Thursday, February 24, 2011


Since 1964, and tagged as "Marikina's Finest", Mang Frederick's Barbecue has been a constant stopover for all Marikenyos and tourists alike. The secret marinade is the key to Mang Fred's success...not to mention the vinegar mix that goes with all his specialties such as pork barbecue, tenga (pig's ear), and my favorite isaw (pig intestine)!

And no, their barbecue is never tough. So tender, so juicy, so tasty at only ten pesos per stick. A perfect snack, or ulam.

Mang Frederick's barbecue has four branches. The easiest to spot is the one beside the San Roque church. To get there, just take the Calumpang jeep to Marikina and ask the driver to let you off San Roque Church, or OLA (Our Lady of the Abandoned). If you're driving to Marikina, immediately turn right as you go down the Marikina river bridge, and just go straight until you reach the church. If you're really not good at this, just follow the Calumpang jeepneys that you will see...hehe! :D

The other branches are in San Roque along W. Paz (about 50 meters from the church branch), one in Calumpang, and another one in Sto. Nino (near "trading", just ask around when you get off at Bayan, they know it for sure -- this time, turn left as you go down the bridge).

Barbecued delights. I want to go to Mang Frederick's, right now. As in, now na.

Hello my favorite isaw! I'm on diet mode (mostly) on weekdays, so see you this weekend, okay? :)

San Roque, Marikina City, Metro Manila
With another branch at 129 E. DELA PAZ ST., San Roque, Marikina City
Tel. No.: 6463685
Ihaw-ihaw set up usually starts at noon. :)
Munching Budget per person: starts at 10 PhP

Marikina, aking hirang.


Monday, February 21, 2011


"Some Kind of Wonderful" is a hit film in 1987, a cult classic during the "Brat Pack" era with a soundtrack that sticks to your head (I am actually downloading the OST right now). Read more about the film here.

In Marikina, we have this too, 'ya know. SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL cafe opened last November 2010 - yep, quite new - and as you can glean from its name, it is an 80s-themed hideaway!!! My heart jumps for joy. :D

We went there earlier today for snack (err, late lunch), and as soon as you enter you will be greeted by the 80s:

On the left wall panel, they have mounted albums of all 80s hits! I love it! And to the right, you will see a collage of 80s films, which of course includes the film SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL (torrent, torrent, torrent, seed, seed, seed...who has a copy? please?!)

They have the Go-Go's, RUN DMC...and beside RUN DMC...

THE SMITHS!!! (Roni sings her favorite song: " die by your such a heavenly way to die...")

So there I was inhaling all things 80s. You can also see stuff like Care Bears stuffed toys, action figures, Rubik's cubes...

Aside from its some kind of wonderful 80s theme, I was also drawn to this restaurant by word-of-mouth reviews that they have (one of) the best cheeseburgers in town. I vowed to munch on a cheeseburger today, oh yeah baby. So here is what we ordered:

SPICY BUFFALO WINGS WITH VEGGIE STICKS (135 PhP). Yummy. I loved the dressing. I wish I had a liter of their buffalo wings dressing at home. The wings were spicy, cooked just right. I'll order this again when we come back.

CHEESEBURGER (140 PhP). I have to tell you, those word-of-mouth-guys were not kidding!!! Now, this is actually MY FAVORITE cheeseburger. Sweetie and I unanimously say, this one hits the spot. The patty was cooked well, juicy and very tasty! I loved the texture of the wheat bun, the crunch of the onion, the flavor of the tomato and most of all, the mustard and the CHEESE. I can imagine them serving this with blue cheese too, oh that would be heavenly. YOU HAVE TO ORDER THIS, promise me. Hehe! :D

CHICKEN FILLET WITH CREAMY TOMATO OLIVE SAUCE (140 PhP). I had already closed our order but skimming through their menu, I asked for this dish to be added to our carte. My oh my were we bochogs today, haha! It's just that I love olives (he doesn't, so more olives for me), plus a creamy tomato olive sauce appealed to my imagination. Imagine crispy chicken fillet with creamy-buttery dressing with tomato chunks and olives, served with Jasmine rice and potato salad. Okay my mouth is watering now.

CHICKEN QUESADILLA (115 PhP). When they served this, my first question was, where's the sauce? Maybe I might have been used to having sauces like sour cream served with quesadillas I've tried before but for today, I just dismissed the thought of sauce and decided to try the quesadilla in all its simplicity. After taking a huge bite, you know what? You don't need a sauce for this. Like the cheeseburger, this will definitely be a reorder for me when I get back. They have stuffed the pita with generous amounts of chicken, cheese, tomatoes and onions. Yummy yummy yummy. Goes straight to my tummy.

Like I always say, I enjoy eating in a restaurant for its ambience, food and value for money. To add to that, the service. In SKOW (that's the resto's acronym), the servers were very friendly, and very attentive. Our dining experience was very pleasant.

Dining with great and AFFORDABLE food while listening to 80s music has never been this fun! I am definitely bringing my family and friends here, maybe we'll chance upon Seona Dancing or Duran Duran next time, too! :)

And oh, they gave us a free oatmeal cookie!!!

Visit SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL now, all you 80ists out there - or people who want great food at great prices. Foodies + Eighties = One of the best ideas ever!

More reasons to love Some Kind of Wonderful Cafe here.

