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!

Panaad Festival 2013 at Night

Sunglasses at Night

Sunglasses at Night

There are hundreds of vendors at the Panaad Festival selling so many different items, which is part of the fun of looking around.

Balut and Peanuts

Balut and Peanuts

One of the most common night time snacks in the Philippines is balut. Balut is duck eggs that have been fertilized with the embryo for about 8 days and then boiled before eating. The peanuts are simply roasted peanuts.

 

Seafood Market

Seafood Market

There are a number of seafood markets at the Panaad Festival. After choosing your favorite seafood, you can have it cooked or packaged to take home.

Fish

Fish

 

Nice Looking Prawns

Nice Looking Prawns

Grilled Scallops

Grilled Scallops

One of my favorite treats at the Panaad Festival is eating grilled scallops on the half shell. P150, or less than $4, will buy a lot of scallops for several people to share.

Local Handicrafts

Local Handicrafts

More Handicrafts

More Handicrafts

 

Beautiful Vases

Handicraft Vases

There are many beautiful handicrafts to choose from at the Panaad Festival and these are only a very few among the vast variety.

There are still 4 nights and 5 days left of exuberant activities at the Panaad sa Negros Festival 2013. You still have time to make it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mambukal Revisited

Mambukal Revisited

It is a family tradition going to scenic parks, resorts, beaches and other interesting places on holidays. Easter afternoon was no exception! We loaded up the Crosswind and took off for Mambukal Hot Springs Mountain Resort.

Flying Bat

Flying Fruit Bat

There are thousands of fruit bats at Mambukal and locally, they are known as flying foxes.

Hanging Fruit Bats

Hanging Fruit Bats

During daytime hours, most of the fruit bats can be seen hanging from one of the many trees, however, some enjoy flying around even when it is not dark.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs

In the later afternoon, the crowd in the hot springs pool had thinned out. There are private spas one can avail at Mambukal, providing hot springs from the mountain.

There is a lively food court inside Mambukal where fresh seafood, native Filipino dishes and a few Western favorites are served. We decided to dine at Ikea of Kabankalan in the Mambukal Food Court.

Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger at Ikea of Kabankalan

The owner of the restaurant came over to our table to speak to us personally. The Bacon Cheeseburger was not on the menu but I asked nicely and the owner agreed to prepare it just for me! Lots of crispy fried bacon. Keeping the burger with the local influence, it was garnished with sliced green tomato and cucumber. It was awesome! The bacon cheeseburger was also served with a side of deep fried shrimp or lobster crackers.

Halo Halo

Halo Halo

Halo Halo is a delightful treat and is found most everywhere in the Philippines with each region having their own favorite variation. The Halo Halo at Ikea of Kabankalan in the Mambukal Food Court is made with shaved ice, firm cubed gelatin, purple yams, rice krispies, various slices of tropical fruit and ice cream. Fabulous!

If you haven’t been to Mambukal Hot Springs and Mountain Resort, by all means, check it out ASAP. You don’t realize what you are missing! If it has been awhile since your last trip to Mambukal, a revisit is always as fun as the first time. Adult admission is P50 per head, a little more than $1, and children admission is P20 or sometimes, even free.

Have Fun! It really is more fun in the Philippines!

 

 

Best Sandwich Deli in Bacolod

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One of the newest arrivals on the Bacolod food scene, which expats will enjoy, is The Fat Chef Bistro and Deli. It is located behind Lopues Mandalagan shopping center, near the Mandalagan Art District. I knew I was in the right place when my pulled pork BBQ sandwich arrived with the diagonal cut. This is the indicator of a good deli sandwich!

Fat Chef's

Every sandwich on the menu of The Fat Chef Bistro and Deli is served with choice of fries or garden salad. I chose the garden salad with my pulled pork BBQ sandwich. Price is P140.

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A pulled pork BBQ sandwich with fries.

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A banana and Nutella Crepe. There are four different dessert crepes on the menu at the Fat Chef’s, including Mango and Rum. Sounds good, huh?

Amstel Sterk Beer

Amstel Sterk Beer from Amsterdam. This was my beverage of choice to go with my pulled pork BBQ sandwich.

Fat Chef's

There are a number of imported foods and beverages in the deli. A large can of ravioli captured my eye! I also saw a jar of gourmet peanut butter made from mixed nuts. P280 per jar.

