Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Foodie’s Guide to Clean and Safe Eating

Do you seek out highly recommended food places in blog sites? Fond of taking delectable Instagram shots of your delicious dish? Do you do food reviews and post them in social media? Chances are, you are a foodie! Foodies are adventurous food seekers. But before you recommend that restaurant to your friends and followers, make sure you’re recommending clean and safe dining places.

A lot of people today fall ill due to food-borne diseases from contaminated food, so it’s important for foodies to look for restaurants that don’t just offer the best tasting food but also have best practices in food handling and safety.

When evaluating the right restaurants to eat at, or even when preparing your own food at home, there are important facts to remember and dos and don’ts to obey:

1) Food must be stored properly. Acidity, temperature, time, oxygen, and moisture are factors that contribute to microbial growth. Certain foods need specific storage conditions. Containers should have labels that indicate their shelf life or expiry dates. Raw and cooked foods must be segregated so they do not contaminate each other.

2) Make sure the food preparation area is clean and sanitary. Preparation and storage areas of food should be cleaned at all times. Even the ceilings, walls, counters, and floors of kitchens must be regularly disinfected to make sure they are free of possible contaminants. Different cleaning sponges and wipes should be used for dishes, kitchen counters, and tables. Different utensils must be used to handle raw meat and vegetables and must never be interchanged. One tell-tale sign of a clean and safe food environment is the absence of pests like cockroaches, flies and mice anywhere in the premises. Notice as well if the servers who clean and wait on table use clean cloths to wipe your table or are they just spreading the germs while they wipe your table “clean”?

3) Restaurant staff should look neat and be trained for personal cleanliness. Look at how the waiters and other service staff are dressed. Are their clothes and personal appearance clean? For some fast foods, the staff uniform should consist of hair net, apron, and gloves depending on their tasks. Servers must follow a systematic procedure of washing and sanitizing their hands every 15 minutes. The spread of bacteria, and worse viruses, should be prevented. Sanitizers must always be available in the food preparation area and in the rest rooms as well.

4) Make sure to buy or consume food from dining places that are reputable and have the proper accreditation and clearance from public health authorities. A quick tip, try to notice the walls of the restaurants if they have their certificates up there. Restaurants and food outlets you can trust use the newest technology in food safety that can help them verify the quality of raw ingredients, ensure the food safety of their production environment and equipment, and prescribe the proper solutions that can make them claim food safety for their products and outlets.
Foodie or not, everyone should have sufficient food safety awareness. Prior to going on that next food escapade, whether bite-size breaks, urban food safaris, or an all-out cookout at home, keep the above tips and guide in mind.

3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates, 3M™ Microbial Luminescence System, and 3M™ Clean-Trace™ Hygiene Monitoring Systems are some of the modern and high-technology tools that reputable food chains and manufacturers use to help maintain the highest food safety standards in their business. For more information, visit www.3M.com/ph or Like 3M Philippines and 3M Philippines Food Safety on Facebook for news and updates.

PORTO CENA: THE MERCATO CENTRALE OF SUBIC!

Subic has always been a haven for adventure-seekers: From the jungle adventures at Zoobic Safari to the water adventures at Ocean Adventure to the shopping adventures at the Royal Duty Free Shops. Now, we’ve got another great reason for you to visit Subic: A Foodie Adventure!

 

The Mercato Centrale group, organizers of the popular night food markets Midnight Mercato in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Cucina Andare in Glorietta Park, Makati, Mezza Norte in Trinoma Mall, Quezon City and Cocina Centrale in MarQuee Mall, Angeles, opens the NEWEST Mercato Centrale market in the North: PORTO CENA in Ayala’s Harbor Point Mall, Subic every Friday and Saturday starting October 5 (Saturday) from 4pm to 3am.

“We are excited about bringing the Mercato Centrale experience to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone”, shared Anton Diaz, co-organizer of PORTO CENA and the blogger behind the popular food and travel website www.OurAwesomePlanet.com. “The variety of great-tasting and affordable food choices, the acoustic music and the lively atmosphere will definitely complement the fun and adventurous vibe that Subic has become well-known for!”

“PORTO CENA will be a night food and lifestyle market where the home-grown food entrepreneurs of Subic Bay, Olongapo and the rest of Zambales can showcase their local cuisine.” said RJ Ledesma, co-organizer of PORTO CENA. “We are also excited to have the expatriate community of Subic – who come from all parts of the globe – to offer their specialty dishes in the market.”

“Of course, we are also bringing over the best-selling food vendors and food trucks from our Mercato markets in Manila to be part of PORTO CENA.” Added Anton Diaz.

PORTO CENA is located at Ayala’s Harbor Point Mall in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City.

