Friday, November 25, 2016

Quick munch of the Butter Me Up Kettle Corn with Himalayan Pink Salt

Delicious popcorn by Coney Island Classics.

Non-GMO corn, popped the old-fashioned way, with a kettle. It's the flavored with butter and Himalayan pink salt (dubbed as the purest salt).

The popcorn is cooked well, light and crunchy. The butter flavor is subtle. The saltiness of the Himalayan salt is not sharp, but it's unevenly distributed.

All in all, not bad. It's a little pricey though, at Php 200.

Try it and judge for yourself.

First sip of Merry Matcha

A holiday treat from Jamba Juice.

It's an almond-milk-based smoothie, flavored with matcha.

DELICIOUS. The flavors are nicely blended. The dairy sweetness of the milk and the earthiness of the matcha complement each other, giving the smoothie a balanced taste.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Monday, November 21, 2016

First lick of the Red Velvet Cornetto

It's red velvet ice cream with a chocolate center, topped with red velvet cake bits and a white chocolate disc.

The smooth red velvet ice cream has a faint strawberry flavor. The chocolate center has a good semisweet taste. The white chocolate disc is too sweet and too sharp.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

First bite of Spud Buds

They're potato chips made by the local company Spud Buds Potato Company. And it's not just the company that's local but the main ingredient too: the potatoes are from Benguet.

There are various variants of the snack, and most of them are covered with chocolate. There's White (white chocolate), Milk (milk chocolate), and Dark (dark chocolate). For those who want the "normal" chips, there's Sea Salt.

We tried Dark and Milk. First off, the potatoes were delicious! They were perfectly fried and seasoned. And their ridges provided good texture. As for the chocolate, we found them just a little disappointing. The milk chocolate was a tad too sweet and its flavor, ordinary. The dark chocolate tasted like Milo, the energy drink, It too was ordinary and did not have the bitterness and depth of good dark chocolate.

A pack costs Php 200. Kinda pricey, right?

You can buy Spud Buds at the Snack Bar of UP Town Cinema.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

First sip of the YuleTide Spice

It's one of the holiday smoothies from Jamba Juice.

It's a smoothie with an almond-milk base. The drink is mainly flavored with cinnamon.

It definitely tastes like the holidays, but we find that the cinnamon flavor should be taken down a notch. Along with the almond milk component, the drink packs too much flavor.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

First bite at The Barn (by Tipsy Pig)

Place: Rustic and modern. The wood furnishings and the warm lights create a homey, country look. The steel lines and mirrors, not to mention the flat-screen TVs, give the contemporary touch. The dining spaces feature long tables, giving the hint that this place is not really for romantic dates but for big group meals and chill drinking sessions. The chairs are comfortable, while the tables are spacious but some are wobbly.


Food: Delicious and copious!


First on our table are the Ultimate Chips and Fries (Php 290). Thin potato chips and fat french fries, served with three dips: Bacon Jam, Buffalo Cream Cheese, and Garlic Mayo. All these dips are delicious, and there's something for every taste: the first is for those who want it sweet and smoky, the second for those who want it hot and creamy, and the last is for those who want it more mellow with just a little punch. The taters are not oily and are perfectly fried. The cheese topping adds the right amount of salt to this good starter.

Next, some salad: The Barn (Php 290). The dish features salad greens, alfalfa, boiled egg, marble potatoes, blue cheese, and candied walnuts. All these ingredients are drizzled with some Bacon Vinaigrette. This salad is a good mixture of flavors and textures. Each forkful is satisfying! The ingredients are fresh and are of high quality.

Then, the Shrimp Rigatoni (Php 290) for a serving of pasta. Al dente rigatoni smothered with a creamy tomato sauce that tastes like it simmered all day. Nothing sharp or salty, just a good, mellow tomato flavor. Plus, the jumbo shrimps are fresh and juicy!

Last on our table are The Barn Sliders (Php 425). Three sandwiches in one dish! You have a Burger Slider, a Pulled Pork Slider, and a Fried Chicken Slider. Plus, a big serving of fries! The Burger Slider is delicious, with its sauteed mushrooms and that meaty, moist patty. The Pulled Pork is not bad; the meat is tender and flavored like American barbecue, spicy and tangy. The Fried Chicken Slider is not bad, but it has nothing great to offer in terms of taste. A thing we don't like much are the buns used. They taste a little cheap and they're a tad too soft.

Price: Considering taste, quality, and serving size, the food here is reasonably priced.

Service: Waiting time for food is acceptable. The staff are nice and friendly, but a bit inattentive.

The Barn (by Tipsy Pig) is at UP Town Center.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

First scoop of Selecta's Mango Sans Rival ice cream

The smooth mantecado ice cream is buttery and not too sugary. Each scoop is teeming with crisp cashew and chewy Graham bits. The mango flavor is pronounced but not overpowering. 

Probably one of Selecta's best variants.

Try it and judge for yourself.

First scoop of Selecta's Black Forest ice cream

It's creamy and smooth, not too sweet and delicious. But it doesn't taste like Black Forest. 

It's more like Double Dutch ice cream with strawberry syrup. Traditionally, a Black Forest has cherries, not strawberries.

Good flavor, but not true to the name.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Monday, November 7, 2016

First sip of the Nescafé Caramel Macchiato

A new caffeinated drink from Nescafé.

It's caramel-flavored instant coffee. The caramel taste is authentic enough, and it isn't overpowering. The bitter coffee can still be sensed amid the sweetness. Not bad!

Try it and judge for yourself.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

First bite of the Banana Pie

A new dessert option from McDonalds.

The crust is light, crispy, and delicious. The banana filling is too sweet, and banana is overripe.

All in all, a letdown.

A piece costs Php 29.

Try is and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

First bite of the Chocolate Cruffin

A new treat from Starbucks.

It is a muffin-shaped croissant that has a chocolate cream filling, and is dusted with bitter chocolate powder.

The chocolate components are good. The bread though is stale, and it's not as flaky and buttery as a good croissant.

An order costs Php 85.

Try it and judge for yourself.

First bite of the Triple Chocolate Truffle Cookie

A new cookie from Starbucks.

Chewy and moist, this new cookie oozes with a good bittersweet chocolate flavor. With chopped nuts to boot! Yummy!

An order costs Php 65.

Try it and judge for yourself.

First sip of the Santa Hat Dark Mocha

It is the holiday drink for 2016.

Dark Mocha with java chips, topped with "strawberry-infused" whipped cream.

It doesn't taste bad, but this drink is not festive enough for the Christmas season. It's too ordinary.

Tip: The Hot version is better than the Frappuccino one; the latter is just too sweet!

A Tall order costs Php 170.

Try it and judge for yourself.