Rainbow Street, SSS Village
(Right across St. Paul Parish, if you're commuting, take the SSS jeep or FX and ask Manong Driver to let you off near Saint Paul Parish)
Marikina City, Metro Manila
(02) 409-1242 / 09282714998
OPEN everyday EXCEPT Tuesdays FROM 12nn to 10pm
Munching Budget per person: starts at 100 PhP

My SKOW map made with love as requested (Just click on the image to enlarge):

Marikina, aking hirang.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Discovering Isabelo Garden Restaurant in Marikina is like getting lost somewhere in the forest and suddenly discovering a wooden house with a chimney, the smell of a feast suddenly fills the air, the trees light up with fireflies, and you can hear the lovely voice of a fairy singing - in this case it's Portia of Isabelo. Upon entering the silver gate we were greeted by trees carefully decorated with colorful lights, leading to the entrance to the restaurant where you feel you are stepping into a different world.

I think our timing was great: dinner. All the lights are on, all you can hear is the faint sound of classical music and bottles clinking.

Philip, the ever-diligent receptionist cum waiter, led us to our sweet little corner. The walls are adorned by old family photos (c/o the legendary J.P. Rizal Studio, and yes, still operating!), empty perfume bottles, cute vintage items, porcelain, figurines, and of course, beautiful paintings of Portia's Mom.

After a few minutes, the lovely chef and hostess Portia welcomed us and gave us a brief background on how the restaurant started. She was originally working in the (money-abundant) field of advertising, but like we all know, when your heart isn't there, you will always go to where it belongs. In Portia's case, it is cooking and setting up her own restaurant. Great move dear. :)

I know you have all been waiting for this, so this is what we ordered:

For the appetizer, we ordered the dish that according to Portia, "started it all": the SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP (350 PhP). She began baking this goodie and selling it to family and friends in microwaveable containers. That night we had our share of this tasty dish. Served bubbling and hot with toasted Ciabatta bread, Portia's Spinach and Artichoke dip is a creamy, cheesy, and truly stomach-opening winner.

We ordered Lemon Parslied Garlic Rice (210 PhP, good for 5 persons) for the upcoming entrées...

...first of which are the STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS (525 PhP). It has a delicious sauce that complements the stuffing and the taste of the mushroom. We loved it! (You can read more about Portobello Mushrooms here.)

And here comes the Star of the Night: the ROAST PORK CRACKLING (1250 PhP). I believe Portia pours in so much love in cooking this one. It is pork cooked via pugon for six (6) hours! The meat is so tender and juicy, the fat sticky and the skin crunchy and then melts in your mouth. Haaay! It is served with four (4) signature special sauces: Red Wine Vinegar, Apple Sauce, Mango Chutney, and Marinara. All were hits for me and Sweetie.

The order doesn't end there of course. Disclaimer: We did NOT finish everything, we had more than enough to take home to our families. We just wanted to try a bit of all the bestsellers (hihi, palusot).

And then the QUATTRO FORMAGGI PIZZA (450 PhP) comes in. Thin, cripsy crust, loaded with four types of cheese. We really love how the flavor of the Blue Cheese really stood out. We almost finished the whole pizza! Served with Chili Oil, this pizza is one of the best quattro formaggi I have ever tasted.

You can also add "peperoncino" (chili + olive oil) to your dishes:

We took more gulps of the iced tea we ordered to get ready for dessert (yes, there is always room for dessert). To "cap off" our meal as Portia says, we had Yoghurt Sorbet with Fresh Fruits and Walnut Streusel (200 PhP), and Mango Float (110 PhP)! Mango was the fruit of the night, oh yeah!

The yoghurt sorbet was soooo good it did not last for more than five minutes.

The Mango Float had this really creamy ice cream base, a little like refrigerator cake because of the presence of Graham crumbs. It was topped with chocolate syrup. So yummy!

Our dining experience in Isabelo will always be one of the most memorable. The place is great, the food is excellent, the service impeccable, and the chef / hostess has been very accomodating.

We will definitely dine again SOON in Isabelo. :)

Isabelo Mendoza Street, San Roque, Marikina City
RESERVATION is a must via
Munching Budget per person: starts at 500 PhP

My map of Isabelo made with love (Click on the image to enlarge):

Marikina, aking hirang.


Thursday, February 10, 2011


I choose to dine in a restaurant because of the taste of the food, value for your money, and the uniqueness of the place. For me, Pan de Amerikana in Marikina captures all of these aspects.

According to some articles I've come across, this branch is one of the ONLY five (5) chess-themed restaurants in the WORLD (world class indeed!). I also like how the restaurant conducts free art classes for kids! When you enter the restaurant, you can see kids' artworks posted on a board dedicated to show off the chikitings' masterpieces.

I adore the interior of Pan de Amerikina. You can see (and do) a lot of things. First of all, of course, is play chess. After you order and pay at the counter, you can get a set of chess pieces from the shelf right beside the cashier. All tables in Pan de Amerikana have engraved chess boards on them. But nothing beats their giant chess board, haha:

 How to arrive at checkmate? Steal the king!

Like I said, the interior of Pan de Amerikana makes one...curious. I mean, a bridge and a little pond inside the restaurant? The kids love it!

When you go there, tell me if you see these three bakers:

And this windmill (never mind the candid couple):

And the guys' restroom entrance:

So, the place is nice. Of course, the stay wouldn't be as fulfilling if the food were bland. But it's not. The food was very tasty and veeeeeery affordable. Here is what we had:

Steak (Waited long for this one, but truly worth it!)

Pinaputok na Tilapia

  Sinigang na Bangus Belly, Adobo Mushrooms, and Laing

And oh, when you go there, don't forget to do these two things. First, go up the tree house and cross the hanging bridge (1 to 2 persons at a time only!):

And two, take home some of their pan de sal. Their pan de sal has received awards and very good reviews, plus they make them BIIIIG, makes you wonder what happened to other bakeries and they started making them small.

92 Ordonez St.
Marikina City, Metro Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 475-2398
Munching Budget per person: starts at 100 PhP

Marikina, aking hirang.


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