Since it is summer again, and I’ve been enjoying the comfort of working overtime for the past few weeks, there’s no better way to kickstart my blog this year with a throwback beach vacation entry. And yes, the calling of the sea is always stronger than any storm. With the help of our travel & tours agency partner, Alt3rnate Route, the #Crewlaguas had its first visit to Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte. (Note: we have prepared a lot of annoying, funny hashtags for this trip, sorry in advance.)
The package tour we had with Alt3rnate Route was a 3-day tour but technically our stay at Calaguas was just overnight because of the long land travel. Our meet-up time with the other joiners was last June 10 at the SM Mall of Asia at around 9PM. An air-conditioned van was provided for us. It took us 8 hours before we finally arrived the Paracale Port at Camarines Norte where we took a 2-hour boat ride going to Calaguas Island.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog due to unexpected life circumstances, but now that I’m starting to put myself back together, I’m back on writing.
I’ve been planning to do this food review post for a long time already, and I’m not even having any second thoughts now on whether or not to push through with it because you guys deserve to know how awesome these two food establishments in the South are.
If you’re thinking of passing by the South (FYI: when I say South, I refer to the vicinities of Las Pinas, Paranaque & Alabang), I absolutely suggest that you go to these two heaven-sent establishments to make your trip worthwhile: The Smoking Joint and Outre Manila.
THE SMOKING JOINT
The newest southern style barbecue joint in the South has been making huge clouds of smoke since they opened early 2015. From its name itself, The Smoking Joint cooks their meat low and slow. They even open their store, or as their staff say it, they start spreading the rub at 4:20PM! Witty, I must say.
For steak lovers like me, visiting The Smoking Joint is a must because you can really taste how much they differ from other steak joints. They offer meats that are “simple, authentic, rustic, flavorful, juicy, tender with flavors adjusted for the Filipino palate.” Aside from their main attractions, their side orders are the bombs! Don’t even forget ordering their mac ‘n cheese (P100/order) to complete the experience.
To see the full menu of The Smoking Joint, click here.
Once you’ve had your main course, I’m pretty sure you’ve saved up some little space on your stomach for a good dessert. Well I got a place for you, and you’ll never regret on trying this dessert haven we have in BF Homes.
Outre Manila, which also opened early 2015, serves quality sangers and home-made liquid nitrogen gelatos. I personally love this place so much because it never fails to surprise me with new gelato flavors every time I come. Each cup of gelato is priced at P150, but this is totally worth it because two people can share in one order (unless you’re a selfish b*tch like me, then you can have all lol).
Salted caramel overload
Dulce de leche
It’s always a struggle for me to decide what to get whenever I go to Outre Manila and there are new flavors to choose from that’s why it’s a good thing that their management gives free taste to customers who are confused on what to get. Another great thing that I like about this place are their walls. I love the idea that they allow their customers to doodle on their walls using colorful markers. Perfect for children and kids at heart.
If you wish to enjoy more your meals on both establishments, I suggest that you visit them on weekdays. These are both jam-packed on weekends, especially on holidays.
Prepare P500/head if you plan on visiting The Smoking Joint and Outre Manila on the same day. But if you plan on splurging and trying out a lot on their menu, P500 wouldn’t be enough… trust me.
I recommend that you try my personal favorites! For The Smoking Joint, try out their briskets, mac ‘n cheese and dalandan shake. On the other hand, Outre Manila changes their gelato flavors once in a while. If you’re lucky, get their tiramisu gelato!
If you love taking photos of your food (like me!), prepare your smartphones because what you’re about to have are definitely Instagram-worthy. 🙂
SCHEDULE & CONTACT DETAILS:
THE SMOKING JOINT
Store hours: Weekdays – 4:20PM-11:00PM; Weekends – 12:00NN-12:00MN
Address: #308 Aguirre Ave., BF Homes, Paranaque City
As promised, GERDVENTURES Travel Blog will not only cover road adventures but it will also feature my love for food. I always make sure that everytime I go to a new city, I try their talk-of-the-town restaurants to see what the fuss is all about.
Tagaytay City has always been my favorite escape city in the Philippines. Aside from the fact that it is only a one-hour drive away from my place, the scenery there is so captivating, the cold breeze just sweeps my feet away and the food is so great. (Everybody must try their local bulalo! I will be posting a blog about this soon!)
