Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Three Little Pigs Prequel: Lubu

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Each of the piggies lived in his own little pigpen and was not aware that there were others of the same kind. Each one was satisfied with his own cool little mud pool and with whatever food was tossed his way (yes, pigs really do eat anything).

Then technology knocked on the pigpen gates. Through the wonderful worldwide web, Pig #3 (Pigstachio) discovered two more pigs. He found Pig #1 (Babe for Food) while searching for food on the web and Pig #2 (Baktin Corporation) while searching for mud pools with a view.

It wasn't until three years later when the chance for all three pigs to meet presented itself in the form of food: Babe for Food invited Pigstachio and Baktin Corporation to have dinner with her and her BFF on another island. The pigs were excited, especially Baktin. He kept asking what to wear. (You can wear a bow tie, Baktin. And don't forget to put gel on your hair.)

Just kidding. The pigs may wear whatever pigs wear. Dinner will be at Lubu, a casual restaurant serving seafood and Filipino cuisine. Lubu is in a commercial complex called Seaport Village in Punta Engaño, just before Mövenpick Hotel.

Seaport Village, Punta Engaño, Mactan, Cebu
0917 610 1866 / (032) 492 7824
Daily 11AM to 10PM

The day came for the pigs to rendezvous. "Baktin meet Babe for Food (BFF) and BFF's BFF. Babe for Food and BFF's BFF, Baktin." Pleasantries were exchanged and stars shined...on Baktin's eyes (haha, somebody got pigstruck).

At the restaurant, the foursome met the owner of Lubu, Mr Stephan Luthi (Luthi + Cebu = Lubu). Menus were studied (Pigstachio studied his menu a bit too long because nothing caught his fancy; everything on it seemed ordinary). Recommendations were given (by Mr Luthi) and orders placed (Pigstachio let the other pigs choose; he will eat anything): kinilaw na tangigue, lechon kawali (Filipino, check), spicy prawns with rum, grilled lobster (seafood, check). Plus, BFF's BFF's choice: sizzling calamari with bacon in garlic oil.(Why this, BFF's BFF? One word: Bacon!)

Kinilaw na tangigue (Php 240) and lechon kawali (Php 280) 

Spicy prawns with rum (Php 340), sizzling calamari with bacon in garlic oil (Php 280), and fried lobster (500g, Php 950)

Well, well, well, this shall teach Pigstachio a lesson: do not judge the food by its simple menu description. Pigstachio was joyfully taken by surprise by the flavorful spicy prawns with rum, the tangy calamari with bacon, and the fried lobsters sitting on a bed of alugbati (Ceylon spinach). Oh, the fried lobsters. Drool. Pigstachio just wishes the food was as friendly to his pocket as it was to his palate.

And how did these simple sounding dishes fare to the other three? They all drooled and squealed happily all the way home. (For a detailed review, read how Babe for Food squealed with delight.)

And that, my friends, was how the pig pack was formed.

The end.

Not! This is just the beginning.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hola! La Lucha Taqueria

This little taqueria (taco shop) has been around since December 2012 but has been acting like a jumping bean. It first opened in Banilad, near Banilad Town Centre, as La Lagrima Taqueria (La Lagrima means "the teardrop"), then after a few months it transferred somewhere in Elizabeth Pond, which I never got to visit. After almost 10 months of burrito-deprivation, I lured my friend to their new shop, this time called La Lucha Taqueria (La Lucha means "the struggle"), near Baseline. (Why the name? Is it because they have been struggling with getting a good and permanent location?)

La Lucha Taqueria
Juana Osmeña St. (across Boosog/Baseline), Cebu City
0930 635 8488
Daily 10AM to 10PM

We got a burrito. Not just an ordinary burrito, but a Super burrito (Php 230). And a Super corn quesadilla (Php 100), too. The super burrito is stuffed with everything: beans, rice, salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and your choice of meat (we got the carne asada—beef). The super corn quesadilla has the same stuff in it minus the rice and beans (we chose chicken for the meat). (We were wondering what the difference is between the super flour quesadilla and the super corn quesadilla, aside from the flour/corn and the price. The answer? The size. The flour quesadilla is 12" in diameter while the corn quesadilla is just 6" in diameter.)

Doesn't look enough for two persons? Do not judge, eat it.
And you will see that it is just right for two.
Unless you have a huge stomach space.

Drench your burrito with jalapeño and tomatillo sauce.

What was missing during this visit was the horchata, a drink made with rice, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon. A cup of this would cost Php 50. Kind of expensive but I would have gladly given up my 50–peso bill to drink this small cup of sweet concoction.


Click to enlarge menu.
(Disregard the address on the lower right.)

I have yet to meet Jorge Barita (the Mexican owner of this little joint, who, I hear, has a nice ole mustache like mine!) to thank him for bringing Mexican food to the city (Fact: Señor Barita's family owns a taco shop in California called La Victoria) and to ask him why the name La Lucha... and maybe to ask him to lower the prices a bit (hehehe).

Señor Barita, if you're reading this, in appreciation for the food, I have come up with a song. Please sing to the tune of La Cucaracha.

La lululucha, la lululucha (The struggle)
Bigote-io no puede caminar (Mustachio can't walk)
porque le fatty, porque no tiene (because it's fat, because it doesn't have)
espacio en estomago! (space in the stomach)

So it doesn't really make sense, but the point is La Lucha Taqueria has good Mexican fare that's got Mustachio so stuffed, he is struggling to get off his bum.

Hasta luego, amigo! Burp!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Little Piece of Cafe in Guadalupe

M Veloso St. Guadalupe, Cebu City
0933 954 5009
Tuesday to Saturday 4PM–9PM

This little piece of cafe is a good place for a little piece of...

ALPS Cafe is tucked in a peaceful neighborhood in Guadalupe.

We were the only ones there on a Saturday afternoon. Could it be because we came in at opening time?
Or has this place remained a secret? (ALPS Cafe has been around for almost a year.)

The cafe's theme is travel. Photos and memorabilia the owners have collected over the years of traveling the world are on display in the cafe. 

ALPS Cafe has more than a dozen items on their menu. Salad, sandwiches, pasta, waffles, brownies, juice, coffee, milk tea. 

We were drawn to green that day. Everything we ordered had something green in it. Popeye's Dip (Php 105) is pesto dip with wheat bread. Matcha Waffle (Php 105) is waffle with matcha (green tea) ice cream and chocolate chips. And a pitcher of Tito Lemonsito (Php 155), which is moringa (malunggay) juice with cucumber and lemon.

The green food we had was nothing great, but it did not make us turn green either. The Tito Lemonsito, though, was positively refreshing and did not have that bitter moringa/malunggay aftertaste. I could down a pitcher of it. Or maybe two pitchers on a very hot day!

Remember there are more than a dozen items to choose from and we only tried three. Do not let my opinions keep you from having a little piece of... 
ALPS Cafe.
A Little Piece of Sky Cafe.

A little
Spotted just a stone's throw from the cafe is Uncle Noodles! Found out that Uncle Noodles has taken his business home after disappearing from Mango Avenue and from Food Choices in Ayala. Indeed, a very happy find! I will surely be back for my two uncles: Uncle Noodles and Tito Lemonsito!