You Can Get It If You Really Want


I never really thought about Food Products being produced in Seattle. I buy Eagle Mills Buttermilk Pancake Mix for P60 per box and Albers Yellow Cornmeal and Albers Grits for P250 per box. All have a Seattle, Washington address on the box.

The great frozen Lamb Weston Potatoes I buy, Crinkle Cut Fries and Waffle Fries, are out of Eagle, Idaho.

Metro Supermarket stocks many American Food Items that are Springfield brand, which is affiliated with United Grocers in Commerce, California.

The West and Great Northwest are doing a great job getting their Food Products to us in the Philippines. California is not all bad, you see.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

That is Cajun for…Let the Good Times Roll!

There is one Southern State doing a great job in getting their Food Products to us in the Philippines. The great state of Louisiana and those Ragin’ Cajuns got it going on for us! I buy Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce from Metairie, Louisiana, Trappey’s Louisiana Hot Sauce and jarred Peppers from New Iberia, Louisiana, Andy’s Cajun Fish Batter from down on the Bayou and Zatarain’s Food Products from one of my favorite places on the Planet, New Orleans.


Who dat, who dat Zatarain’s? Down in New Orleans, Zatarain’s has many fine Food Products. Crawfish/Shrimp/Crab Boil Seasoning, Dirty Rice Mix, Red Beans, Creole Seasonings, Boxed Rice Meals and Long Grain Rice. Plus a number of other products.


I make Hoppin’ John by using Springfield brand Black Eye Peas over Rice. I add both chopped White Onion and Green Onion. Kick it a notch by adding Bacon, Hog Jowl or your favorite Smoked Sausage. Do not forget to eat Hoppin’ John with Cornbread.


If I could wish a favorite American restaurant opening in Bacolod, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is at the top of my Wish List. It was founded in 1972 in New Orleans and is now a restaurant chain across America. Love that Chicken from Popeyes!

Happy Shopping!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

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Shopping For Foreign Food


As I have written before, there are more Foreign Food Products available in Bacolod City all the time.

Food Adventurer

In America, there are several companies that do your grocery shopping for you. You make a list and one of their staff will go buy it for you and deliver it to your door. For me, I would not avail this service, as I am a Food Adventurer and I enjoy shopping for myself. Even my wife cannot shop for me and she does not try.

I am not a shopper who will drive across town to save P20 just to buy an item at a different store. However, I have my shopping down to an excellent technique and I shop for different Food Items at different supermarkets and Delis. I do not spend an entire day going to different supermarkets for shopping but since I enjoy going, anyway, I go to one or two stores in the same day. Next time, on to different stores.


Today, I knew where I wanted to go…Cafe Bob’s Deli and Robinsons Supermarket on Alijis Road. I looked around to see if there were any new arrivals but I knew what I was planning to buy before we got there.

I enjoy going to Bob’s Deli and enjoying one Negros Pale Ale. Those with me usually order Coffee but today, they decided on Dad’s Root Beer. My intention was to buy Cold Cuts at Bob’s Deli. I bought Olive Lyoner, AKA Pickle Loaf in Alabama, and Smoked Ham. P139 spent for both, total price. I enjoy Santis Spanish Style Chorizo and I picked up a package for P263. This is not a local product and the Cold Cuts are also imported.

At the newest Robinsons in the City of Smiles, I wanted to look around to see if any new arrivals, as I had not shopped there this month. The Lamb Weston Crinkle Fries were on my list and I bought them. Hunts Pork & Beans, which I prepare with Virginia Honey Cured Bacon, is a Product of the Philippines. It is P119 per package.

The Promo of the Day at Robinsons was Buy One Take One with Fusilli, AKA Corkscrew Pasta, for P58. Each package is 500 grams, so it was 1 kg of Fusilli for the price of half kilo. I have found Fusilli to be very versatile, as you can prepare a number of dishes with it. Beef A Roni, Macaroni Fruit Salad, Macaroni Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad Fusilli and Crab Salad Fusilli, naming my favorites.


