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Escaping Office Lunches

It’s hard to prepare my baon everyday. Yes, I’m really not a morning person. I don’t like waking up at around 5 am just to scoop up some leftover rice, fry something edible (or at least look for some of last night’s leftovers), pack them all up and then get ready for work. It was easy at first, but after months and months of making baon, the thought of giving into the Manang’s Lunch is slowly starting to be an easy alternative.

But then again, I don’t like the locally catered lunch here. There’s a certain déjà vu feel to it. For example, here’s a rough sample of the office menu:

Monday:

Fried Chicken

Rice & Banana

Tuesday:

Pininyahang Manok (Fried Chicken w/ Pineapplez)

Rice & Banana

Wednesday:

Porkchop

Rice & Banana

Thursday:

Porksteak (Porkchop w/ soy sauce and onionz)

Rice & Banana

Friday:

Mag-diet ka na boi.

Banana

It’s not that the resident cook is lacking so much in creativity nor in culinary expertise, but I guess it’s just practical for them to be “efficient” when it comes to selling the daily lunch. Hell, I’m beginning to think that our vending machine has more variety in it. That is why most of my office mates would rather opt to bring their own baon or rough it out outside our office. And so, I toil on and bring my own packed lunch here.

*sigh*

That is why I’ve come to the conclusion that one should be liberated from the uniformity of lunch meals. Since I don’t want to pack my lunch, nor do I want Manang’s mmm-I-think-I-tasted-this-yesterday lunch items, I decided to bring a hefty selection of canned tuna, instant noodles, and a wide variety of fruit juices and iced tea just to lie to myself that what I’m getting is actually different from what I had yesterday.

Yes, such is the uniformity of office life.

So what happens now? Well, the only thing I way I think we can escape from meal-boredom is to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to our groceries. No, I’m not saying that you should buy expensive shit that you can’t really pronounce given their foreign name. But rather, I suggest you buy and bring to your lunch that little box of nerds, those piso-sized biscuits that’s got iced glaze on it, or the Cloud9 or Big Bang. Buy some of those things you loved when you were once a kid. You’d probably never be jaded with those things. That way, you’d at least look forward to what you’re having for lunch.

In any case, see ya’ll next time!

Nangamatis

O HAI!

mouse tomato

DISNEH PAEYD FUR IT THO.

KTHNXBAI!

It has been a while since yours truly contributed to this wonderful blog, but hopefully I’d be able to contribute regularly from now on. Since a previous post featured donuts and coffee in it, I figured that this would a good time to write about a painter who uses the much loved drink as her medium. Besides, in as much as we would like to feature stuff about good food (read: yummy food), we would also like to feature food art (although in this case, the art is not edible, unless you’re open to eating coffee flavored paper).

Now without further adieu, Saan Tayo Kakain introduces you to Sunshine Plata, coffee painter extraordinaire (thus far she is the only known coffee painter in the country). Sunshine uses instant coffee the same way other painters use watercolor when painting. Now you might wonder how Sunshine is able to paint with just one color. I suppose it’s all in the shading. Now that’s one way of putting coffee to good use (another way would be to dip a day old pandesal –literally, bread of salt, although I’ve yet to taste a salty pandesal–to soften it, but you’d only know that if you’re one with the proletariat…anyhow).

According to Sunshine, She first discovered that coffee could be used as paint when she stumbled upon an old painting signed by the artist in coffee. Sunshine then decided that if coffee could be used to sign one’s name, then it could be a good enough medium as, say, watercolor. The rest, as the old cliché goes, is history.

Hoopla about the novelty of coffee painting aside, Sunshine’s work is fairly good. She has been able to paint images of religious icons, fairies and butterflies, among many other subjects. The paintings have been featured in the Martha Stewart show and in the local TV networks and to top it off, the Ripley’s Museum bought and displays her painting. A fairly good indicator of how good her paintings are, if I may say so myself.

Ironically, the coffee painter does not drink coffee. Check out her blog (which has a catalogue of her works) at http://d1wata.wordpress.com

Disclaimer: all artwork featured in this article belongs to Sunshine Plata.

Square Watermelons!

Hey folks! Since we’re already experiencing this blazing hot summer season, I guess it’s a good time for us to look at something refreshing. Something that’ll take the heat out of our already scorched heads. So, without further ado, I present you this:

square-watermelon

No, my 1337 Photoshop skillz ain’t that good. What you just saw—yes—is actually a square watermelon. Well, technically speaking, it’s not really a square—but a cube rather.

In any case, this square fruit started in Japan back in 2001. Now you might think that they purposely created this out of sheer market creativity, but rather, this square watermelon was “shaped” out of practicality. As you know, you can’t just stuff a round watermelon on your refrigerator since that thing would take up a lot of space. And so, as innovative Japanese farmers are, they started shoving watermelons into tempered glass cases so the fruit will eventually be box-shaped when it grows.

The H20 + melon2 is obviously not a hybrid. However, this piece of fruit is freaking expensive! A typical (therefore, round) watermelon in Japan costs about $15 to $25 (that’s more than Php620). This fruit, on the other hand sells for about $82!

