ozark diner baguio

well if you’re in baguio city and suddenly crave for american food, i’d suggest you to try visiting ozark diner.  it took me a few minutes of taxi ride from camp john hay where i was staying then at forest lodge hotel.

though the cabbie didn’t know where the diners’ location was, i have jot down the address on a piece of paper and showed it to him.  we did found the place.

as you go along through bareng drive and when you see a white small building (to the left side) with a red door, you’re there!  the restaurant is down to the right – well i was excitedly knocking on the door before i realized that.

The American South is filled with food that comes from a cross between old world dishes and new world ingredients, flavoured by cooks from Africa and the Caribbean. At Ozark, we present our own take on the classic dishes from diners, soul food and family potlucks. We stay true to the flavor and feel of the original, but may update the technique or bring in a twist on the ingredients.  It is important to be informed by tradition, but not be a slave to it. The rich past is our inspiration but our goal is to constantly improve and move forward.

orange steel bar stools creates a pop of color in the restaurant interior.

an open kitchen where you can actually view your food while being prepared.

i ordered a chicken salad on freshly made toasted sandwich bread served with french fries. for sides, some mac and cheese (it’s a bit dry though!) and for drinks, freshly brewed sweet iced tea.  the salad was creamy and delectable!

and for a delightful dessert, who can’t resist their dark beer cheesecake?! personally, i loved it (nom nom nom!) and if you’re a fan of cerveza negra, this one is a must-try.

cookies and more cookies!  you can never have enough of this thing in baguio!

that’s me and one of the restaurant owners, chef kevin mize.  i had a small talk with him and he mentioned that ozark will have a bed & breakfast inn and construction is soon to start – i’ll look forward to that!

Ozark Diner+Bed+Breakfast
2 Bear’s Trail corner Bareng Drive
Baguio City

this is NOT a sponsored post.

romulo cafe at azumi

there is this casual dining restaurant in azumi in alabang which i just found out because of my stay in the hotel.  it is one of the branches of romulo café, a restaurant that serves filipino comfort food and some uniquely flavored dishes.


romulo café itself was inspired after mr. carlos romulo, a pulitzer-prize winning journalist and was also an ambassador to the united states (that’s just to name a few, check his wiki page for more!).  the restaurant is being managed by his grandchildren according to their website.


a picture of him from the restaurant menu.


a simple table setting and polypropolene monobloc chairs, all in black.


i was dining alone but i craved for this “flying” tilapia when i saw it in the menu.


deep-fried and was given “wings”, hehe! with three sauces – chili-garlic, honey-bagoong, and soy vinegar.


also had some ginataang sigarillas with tinapawinged beans cooked in coconut milk and topped with smoked tinapa.


for dessert, suman latik! three pieces in the shot glasses weren’t enough and i wanted more actually.


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the next day, my parents and siblings visited me at azumi hotel and i invited them for lunch in the same restaurant.  here’s the food that we shared.


fried lumpia ubod  is fried heart-of-palm served with pinakurat vinegar.


tinapa roll  is shredded tinapa with red eggs and tomatoes in a lumpia wrapper.


meatless tortang talong is eggplant omelet cooked with minced tofu and onions.   


lumpia hubad is steamed vegetables with two sauces (peanut sauce and garlic sauce).


tuna sisig is gen san (general santos city) tuna belly cooked with sisig sauce   


beef kaldereta with keso de bola chunks is stewing beef sautéed in olive oil and garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, then slow-cooked in tomato sauce and sprinkled with keso de bola .


pasta pilipino  is spicy tuyo pasta with red eggs and fresh tomatoes.  this was my personal fave.


pansit puti bihon noodles cooked in olive oil and garlic chips, with shrimp, chicken, green onions, and hard-boiled eggs.


penne carbonara with vigan longganisa has rich creamy sauce with parmesan cheese, sprinkled with vigan longganisa .


they have this cakes and tried their sans rival too – taste just average, i think too buttery.


café romulo in azumi hotel is old-fashioned filipino comfort food at it’s best!  i’m satisfied with the food, the affordable pricing and their service.  will surely go back!

read my hotel review of azumi hotel: PROLLY AZUMI


sweet peppery drink

i went to the grocery store the other day and was about to buy something to drink when i saw this powdered juice concentrate from tang which made me stop and look more closely.

it’s tang’s lemon and pepper flavor – well think about adding crushed black peppercorns in your drink!   out of so much curiosity, i bought one box and as soon as i got back to our accommodation i mixed one sachet and a litre cold water on a pitcher.  black pepper particles were swirling as i mixed it and believe me, it looked weird!

i know there is a lemon flavor (minus the pepper!) of tang back in manila which i have tried before and was too sugary for my taste.

the citrus flavor taste of lemon was masked by a sweet and peppery combination (fact that it is mostly table sugar and sweeteners on powdered drinks) and it felt so odd gulping it down because of the pepper! 😀

pork knuckle encounter

i met up with some of my high school classmates whom i have not seen personally for a few years back when i was on my vacation last march.  it was a way of reminiscing our good old high school years, specially the fun moments we had together.

it was also a good chance for me to tick off one of my 10 things i have not done before item when everyone was asking to decide where to have our late dinner.  the mall we met up was just near barrio fiesta, a filipino restaurant that is famous for the dish, crispy pork knuckle or crispy pata.  i then suggested the place and they agreed, unknowingly, they did not know my real purpose.

it has been years since i last ate pork.  i stopped eating it when i was in junior high school, the reason still unclear even to myself which is straightforwardly odd!  to cut it short, let’s not talk about it and focus on the crispy pork knuckle itself.  hehe.