This branch of Robinsons is the only one that stocks Tong Garden BBQ Sunflower Seeds and they are P23 per package.

I buy Sandwich Bread at Robinsons Bakery, P39 per loaf, and I like it better than all the other Sandwich Breads sold in Bacolod.

Where to Buy Fruit

All the supermarkets charge about 3 X the public market price for Fruit. For example, Robinsons price for Cantaloupe is P135 per kilo, while the public market price is P40-P45 per kilo. I did buy one Cantaloupe, paying P85 for it because I want it for brunch tomorrow. We do not pass a public market with Cantaloupe on the route home.

There are several brands, Products of the Philippines, which produce Foreign Style Food items because many Filipinos also buy them. Some of the Philippines brands are good but mostly, I have found that they are not all that. For sure much cheaper, but while the cost is less, in many cases, the quality is also less. I had rather pay more, even double for better taste and quality. None of the local brands of Vienna Sausage measure up to Armour and Libby’s brands.

I am set with my shopping until May rolls around. And then I get to have more fun in being a Food Adventurer.

I can fry it, I can grill it or I can eat it right out of the can!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Corn Dogs


The Texas Rangers baseball team has added the Dilly Dog to their concessions. The Dilly Dog is a Frankfurter inside a large Dill Pickle, battered and deep fried to make a new type of Corn Dog. So far, fans are giving it mixed reviews during Spring Training games. I would greatly enjoy trying a Dilly Dog!

Cali Coast Corn Dogs in Ayala Mall is now out of business. Too bad. It was fun while it lasted, as they were open about 7 months. They had good Corn Dogs but used the smaller Hot Dogs, so you needed 2, which were P30 or P35 each.

Last December, I bought a 16 count box of frozen Foster Farms Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs at S&R in Iloilo. These are excellent Corn Dogs and I have a few left due to my saving them for when I really want a Corn Dog.


Making Corn Dogs at home is not that difficult but I found it takes practice concerning keeping the batter around the Hot Dog. I suggest preparing a dozen Corn Dogs the first batch and if you get 8 out of 12 right, you are a better Corn Dog maker than I am. I read just today that is an easier process is using Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix as the batter. I will try it next time but unless I am just looking for an activity, I will buy more Foster Farms double honey batter dipped Corn Dogs at S&R again. They are Corn Dog Experts!


Metro Supermarket in Ayala Mall sells Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix for P63 per box and I already have 2 boxes on hand.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

 

 

Bringing To Life American Classic Meals: Philippines


I enjoy variety in my daily meals and I do not normally like eating the same thing twice during the same day.

A Fish Po Boy with Cole Slaw, Italian Spaghetti, Chili Dogs, Sloppy Joe, Buffalo Wings, Southern Fried Chicken are meals I had at home over the past week. Those are dishes I eat on a regular basis but not daily.

Awhile back, an American friend in Baguio, Harold, reminded me about Chicken a la King, so I made that a couple of times. A month or so ago, I made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Napa Cabbage, Ground Round Beef and Brown Rice.

Today, I was thinking about bringing back a number of American Meals that I enjoyed in years past. All the ingredients are available in the Bacolod Area in local supermarkets. Hey, you can cook your favorites in Bacolod City!

A Few American Classic Meals

Homemade Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper are EZ to make without spending P200 for a box of imported Hamburger Helper. Macaroni to make the Helper Meals, Hamburger and Tuna, is very inexpensive. Tuna Casserole with Egg Noodles are also easily made.

Locally sourced Bell Peppers are readily available and a great idea for me is to make Stuffed Bell Peppers.

Salisbury Steak and Hamburger Steak are American Classics to eat.


I do not care much for Filipino Chop Suey but I enjoy Chinese-American Chop Suey, served with Chow Mein Noodles.


