Saturday, April 21, 2012

A cup of coffee at Juan Karlos (Tacloban, Leyte)

After a hearty lunch at Sunzibar, my cousin brought me to this quiet little coffee shop in from of Sto. Nino church. I was particularly craving for a warm cup of coffee to end my food trip in Tacloban. 

I have heard a lot of good things about Juan Karlos Coffee and finally I had a chance to visit the place. I do love visiting  coffee shops which is obviously loved by locals. There is no Starbucks in Tacloban (not that I favor Starbucks among the coffee shops around) but I personally rather keep it like that. 

Its nice to actually hang out to where the locals meet. I can totally experience the Taclobanons way of life through this. 

Jose Karlos coffee, (by the way we visited the original branch) is located just right across Sto Nino church in P. Burgos and Zamora St. They also have a branch in Robinson's mall Tacloban which I also saw but I told my cousin I'd like to visit the original branch. 

Affordable coffee selection

I love the ambiance! Its an old house converted to a coffee shop, and lately I have really been dreaming to have a home resto in the near future, so this place is quite an inspiration for me. The coffee shop is spacious, with comfy sofas and homey decor which would really make you feel ultra relaxed. I was waiting for a plane to catch back to Manila that time, but if not, im sure I can totally spend the entire afternoon just hanging out at that place.

Good time for these this summer!

Their selection of pastries

Comfy homey interior made me want to stay in Tacloban a few more hours....

Now here's what we ordered. :) 

Cappuccino Karlo (Php50)

Their cappuccino is just ok. Nothing so special about it. Espresso used isn't that strong and the milk foam isn't that creamy. Though it wasn't that bad. Not actually bad for its price. 

Peanut Butter cookies and Sylvanas (forgot the prices)

My cousin loved the Sylvanas very much, she took another photo. :D

Chocolate Mud Pie (they call this something I forgot) cost about Php75 per slice

Their cakes and pastries are also just OK. Nothing to rave about. The Peanut Butter cookie is a little dry as well as with their Sylvanas. I was expecting a quite chewy with a creamy buttery filling sylvanas but I was quite disappointed with its crisp, dry and crunchy texture. Again its not bad but actually good for its price. The Mudpie lacked richness although its quite ok as well.

I saw in their menu that they also offer pasta and sandwiches, those I haven't really tried when I was there since I was still super full on our visit.

I cant really profess discontent with Jose Karlos. Sure, coffee and food is mediocre but what I love about this place is that it serves as a local meeting place and a haven for chill junkies. Ambiance is great so whats to hate there?

**Special thanks again to my cousin Jel for taking these gorgeous photos.

Jose Karlos Coffee
Juan Luna Street corner P. Zamora Street 
(in front of Santo Niño Church), 
Tacloban City Leyte

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mexican Feast at Sunzibar (Tacloban, Leyte)

 I have spent my last day in Tacloban by going around town and exploring good eats of the place. I have been hearing a lot about this small little Mexican eatery in the heart of Tacloban called Sunzibar and I have asked my cousin Jel to take me there for one good hearty lunch. 

I love good Mexican food and I was crossing my fingers not to be disappointed with this one. 

We arrived there at exactly lunch time and we got the place to ourselves for there are no customers just yet. I was even wondering if they ever get the place packed. To my surprise, people come pouring after a few minutes of our stay there. 

The place is a little small so you might have a little difficulty finding it. Ask the locals though and they'll be glad to help you for directions.

Warm lights inside the resto. Its cozy. :)

I do fancy these wall art they have. So cute!
I was starving when we got there and in no time, we placed our orders and anticipated a great meal. Here's what we ordered. 

For starters, we ordered their Hot Beef Nachos.

Hot Beef Nachos (Php 130)
I love this! Me and my cousin are raving over these great nacho dish! The hot beef topping together with a very tasty tomato sauce, sauteed mushrooms and sour cream is totally to die for. Servings are hefty too! its a 5/5 for me. :)

We also ordered a pasta dish and a rice dish. 

Salisbury Steak (Php 102)
Beef patties char grilled to perfection with mushroom brown gravy served with rice. I love the smokiness of the char grilled beef patties and how juicy and tasty it is. :) 

Tuna Pesto (Php 112)

Their Tuna Pesto is so so. I personally think that the pesto sauce is a little bland. I love their presentation though. Their pasta dishes comes with a tortilla bread and a salad. 

Raspberry Iced Tea (Php 65?) I fogot how much. Hehe.

They do serve margaritas and mojitos as well (I think) but I wasn't in the mood to have any since I still have a flight to catch. :) 

Generally, the food is good and the prices are very very cheap! They do serve quality Mexican food and its definitely a must to go visit Sunzibar if you're craving for Mexican food in Tacloban. 

Burgos St, Tacloban Leyte

Its more fun in Samar! Beach time at Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort (Marabut, Western Samar)

Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort
I have been dying to go on a beach trip and that long weekend during the holy week gave me the time to explore Leyte and Samar. I was happy to have spent time with my beloved cousin Jel and her family on a day at the beach.

