my-budget-this-week prices of other Italian restaurants you'd find in the posher areas of Manila. It's the perfect place to hang out with friends or to go on a casual date -- you know that type of date where you don't have to care about impressing each other.  Let the food impress you.

Pizza Margherita 

"Simply a combination of garlic and herbs, smothered with two layers of of mozzarella topped with fresh tomatoes."

A favorite. So much so that I don't seem to crave ordering any other pizza flavor. Crust is thin and crispy, and I love the healthy combination of tomatoes, herbs, and garlic.

Friuli Pizza Margherita
Pizza Margherita - P180
Angel Hair Puttanesca

Olives -- check. Italian sauce with fresh tomatoes (not sweet Pinoy style) -- check. This pasta dish is simple yet tasty. I think you can request for normal spaghetti noodles for this recipe, but I personally love the texture of the thinner Angel Hair pasta.

 Puttanesca - P130
After Eight Gelato Cake

If you love dark chocolate and mint, don't miss out on this. Melts pretty fast, but you'd want to eat it pretty fast, anyway. See, the cake in my picture is melting already!

After Eight - P85
Nero Tartufo 

Since I love dark chocolate, the Nero Tartufo has to be part of the mainstay desserts. The Nero is a ball of thick dark chocolate dusted with cocoa powder. You'll either be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised with the cherry center. This dessert is still worth ordering even if you don't like cherries (I don't).  You can easily weed out the small cherry and give it to your friend. If you're not a fan of dark chocolate, you can get it's white version, the Bianco Tartufo.

Nero Tartufo - P100

Aside from pasta, pizza, and gelato; Friuli also serves tea, soup, and appetizers. I suggest getting a reservation beforehand since the place tends to get full, especially on weekend nights.  Also, don't expect clean tablecloths and a quiet ambiance all the time. If you want a quiet meal and a sure parking space, I suggest going here for lunch or for an early afternoon snack. Or you can always have your meal to-go and eat your pizza and pasta in the comforts of your own home.

I've visited Friuli many times. But since it's my friend's Leo's birthday today, and all my Friuli pictures are from Leo, and eating is all about relationships; here are some of my eating-at-Friuli-with-a-friend-named-Leo pictures:

Friuli Trattoria is located at 79-A Maginhawa St., UP Village, Quezon City. It's open from 10am to 2am daily. For reservations, call (02) 434 1416.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Famous Belgian Waffles - Blueberries and Cream Cheese

There's always room for dessert. It just so happened that my dessert could also pass for breakfast.

Klaris and I didn't have to travel far from work to satisfy my sweet craving. If you can believe it, Star Mall in Shaw Blvd. is home to a newly-opened Famous Belgian Waffles food kiosk. Just a trivia, what is known as  a Belgian waffle in North America is actually called a  Brussels waffle in Belgium. The Belgian waffle is supposed to be larger and crisper than the "original waffle" -- the Liege waffle, which has an impressive 600-year history. The Belgian waffle also has deeper honeycomb pockets and is usually topped with confectioner's sugar, chocolate, whipped cream and/or fruits.

Famous Belgian Waffles adds a bit of a twist to your usual Belgian waffle by folding it into an easy-to-eat "waffle sandwich". So, is this self-advertised "latest craze in town" worth it?

My favorite fillings and toppings for donuts, cakes, and bagels would be blueberries and cream cheese, so choosing a flavor was an easy decision for me.

Famous Belgian Waffles are freshly-baked as advertised. The waffle itself is crispy outside and soft inside.  And well, who can go wrong with a combination of blueberries and cream cheese? My only complaint is that I wanted more blueberries and cheese inside my waffle.

All in all, Famous Belgian waffles makes for a great snack, breakfast, or heavy dessert for 55 pesos. Other items on the menu would only cost you 30-45 pesos. Not bad huh?

If you're not a blueberry/cream cheese fan, you can also choose from other flavors: Plain, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Strawberry, Cream Cheese, Blueberry, Hazelnut, Ham and Cheddar, Banana Peanut Butter, Banana Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana Hazelnut, Ham and Cream Cheese, and Strawberry Cream Cheese.

Famous Belgian Waffles is open for franchise. This branch is located at the 2nd floor, Star Mall, Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cafe Breton: Eden and Le Magnifique Crepes

Had a date at Cafe Breton with the best friend one late night. The Technohub branch is great for chilling out and having private conversations. After I wolfed down a Hungarian Sausage sub sandwich (yum!), we ordered the popular Cafe Breton crêpes.

For chocolate lovers, there's the Le Magnifique -- almonds, whipped cream, and creamy Nutella on a crêpe bed stuffed with bananas.

The best friend had it with a glass of Mango smoothie.

Here's a closer look at delectable goodness of this crêpe. It's making my mouth water just looking at it.

