Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad


Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1:22-23 | KJV |’


For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 | KJV |

Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes Are a Snap!


It is amazing what people try to sell! A Book for $20 about…How to Prepare Meals at Home Under 30 Minutes?

Most all of my Home Cooked Meals are prepared in less than 30 Minutes! Same with my wife’s cooking. I could Post hundreds such Meals that are a Snap to Prepare in Short Order. It will not cost you one Centavo! Free to you, right here on All Around Bacolod.


However, I will share a few, just to make some folks hungry. I will even give them Fancy Names…


Visayan Buffalo Wings
Mac & Cheese Spaghetti
Lemon Butter Fried Chicken
Mexican Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Dressing
Pan Pasta with Smoked Sausage
Pizza Skillet Casserole
Beef Pasta Salad
Pineapple Bacon Cheeseburger
Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Cucumber Tomalita Salad
Tortellini with Broccolini
Garlic Butter Rib Eye Steaks
Deviled Eggo Salad
Italian Sausage and 2 Bean Skillet
Beef Meatball Noodle Bowl
Bacon Cheddar Pepper Chicken Sandwich
Fried Pork Chops with Apple Butter
Roasted Pepper Shrimp
Mediterranean Flat Iron Steaks
Ginger Pork Chops
Negrense Rib Eye Steaks


I think I just helped a few struggling Restaurants with Kicked Up Menus! My contributions to Impossible Restaurants to keep them open.

Happy Cooking! I am Grillin’ and Chillin” in the City of Smiles, the City we love so well, Bacolod City.,

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Pizza Drive on Alijis Road


Randy, my best Filipino Friend and Driver of my Isuzu MU-X,  was tied up Saturday with my son’s School Christmas Party. I was home alone and without wheels.

I had watched Food Network on Friday evening with Bobby Flay and his daughter Sophie making Pizza. That started the Pizza Craving. A little after 1130am today, I could no longer take it. I wanted Pizza and I was going to get it.


Catching a taxi from our Subdivision in Bacolod is a 90-10 proposition that you ain’t getting a taxi! I took a trike to Pizza Drive, which is not that far away.


I would take a wild guess and say…Pizza Drive either has a new Owner or they are under New Management. Whichever, they have fabulous Pizza! The price is unreal as well.

I ordered Pizza Drive 8 slice Pepperoni, Mushroom and Bell Pepper Pizza and the price is only P230! Is this a Retro Pizzeria with 2014 Prices or what? Pizza Drive Pizza has thin, flaky Crust, the kind I like. Sorta like Shakey’s only with better taste.

San Miguel Pale Pilsen is P50 each at Pizza Drive and served ice cold.

I have written many times about Pizza on Living in the Philippines3 Yahoo Group, where I am the Administrator, and on All Around Bacolod. On Saturday, the Best Pizza in Bacolod was at Pizza Drive!

Pizza Drive is located on Alijis Road in Bacolod, almost next door to Robinsons Supermarket but one block away, pn the same side of Alijis.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…All Around Bacolod. It could be at…Pizza Drive!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Low Country Boil


When I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, I learned about the Low Country Cuisine. It is not as heralded in much of America, however, it is known for its Fabulous Food, throughout much of the Southern USA.

There are a number of Essentials in Low Country Cuisine and I will name the ones I am most familiar with. Shrimp, Crabs, Oysters, Grits, Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Fried Green Tomatoes, Okra, Collard Greens, Pulled Pork, Chicken Bog and Boiled Peanuts.


The above photo is Low Country Fried Steak with Gravy and the good news is, you do not have to be in the Low Country to make it…You can make it right here in Bacolod!


The above photo is Fried Green Tomatoes. There are certainly many Green Tomatoes in Bacolod. After you eat just one, next time, you will slap yo granny down, getting to that batch of Fried Green Tomatoes. Hot, right out of the skillet.


One of my All Time Favorites is the Low Country Boil. You may ask yourself…Self, where is the Low Country. The Low Country is the Coastal Regions of South Carolina and Georgia.

This is what you need to do and then…you really have something good to eat!

Season the Seafood, Season the Veggies and Season the Water in the Stock Pot. Bring the Water to a boil and add…Corn on the Cob and Potatoes. After 10 minutes, add Whole Onions. After 5 minutes, lower heat and add Smoked Sausage, Shrimp, and Crabs. Continue to simmer until done.

Old Newspapers are perfect to use as a Table Cloth when eating the Low Country Boil. Ice Cold Beer is the Beverage of Choice.


Chicken Bog. What the heck is this? Chicken Bog is almost always found in Low Country Homes or in the Homes of those originally from the Low Country but have relocated.

Chicken Bog is a Rich Porridge, consisting of Chicken, Rice, Onions and Smoked Sausage. Fancy restaurants refer to Chicken Bog as…are you ready? Chicken Pilau! However, it is all the same.

There you have it Amigos and Amigas. From the Low Country to the City of Smiles and right to you in yo Kitchen!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Ho Hop, Wo Hop or Po Palace


Binondo, the Oldest Chinatown in the World, may well be your only bet to eat New York Style Chinese Food. Not only in Metro Manila but anywhere in the Philippines.


The above Photo is a painting by Arko, depicting Binondo in Metro Manila.