Fat Chef's

Fat Chef Bistro and Deli has a fairly large wine selection. P99 per glass or P400 per bottle when dining in. Red and white wines are available.

Fat Chef's

The Day Menu.

There are many items on the menu at Fat Chef Bistro and Deli that I think many expats and Filipino customers alike will enjoy. Some of the items that sparked my interest are New England Clam Chowder, the six different sausages served with sauerkraut and German Spatzle, several specialty salads that include salmon and anchovy, baked artichoke, a cold cut platter, a cheese platter, savoury crepes such as Crepe Benedict and Spinach & Ricotta Crepe and 7 exciting side dishes, which include rice pilaf!

Yeah, I would love to film a Man vs Food episode in Fat Chef Bistro and Deli! Let me be the MAN! If I skip breakfast, I think I can handle it!

 

 

 

 

Dhaliwal Indian Restaurant in Bacolod City

A new location, a larger restaurant, a new chef, same fabulous Indian food and same great prices! Dhaliwal Indian Restaurant has moved to their new location, just south of their old location on BS Aquino Drive in Villamonte, Bacolod.

Indian Restaurant

Dhaliwal Indian Restaurant

We dropped by Dhaliwal Indian Restaurant last Sunday for a late lunch, after church. 

The owner, me and the chef

The owner, me and the Chef

The owner, the Chef and the wait staff were extremely friendly and we enjoyed the fellowship, as well as the food!

Samosa

Samosa

An open Samosa

An open Samosa

These samosas had cubed potatoes, peas, onions and a hint of ground meat. Ground lamb, goat or chicken is often used in the samosa.They are served with a wonderful hot sauce, which is just right for my taste. Not too mild and not too hot! You can also ask for a yogurt dipping sauce or a curry dipping sauce. We had all three dipping sauces.

Roti

Roti

For me, an Indian meal is not an Indian meal without roti. It is the bread made with stoneground flour. We ordered the plain roti but you can order onion or garlic flavored roti. We also had a curry dipping sauce with the roti.

Tandori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Wow! My favorite, Tandoori Chicken! Tandoori Chicken is Indian style roasted chicken. Traditionally, it is marinated in yogurt and seasoned with the spice mixture, tandoori masala. Turmeric is also used to give it the orange-red color. It has a nice red color! It is also fabulously delicious! Our order was garnished with hot green peppers and purple onions.

Biryani Rice

Biryani Rice with Chicken

You gotta have a rice dish with an Indian meal, in my opinion, and our favorite is Biryani Rice with Chicken. Many different spices go into this traditional Indian dish. Nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions and garlic are commonly used in various combinations, depending upon the chef.

Inside the Restaurant

Inside the Restaurant

It was a great dining experience for us and we also made some new friends. The Indian Music in the background is just the right volume, not too loud that you can’t comfortably talk at your table and it is a good setting maker.

I had Indian colleagues and friends in the States but I never really got into the Indian cuisine there. I always enjoyed watching the local Indian TV show, “Roshni,” on Saturday mornings in south Florida, as it had all the latest Bollywood music and dance videos. Man, I wish I could really dance like that but it is fun trying. It was not until I moved to China that I really began to enjoy the Indian food. The Holiday Inn Hotel in one city, where we lived, had the Indian Kitchen Restaurant and the Food & Beverage Manager for that Holiday Inn was Indian.  In the last city where we lived in China, the medical university had more than 300 Indian medical students studying to become doctors at the Medical University. We made many friends among the Indian students. They trained a Chinese couple how to prepare all the favorite Indian dishes and they opened an Indian Restaurant near the campus gate. The Indian students kept the Chinese couple supplied with all the indgredients to prepare the Indian dishes. It was a great little restaurant.

My wife is also very familiar with Indian food since she lived and worked abroad for about 15 years and she agrees that Dhaliwal is by far the best Indian Restaurant in Bacolod City. It is as great as the ones we have dined in during our travels and work in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Another New Expat Hang Out?

First of all, a big thank you to Martin and the Bacolod Food Hunters, who  have a blog right here on Word Press, for telling me about Kristin’s Steak House on Lacson Street. They did a full review about Kristin’s Steak House a short time ago. Kristin’s Steak House is located in the area of Bar 21 and Mushu Asian Fusion Restaurant.

