Grinders, Hoagies and Po Boys


I usually eat a Sub type Sandwich several times every week at home, ones I make.

There is not a Subway Sandwich Shop in Bacolod City. There are a few restaurants in Bacolod, which attract foreigners, that have Sub type Sandwiches on their menu.The best attempt is found at Delicioso Deli and Bistro. Cafe Bob’s Deli makes sandwiches to order and eat in but they do not have Hoagie Rolls or Baguettes as their choice of breads.

There is a Vietnamese Chain in Bacolod, Xin Chao, which has the Banh Mi/Vietnamese Sandwich on their menu. I recommend eating at their main restaurant branch at Hi Strip 4 Bldg on Circumferential Road. Their franchise kiosks in malls and shopping centers leave a lot to be desired because… what started out as a good Sandwich has gone to hell in a handbag! These days, there is very little Vietnamese Ham on their Sandwich, a little more Liver Pate and mostly sliced Carrots and Cucumbers. More like a Vietnamese Veggie Sandwich.

Soon, I plan writing about Coyo’s Cafe in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental. They have a fabulous Pulled Pork Sandwich and other great dishes on their menu that foreigners will enjoy eating.

American Hoagies

In America, Hoagies were originally associated with Italian-Americans but soon were popularized and most everyone enjoyed eating them. In the NE part of America, many call these a Hero Sandwich. I have also heard the term…Zeppelin in that area, in reference to a Sub.

In New England, Grinder is the term. I have read, more times than once, that a Grinder is a hot Sub, however, in Rhode Island, I most always ate a cold Gringer, with Cold Cuts. I sometimes ate a hot Grinder, a Meatball Sandwich, which is good as well.

I make the New Orleans style Po Boy but I am limited to a Fish Po Boy, a Crab Po Boy and a Smoked Sausage Po Boy. I like an Oyster Po Boy but have yet to really find the larger Oysters, making the best Po Boy when Deep Fried. The large Oysters in our area are really Medium, compared to the Oysters in the South, Florida and Louisiana. I developed an allergy to Shrimp, so a Shrimp Po Boy is out!


Enjoy Life and eat a Hoagie, a Grinder or a Po Boy today!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

The Palms Food Complex


Yesterday, we went to The Palms Food Complex in Bacolod, located behind Starbuck’s and the Shell station on 18th Street, off Lacson Street. We wanted to order Pizza at the new Neenan’s Shack…Pizza and Burgers. The principal proprietor is a foreigner.

The Pizza was great, prepared in a wood fired brick oven. I rank Neenan’s Pizza among the best in Bacolod and the 4 in our party all agree. Two thumbs up! Now, we come to the prices. Margherita Pizza is P145 and Pepperoni Pizza is P160. All pizzas are the same size but among us, we had two slices to bring home, leftover from those two Pizzas we ordered. Those were my breakfast today!


At The Palms, there are maybe 6 restaurants and most all the tables are outdoors but covered by an awning up high. No beating down hot sun or rain to be concerned about. I noticed on the end of the Food Complex, every outdoor table was taken, so I walked down there to see what is so popular. It is…

Beers and Wings! On Wednesdays and Saturdays, 3pm-8pm, there is Unlimited Buffalo Wings and Rice for P199 per head. Beer is extra, of course.

I would like to thank the Bacolod Food Hunters for telling all their followers about the newest and greatest restaurants in Greater Bacolod City. Thank you much!

Almost every week in Bacolod, new restaurants open their doors. Bacolod City has long been known as a Mecca for Fabulous Food. There is something here for just about everyone! Negrense and other Regional Filipino Cuisine, American, British, Indian, Latin American, Spanish, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Asian Fusion and other delicious Cuisine as well.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

National Pizza Day

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National Pizza Day is still on in the USA, Feb 9. In the Philippines, as well yesterday, as a number of pizzerias had all day promos.

According to the statistics, 1 in 8 Americans will eat pizza on any given day and 3 Billion Pizzas are sold each year. The statistics indicate that the number of American pizza eaters do not vary among race or gender. According to Pizza Hut, 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once per month.

One Pizzeria I will mention is Rio Bella, aka “Rio” Greenoz, located on Lacson Extension in Bacolod City. Their Pizza Chefs have changed over the years but they are still better than a number of other so called pizzerias. I still enjoy singing there in their Karaoke Bar. That is exactly what we did last Sunday afternoon with our Chinese friends from Shanghai.