I’ve been going to Tagaytay ever since I was a kid, but I was not able to really go around the city that much. So when I got myself a job, earned my own money, and had the ‘freedom’ to do what I want, I decided to go back to this place and try one of the most talked about restaurants in the city, Bag of Beans. I remember everytime we try to get a seat on this restaurant, we always fail to do so because of the long line of people who are also trying to get their chance to check out what Bag of Beans has to offer.
Bag of Beans is the ultimate one-stop restaurant in Tagaytay that specializes in gourmet and all-time favorite Filipino and international dishes. They also serve one of the best freshly-baked breads I ever tasted, homemade pies, and of course, I can not forget to mention their heaven sent freshly brewed coffee.
When I brought my family with me last summer here at Bag of Beans, the first thing that really caught my attention upon entering the restaurant is the interior design. It was so homey and pleasing to the eye.
There are different kinds of seats that welcome the hungry guests of Bag of Beans. For couples who wanted to have a romantic date, they have their gazebos covered with white sheets for privacy. This is usually decorated with Christmas lights to give a sweeter touch. On the garden area, series of wooden tables and chairs are placed for a casual coffee afternoon with friends. My personal favorite is their set-up for family lunches. It makes me feel like I’m home.
Like I said earlier, Bag of Beans offers a wide variety of food and drinks. We went there for a quick dessert stop, and I was not wrong with my decision. With the scorching heat during that time, they really quenched our thirst for a cold treat.
We definitely enjoyed our visit to Bag of Beans, and I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be the last, considering they also allow pets inside! (Plus points for dog lovers like me!)
If you are going on weekdays and/or holidays, make sure to do a table reservation. They are always full on the said dates.
Bring a camera! You’ll fall in love with the place, you’ll regret not capturing your visit.
Prepare at least Php1,500 for 2 persons. One meal is not enough for a person, you’ll keep on asking for more. (But don’t worry, their prices are reasonable.)
Visit their bakery when you visit Bag of Beans, they usually hold sales on their pastries but don’t forget to check the expiry date!
New & Traditional American
Seafood & Steakhouses
Take Out Service
SCHEDULE, MODES OF PAYMENT & CONTACT DETAILS:
Breakfast Buffet open from 6:30am – 11am
Price: P395+ per person
Brunch Buffet open from 11am – 3pm
Price: P495+ per person
Buffets are served every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
Children from ages 7-10 get a 50% discount.
Senior Citizens get a 20% discount upon presentation of Senior Citizen’s Card. Cash and Credit card payments are welcome.
To kickstart summer this year, me along with my De La Salle University (DLSU) friends decided to take a trip from Manila to Pampanga, a province in the Central Luzon region here in the Philippines. It usually takes two to three hours of land travel from Manila depending on the traffic situation (which is probably the worst here in MNL I should say).
Our main itinerary for this trip was to try one of the famous attractions in the said province, Sandbox. It is located at Alviera, Porac, Pampanga which features a full stretch of outdoor activities for all ages.
SandBox at Alviera is a unique getaway for families that redefines outdoor adventure and fun. It features a full stretch of exciting attractions that will surely make everyone appreciate the outdoors. Everyone in the family has something to do here from playground for the toddlers to Mini Golf for the grandparents! With a mountain range along the horizon and the surrounding wide plains, SandBox is definitely the place for family outdoor fun!
This year 2015 has opened a lot of opportunities for me to be able to explore the beauty of my home country, the Philippines.
I have decided to start a travel blog to keep track of all the places I’ve been to, and share my experience with everyone. I have always loved the idea of traveling and photography, and thankfully I am able to do both at the same time on my adventures.
This travel blog will be the outlet of my quick but sweet escapades here in the Philippines (and hopefully in other countries, soon!). It will be a compilation of personal stories of my experiences in visiting provinces, cultural sites, trying out signature dishes of the places I will be at, conversations with the locals, and other amazing detours that I will encounter along the way.
The photos that I will be using in this travel blog are mine unless credits were used to acknowledge the owner of said borrowed photos. With everything else said, enjoy the trip and take an adventure with me.