In Bacolod, it is a mixed bag about Chinese Restaurants. They have Chinese Food and that is the only positive. None really light a fire with even a spark. None have that notch kicker to make me enjoy Chinese Food. I lived in China for 9 years, where I worked as an English Teacher. I enjoyed American-Chinese Food in America for 3 decades and I enjoyed Chinese Food in Binondo, when I lived in Manila two times.


There is one main Chinatown in NYC but there are actually 8 different Chinatown Neighborhoods in the Big Apple. The Chinese of NY have developed their own Style of Chinese Food, known as NY Style. The owner of Joy Young Chinese Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama sent his Grandson Chef to NYC to actually study NY Style Chinese Food at Pearl Palace Academy.


Opened in 1919, Joy Young was the First and the Oldest Chinese Restaurant in the entire State of Alabama. Joy Young Property was reportedly sold to Developers in the 1980s and no more Joy Young! However, a Descendant of Joe Young, owner of Joy Young, had their famous recipes. He opened the Chop Suey Inn on Green Springs Hwy in Birmingham.


The Po Palace, with the appropriate name, in Alachua, Florida offers NY Style Chinese Food on a Budget. If you have $4 or $5, you are eating a good NY Style Chinese Lunch! Gainesville, near Alachua, has a a NY Style Chinese Restaurant near the University of Florida Campus. Many meals are served in the Iconic cardboard Chinese Takeout Box with Wire Handle, for authenticity.


Did you know that those cardboard Chinese Takeout Boxes can be folded out to make a plate?

Wo Hop is a famous Chinese Restaurant in NYC Chinatown. They keep alive NY Style Chinese Food and they are open 24/7.


Ho Hop is a NY Style Chinese Restaurant in Green Cove Springs, Florida. The Politically Correct Squad has not zeroed in on Ho Hop about their name. I doubt a Judge in Florida would make the owner change it, anyway.


American-Chinese Chefs not only created a New Style of Chinese Food, they also created New Names for Chinese Dishes. In China, you will never see or hear…Moo Goo Gai Pan, Egg Foo Young, Crab Rangoon, Chow Mein, Chop Suey, Won Tons, Egg Rolls, Egg Drop Soup, Pineapple Chicken, Fortune Cookies, Chinese Mustard or other American-Chinese specifics.


Cold Sesame Noodles, Chicken Almond Ding, Shrimp Chow Mein, Pineapple Chicken, Chow Mai Fon, Goon Bo Gai and Walnut Shrimp are a few examples of Original NY Style Chinese Food.


You gotta love NY Style Chinese Food. It is an American Icon. originated by Chinese-Americans. American Chinese Food will blow your socks off! It Rocks and will never die.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

Seafood…And Eat It!


There are a number of good Seafood Restaurants in Bacolod. However, even eating at the best, I have experiences Mild to Moderate GI Disturbances after eating there. Therefore, the best and safest Seafood is at Gary’s House!

My wife and I both know how to safely handle Fresh Seafood and we know how to prepare it.

The Seafood Dish I eat most often at home is the Fish Po Boy. I use Vietnamese Catfish Fillets, AKA Cream Dory, to make the Po Boy, Deep Frying the Fish.


The key to any Fried Fish is…the Batter. I like Beer Battered Fish. Other Ingredients include…Cornmeal, Flour, a variety of Spices of Choices but I use All in One Creole Seasoning that is all in. Everything is in it already.

I dip the Fish Fillets in Beer and then dredge it in the Seasoned Cornmeal-Flour Mix. If you do not like dipping Fish in Beer, dip it in a beaten Egg first.


On the Po Boy, I slather both the bread and the Fish with Mayonnaise and Horseradish, accented with Pickle Relish. I then top with Cole Slaw. The Fish Po Boy is down home New Orleans. Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez! Let the Good Times Roll!

I make a Shrimp Po Boy from time to time, using the same Technique as making the Fish Po Boy. If I see the large Oysters, an Oyster Po Boy is awesome!

When eating Boiled Shrimp, I make Shrimp Cocktail as the Sauce. I leave off the Pickle Relish and I use Ketchup instead of Mayonnaise, never forgetting the Horseradish. Required!

Scallops and Oysters are at the top of my favorite Seafood. I learned my lesson well and I will never, never, never again eat Raw Oysters in the Philippines.


I also like Clams, especially Razor Clams, Mussels, Crabs and Sea Snails.

The Fish I eat, I am very picky about. Head and Tail on does not bother me but them Bones do bother me!

Vietnamese Catfish, Lison, Lapu Lapu and Bangus are the Fish I enjoy. Forget Tilapia!


There is a Marine Bounty and a Treasure Trove of Seafood…all around Bacolod. I hope to see you here…one day!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

 

Sisig-King of Filipino Food


Sisig is a dish that is made from Pig’s Mask and is loaded with spices such as Onion, Garlic, and Chili Peppers, as well as seasoned with Calamansi. It is typically served with a cracked egg on top. Many Filipinos in the Bacolod Area also top their Sisig with Mayonnaise.

A kilo of sliced Pig’s Mask is available at the Burgos Public Market in Bacolod for only P100.

This famous dish that can be served for lunch or dinner or even used as a pulutan in gatherings originally came from Pampanga in Luzon.\In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.

In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.


Sisig, which means “to snack on something sour” or “salad” was first mentioned in the 17th century and has become a culinary tradition around the Philippines. This prompted the City Government of Angeles to pass an Ordinance declaring Angeles City as the Sisig Capital of the Philippines.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~