I am not a big fan of Pizza Hut or Shakey’s in the Philippines. I did enjoy the 1954 Vintage Classic Pizza at Shakey’s in 2014 but it is no longer available. I remember the days back in the 1980s and in the 1990s when Shakey’s Pizza was great. The Shakey’s on Roxas Blvd in Manila had Draft San Miguel by the pitcher and a kick butt Rock n’ Roll Band at night. Ever hear the cover of “Mexican Black Bird” by ZZ Top?

Papa John’s Pizza is in Manila.

National Pizza Day Survey

In today’s National Pizza Day Survey, Lombardi’s in NYC, Capo’s in Chicago, Bollo Woodfired Pizza in Houston, Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland, Pizza Domenica in New Orleans, Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, Proof Pizza in Miami (Neapolitan Pizza), Sotto Pizza in LA, Cart Driver Pizza in Denver and Tavola in NYC are the top Pizzerias in America. Never tried any of them but it may be true, although I do not put much stock into American surveys or polls. Otherwise, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House!

I really cannot tell you why but we have never tried Pizza Republic in Bacolod or in Cebu City. We need to check it out since it seems that more Indie Pizza Restaurants are losing their touch.

I would enjoy it very much if Hungry Howies Pizza came to Bacolod, as they have great pizza in Florida.

I remember very well my first pizza and that was way back in 1960 in Middletown, Rhode Island. At a Mom & Pop Pizzeria, owned by a Portuguese couple. They also had fabulous Spaghetti & Meatballs, Grinders (submarine sandwiches) and Antipasto Salad. Wow! Would love to eat there again right now.

Filipinos Love Pizza

Filipinos in Bacolod and in Cebu City also eat a lot of Pizza. It is a mixed bag when you read online pizza reviews and listen to recommendations from others. It does not matter how good the pizza toppings are, if the pizza crust is not good, it is not good pizza…to me. If the crust is excellent, I can enjoy a plain Cheese Pizza. Others have different standards for pizza. Mama Maria Pizza in Kabankalan had very good pizza but we have not been there to eat in several years. Not sure if they are still on the planet or have the same ownership if still open. Mama Maria Pizza in Bacolod folded several years ago.

pizza

In the Bacolod and Cebu City malls, there are a number of kiosks making and selling pizza but I never try those. I can see them on display and I know, it is a poor attempt at making good pizza. They can keep their Eden Kraft Cheese!

Sbarro Pizza is or was in SM Mall Bacolod but I am not a big fan of them. Seems they were much better in Florida, best I recall.

I find Pizzaro Pizza to be very good. There are several branches in Bacolod City but we prefer their Gold Field Branch. Pizzaro also has branches in La Carlota and in Victorias City. Pizzaro has Korean fast food on their menu. However, Hanok in Golden Field is the place to go for authentic, full service Korean Cuisine, as I wrote in a recent article right here on All Around Bacolod.

I could write more about pizza in Bacolod but this article is long enough. I will recommend Italia Restaurant on Lacson Street, as they have excellent pizza. They are the A-Lister these days, as other once excellent Bacolod pizzerias are falling by the wayside.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Wing Master: The Taste of Real Buffalo Wings

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On a tip from an American friend, a former pro wrestler in Boston, we checked out Wing Master last night. It was an awesome experience. Wing Master is located in Zone 15 of Ayala North Point District Mall in Talisay, just north of Bacolod City.

The husband of the owner of Wing Master, Ron, is a member of LinP3. His wife, Russel, is the hands on owner of Wing Master. Both are from Buffalo, NY, so you know their Buffalo Wings are the real deal! You can believe that.

I cannot resist Country Fried Steak, aka Chicken Fried Steak, with White Gravy and Wing Master has it on their menu. It was great. Of course, later in the evening, I had to try their Buffalo Wings.

It’s Still Rock n’ Roll For Me!

A fabulous bonus for me was the live band, which is every Friday night at Wing Master. They were gracious to allow me to sing 6 songs with them during their sets. Every night is a good night for singing and last night was no exception. The guitar player in the band is a real pro, as he may not have been so familiar with my songs but he picked it up right away to lead the way on his electric guitar. Sweet Home Alabama, My Sacrifice, Unchain My Heart, Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Nothing Else Matters and Free Bird.
Rock n’ Roll and a little Blue Eyed Soul. Sad songs and waltzes do not help me at all. I enjoy Full Tilt Boogie and Ram Jam.

You Got Friends

At Wing Master, there is not only great food and fabulous music but Ron and Russel are good people. Very friendly and talkative. I already know that you will like them!

I am passing on this information to you free of charge. I am not a paid advertiser. If it is real, I tell you about it, if not, I will not mention it to you.

