Cajun and New Orleans Cuisine


I enjoy Cajun and New Orleans Cuisine as much as I enjoy Mexican Cuisine. Probably more so.

The only ingredient I have not found in Bacolod to make Cajun and New Orleans dishes is File Powder. Never saw it here, no, not once.

We had not been to Lopues Mandalagan Supermarket in awhile, so we dropped by there yesterday. They still have a variety of Imported Food Products.

Campbell’s Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for P200 per 18 oz can was the find of the day. I prefer making my own dishes from scratch but having a can of something good always comes in handy.


Bob’s Deli sells Creole Seasoning for P150 per large container. Cajun Marinade, McCormick brand, is readily available in the major supermarkets in Bacolod, less than P50 per package. Cajun BBQ is a type of Southern BBQ and is always good to me.

Andouille Sausage can be bought at Bob’s Deli and at Robinsons Supermarket in Robinsons Place Mall but not year round.


Many Cajuns eat Rice during their main meals, so Cajun Cuisine fits right in the Philippines! However, most always with Gravy on Cajun Rice and not a side dish of plain white Rice. Rice is incorporated in a number of Cajun dishes.

I make Dirty Rice, using Chicken Livers and Chicken Gizzards. A one pot Rice dish.


Jambalaya! It is a Rice dish but the sky is the limit as to what you put in this wonderful dish. EZ to make. The feature photo of this article is Jambalaya.

A Po Boy is a great Sandwich anytime for me. I especially like making a Fish Po Boy, garnished with Cole Slaw. Oyster Po Boy is great, too.


Cornbread is a staple in Cajun and New Orleans Cuisine. We make Cornbread often. Fried Corn Bread and Cornbread Muffins.

One Restaurant I would like to see in our area is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Love that Chicken from Popeyes. Best restaurant Chicken in my book, among chain restaurants. Olde Dixie Fried Chicken in Orlando.Florida is also tops but they are not a chain store.


Now, if only Dixie Beer from New Orleans would turn up in Bacolod!

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Cajun for…Let the Good Time Roll!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Advertisements

Modern Filipino Cuisine


The Traditional Filipino Cuisine and the Food that Filipinos actually eat have undergone Fusion, the integration of Diverse Cuisines. Over the past 3 decades is pronounced. Younger Filipinos, especially, are no longer holding onto Traditional Filipino Cuisine, as they embrace more International Cuisine. Often which is infused into Filipino Cuisine.


Chinese immigrant Ma Mon Luk, from Guangzhou China, introduced Sio Pao and Chicken Mami to Filipinos over one century ago, in Binondo, Manila. Today, Ma Mon Luk Restaurant is still open on Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. Same location since the 1950s.


In 1945, Maximo Gimenez, a Stanford University trained Teacher, revolutionized Chicken in the Philippines. He introduced American Southern Fried Chicken to the public, after initially serving it to US GIs at the end of WWII. Maxi’s Restaurant-The House That Fried Chicken Built was started in Quezon City. Today, there are many branches and franchises all around the Philippines. Max’s Restaurant-The House That Fried Chicken Built!


Shakey’s Pizza! Founded in 1954 in Sacramento, California, Shakey’s had a vision to expand. In 1975, San Miguel opened their first owned Shakey’s Pizza in Makati. Draft San Miguel Pilsen was promoted in Shakey’s Pizza. Pizza and Beer! They certainly go hand in hand. Over 30 years ago, I frequented Shakey’s Pizza on Roxas Blvd in Manila to not only enjoy Pizza and Draft San Miguel but to also enjoy the live Rock n’ Roll Bands. Enjoying Filipino Bands versions of…Bon Jovi, Steve Winwood, Eddie Money, Bob Seger, Van Helen, Genesis, Steve Miller Band and those rocking Rolling Stones!


Over the years, more and more American owned Restaurants have opened all around the Philippines. McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken-KFC, Pizza Hut are most well known. However, you can add now to the mix…Papa John’s Pizza, Chili’s Bar & Grill, International House of Pancakes-IHOP, Taco Bell, Wendy’s Hamburgers, Burger King, Catfish King and other American Restaurants.

With the K-Pop invasion in the Philippines of Korean students and Korean business owners, Korean Cuisine is a main player among the Food Industry in the Philippines.British, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai Japanese, Swiss, German, Italian, British, Mexican, Spanish Cuisine, are all available, around the Philippines in mid-size and large cities. Bacolod City is no exception.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

LVS Oishii Ramen Japanese Restobar


If you enjoy Japanese Cuisine, you will probably like LVS Oishii Ramen Japanese Restobar in Bacolod. It is located at The Market Place Food Complex, behind the New Govt Center on Circumferential Road.

Their Ramen is freshly made Egg Noodles and not Dry Ramen Noodles. A big plus and much better.

Oishii has Tempura Dishes, Ebi Dishes, Sukiyaki and Sushi on their menu, as well as Japanese Dumplings and other items. I did not memorize their menu, as I knew when I went in, I wanted Spicy Beef Ramen and I greatly enjoyed it, made with fresh Egg Noodles.

A pot of Hot Tea is delivered to your table right after you take your seat. Served in a Japanese Tea Pot and Japanese Tea Cups.

Oishii has cold Beer and they had one my favorites, Cerveza Negra. Kirin and Asahi Japanese Beers are also available for P120 per bottle.


I enjoy Japanese Cuisine much better than Chinese Cuisine in Bacolod. I was spoiled in Alabama and in Florida by the excellent Chinese-American Cuisine, which is not here and I never ate it during 9 years in China, either. No Moo Goo Gai Pan, no General Pao Chicken, no Sweet & Sour Chicken, no Egg Foo Young, no Chinese Mustard and no Fortune Cookies!

The Japanese Food is very good and the Service is excellent at Oishii.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

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 ~

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 ~

Tenderizing Pork Shoulder Ribs


I am trying a new method of tenderizing Pork Ribs and other cuts of Pork. when suspected of being…tough.

I made a Brine to marinate a rack of Pork Shoulder Ribs in the ref, for 12 hours. Water, Coarse Salt, Black Pepper Corns, Brown Sugar, White Vinegar and Toyomansi Sauce.

I had bought 2 racks of Pork Shoulder Ribs at SM Supermarket. I marinated the first rack in Pineapple Juice and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauces, however, not long enough. The Pork Ribs were not as tender as we like them.

I really do not like boiling Meat before Grilling. The slow cooker will take the Pork Ribs right off the bone, over- tender, and I like the Rib Bones intact.

The Sauce Makes the Difference!


I often make my own BBQ Sauce, however, I also buy several different flavors of Commercial BBQ Sauce, readily available in Bacolod City Supermarkets. Bulls-Eye Original BBQ Sauce is a personal favorite. I also enjoy Kraft Mesquite Smoke BBQ Sauce and Hunt’s Hickory BBQ Sauce. Basting Pork Ribs on the grill with a thick BBQ Sauce should be near the end of the grilling because it will burn if applied too early. A bit of blackening is alright but I do not like solid blackening. I greatly enjoy BBQ Ribs!


Due to a time constraint, I put the Pork Shoulder Ribs on the Grill last evening after 10 hours of marinating, instead of at least 12 hours. On a scale of 1-10, I rate using the Brine Marinade for tenderizing…7.5.

The Pork Shoulder Ribs were tender enough and I did not want them falling off the bone.

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 ~

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 ~