Shop ‘Til You Drop

I enjoy shopping at Metro Supermarket around the 4th weekend of the month. This is the weekend that the food vendors are there at the Ayala Mall Weekend Food Fair.

Passing by Xin Chao Vietnamese food stand, I was about to order one of their very good Vietnamese Sandwiches, however, I had 2nd thoughts. The time was 2pm and none of the meat or veggies were refrigerated. All were inside a showcase to keep the flies away but it was a hot day. I know the meat had been out in the heat at least 4 hours and that is not good for pork! The restaurants at the Food Fair are outdoors, underneath a large, open sided tent.

My best Filipino friend was with me and we knew we could not go wrong by ordering and eating a hamburger from Das Burgery and that is what we did. Their burgers are among the best in the city. The price for their 101 Hamburger is P120.

Lord Byron Ribs were also present at the Food Fair. Baby back ribs with rice is P150. Lord Byron has great ribs!

Spend a Little, Buy a Lot!

I spent P1,081 at Metro Supermarket this afternoon.

The big ticket item was P185 for a bottle of La Victoria Green Taco Sauce.

Chicken leg quarters were P125 per kilo. A rack of pork shoulder ribs were P90 or P212 per kilo. I just needed the P90 rack.

Springfield Chili with Beans was P126 per can. I make good chili but I like having a couple of cans of commercial chili on hand in the event I need them for whatever reason.

A 1.4 lb squeeze bottle of Morehouse Mustard, the Official Mustard of the LA Dodgers, was P139.

The rest was spent on coffee, snacks and 1 Sapporo Beer.

I think overall, prices of shopping in Bacolod are holding steady and inflation remains low. You can still buy a lot with P1,000 in the supermarkets. I could not do this with $21.50 in The Swamp in Florida, at Walmart Supermarket. I shopped there last year April-May and I still recall the high prices. Maybe even higher now, 17 months later. If I take the time, I can do a current price check on the Walmart website.

At Walmart in The Swamp, 2 lbs of frozen Whiting Fish was $5.99. I pay P98 or $2.10 for a *kilo* of Cream Dory White Fish in Bacolod.

I can’t recall exactly but in The Swamp, the Libby’s Corned Beef was 30-50 cents higher for the same size can of Libby’s Corned Beef that I buy in Bacolod.

Metro and SM are my 2 favorite places to shop for groceries in Bacolod.

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

~ Gary ~

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 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 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!

Reuben Sandwich in Bacolod City

One of the greatest things about food, other than eating, is that one can create their own variant to suit their own tastes or they can simply become creative when all the original ingredients are not readily available. During my 12 years and counting of being an expat, one of the topics that always comes up among other expats is FOOD.

In Bacolod City, my wife and I can buy most anything we need to create a wonderful meal or snack in our own home kitchen. One item that is not so readily available is authentic rye bread. However, we can get creative and find a suitable substitute.

Multi Grain Loaf Bread

Cafe Bob’s Deli did not have rye bread, so we bought Multi Grain Loaf Bread, which is a good choice for any sandwich. An Italian friend once told me that it is a sin to not have good bread in the house! I don’t know about the sin part but not having good bread in the house will limit one’s preparation of excellent food.

Many Filipinos enjoy and eat a lot of corned beef and there are many Philippine brands of canned corned beef at the supermarkets. However, for my Reuben Sandwich, I always choose the Brazilian corned beef. One of my favorite brands that I buy at SM Supermarket is Hereford Corned Beef, product of Brazil.

Hereford Brazilian Corned Beef

Now, actually making your Reuben Sandwich is when the variants arise, according to your own personal taste. Yes, I know, many will be hardcore and say a Reuben Sandwich must have Russian or Thousand Island Dressing. Excuse me, but not my Reuben. I prefer horseradish!

Morehouse Cream Style Horseradish

My favorite is Morehouse Cream Style Horseradish. I buy it at either Cafe Bob’s Deli on Lacson Street or farther down on Lacson at Lopues Mandalagan Supermarket.

Some will tell you that an authentic Reuben Sandwich must have Swiss Cheese. However, I have my own preference in cheese. Swiss Cheese is available at both SM and Robinsons Supermarkets.

McLelland Seriously Mild Red Cheddar Cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. I also like Red Leicester. There are five or six different styles of McLelland Cheese available at SM Supermarket.

There is one original ingredient that I never substitute on my Reuben Sandwich and that is sauerkraut. But hey, if you don’t like sauerkraut, leave it off. You will still have a fabulous sandwich.

Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut

For the added crunch on my Reuben Sandwich, I always add Sauerkraut. I like Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut, which I bought at Cafe Bob’s Deli.