Let’s Party Like It Is 1999

I just have to mention it. It is been awhile since one of my favorite NFL Teams, the Buffalo Bills had a great team. They were 11-5 in 1999. Let’s hope a new coach will make the Buffalo Bills great again! The talent is already on the team. Just a few more good men needed to be added. Tired of being 7-9 every year!

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

Have a good one!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Fila-Terranean Menu

mediterranean
The heat index is certainly up there this summer. Before going to the supermarkets 2 days ago, I checked online at Chow Hound to kick start my memory and to get some fresh ideas for cold foods during hot weather. All the ingredients to make these dishes below, can be purchased in Bacolod City.

At the public market, my wife loaded up on pineapples, mangoes, avocados, pears and apples. We are set to fly with our Fila-Terranean Menu.

Let’s Begin The Good Food!

My wife did most of the preparation but I threw out a few ideas, such as adding raisins to the cold Macaroni Salad. I prepared Ham Salad, using leftover Ham from an imported canned Ham, which I had actually forgotten about being in the freezer.

Chickpea & Pasta Salad is another good idea that I found, served chilled.

Cold Chicken Salad is always good to me on a hot summer day. I was reminded about this one when I read an article on the Bacolod Food Hunters about Roli’s Restaurant is open again in Bacolod. Roli’s first opened in the 1940s and their Chicken Salad Sandwich on toast is the best found in a restaurant in our area. Thank you for the tip, Martin!

I have yet to see fresh artichoke in our area but the canned version is available. Cold Pasta Salad with Artichoke is another great idea to beat the heat.

Filipinos may not like this one but it works for me. Cold Tuna and Rice Salad. Yes, the rice is cold, right from the ref. Throw in a few green olives and sliced tomatoes to kick it up a few notches!

How in the world could I forget about Gazpacho, the ultimate cold soup? This is a great one.

Salmon Salad. I have 1 can of Bumble Bee Pink Salmon on hand. Add chopped celery, chopped red onion and chopped dill pickles.

There isn’t a type of noodle that I recall, which cannot be made and served cold. Robin Hood Noodle Manufacturing Company is in Bacolod City. I buy their Hokkein Noodles at Metro, which are already in their ref showcase. These are fresh noodles, not the instant style, also called wet noodles.

The first time I had a cold noodle dish was in the airport in Tokyo, about 30 years ago. It was either Soba or Udon Noodles. At first, I was turned off because I was expecting a hot noodle dish but the more I ate, the more I liked it.

Have fun with your hot summer cold menu!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

EZ Chicken Recipes in the Philippines

indonesian-chicken
Personally, I really enjoy eating chicken and I have as long as I can remember. There are so many diverse dishes that you can prepare with chicken, as the sky’s the limit. I am not a big fan of Chicken Curry but I will eat it. Actually, I prefer Curry Goat!

Food is always a hot topic among the expat community in the Bacolod area. I, for one, am a Hunter and a Gatherer. I am always on the Hunt for new food items to buy and new recipes to prepare.

In my article today, I have listed just a few of my favorite and EZ to prepare chicken recipes. All the ingredients to prepare these wonderful chicken dishes are available in Bacolod City. No fear!

*Chicken Adobo is a staple in many areas of the Philippines and it is not difficult to prepare at home. Cut up the chicken or buy the actual adobo cut, which is relatively available. You will need white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and black pepper. I prefer peppercorn.

I don’t brown the chicken first. I put the chicken in a wok or similar cooking utensil. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, smashed garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves. I make sure there is enough vinegar and soy sauce that won’t simmer out. It takes 20-30 minutes of simmering to complete Chicken Adobo. I prefer yellow rice but you can serve Chicken Adobo with plain white rice.

*Indonesian Ginger Chicken. When I am cooking, I don’t usually follow any set measurement of ingredients. For me, it is part of the fun in coming up with the right mix or the right formula to my personal taste. To make Indonesian Ginger Chicken, I make a marinade with honey, soy sauce, mashed garlic and grated ginger. It is best to marinate overnight but if you can’t wait, at least 6 hours, so best to plan this in advance.

After marinating, I place the chicken on a greased or lightly oiled baking pan, skin side up. I place the baking pan with the chicken in a preheated oven of 350F or about 177C degrees. Baking time will vary from oven to oven but you can figure on about 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the chicken to prevent burning on top, as some ovens in the Philippines will get hotter than the temp setting and some will not be truly 360F degrees. You can adjust the time accordingly.

Mo Chicken For Ya

*Honey Soy Garlic Chicken is a similar recipe to Indonesian Ginger Chicken. The preparation in the oven is the same. The marinade is a little different, as I use honey, soy sauce, mashed garlic and peppercorn.

