Chicken Charlie

The long wait for the opening of Chicken Charlie in SM Mall Bacolod is over! Chicken Charlie opened in October in the north wing of SM, in the old Bigby’s location.

October 25 was my birthday and we had an evening BBQ planned at our home with invited guests, so for brunch, we turned to Chicken Charlie since we had to buy a few last minute items at SM before my birthday party.

Never heard of Chicken Charlie? Bacolod City has one of the newest branches, which are also in Quezon City, Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and in Cebu.

The specialty of Chicken Charlie is chicken, using the double frying technique. They have a signature soy garlic sauce and hot sweet sauce, of your choice. Drumsticks and wings are the two available choices. Chicken Charlie also has fish strips and chips. Among the side dishes include Charlie’s Greens, which is an Asian style salad, fries, potato wedges, pickled relish and my favorite, Cheesestick Dynamite.

Cheesestick Dynamite!

Green chili peppers with cheese, battered and deep fried. We called them “Poppers” in Florida, my home State in America. Yes, I had these for brunch on my Birthday. First meal of the day. I’ve been known to eat chili con carne with lots of hot sauce and Buffalo Wings for breakfast! The Cheesestick Dynamite are not overpowering but they are a little spicy.

Fish Strips and Chips

I know chicken is the specialty at Chicken Charlie but I went with the fish strips and chips for my Birthday Brunch. In the near future, I will post about the chicken at Chicken Charlie!

Chicken Charlie is a fast food restaurant but nothing is cooked in advance. The short wait is well worth it since your order is cooked fresh as you order it. No prefab grabbing some chicken to put in your meal basket, which was cooked an hour ago and has not sold yet! Your order is prepared as you order it at the counter, which is the best way. You know your food is fresh!

The next time you are in SM and want to try some good food, give Chicken Charlie a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed!




Buying Second Hand Cars in Bacolod City

Buying second hand cars in Bacolod City is often a topic that comes up among expats who have moved to this area of the Philippines or who are thinking about it. There are many surplus vehicles made in this area of the Philippines from Japanese and/or Korean parts. The body of the vehicle is custom made here locally and they are usually the pickup truck style or a minivan style. However, I have seen replicas of a Rolls Royce, a BMW, monster pickup trucks, a dune buggy and two seater sports cars with the VW engine in the back. Nice!

We own a Suzuki Rusco pickup, which many refer to as a “multi-cab.” Ours is used on our farm in the Province, located south of Bacolod. P150,000 or about $3,600 U$D will put you behind the wheel of a surplus made multi-cab with a customized new body. The parts are cheap to replace on these vehicles and they are great for local driving.

Some people want a more “traditional” type vehicle, so I will share what I have discovered lately about the pricing of some models of second hand vehicles in Bacolod. These vehicles are all automatics, which are more expensive than the manual transmission vehicles. No, I don’t own a car lot! These are not my cars for sale.

Toyota Vios

This 2007 Toyota Vios is P420,000 and that is roughly $10,000 U$D.

Honda Accord

This 1994 Honda Accord is P200,000, which is about $4,800 USD.

Another Honda

This is either a 1994/1995 Honda Civic or a Honda Vtec and the price is P230,000- P250,000, which is in the neighborhood of $5,500-$6,000 U$D.

Hey, that’s my vehicle! Sorry, it is not for sale. It is an Isuzu Crosswind XUV. It is by far my favorite vehicle and I really enjoy driving it around Bacolod. 

This posting has made me hungry! I don’t think it is too late for a small sandwich.


Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich! The tomatoes are the small local ones and they are hidden underneath the bacon but they are there. The bread came from Bob’s Deli and I added lots of mayonnaise.The bacon is Virginia brand, which is a Philippine product.

Only a few more bites!

Time to tuck everything back in the bread and finish this sandwich off.














DIY Sliders (mini burgers) in Bacolod

Most organized blogs have a purpose, a mission, a vision, a goal or an objective and there is nothing wrong with having all of them. When I first started All Around Bacolod, my purpose was based on a number of conversations that I had with many expats over the previous ten years. Moving to and living in another country is not easy for some people and some people just never make the adjustment. There is a new culture, new languages, new climate and new food. Personally, I think those of us in the expat community, who have successful experiences, should help those who are struggling but without being pushy.

Retirees are often concerned about what they can do in the Philippines to fill their time, since they are no longer working. Others are not so adventurous and they prefer their own food rather than the local cuisine, so they are concerned if they can buy their favorite food items or their favorite ingredients to make their favorite food at home. Safety and security issues are a concern to all and, of course, the cost of living in the Philippines.

I enjoy sharing with others about all the things to see in do in the Bacolod Area and in Negros Occidental. I enjoy sharing with others the things that me and my family do on a regular basis. We are not rich but we have fun everyday without spending a lot of money. I enjoy passing along information about new restaurants and about where to buy certain things. Cooking and preparing food is a hobby of mine and I can create most any dish from the USA, which I enjoy eating, right here in Bacolod City. I enjoy Filipino food and I eat it often but I don’t eat it every meal and I don’t eat Filipino food everyday. Preparing and creating dishes I grew up eating in America and enjoyed eating into adulthood in the States is really part of the fun for me while living in the Philippines.