We had arranged a day at Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort in Marabut Samar which is a 45 minute drive from Tacloban.

The place is gorgeous! I am a proud Samarnon and I must say that this is one place people from the Metro should discover.

Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort is an eco-tourism resort which promotes the beauty of Western Samar. It boasts their world class facilities which provides comfort and will make someone very much close to nature. It is surrounded with breath taking views of small islets and coral gardens.

Now let me give you a tour of the place. :)

I fell in love with their infinity pool, that's where me and Jel hang out most of the time on our stay there. Look how gorgeous! 

I also love their Zen garden. My cousin Jel and I actually called this area a virgin coconut oil pond. Hehehe

The resort also provide accommodation for those who wants to spend a few nights. I heard they just opened a new hotel building which is situated near the infinity pool. 

Their room costs from Php 2,300 to Php 5,900 a night.

Their newly opened hotel building
Beach Villa

And now the breath taking view of the place...

Beer please? Haha! Their Bar.
Breath Taking Seascape
Kids playing at the shore. How fun is that?!

There were a lot of activities to do in there. Me and Jel rented a boat for Php 100 an hour. We went around the bay to see rock formations and went to a small islet with pristine white sand and a cave. I got to paddle my way there as well! 

We went boating too!
Rock formations found around the bay

More rock formations...
Me and my cousins on our way to the small island :)
Kuya Jun, our bangkero for that day. :) Thanks for showing us around!

Beautiful little island.

After paddling like crazy around the bay, of course its time to finally have our lunch. No outside food is allowed in the resort but they would gladly prepare the meals for you. We decided to ask for a catered lunch that day. Food is so-so, nothing special. 

Lunch Time!
That's Jel's plate right there. Haha. Well food includes grilled liempo, grilled fish, bbq, pancit and veggies.

Good choice of dessert! Buco is abundant in the area, why not make good use of it eh?

We spent most of our time hanging out by the pool area where we both just chatted the afternoon away. I havent seen my cousin for the longest time and I was certain even before I arrived Tacloban that the girl bonding will be very very looooooong. I wasnt wrong. Hehehe. 

I totally recommend the place for those who wanted to take a break from the city. Boracay is too crowded. You guys might want to consider this beautiful little hidden gem of Samar. 

**Special thanks to my lovely cousin Jel for taking most of the photos of this trip. You can check out her Flickr account, (she takes a lot of gorgeous photos)

Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort
Marabut, Western Samar
+63 55 276 5206

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Beer for the Holy Week? (Abbaye de Forest Beer)

Friday.  No not Holy Friday but that Friday before the Holy Week starts, I went to The Distillery (of course, where else?) with the Friday crew to chill. I was very much decided not to drink the usual but to sample some beers that night. I was in abstinence actually and was totally guilty being there that time. But who am I to resist the temptation? Most especially the temptation coming from an abbey brew. Talk about holy temptation! Hehe. 

Abbaye de Forest

Brasserie de Silly, Belgium 
Style: Belgian Ale
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
My Rating : 4/5

You would probably think that it is weird to see a nuns face on a beer label but yes, your eyes are not playing any tricks just because its the Holy Week. :)) 

Abbaye de Forest is a real abbey found in Belgium but the Abbaye de Forest beer just circulated the beer scene back in 2007. 

Has a malty nose which resembles to bread. It pours into a hazy golden yellow straw color with a lasting big white head that leaves off a good lacing afterwards. The taste at first just like the nose is malty, then it would give off this citrus flavor perhaps of lemon with hints of spicy notes that I actually cannot decipher. It has a sweet aftertaste maybe of honey flavor followed by a lingering bitterness which would make you want more. 

I love it. I would want to have some more only if im not abstaining from beers. Hehehehe. 

For more beer reviews, click THIS

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bibimbap Feast at Kogi Bulgogi

I suddenly craved for Bibimbap last Friday. I have been obsessing gochuchang lately and one of the dishes that taste best with it is Bibimbap. There were actually some good Korean restos around Eastwood but me and my friend Ina opted to go to Kogi Bulgogi instead. 

I do like Kogi Bulgogi. Service is OK, food is OK too and the location is good. I have dined in there many times and me and buds still come back. 

***Bibimbap literally means "mixed meal" or "mixed rice". Bibimbap is served as a bowl of rice with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, raw or fried egg and sliced meat, usually beef and gochujang (chili pepper paste). The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating.

Anyway, food pics now!


Fried Mandu (Forgot the price but perhaps around PHP 120-130)

Dulsot Bibimpab (around 160 PHP)
Salmon Bibimbap (around 180 PHP)

I do love both the Bibimpab. Even asked for second helpings of gochuchang and banchan to compliment the dish. I was even thinking of buying my own clay pot so that I can prepare my own bibimbap at home. I would totally suggest bibimbap to those who havent tried eating Korean food. Be easy though with the chili paste. :)

Kogi Bulgogi
2nd Level, New Eastwood Mall
E. Rodriguez Ave. (C-5),
Bagumbayan Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: (63 2) 470-6884 to 85