Since it’s so freaking expensive, I might as well check this site out on how to grow fruits that’s got customized-shapes. I’d grow some type of fruit, turn its shape into something freaky, and then sell it for a fuckin’ high price! Hmmm… That’s it! That’s a freakin’ great idea! I’m way ahead of you people!

butternut-squash

Shit. Looks like somebody got to this first.

Yes, as what the title says, you can get a free donut and coffee at your nearest Krispy Kreme branch.

Just head on out to: http://www.chocolatekarnival.com/

Krispy Kreme will send you a coupon thru your e-mail, just print it out, head to the nearest Krispy Kreme branch, and enjoy!

The promo runs till April 30, 2009 though. So if you want to spend an advanced birthday party or something, make sure all of your friends print their coupons out! Lol!

Aysee’s Sisig

When I was back in college, our professor told us that “you haven’t been to Ortigas if you haven’t tasted Aysee’s Sisig”. I was only a freshman back then, and it was my first time to be in an area that was so “uptown-ish” compared to my suburban abode. Wanting to experience Ortigas in full, me and my friends decided to give Aysee’s a try.

Our professor told us that it’s the best Sisig Ortigas can offer, and with that we thought we couldn’t afford it. However, we were surprised that Aysee’s (commonly misspelled “Aycee’s”) was just a humble, hole-in-the-wall eatery around Ultra Sports Complex. In fact, we were even more surprised that a lot of business people were having lunch there. And so, we were led to believe that this little eatery had something to be proud of.

aysee_sisig

And with that, what our professor said held true. Aysee’s really got the best Sisig in town. For such a small price (90 pesos), you’d get more than what you expect. I mean, I must admit, you’d be thinking for a price that low, a Sisig could only be as bland and un-sisiglike—but hell no—they’ve got that recipe down to home-cooked goodness.

Their Sisig is served popping hot on a sizzling plate, with a dollop of fresh egg, and all the rice you want for only 10 pesos a cup. Unlike the kapampangan version of the Sisig, Aysee’s use only pork meat and skin.[1] You might be thinking that their Sisig might only be good for one, but in fact, a plate of this dish could already satisfy two hungry office workers—who are definitely not on a diet.

aysee-tokwat_baboy

And oh, they’ve got pulutan dishes that are really good too with rice. For example, they’ve got Tokwa’t Baboy where the size of both ingredients are quite huge, and what’s more, the pork is fried to a crisp – so it’s more like Tokwa’t Bagnet. And they also got Papaitan that’s served on a bowl that’s being continually heated with a burner—so you could have all that hot pulutan goodness right at your table for a fraction of the price.

aysee_papaitan1

Yes, that’s one thing I’m proud I’ve learned from my professor. Haha. So if you’re really hungry and are on a budget, you and you’re friends could just head on out at Aysee’s. It’s along Ultra Sports Complex, there’s a big sign along the road that says Aysee’s Sisig. You wouldn’t have to bring lots of cash, ‘coz this one’s very affordable.  Definitely try it out sometime!

PS: If you aren’t convinced, click here.


[1] since the kapampangan recipe calls for more expensive ingredients

Monster Burger @ Banchetto

Remember what I said about that double quarter pounder?

That twice the beef, twice the fun shit?

Well, fuck that.

This one is the HALF POUNDER:

Monster Burger 2

Which, practically, is the same as two quarter pounders. But in any case, by the looks of it, this one’s got a bit more, err, “impact” when it comes to appearance. I mean, just look at the patty for god sakes.

This burger is aptly named as a Monster Burger. It comes from Emerald Ave’s Banchetto, so you’ll only see this during the wee hours of the morning. It costs about 120 Pesos (2 dollars & a few pennies?) for a half pounder, and 70 pesos for a “regular” quarter pounder. Believe me, when it comes to price, I guess this burger beats other burgers of its kind. I mean, for a 120 Pesos, you’d already be getting more than your daily protein requirements. The only downside is that it’s only available at 1am onwards. But if you’re a call center agent, then this won’t be much of a problem.

Monster Burger

Alright, let’s talk about the burger itself. Well, to re-emphasize things, the patty itself is half-a-freakin-pound, so that’s like eating 550 calories of beef. But who gives a fuck? Anyway, the patties are grilled twice (first using an electric grill, then charcoal). Then, they sprinkle the patties with some garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can tell the cook if you want yours to be medium-rare, well-done, or half-dead. Either way, it’ll taste good.

Monster Burger Grilled

After grilling, they’d assemble your burger by adding lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo. If you want, you can add cheese, blue cheese, or even wasabi mayo. It says so here:

monster-burger-menu

And there you have it, your personal Monster Burger. You’d have to wait for a bit coz they only cook your burger once you order it. But that’s alright, there are plenty of other stalls you can visit (since it’s Banchetto after all).

Oh, I almost forgot, the verdict. Well, for a hundred and twenty pesos, the Monster Burger is a sweet deal. It’s big and it tastes good. Beefy, really, really absolutely beefy. Not like other burger joints that have got brown pre-cooked patties, you could see that the ground beef that Monster Burger uses are pink in color, which is a sign of freshness. So thumbs up to that. The only downside is that this burger is only available every Saturday from 1am to 11am, so unless you work on night-shift, then this wouldn’t be much of a fuss.

So if you’re still awake, and are having the munchies, you can try the Monster Burger. You won’t be disappointed.