Just to balance the sweetness, I opted for a simpler fare.  This dessert is for those who like their sweets a little less sweet. Stewed apples hark back to the heavenly garden of its namesake. Eden is topped off by cinnamon, cream, and whipped cream.

Here's another look. I would have loved to drizzle this with chocolate. 

Cafe Breton crêpes are thick and filling.  Needless to say, we were both satisfied afterwards. Thanks for spending time with me best friend!

Cafe Breton is located at UP Ayala Land Technohub, Quezon City.  For reservations, call 02-355-6971.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bizu Patisserie: Oranges, Strawberries, and Love, Love, Love

If you have a sweet tooth, then don't pass up on Bizu.

best place for: quiet conversations with friends and special someones
budget: 300-1000+

I've always been a fan of chocolate and orange concoctions. Unfortunately, there's not much orange-choco goodness to go around when it comes to desserts.  Which is why I was so happy to taste this delectable Bizu creation.

The Amour cake is an orange Varlhona Mousse with a brownie base and creme brulee filling. The circumference is coated with thin white chocolate, which I don't care much for (not because it doesn't taste good, but because I'm not a white-choco person). The smooth gooey center is enough to make me love Bizu forever.

Amour, P335

If you'd rather have strawberries and cream rather than oranges and chocolates, then try the Strawberry Chiboust. This is a classic French-style cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries.  The cake itself is very light, while the strawberries are very sweet.  Unsurprisingly, the presentation drew a chorus of wows from us girls.

Strawberry Chiboust P295
The personal cakes may look small. But if you just came from a filling meal and just want to eat something sweet, they're enough to share with a friend.

Ren told me that the Roca cake and Tea Set (good for three people) were also to die for. They also have macarons in all the colors of the rainbow, plus other fruity/chocolate-y desserts such as these:

Wash the sweetness down with a pot of loose leaf tea (P185/pot) like we did.  I recommend the Chocolate-Mint tea, which is perfect if you just want to sink down on Bizu's soft purple cushions and relax with your mint-loving friends.

Greenarcher friends Renchan, Aichan, and Leochan with abbygabyfoodie

 Bizu Patisserie is located in Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati. For catering and reservations, call 02-757-2498.  Other branches are in Greenhills, St Luke's Global City, One Rockwell, and Lobby Cafe by Bizu.

*thanks to Leo Atobe for the photos :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sipping Coffee with the Enemy: also titled, the reluctant Starbucks fan

Those who have been eating with me the past months know that I indulge myself in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  I just love their fragrant hot teas -- the hints of fruits and leaves are wonderfully comforting. When it comes to coffee though, I love the strong flavors of Seattle's Best.

For the past months however, I have been sipping coffee with the enemy.

Admittedly, the Starbucks planner this year is just too elegant to resist.  Yes, it is a tad heavy, but just peek in those clean pages, and you'll be able to imagine all the wonderful dreamy plans you want to make this year.  I guess this is why most of my friends have been lusting over it to give to loved ones or to satiate their own personal desires.  Not to mention that these friends are Starbucks fans in the first place.

got the black one for my mom

So I waved the white flag and gave in. When your own mother is a Starbucks fan, then you know you have to give her the gorgeous planner as a Christmas present.

Deadline for Starbucks planners has been extended to January 20, 2013. So you can still drown yourself in coffee the next few days if you want to score a planner.  In case you're wondering how much a Starbucks Planner costs, here's an infographic from

This year, I discovered there were some Starbucks drinks I could live with.  Their cakes, pastries, and sandwiches I always had heart for, but their drinks were another matter.  I love my coffee strong and sweet and Starbucks never really fit the grade. So I tried their Christmas drinks and while the Dark Cherry Mocha was still too weak in my book, I was pleasantly surprised with their Toffee Nut Latte and Peppermint Mocha.  As an aside, permit me to say that Seattle's Best' Cookies and Mint Christmas drink packs a meaner minty-dark chocolatey punch better. But you know...all eyes should be on the pretty planner.

My Starbucks Picks (pretty extensive list for someone who calls herself a non-fan):

Peppermint Mocha (Christmas drink 2012)
Multi-Grain Bagel (served with jam, butter, and cream cheese)
Caffe Mocha
Very Berry Hibiscus
Roasted Chicken Pesto and Shiitake Mushroom on Flat Bread
Christmas Turkey and Chicken with Chuttney on Cranberry and Walnut Bread
Classic Chocolate Cake
Banoffee Pie

With all the Starbucks I downed and ate the past months, I have been feeling a bit of a traitor. But if you're sipping coffee and refreshments with friends, then it doesn't matter where you are, right?  After all, the coffee is only as good as the company.

Rekindle the Joy sticker sheet for the 2013 Starbucks planner

Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus - I'm a fan of this refreshing cooler

birthday drinks with Leo