When it comes to Southern Fried Chicken, I indeed like it fried after battering. Cooking battered chicken in a pressure cooker is KFC style but it takes a lot of cooking oil and it can be dangerous in the home kitchens. I stopped making this recipe upon my wife’s request!

*Oven Fried Chicken. Use your favorite chicken batter recipe, place chicken on a baking pan, skin side up, bake on 400F or 204C degrees. Depending on your oven, you should be eating in 20-30 minutes. At this temp setting, you should have crispy chicken.

Several foreigners in the Philippines told me that they can’t cook but I told them, “Yes, you can!” I have confidence that most anyone can prepare these EZ Chicken Recipes…if they want to.

Eating food you will enjoy is an important aspect of actually living in the Philippines, in my opinion.

I think it is about time that you head on out to the supermarket or to the local public market and load up on fresh whole chicken. If you don’t want to cut the chicken, feel free to buy cut up chicken. There is an actual adobo chicken cut, which is readily available most everywhere.

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

~ Gary ~

Fogo Grill Is Latino Inspired

mexico2
Taco Bell? No, can you say Fogo? Fast food has its place and time, however, I prefer full service dining and I enjoy the wait. I know when the food order arrives at our table, it has a special touch and it is not cookie cutter food, where one size fits all.

Last evening, I took my wife, our son and 2 of our friends to Fogo for our evening meal. Fogo is located at O Residences, right before you get to Robinsons Place Mall on Lacson Street. I had been to Fogo before at their old location. It was my wife and our son’s first visit to Fogo. They certainly enjoyed their dining experience.

Creative Latino Food

That is what you get at Fogo. It is Latino inspired and it is not the run of the mill pseudo Mexican food that you get in chain restaurants. It is not the poor attempt in creating a cuisine that is enjoyed worldwide.

When was the last time you had a burrito that included Mexican rice in the burrito? You can have one at Fogo. Their beef burrito does not include ground beef but it is indeed beef that you can sink your teeth into. Your beef burrito will also have refried beans, cheese and a generous serving of House Salsa.

Tacos, nachos and burritos will put some color back into your face! Don’t forget the fajitas and chili con carne as well. Those are all on the Fogo Menu.

Have you ever had Guacamole Mousse? I didn’t think so. It is the one of the most fabulous desserts I ever had and I am looking forward to our next visit to Fogo.

Portuguese Inspired

Fogo is not one dimensional. There are also several Portuguese inspired dishes on their menu. Peri Peri Chicken and Seafood Cataplana are 2 examples.

I am very familiar with Portuguese Cuisine. My parents, brother and I lived in the state of Rhode Island for 4 years. There is a large Portuguese Community in Rhode Island and in the New England Area of the USA. To this very day, Chourico and Linguica remain at the top of the list of my favorite sausages. They are indeed Portuguese Sausage at its finest.

At home, I make a Portuguese style one pot dish. Clams, crabs, mussels, smoked sausages, corn on the cob, potatoes and whole white onions, all cooked together in one large stock pot. Now, we’re talking! It’s about time to make this again!

Support Your Locally Owned Restaurants

I am a firm believer in supporting the fine locally owned restaurants where you live. The large chain restaurants have business based on their internationally recognized names but the locally owned restaurants will earn your respect, if given the opportunity, by serving you high quality fresh food at reasonable prices.

The locally owned restaurants are down home style. Fresh, locally sourced food is used in preparation and not frozen food that has been shipped halfway around the world! Now, which do you think is better in taste and better for your health?

I enjoy writing about locally owned restaurants, as I have done so during the past 4 years. However, I have never received one centavo for writing about any restaurant. I only write about restaurants that I like and about restaurants that other foreigners will most likely enjoy. If we dine in a restaurant and there is nothing good about it, I don’t write about them. I am not going to write negative words about anyone’s business. Maybe the chef was sick that day? Perhaps the food supplier did not deliver and alternatives had to be used? Maybe all the waitstaff are new and are still learning? We have to think about such things before we blast a restaurant in public. I write about what I enjoy, not about what I don’t enjoy. You can be the judge about what you personally like. We are all different!

A little bit is better than nada but if you want the whole enchilada, you gotta check out Fogo.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod. Maybe I will see you at Fogo, di ba?

~ Gary ~

We’re Kicking It Up in the Kitchen!

 

cooking2
When relatives come to our home, the usual word they say when they see our cupboard is, Wow! I always buy extra items when I go to the supermarket to add to my stockpile. No, I am not a survivalist, preparing for a disaster, however, I like having food items on hand for when I want them.