crispy pata is the hind leg including the knuckles of a pig boiled in broth with spices, drip dried or drained, rubbed again with spices and then is deep-fried until golden brown.  here is the famous crispy pata of barrio fiesta.  crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside.   i wonder how much percentage of cholesterol one serving has.

i ate a piece and the taste reminded me of my ma’s lechon kawali (pan-fried roasted pork) that she cooks before.  though it tasted good it did not mean that i will go back on eating pork again, it was just a self-dare for myself for my list.  another thing, i also stopped eating beef more than four years ago – and i think that deserves a separate post. 😀

indonesia chronicles: makanan tempat

one of the things that i appreciated when i visited indonesia was their cuisine. i actually liked their dishes that i was able to taste which satisfied my fondness to slightly spicy food. here are some of the “restoran” i visited during my solo travel.

black canyon coffee

i was searching for a place to have dinner after my leisurely walk at kuta beach and noticed this nice looking restaurant in discovery shopping mall in jalan kartika plaza.

black canyon coffee is originally from thailand. this one in bali is the only branch they have that is operating in indonesia.

my first impression about black canyon was that it only serves typical menu that one will find in a coffee shop like sandwiches or other quick-fix food but i was surprised when i checked out in their menu that the place is actually a restaurant that offers extensive choices of food.

they have what they call “indonesia favorites” where local dishes are served in a different zest.

i ordered some sweetened black iced tea.

and nasi pedas, where the spiciness of the dish is just right for my taste. their restaurant have thai dishes but i was more interested with their indonesian specialties. rice dishes, pasta, noodles, curries and soups are also available

nong jma

there is a foodcourt in sarinah mall in jakarta where i ate at nong jma.

the set-up is that there is a buffet spread where you can choose a variety of local dishes.

you pick what you want and how much you want it in your plate and pay for that.

fried fish and tofu, spicy anchovies (loved it!), string beans with mongo sprouts and brown rice cost me only about idr 20,000 – like $2.00!

tomodachi café

this restaurant is at the ground floor of fave hotel where i stayed in jakarta. i had my dinner here before my flight back to manila.

it is a french-oriental fusion restaurant.

the restaurant has a very modern feel.

i ordered “ayam betutu”, half chicken grilled with traditional balinese spice, served with steamed rice, sambal matah, and piecing kacang panjang.  the dish was beautifully presented though the food itself, i can consider as average.

makanan tempat means food places in bahasa.

indonesia chronicles: warung mendez

it was past lunch time when i finished frolicking (lol!) with the macaques at the monkey forest sanctuary in ubud, bali.  a local acquaintance recommended me this restaurant located a few minutes from the sanctuary.

warung mendez is an open air cozy restaurant with wooden tables and benches known for their delicious and affordable local dishes in their menu.

i chose to order their bakmi goreng jawa, a dish of stir-fried egg noodles cooked in javanese spice paste with shredded chicken and vegetables topped with fried egg with a side dish of pickled mixed vegetables and two sticks of chicken satay.

the restaurant has an open kitchen were you can see the local women cook your dish infront of you.

spices and condiments used for the bakmi goreng.

skilfully she tossed the ingredients into the wok and a delicious aroma entered my nostrils.

that’s apple cider, red wine and balsamic vinegar.  vinegar usually adds tang to most recipes.

noodles are ready!

uber yummy bakmi goreng. 🙂

three kinds of sambal, which are chili based sauces.

warung mendez is at penestanan kaje, ubud, bali indonesia.

i ate a mole cricket

my father, together with my ma picked me up from the airport last monday after my short weekend trip in aberdeen, hongkong.  it was past six in the evening so i thought of inviting them for dinner and so my ma wouldn’t have to exert time to cook for us when we reach home.

there is this local restaurant in angono, rizal well-known to many for they serve “exotic” dishes.  in my 10 things i have not done before post one of the things i have to do was eat an insect delicacy.  i decided then to treat my parents for dinner on this restaurant.

balaw balaw restaurant is also a folk art museum.  wood carvings and impressive paintings are displayed around the place.  it has not changed much since i first visited years ago.

we were the only guests when we entered the restaurant for most likely it was a monday, complimentary bottled water was served the moment we sat on their steel-frame wicker chairs.

my main purpose of dining at balaw balaw was not to fill my tummy but to eat an insect (LOL!).  my ma handed me one of the menu books and showed me the page of exotic dishes as she said: “ayan yung insekto na kakainin mo” (there’s the insect you’re about to eat) LOL again!.  i love my mother!  she just mentioned it a-matter-of-factly! 😀

kamaro or mole crickets are thick-bodied insects about 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) long, with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing and swimming.  it is most commonly found on ricefields, but i have actually seen some of them in our own backyard!  here is one close-up picture i found on the net – just imagine eating this, haha!

out of my persistent determination, i ordered one.  i asked the server on how they cook it, he said it’s fried with garlic and some oil, i told him to have it cooked well done!  my ma ordered some crispy fried native duck, pinakbet and binagoongang rice.  after waiting for a few minutes my kamaro dish arrived in our table.

seriously, it does not look palatable.  it’s a bunch of dead squirmy bugs served in a banana leaf.  my parents told me they use to eat this in the province when they were kids but cooked differently (they are kapampangan).  i read from other articles that it tasted like peanuts, popcorn or chicken.  armed with my sweet sago-gulaman beverage i ate a small-sized one.  the taste did not registered in my brain.  i ate some more and still, it was not the taste that retained in my brain but the consistency in my tongue.  the part of the head was crunchy, the body is like soggy and my tongue can figure out the insect wings inside my mouth.  eeew!

i asked my ma why it was like that and she said the crickets were not freshly caught and cooked.  the fresh ones she said will have juices from the crickets abdominal part bursting inside your mouth . . . now that is nasty!