To toast or grill or do neither to your prepared Reuben Sandwich is the final touch. By now, you are ready to eat, which is exactly what I did and it is exactly why I don’t have a photo of my Reuben Sandwich. I have eaten it already! My Reuben will look different from yours anyway. You can place your Reuben in a toaster oven until the bread is browned on both sides and the cheese has melted. You can also heat a skillet on high heat, spread butter or margarine on each side of your sandwich and grill until the bread has browned, after flipping it over once, and the cheese has melted.

If you can’t think of what you would like to eat, try a Reuben Sandwich. I don’t think you will be disappointed.


Expat Comfort Food in the Philippines

Whenever I get together with my expat friends in the Bacolod Area, the topic of food always comes up! Where to buy certain Western food items, new restaurants which serve food that expats enjoy and what we eat at home. I can find pretty much anything I enjoy and would want in the supermarkets of Bacolod for my wife and I to prepare delicious food at home. The last two hard to find items can now be found at the Deli Grocery of Cafe Bob’s on Lacson Street. Those two items were American style cornmeal to make good cornbread and grit. Grits are coarsely ground corn or sometimes alkali treated corn, known as hominy. The grits I bought at Cafe Bob’s are Enriched Hominy Grits, milled in Washington State, USA. Grits are mostly eaten at breakfast but I also eat them with fried fish for lunch for supper.

We enjoy eating in restaurants in Bacolod City, eating out several times each week, but we eat most of our meals at home, which my wife and I prepare. We always look forward to the new restaurant reviews by the Bacolod Food Hunters, found right here on Word Press. I will share a few things we prepared at home the past week or so. All the ingredients were purchased in Bacolod City at one of the supermarkets, namely SM, Robinsons, Lopues, Gaisano, Cafe Bob’s Deli Grocery and K-Mart. No, it isn’t the USA based K-Mart.

We have a few Filipino friends who also enjoy what I refer to as “Expat Comfort Food!” Based on what I have learned from conversations with expats in Bacolod, I eat Filipino food more often than most of them. I eat Filipino dishes several times each week but I am not too craZy about plain white rice.

Italian Sausage with Sauerkraut

The Italian Sausage is a fairly new item sold at SM under their Bonus brand name of European Deli. A great price on these, too. The baguette was purchased at Baker’s Bakery. I added French’s Horseradish Mustard to the baguette. The French’s Horseradish Mustard is two sauces in one bottle and can be purchased at SM Supermarket.

Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut

This jar of Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut was purchased at Cafe Bob’s Deli Grocery. K-Mart sometimes has cans of sauerkraut in stock but they were out when I recently wanted to buy some. “Sorry, Sir, out of stock!” Too bad but I had Plan B. Cafe Bob’s.

As I mentioned, I am not too craZy about plain white rice but I can do a few things with it! To kick the rice up a few notches!

Red Beans and Rice with Italian Sausage

I could not find Andouille Sausage in Bacolod to make this hearty Cajun dish, made famous in the USA in Louisiana, but I didn’t expect to find it since it is a regional sausage even in the States. So, I used one of the SM European Deli Italian Hot Links Sausages. These sausages are spicy but not overpowering. I also added chopped green bell peppers, which are locally grown and much cheaper than the imported bell peppers. The red kidney beans are Campagna brand, which is a product of Italy. Less than $1 USD per can, so not bad! This brand of kidney beans is sold in SM Supermarket and I have seen them at other Bacolod Supermarkets. I also use the red kidney beans to make chili con carne.

G&G Burger

There seems to be the ongoing debate about where to find the best burgers. Hungry Pete’s? Bar 21? Actually the best burgers in Bacolod are found in our home! G&G Burger, which is Gary and Grace Burger. Yep, we make them but we don’t sell them. Grilled to perfection using Ground Round Beef, which is all we use for our burgers. If it is the rainy season and too wet to grill outdoors, these burgers can also be made in the skillet or wok on the gas burner. I have an assortment of good things to put on the burger. A1 Steak Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, French’s Horseradish Mustard, French’s Honey Dijon Mustard, McCormick Yellow Mustard, Heinz Ketchup, Mother’s Best Hot Sauce, Del Monte Hamburger Pickle Relish (which is red color and not green color), Magic Time Jalapeno Peppers, Tabasco Green or Red Hot Pepper Sauce and Kraft Honey Hickory BBQ Sauce.

I never make one burger the same it seems! It just depends on my mood that day. For sure, the G&G Burger always has lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and Spanish onions. I had this bad boy burger for lunch on Wednesday! I used A1 Steak Sauce as the sauce.

G&G Burger

Just one more time! Another look at the burger before topping the bun.

I will be doing a few more installments of Expat Comfort Food in the Philippines in the days ahead. Our food is only limited by our imagination!