DIY! Do It Yourself is fun in the Philippines because some things from our home countries are just not available but you can Do It Yourself!


One food item I had not eaten in more than 12 years is the mini burgers made famous by Krystal Restaurant in the southern part of the USA. Another fast food restaurant chain in the northern part of the USA made and sold the same style mini burgers and the name of those were “Sliders.” We referred to the mini burgers in our area as “Krystals.” The ground beef is supposed to be made into square shapes but that is not always easy to do at home, but I gave it my best shot. Some turned out better than others. The taste is the same no matter if they are not perfectly square!

I used ground round beef to make my sliders. I always have McCormick brand yellow mustard on hand in our home, together with several other of my favorite types of mustard, which are available at SM Supermarket. The pickles are Regal Select brand Kosher Hamburger Chips. They are dill pickles and I bought them at Shopper’s Pick, which is located across the street from Robinsons Place Mall on Lacson Street. A slider is just not a slider without finely chopped yellow or white onions. The local red onions will work if that is all you have on hand. The square shaped sesame buns are made by D’baker’s, which is readily available at SM Supermarket or at one of the D’Baker branch stores in Bacolod City.

D’baker’s Square Sesame Buns

There isn’t a Krystal Restaurant or a White Castle Restaurant in Bacolod City but you are not limited if you enjoy eating Krystals or Sliders. Just DIY! BTW, my beef patties are much thicker than the original size found on the sliders and Krystals in America. You can make them the way you like them, thick or thin burger patties.


A Weekend in Bacolod City

Looking Out My Front Door

As the weekend was approaching, it looked like more rain from Tropical Storm Marce all day Saturday. I took this photo from our house when the rain was driving and the palm trees were swaying.

Our son had a late afternoon Birthday Party to attend, of one of his classmates, at Pizza Hut on Sunday, so we planned to hit the road on Saturday. We were blessed in that Saturday morning was clear, sunny and no rain.

Spice’s Bite

The first stop was at Spice’s Bite, a new Indian Restaurant, located across the street from Robinson’s Supermarket at the Triangle in Bacolod. Thanks to Pepe, a reader and poster on the Bacolod Food Hunters right here on Word Press, for telling everyone about the new Indian Restaurant!

Inside Spice’s Bite

Spice’s Bite is the second Indian Restaurant to open in Bacolod in the last several months, so of course, we were making comparisons. There is a great atmosphere inside Spice’s Bite. Indian pop music is piped in their sound system but it is not too loud. It is tolerable and one can talk comfortably at their tables.

Lamb Curry

I highly recommend Lamb Curry at Spice’s Bite. You get a very generous portion for P54. I ordered the mild spicy lamb curry. It was great!


Chapati is the Indian bread on the menu at Spice’s Bite. An order of six pieces is P60. Chapati is great for eating with curry dishes. Chapati allows one to eat by hand without getting messy. Just dip the chapati in the curry and enjoy!

The next stop was at Aribu in the Mandalagan Art District, located off Lacson Street and past Robinsons Place Mall. Aribu is a deli specializing in cold cuts, sausages and cheeses.

Outside Aribu

There are tables outside Aribu where on can sit, relax and enjoy an ice cold beverage. That is exactly what we did before actually shopping.

I was focused on one thing at Aribu and that was Sausage! There are many sausages to choose from but I decided on their best seller, as the friendly staff informed me.


The best seller at Aribu is also one of my all time favorite sausages. Kielbasa. P378 for this package of Kielbasa, which is one kilo. I see 12 sandwiches on a baguette for me in this one kilo! Nope, I am not greedy but my wife and our son do not share my love for Kielbasa! It is all for me.

Kielbasa on a baguette

You got it right! I could not hardly wait to get home and try a Kielbasa Sandwich! The Kielbasa is fried with yellow onions, the baguette is toasted and I added French’s Horseradish Mustard and topped with Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut. Wow! It was great.

Just One More Time!

Time to dig in and enjoy!

Every Sunday is groovy. Sunday is always the best day of the week for me. One can go to church and still have more fun afterward. Last Sunday afternoon was Birthday Party time at Pizza Hut in Gaisano Mall.

Game Time!

Pizza Hut Mascot with the Children

With a large extended Filipino family and with many Filipino friends in the Bacolod Area, there seems to be a Birthday, a Wedding, an Anniversary or some special activity or event in different people’s lives every month. And that is the truth!

A birthday is not complete in the Philippines without spaghetti.

GG Spaghetti Special

Please don’t get excited and run down to your nearest Pizza Hut expecting to find this pasta on their menu because it isn’t there! This GG Spaghetti Special is prepared at home by Grace and Gary. Ground round beef, mushrooms, eggplant, Italian style spaghetti sauce and Parmesan Cheese. I eat pasta at home several times a week and I never tire of it. I think the Kielbasa from Aribu will also work nicely in the next spaghetti we prepare at home.

It was another great weekend for us in Bacolod City. I hope to see you one day, all around Bacolod because we will be here.