Chicken & Rice, cooked together in one pot, remains one of my all time favorites. Another good dish is Shredded Chicken with Egg Noodles.

More recently, my wife made Chicken and Dumplings for he first time. She did an excellent job! She used boxed Bisquick to make the Dumplings.

My wife makes great Shepherd’s Pie and I will remember to ask her to prepare it soon.

We have not made Meatloaf in awhile, so I plan to bring that recipe back in the near future, with Mashed Potatoes. In Alabama, making a sandwich with leftover Meatloaf was always a treat.


I think I have just planned some of my meals in the days ahead.

It is time to get busy in the kitchen! Which meal should I prepare first?

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Sardines


Yes, it is bad news for those living on a limited or daily income, concerning price increases. Many people in the Philippines depend upon the lower prices of canned Fish and Instant Noodles. Just to eat every day!

The DTI, Dept of Trade and Industry, has a website for price checking of basic and prime commodities in the Philippines but their website is not working properly for going on two weeks now.

Canned Fish, such as Sardines, Mackerel and Tuna are considered as Basic Necessities by DTI and they are supposedly keeping check on their retail pricing. To prevent Gouging.

Sardines Are Healthy

I buy canned Sardines and always have 3 or 4 cans on hand. I do not keep a mental note of the exact price of Mega, 555, Ligo, Saba, Capitan del Mar, Family’s Brand, Young’s Town, Master brands of Sardines but I know they are usually P11-P15 per can. Depending upon the brand.

I do not buy Sardines every week but I replace the stock I have on hand, as needed. I prefer buying Victorias Spanish Sardines, which are canned in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, Saba Sardines Adobo, Mikado Sardines and imported Portuguese Sardines. Among the local favorites, I buy both Mega and Ligo Sardines in Tomato Sauce.


When I was growing up, my Dad was a US Navy Officer, a real US Navy Officer, who lived, breathed, ate and slept the World’s Greatest Navy. However, my parents, my brother and I enjoyed eating Sardines on Saltine Crackers with Louisiana Hot Sauce. Thankfully, that was not our main meal of the day.

Inflation and the Sardine War

Sardines Premium Brands are not cheap in America these days. Certainly not as in years past. Crown Prince Sardines in Oil are now selling for $1.85 per can. Best I recall, Crown Prince Sardines were a product of Scotland.

Bumble Bee Sardines in water, canned in Poland, are about the cheapest in America at 89 cents per can. Walmart sells Brunswick Sardines for 96 cents per can.

King Oscar Sardines, sold in America, were also great Sardines, Product of Norway.


A brand of Sardines that I am familiar with in the Southern USA, is Possum Sardines. Those were great! Sadly, the long arm of the FEDS stepped in and put Possum Sardines out of business. According to News Reports. Possum Sardines owned their signature brand, as well as Admiral, Neptune, Bull Frog, Port Clyde and Admiral Sardines. They were the largest supplier of Sardines and when they tried to buy Bumble Bee Sardines, that is when the FEDS stepped in. Proving Possum Sardines was guilty under the RICO Act was over the top and a stretch of the imagination but they were found guilty of…Monopolizing Sardines! Wow, whatta crime!

With the death of Possum Sardines, Brunswick Sardines became most popular in the Southern USA. I also bought Brunswick Sardines when I was still in Alabama and Florida. I liked the Brunswick Sardines packed in Mustard Sauce and Brunswick Sardines packed in Louisiana Hot Sauce. However, Brunswick Sardines are a Canadian Company and not a Brunswick, Georgia Company.


The export version of the Philippines branded Ligo Sardines is internationally recognized as Quality Sardines. Ligo recently landed on a Top 10 List of the World’s Best Sardines in one write up.


After writing this article, I am about to have Mega Sardines on Sky Flake Crackers with Louisiana Hot Sauce.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

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

italian-pizza
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

wing-master-77
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!

wing-master3
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 ~