For interested food and bazaar vendors from Manila, Subic, Olongapo and Zambales who want to join PORTO CENTA, please contact (+63 917) 840-1152 or (+632) 812-0102 or email admin@mercatocentrale.ph or visit www.facebook.com/portocena. You can also pick up an application form at the administration office of Ayala’s Harbor Point Mall.

The Mercato Centrale markets have been the birthplace of many fast-growing food companies including Manang’s Chicken, Mochiko, Merry Moo, Chuck’s Grubberie Mio Gelati, Spring by Ha-Yuan, Kristina’s Inutak, Zen Taclings, Eat My Garlic Fries and many more! Join the growing Mercato Centrale family!

Poptalk features 24-hour breakfast places

“Poptalk”   featured three  24-hour breakfast places  (August 27 episode)  that offer different  meals.   I was one of the reviewers together with GMA celebrity,  actor and model Carl Guevarra,   and a student of  De La Salle – Saint Benilde and food enthusiast,  Nadia Lei Macaya.   Poptalk  is  a  30- minute weekly  news magazine  program  that  features places,  restaurants, gadgets  and more,  hosted by  Tonipet  Gaba.

Our first stop was Tapsilog Centrale where reviewers savored  the original,  authentic and organic  US Angus Tapa.  We then proceeded  to  Borough,  a hole in the mall   that offers    American  breakfast.  Our  last stop was  Kanto Freestyle,   a  very accessible  restaurant that offers  not only Pinoy  meal but also   western food  with its  price lowered   to  carinderia  level.

 

Tapsilog Centrale 
11th Jamboree cor. Kamuning Rd.
Quezon City

The above photo with  the  sign, “US  Angus Beef”  is very catchy  that  would  make one to  stop  at the restaurant to satisfy craving with its  unusual  meal.   This is the first restaurant that we reviewed which is  just near  GMA..  It is  located in the busy corner of  Jamboree and  Kamuning  streets  where  motorists,  if not always,  are  lined in  traffic.

They  offer the  best seller US  Certified Angus beef,  Wagyu Beef,  Sausages, Cakes and more.

Before we ordered the food,  I already noticed the menu chart  indicating  their special marinate that  has no MSG, no food coloring, no tenderizer and no  artificial flavor.   I ordered  Wagyu Beef  which  made me  prove   its  claim.     There was a natural taste suggesting that the meat itself is authentic and  is really  tasteful  not  because of  artificial flavor enhancers.

Salmon Steak is served with seasoned mixed vegetable.   For the price of P265,  diners would enjoy   imported Norweigan Salmon, a luxury fish,  that is very affordable wherein if you order in a  five star hotel,   the  price  is expected to be way up  higher.

Aside from Angus beef and other  Tapsilog  meal,  they also offer
tempting desserts such as Frozen Mango  Brazo de Mercedez, Classic  Sansrival and
The Dome.

They also serve  regular Tapsilog,  Pares, Porksilog, Chicksilog  for a  price  between P55 to 60.


Carl Guevarra, GMA’s actor and model with host Tonipet Gaba as they savor Angus Beef from Tapsilog Centrale.

I was quite impressed with the food servings but they served
them  in  big plates that make the food looks  a  little less.   It could mean comfortable eating for us   but for others,  it could be the  other way  around.    Nevertheless, it
was awesome and the food is flavorful even without artificial flavoring.

Frozen Mango Brazo  de  Mercedez is a delight to the eyes and even more delightful when you taste it.   This is not the typical Brazo de Mercedez  because it has Frozen Mango that puts this  dessert  into a higher level.  Salivating it is!

While for  Sansrival,   I could taste crunchy  cashew  nuts.

The Dome  is  really fantastic with its creamy nutella chocolate,  covered  with dark chocolate ganache  and surrounded with chocolate chips.

 

For desserts alone,  diners would really come  back for more.    It is usual  to recommend  the best seller,  the main course and what you think is  best for your own taste bud,    but  when you  recommend  the dessert in a Tapsilog resto,   that means it is really  extremely   delicious!

Overall, the food was great. However I felt  uncomfortable with the place.   Maybe because it is   literally open where pedestrians or even bystanders  can easily  get there and go.  Security is my  concern here.   On  the other  hand,   the place is a big  pop to all motorists  who  are looking  for  some kind  of   unusual  Tapsi meal.    They can just pull over onto a side street  for  a  heavy  breakfast   anytime  of  the day.

Tapsilog Centrale  got  7/9  Pop scores from reviewers.

 

 

Borough The Podium
G/F The Podium, 12 ADB Ave 
Mandaluyong City
 (02) 570-8906

Our second stop is Borough which is located inside  the mall,  The Podium.   Borough is a hole in the mall that serves breakfast  24 hours  a day.