In Bacolod City, I can find most anything I want in one of the supermarkets in the city. There are a few exceptions but very few. Some guys look for things to complain about and expect to find food that is regional even in the USA! Maypo Maple Oatmeal, for example. You won’t find it in Bacolod or in Florida, either. Unless you have friends living in New England or the NE part of the USA and they send it to you in the Philippines, you are SOL, Sortta Outta Luck!

Staples

Since I spent most of my life in the Southern states, beans are my comfort food in the Philippines. Here, I can buy pinto, red kidney, black, Cannellini, black eye peas and refried beans. I can also easily buy chickpeas. Mung bean, aka mungo, is one of my favorite local beans in Negros Occidental.

The sauce makes the difference. I make sure to have all the condiments I need on hand to prepare my favorite food. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire, horseradish, chili garlic sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, Louisiana Hot Sauce, sweet pickle relish, mint jelly and…well, I think you get the idea.

Spices

Most all the spices I regularly use are here! Sage, Italian seasonings, thyme, allspice,  turmeric, marjoram, white pepper, black pepper, crushed red pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin and chili powder. I haven’t found poultry seasoning or crab boil but I can live without those. I don’t use a lot of salt but I keep iodized salt on hand. I also like blending spices for my own taste.

I don’t use the particular spices in a bottle, onion salt or garlic salt. I prefer using fresh onion and garlic.

Locally Sourced Food

Unlike some foreigners, I don’t load up on frozen food from back home. Some foreigners will pay P1,300 for a box of frozen cod fish but I’m not one of them! I use locally sourced food that is fresh and high quality. I am not only eating healthier but I am also saving a ton of money!

My wife buys most of our fruits, vegetables meat and seafood in one of her favorite public markets in the city. The food is same day fresh, in my cases, and less expensive than in supermarkets.

My family and I enjoy dining out once or twice per week in one of the excellent restaurants in Bacolod. However, we enjoy preparing our own dishes at home most of the time. My wife studied Culinary Arts in the past and she can cook! She knows how to kick up dishes several notches, same as I do.

Are you hungry yet? I need to get moving and start lunch. Today, it is Pasta de Sardine.

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

AmeriSub Food Corner

AMeriSub
Are you looking for an American-style sandwich in Bacolod City for P60 or less? AmeriSub is the place to go. Where is it? I thought you would want to know. It is located inside Terra Plaza, on the corner of Rizal and Gatuslao Streets.

AmeriSub
You will find AmeriSub at this food cart inside Terra Plaza.

AmeriSub
I started out with a ham sandwich, which had lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise. These were the condiments I chose but you can order your sandwich the way you like it.

AmeriSub
This doesn’t look like your common hot dog does it? It is actually New Yorker brand hot dog, sliced and served on a sandwich roll.

AmeriSub
Due to the lighting in Terra Plaza, this is the best shot I could get with my camera. For sure, you can see the prices. Whichever sandwich you order, the price is P35 for the small and P60 for the large. Sound great to you?

Do you like ice cold beer? I’ve got some good news for you! In Terra Plaza, there are several vendors on site who you can buy a bucket of beer from. Six bottles in the bucket for only P180. Now, is that a deal or what? Red Horse, San Miguel Pilsen or San Mig Light. Or mix and match your 6 bottles.

The next time you want an American style sandwich, drop by AmeriSub Food Corner and Ron will fix you up.

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

Allo Allo Bistro

Allo Allo
Are you ready for a fabulous international dining experience in Bacolod City? I am going to tell you who to see and tell you right where to go! Run, don’t walk, to Allo Allo Bistro. This dining gem in Bacolod is found at the Hi Strip 4 Building on Circumferential Road, across from Panasiatic. You will find diverse Continental Food and Beverages at Allo Allo.

We dined at Allo Allo this evening and ordered two pizzas and drinks. Let me tell ya! Allo Allo has made it on our very own Top 3 Pizza List in all of Bacolod. It is awesome!

Sherree is the chef at Allo Allo and Larry is her husband. Both are super nice people and I know you will enjoy talking to them. We found the service and the atmosphere to be excellent at Allo Allo.

I will have several actual food photos to post soon, as we will be returning to Allo Allo very soon and we will sample other delicious items from their diverse menu.

If you want to try a new excellent dining experience in Bacolod, you gotta head on over to Allo Allo!

Do you enjoy reading interesting stories about the Philippines? Please check out my latest article on retiring to the Philippines.

http://retiringtothephilippines.com/living-in-the-philippines/dont-know-dont-know/

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