Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tagaytay Food Trip

Tagaytay reamins to be one of the most visited cities in the Philippines mainly because one can relax and experience a microvacation without driving or going too far from Manila.  Aside from the cool climate and picturesque landscape, Tagaytay has been a favorite destiantion for foodies. Two weeks ago, we went up to Tagaytay to try out some of its awesome food. Here is a short guide for those planning to have a food adventure in Tagaytay:

1. Buon Giorno at Cliffhouse Tagaytay - Buon Giorno is an Italian restaurant located in Cliffhouse, Tagaytay. It offers a variety of Italian dishes and we get to try out the Spaghettini Aglio e Olio (Php 272) and the Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti (Php 302) which both tastes so good! They also serve their pasta with a free basket of garlic bread. Since Buon Giorno was our first stop in our food adventure, we only ordered pasta so that we wouldn't fill out our tummies too much - leaving room for our next destination.

Buon Giorno menu
Spaghettini Aglio e Olio and a free basket of garlic bread
Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti
How to get to Buon Giorno: Ride a jeep with the sign "NBI" and alight at Cliffhouse. Cliffhouse is along Aguinaldo Highway, after Leslie's Restuarant.

Address: Buon Giorno
General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
Phone:(046) 413 2102

2. Carlo's Pizza - located in an area called One Destination. Carlo's Pizza offers one of the best tasting pizza I have ever tried. We ordered the Messicana Pizza which is a combination of ground beef, tomato salsa, green pepper, jalapeƱo chilies, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. For the affordable price of Php 255 that is good for 2-4 persons, this pizza is easy on the wallet but makes your tummy happy.

Messicana Pizza
Good food at Carlo's Pizza and a good view - what more can you ask?
How to get to Carlo's Pizza: One Destination is just a few meters from Cliffhouse so you can also ride a jeep plying the "NBI" route and alight at One Destination.

Tip: Get a table outside for an amazing view of Taal Volcano.

3. Len's Kitchen at Mahogany - what is a trip to Tagaytay without trying out its famous bulalo? While there were a lot of restaurants throughout Tagaytay serving bulalo, we chose to go to Len's Kitchen at Mahogany since I read a lot of good reviews about this place. Len's Kitchen is located on a strip of carinderia-type eateries just opposite the Mahogany market so you can be sure that they use only the freshest meat in their bulalo soup. The bulalo is served piping hot, a perfect balance to the cool climate of Tagaytay. One order of bulalo is around Php 350, good for 2-4 persons. You can request to have the bone chopped up so that the bone marrow will mix with the soup. They also offer free dessert, unlimited bananas and pineapples.

Tagaytay's famous bulalo - yes it might make your cholesterol level go a notch higher but who can resist this anyway?
How to get to Len's Kitchen: Ride a jeep with the sign "NBI" and alight at Mahogany. Landmark is a police station on the corner of Mahogany. Walk ahead until you see the strip of bulalo restaurants opposite the Mahogany market.

4. Bag of Beans - to cap off the food adventure, head out to Bag of Beans located near the Tagaytay rotunda. Bag of Beans is one of the most famous coffee shops in Tagaytay (even more famous than Starbucks, I think).  It serves the rare alamid coffee (Civet coffee) which is made from the droppings of the civet cat. If you are not brave enough to order the alamid coffee, order their blueberry cheesecake instead. The cheesecake is so good and though it is priced at Php 150 per slice, you would still feel that you got your money's worth.

This blueberry cheesecake is so good, it melts in your mouth!
How to get to Bag of Beans - ride any jeep that will pass through the Tagaytay rotunda. Bag of Beans is opposite 7-eleven and is beside BPI. There are several branches of Bag of Beans all throughout Tagaytay so their blueberry cheesecake won't be that hard to find.

5. Good Shepherd - for some pasalubong/ take home food shopping, don't forget to drop by at Good Shepherd in Maryridge. Good Shepherd is run by nuns and is famous in Baguio City. It's a good thing that we don't need to go up as far as Baguio City to get a taste of their famous Ube Halaya for they now have a branch in Tagaytay. 

Good Shepherd heavenly goodies

How to get to Maryridge Good Shepherd - From Olivarez Tagaytay, ride a jeep going to the "Terminal". Then from "Terminal", ride another jeep going to People's Park. Tell the driver that you will be alighting at Maryridge which is just a few meters after Picnic Grove then walk ahead until you see the entrance to Maryridge.

Other recommendations: You can also try out El Mare's buko pie near Tagaytay public market and burgers at Mushroom Burger. There are a lot of good restaurants around Tagaytay, ask the locals for their recommendations and I'm sure you will be returning back to Manila energized, refreshed and maybe a few pounds heavier because of your food adventure. :-)

Snapshot on the road: Wisdom Path, Hongkong

Wisdom Path - Lantau Island, Hongkong

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Inspirations: Getting back on track

For the last 6 months, I have been in a transition. There have been very few posts on my blog because there were a lot of things happening in terms of my career and family. I have resigned from my previous work with all hopes that I will be pursuing the things that I loved the most - that is to travel and to write about travel. I have been in contact with a travel magazine editor and applied as a freelance writer, exchanged a few emails with them until I did not hear from them again. I was disappointed that it didn't go well but it never stopped me from dreaming. Until most recently, two of my loved ones got sick and I had to take many trips - not to exotic destinations or far flung places, but trips to the hospital. It was a sad moment and my initial thought was I had to take a job immediately (something that is related to my work experience) to pay for bills. I have to adjust to a lot of things including me working on the night shift.  My dreams would have to wait...

Putting things off because there were some things that I needed to attend to made my spirit lost that certain high. When 2013 arrived, for the first time in many years I do not have any travel plans. It was unusual of me because usually my trips were booked 6 months in advance or even more. 

Then, I saw the blog of one of my favorite authors - Paulo Coelho. He has these e-cards showing quotations from the books he has written (most of which I am familiar with because I read almost all of his books). Those e-cards were simple reminders of having a dream, pursuing a dream, of love and of triumph. Reading them made me realize that a dream should not stop when something doesn't go as we have planned. Dreams are for those who go on even if something fails. It is a power we have in ourselves to see beyond where we are now and aspire for something or somewhere that we want to be in the future.

Today, I share with you my readers one of the ecards from Paulo Coelho's blog. Be inspired, believe in your dreams and something which I have learned to embrace right now, is to never give up.