Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Good and the Bad of Banapple

Why is the title like that? Because there is something to love and to hate (and I mean improvement, BIG TIME!) about Banapple.

For my niece Gabby's graduation lunch, I brought the entire family to Banapple where the kids can get desserts to their hearts content. The branch at Il Terrazo Tomas Morato doesn't take reservations and it's going to be quite a challenge during weekend lunch or dinner for there are a lot of diners on queue. I suggest you come in at around 10:30 or 11:00 am for lunch coz it really gets pretty crowded during lunch time.

We arrived at around 12:30 and the place is jam packed. We were told were on queue and asked to wait for a table so my sister and I decided to place our orders at the counter. The place is really small and my sister was actually asking if they can open the function room to accommodate everybody but they declined. We can't do anything then but to endure the heat since we are seated at the al fresco area. Good thing we were transferred inside as soon as a group of customers finished dining.

The waiting took us about 45 minutes, well roughly an hour! And what's worst is that the food came at our table one at a time with intervals of around 10 minutes. My sister was furious since my dad is diabetic and the kids were seriously starving. That failed to make us enjoy the food altogether since we allowed the kids and my dad eat the first few dishes served to our table (even if those weren't their preferred orders). Well, here's what we ordered.

Bacon Fried Chicken Steaks with Milk'shroom gravy (Php 175)

Glazed Pork Tocino with Creamed Parsley Eggs (Php 155)

Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce (Php 185)

Crisp Pork Scallopini with Sour Cream BBQ Sauce (Php 180)
Trio of Sausages Fettucini (Php 180)
We also ordered Hickory Smoked BBQ Country Ribs but failed to take a photo since were all starving. Generally, the rice meals are good and hefty for its price. I particularly liked the Bacon Fried Chicken Steak with Milk'shroom gravy. The pasta is ok too, though I find it a little dry.

Now the desserts. I could rant about this even if I am not a dessert lover. I find the cheesecakes not too sweet and the banoffee superb. 

Blueberry Cheesecake Slice (Php 100)

Oreo Cheesecake Slice (Php 100)
Banoffee Pie Slice (Php 95)

Now to sum up our experience at Banapple.

The Good - As what I've said earlier, the food is good for its price and the servings are hefty. The cheesecakes are very affordable and they aren't that sweet which I totally dig. As for the service, what I appreciated was the staff being apologetic. In a way I think that they are aware of what needs to be improved. 

The Bad - Service is very slow. I think this particular branch is undermanned thus the slow serving time. They should also allow the diners to use the function room during weekends and they must also anticipate mass of diners and provide a bigger dining area and more staff to attend to everybody's needs.

If not for the very slow service, I think I would be totally smitten by Banapple. Affordable food and great desserts. I just really wish they'll do something about the service. I don't think that they would always want to leave customers waiting and furiously hungry. 

Il Terrazo
Sct. Madrinan cor Tomas Morato
South Triangle
Quezon City
(02) 4132675
Wifi - none
Parking - there are a lot of parking spaces around.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tapas Tapas at Tapeo!

I haven't had a decent break (meaning consuming a decent amount of alcohol and gorging on some good food) for quite some time now. After a devastatingly painful transition period from being unemployed to adjusting to my new work (alright, I am being overacting), that would be the first Friday off I had in months! Thanks to my ever great foodie friends who have made me realize that all I need to have is good company, good conversations and a good Sangria to get my sanity back.

My friend Miko whom I love so dearly suggested we have a simple get together at this lovely little tapas bar in the heart of The Fort called Tapeo who apparently just opened a few weeks back. They have this Tapas buffet for Php 450 (weekends) and Php 400 (Mondays - Thursdays) that would allow you to enjoy tapas to your heart's content.

Hep hep hep! Tapas? Alright now a little backgrounder. For us Pinoys, perhaps the first thing that pops out of our heads would be the famous breakfast staple "tapa" of the well loved Tapsilog but, uh ah, that's not the tapa I am talking about.

***Tapas are appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine. The serving of tapas is said to aid someone's plunging social life for it encourages conversations since people aren't riveted from one course to another  compared when eating a full meal, instead, people tend to stand and roam around while eating the tapas which is basically wonted in some countries.

Tapas over glasses of wine. 

***Another trivia. Did you know that the origin of the word "tapas" came from several tales from Spain, all of which explaining how great it is  to discover to combine drinking wine and eating food. One etymological myth would be when in early days the Spaniards would often put a piece of bread on top of a wine cup to prevent it from fruit flies or from dust. Eventually, they decided to put something else on the bread (like ham or cheese or anchovies or anything palatable) so it would also serve as a snack in between sips (or gulps, hehe) of wine. 

Back to the real deal, we then decided to indulge in tapas and Sangria that night. 

The place is quite small and could probably just accommodate less than 50 people which by the way I totally dig. It is a perfect place if you just wanna hang out and talk with your buddies. 

The tapas spread I would say is a little limited for I have expected much more than what they had that night. I was expecting Gambas al Ajillo, Huevos Rellenos or even the simple Calamares a la Romana but to my dismay, there aren't any of those in their offerings that night. :( 

Now let me share some of my plates for that evening. 

Most of the tapas served were so-so. However, some of it made me "wow" like the Albondigas with Roasted Pepper, Chorizo de Pavo and some of the Croquetas de Patatas. I also liked the Lemon Tart (that I haven't taken a photo of) for it served as a good palate cleanser in between bites of those tapas. But you know what I loved so much that night? Their uber delish Sangria! Their fruity Sangria is to die for! I would love to say that it is a fiesta in every sip!

Muy delicioso Sangria!
The food might be middling but I have to commend Tapeo for their exceptional service. The staff is very attentive to everybody's needs. They make sure that all used plates are bused and water glasses are replenished right away.  Bueno trabajo! And because of that, I'll surely consider coming back to Tapeo.

G/F The Fort Strip
7th Avenue cor 28th St
Tel. No: (02) 9754454