Animal Heads

Animal Trophy Heads

My kind of place! There are several deer, a wild boar and a mountain goat trophy heads hanging on the wall inside the restaurant. I didn’t see a Jackalope, though. A jackalope is an antlered rabbit with spike horns and ears a foot tall! Made famous in a Jerry Jeff Walker song back in the 70s, “Taken Again.” To the left of the animal trophy heads is a painting of John Wayne, the famous American actor, in full cowboy outfit. 

We dropped by Kristin’s at 330pm and it was way too early for me to have supper, so I had a late Merienda (snack).

Bacon Cheese Burger

Bacon Cheeseburger

A bacon cheeseburger is a snack, right? Wow! This cheeseburger had an excellent char on it from the grill. I really enjoyed it. The price was P75, including the small side of “tropical potato salad.” The potato salad had papaya in it.

Others had a bigger idea of what their snack would be!

Spare Rib

Spare Rib

A Philippine version of grilled spare rib with mushroom and veggies.

Grilled Chicken Steak

Grilled Chicken Steak

Mushrooms and gravy were added to this grilled chicken steak. Mashed potatoes came with the grilled chicken steak but our son does not like those, so I was given the task of eating them. I poured a little gravy over the mashed potatoes and I completed the task without a problem!

Due to the odd hour, we were the only diners in Kristin’s Steak House but two other tables were soon taken before we finished our meal.

We were well pleased with the service and the menu prices. The prices for imported steaks were P300-P320. These included New York Cut, Rib Eye, Porterhouse and T-Bone. Great prices! Especially compared to other steak houses in the city where an imported steak will set you back P800-P1,000! Steaks from local beef are also on the menu for less than P200. 

Crocodile

Crocodile

For the adventurous, crocodile is on the menu at P400 per serving. Not bad. Our friend, who dined with us today wants to try crocodile. His Birthday is later this month, so we told him we will treat him to a crocodile Birthday meal! He can’t hardly wait! Ostrich is also on the menu for P450 per serving.

Our next trip to Kristin’s, I will try one of their imported steaks. I normally prepare my steaks at home on my home grill but I will give Kristin’s a shot and eat one of their steaks soon.

Kristin’s opened in their Lacson location on December 15 and I think it will become another popular expat hang out due to their excellent food and great prices. Yes, they do have cold beer. Maybe I will see you there one day in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rio Bella Pizzaria In Bacolod

 

Rio Bella Pizzaria

Rio Bella Pizzaria

Located on Lacson Extension, near Alijis Road, is Rio Bella Pizzaria & Bar. Rio Bella has quickly become our favorite pizza restaurant in Bacolod City. My wife, son and I really enjoy the pizza made at Rio Bella. I judge a pizza by its crust and it does not matter to me what the toppings are, if the crust is not very good, the pizza is a failure. We dined and ordered pizza at Rio Bella Pizzaria at least a half dozen times and every pizza has been a smashing success! There are 17 different pizzas to choose from on the menu and our favorite is the pepperoni pizza. Basically because it is our son’s favorite!

XL Pepperoni Pizza

XL Pepperoni Pizza

Our good friend, Randy, is helping us eat this massive XL pizza! No, we could not finish it, so we had a lot of pizza to take home with us, to enjoy again. Which we did!

Rosti

Rosti

Rio Bella Pizzaria has a number of Swiss dishes on their menu. We ordered rosti and we really enjoyed it. Rosti is coarsely grated potatoes which are mostly fried but they can be baked in an oven. Rosti is more like the Southern Style homemade hash brown potatoes that I grew up eating. Rosti is nothing like the hash browns one orders at Jollebee or McDonald. I refer to rosti as “scattered hash browns” and not one large lump of commercial cookie cutter potatoes. I will add that the rosti on the platter is only half the amount that came with the order, as we could not wait to dig in!

The menu at Rio Bella Pizzaria is in English and German. There are also several Filipino dishes on the menu. Schnitzel (a breaded cutlet meat dish) and wurst (sausages) are a few more available Swiss dishes among several others. My wife has ordered the popular Filipino dish, Pancit Bihon, several times and she rates it as “Excellent.”

Decor

Decor

The decor is nice in Rio Bella Pizzaria and it gives off an Old World or European atmosphere in the Bacolod Area.

Every time we have dined at Rio Bella Pizzaria, there have always been other expats there at different times of the day, Noon, later afternoon and evening. This is usually a good indicator to me that the food is good but I know that already!