As soon as we entered the restaurant,  I noticed  the  nice  interior design and  the ambiance that made  me feel very comfortable and relaxed.  I love the high ceiling  opposite the mezzanine floor  and I love  the smell of the restaurant.

They serve Omelet, Steak n Eggs,  Amaretto French Toast  and other  breakfast items.

Steak n Eggs is served hot.  Meat is tender  and sunny side up is  done  nicely.   I could tell it is yummy even before eating and the food  presentation  got  me  hungry  even if we just came from full  breakfast  meal.

If you are a first timer in a restaurant with a group,. try to order a different variety of food  and taste a bit of all  the food.  Check the embed Youtube  that I provided  below.  The  video with Carl Guevara at Borough says it  all.   Bagel is such a pleasure that Carl couldn’t stop eating.  Such a great food filled with yummy goodness!

Riker’s Island Breakfast, with baked beans mixed with bacon bits and sunny side up eggs  is a perfect cure for  hangover according to Chef Kaufman.   I think that it’s the runny yolk that makes the Riker’s Island more  appealing  with its   overloaded cheddar cheese topping.  Just perfect to start  a day!

Amaretto French Toast.    With Chef Cuit Kaufman,    Carl and  Tonipet  prepared  Amaretto French Toast.  The  bread was soaked in custard and toasted in butter with sliced banana,  topped with drooling amaretto caramel flambe.  The taste is heavenly.  Surprisingly,   Amaretto, by which I thought is a dessert,  is  listed as  main course in the chart menu.  The serving is so big  and could share for two or three depending on how big you could eat.     When I said yummy,   it’s  really  yummmmmy!   It is more of a  dessert for  me  and  is  perfect  with  hot coffee.

I will definitely  come back to try  their  cheesecakes and other sweets aside from this salivating  Amaretto French Toast.

Borough,  The Podium  price range between  P250 – 400  is  just  right  considering  that  I  could taste a bit of  New York’s  comfort food in our own  country.

Borough  is  a perfect place  for foodies who are craving for some food  even in the wee hours  of the morning  and yes.. any time of the day.  It is conveniently located inside The Podium but also  has separate  entrance  near the parking.

Borough  got  9/9,   perfect Pop score from  reviewers.


Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
San Joaquin St., Plainview

Mandaluyong City

According to Peter Juanchon,  Kanto Freestyle Marketing Manager,  the restaurant  opened two years ago  bringing in  western food  like pancake and  other  breakfast  item  but is priced lowered to carinderia level.    Since then it becomes phenomenal  that until the time of our  visit,    we could still see customers  lined  up  for their order.

We  ordered  the bestseller Pancake,   Beef  Tapa,  Champorado  and Eggs  Benedict.   We dined  in  from   7 to  8pm   and our  meals..  still..   yes..   BREAKFAST!

Kanto  Freestyle is very accessible to everyone.  The food presentation is quite impressive like you are dining at  fancy restaurant.


Tempting Pancake that even makes  me reach  the spoon in my own post!  This is just so inviting! Can you imagine this?  Meron nito sa KANTO!  Sarap talaga!


French Toast with Bacon and Eggs

For P60,  you ‘d   enjoy  Beef Tapa   while  Pancake for only  P90 which is  also  good for sharing.

If you are an  insta-addict, Kanto Freestyle is ka insta-instagram talaga  with  hashtag  from  Kuya Tonipet   #sabiksatsokolate  and if I may add  more  #babalikbalikan    #wowsakanto    which just fit  with  its hotel-like food presentation.   Definitely,   I will go back to try more of their  gourmet servings.

This is the typical carinderia style but in a higher level.  If you are planning to dine here, please check the Google map first  for your own convenience  and find the nearest  landmark so you won’t get lost.   But  if you are familiar in this area,  from San Joaquin St.,  you can just  hire a pedicab and ask the driver to bring you,   “sa Kanto lang po!”

Kanto Freestyle Breakfast got  9/9,   perfect score from Poptalk reviewers.

After I  watched and   reviewed  the video,  I told myself that I should just blog.    Honestly,  I had a lot more to say  during the review   but my mind thinks faster than my mouth could  speak , so  I   just  chose not to say more and  stopped.  Moreover, it  was my very first on cam and need a little more time to be at ease and  comfortable  for on  the spot review.

Let me end this post with a big THANKS   to  GMA News TV’s  POPTALK   for inviting me to be a guest reviewer in this particular episode.

Here’s the video that I embed from YOUTube of  Poptalk’s  24-Hour Breakfast last August 27. .

 

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