Other dishes on the menu, which many expats enjoy, are chili con carne, Cordon Bleu, fish & chips, and Caesar Salad, among a host of others. If you enjoy beer with your pizza or other dishes, the beer is always ice cold! The wait staff are very friendly and the service is very good. The owner is also very friendly and she has chatted with us before at our table.

Rio Bella is a newer addition to the dining scene in Bacolod and we really enjoy it. We look forward to our next pizza at Rio Bella. The bar is separate from the restaurant, so taking one’s children and family to enjoy pizza and Swiss food won’t be a problem. It is a family atmosphere. You will also most likely see other expats there, so maybe you will meet some new friends?

 

 

2013 New Year in Bacolod City

We brought the 2013 New Year in right with lots of fireworks, a party with a fiesta amount of food and a 3 hour karaoke marathon singing contest. We finally called it a long night right before sunrise on New Year’s Day.

New year

Fireworks light up the sky

Our personal fireworks show started at 11pm and finished at 1am!

New Year

Fruit and Drinks

It is a family New Year tradition to have 12 different fruits on hand, to bring in the New Year. This year was no exception!

New Year

Whole Roasted Pig

Someone pulled some crispy skin off the roasted pig’s back before it was cut!

It wasn't us!

It wasn’t us!

Nah, I didn’t think so!

We are Fami-i-ly

We are Fam-i-ly!

Bad Moon Risin'

Bad Moon Rising!

I was the first to sing in the 3 hour karaoke marathon singing contest and “Bad Moon Rising,” originally by the Creedence Clearwater Revival, was my song. I scored 96 out of 100 with that blast from the past!

Getting Ready

That’s What Friends Are For

Welcome 2013

Welcome 2013!

And that, we did! In a marvelous way. Fun was had by everyone and we look forward to 2014 New Year Celebration, next time.

Here is wishing everyone a very Happy 2013 New Year. A year full of joy, peace, happiness, health and prosperity!

 

 

 

 

2012 in review

All Around Bacolod was my first attempt at having my own blog, which I started in February, 2012. I never dreamed that so many people from many different countries would be interested in reading about Bacolod City and reading what an American has to say about living in the Bacolod Area.

I want to give a big THANK YOU to all the followers and readers of All Around Bacolod and for making it successful. Another big THANK YOU to all those who told others about All Around Bacolod on WordPress. With the Christmas and New Year Celebration with my family and wonderful friends all around Bacolod City, I have been busy having a lot of fun but I will be posting some new blogs very soon.

Thanks to WordPress, there is a nice, interesting Annual Report about All Around Bacolod:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mexican Night in Bacolod

The conversations among the American expat community in Bacolod has centered around Mexican Food lately. One expat told how he can make refried beans from pinto beans. Another expat and a good friend told us about a new Mexican Restaurant that opened up at Sorrento’s, “Tostados.” I haven’t checked out Tostados yet but I plan to, with an open mind. I think the best Mexican Food, thus far, is found right in our home.

We recently had Mexican Night in our home. I have many of the ingredients to make Mexican food but not all. It isn’t 100% authentic but close enough for my taste.

Tostados

Tostados on a Corn Tortilla

This is the Mexican dish that I know as Tostados. It is a corn tortilla layered with refried beans, ground beef (I used ground round beef from SM Supermarket), tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar cheese and taco or picante sauce. The corn tortillas are Mega Mexicana brand, product of the Philippines, and were purchased at SM Supermarket. The refried beans are Ortega brand, purchased at Lopues Mandalagan Supermarket.

tapatio picante sauce

Tapatio Salsa Picante

The Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce was purchased at Shopper’s Pick, across the street from Robinsons Place on Lacson Street.

Tostados

Tostados on a Flour Tortilla

The same exact ingredients, only this is on a flour tortilla instead of a corn tortilla. The flour tortillas are also Mega Mexicana brand, product of the Philippines, and purchased at SM Supermarket.

Mexican Night would not be Mexican Night without tacos! After these tostados, I went a little light with the tacos.

Chicken Taco

Chicken Taco

Chicken Taco

Chicken Taco

These were light chicken tacos. I added refried beans, shredded chicken and diced tomatoes and onions. I left off the cheese but I didn’t forget the Tapatio Salsa Picante. It is Mexican hot sauce but not so hot. SM Supermarket  sells packets of Taco Seasoning and Fajita Seasoning, McCormick brand, if you are not into making your own or if you lack all the ingredients.

Mexican Night during December in Bacolod!