Ho Hop, Wo Hop or Po Palace


Binondo, the Oldest Chinatown in the World, may well be your only bet to eat New York Style Chinese Food. Not only in Metro Manila but anywhere in the Philippines.


The above Photo is a painting by Arko, depicting Binondo in Metro Manila.

In Bacolod, it is a mixed bag about Chinese Restaurants. They have Chinese Food and that is the only positive. None really light a fire with even a spark. None have that notch kicker to make me enjoy Chinese Food. I lived in China for 9 years, where I worked as an English Teacher. I enjoyed American-Chinese Food in America for 3 decades and I enjoyed Chinese Food in Binondo, when I lived in Manila two times.


There is one main Chinatown in NYC but there are actually 8 different Chinatown Neighborhoods in the Big Apple. The Chinese of NY have developed their own Style of Chinese Food, known as NY Style. The owner of Joy Young Chinese Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama sent his Grandson Chef to NYC to actually study NY Style Chinese Food at Pearl Palace Academy.


Opened in 1919, Joy Young was the First and the Oldest Chinese Restaurant in the entire State of Alabama. Joy Young Property was reportedly sold to Developers in the 1980s and no more Joy Young! However, a Descendant of Joe Young, owner of Joy Young, had their famous recipes. He opened the Chop Suey Inn on Green Springs Hwy in Birmingham.


The Po Palace, with the appropriate name, in Alachua, Florida offers NY Style Chinese Food on a Budget. If you have $4 or $5, you are eating a good NY Style Chinese Lunch! Gainesville, near Alachua, has a a NY Style Chinese Restaurant near the University of Florida Campus. Many meals are served in the Iconic cardboard Chinese Takeout Box with Wire Handle, for authenticity.


Did you know that those cardboard Chinese Takeout Boxes can be folded out to make a plate?

Wo Hop is a famous Chinese Restaurant in NYC Chinatown. They keep alive NY Style Chinese Food and they are open 24/7.


Ho Hop is a NY Style Chinese Restaurant in Green Cove Springs, Florida. The Politically Correct Squad has not zeroed in on Ho Hop about their name. I doubt a Judge in Florida would make the owner change it, anyway.


American-Chinese Chefs not only created a New Style of Chinese Food, they also created New Names for Chinese Dishes. In China, you will never see or hear…Moo Goo Gai Pan, Egg Foo Young, Crab Rangoon, Chow Mein, Chop Suey, Won Tons, Egg Rolls, Egg Drop Soup, Pineapple Chicken, Fortune Cookies, Chinese Mustard or other American-Chinese specifics.


Cold Sesame Noodles, Chicken Almond Ding, Shrimp Chow Mein, Pineapple Chicken, Chow Mai Fon, Goon Bo Gai and Walnut Shrimp are a few examples of Original NY Style Chinese Food.


You gotta love NY Style Chinese Food. It is an American Icon. originated by Chinese-Americans. American Chinese Food will blow your socks off! It Rocks and will never die.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

Seafood…And Eat It!


There are a number of good Seafood Restaurants in Bacolod. However, even eating at the best, I have experiences Mild to Moderate GI Disturbances after eating there. Therefore, the best and safest Seafood is at Gary’s House!

My wife and I both know how to safely handle Fresh Seafood and we know how to prepare it.

The Seafood Dish I eat most often at home is the Fish Po Boy. I use Vietnamese Catfish Fillets, AKA Cream Dory, to make the Po Boy, Deep Frying the Fish.


The key to any Fried Fish is…the Batter. I like Beer Battered Fish. Other Ingredients include…Cornmeal, Flour, a variety of Spices of Choices but I use All in One Creole Seasoning that is all in. Everything is in it already.

I dip the Fish Fillets in Beer and then dredge it in the Seasoned Cornmeal-Flour Mix. If you do not like dipping Fish in Beer, dip it in a beaten Egg first.


On the Po Boy, I slather both the bread and the Fish with Mayonnaise and Horseradish, accented with Pickle Relish. I then top with Cole Slaw. The Fish Po Boy is down home New Orleans. Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez! Let the Good Times Roll!

I make a Shrimp Po Boy from time to time, using the same Technique as making the Fish Po Boy. If I see the large Oysters, an Oyster Po Boy is awesome!

When eating Boiled Shrimp, I make Shrimp Cocktail as the Sauce. I leave off the Pickle Relish and I use Ketchup instead of Mayonnaise, never forgetting the Horseradish. Required!

Scallops and Oysters are at the top of my favorite Seafood. I learned my lesson well and I will never, never, never again eat Raw Oysters in the Philippines.


I also like Clams, especially Razor Clams, Mussels, Crabs and Sea Snails.

The Fish I eat, I am very picky about. Head and Tail on does not bother me but them Bones do bother me!

Vietnamese Catfish, Lison, Lapu Lapu and Bangus are the Fish I enjoy. Forget Tilapia!


There is a Marine Bounty and a Treasure Trove of Seafood…all around Bacolod. I hope to see you here…one day!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

 

Sisig-King of Filipino Food


Sisig is a dish that is made from Pig’s Mask and is loaded with spices such as Onion, Garlic, and Chili Peppers, as well as seasoned with Calamansi. It is typically served with a cracked egg on top. Many Filipinos in the Bacolod Area also top their Sisig with Mayonnaise.

A kilo of sliced Pig’s Mask is available at the Burgos Public Market in Bacolod for only P100.

This famous dish that can be served for lunch or dinner or even used as a pulutan in gatherings originally came from Pampanga in Luzon.\In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.

In the Bacolod Area, there has been a Sisig Evolution, as Pork is not the only Sisig on the Block! There is Chicken Innard Sisig (the best to me), Tuna Sisig and Squid Sisig. Also, it is not only Pig Mask used to make Pork Sisig, as there is Pig Ear Sisig and Pork Belly Sisig.


Sisig, which means “to snack on something sour” or “salad” was first mentioned in the 17th century and has become a culinary tradition around the Philippines. This prompted the City Government of Angeles to pass an Ordinance declaring Angeles City as the Sisig Capital of the Philippines.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Kewpie Mayonnaise


In Japan, many Japanese use Kewpie Mayonnaise in both Food Preparation and as a Food Condiment. Both with Traditional Japanese Food and with Non-Traditional Japanese Food.

Here are several examples for Kewpie Mayonnaise. On or in…

Meat & Vegetable Pancakes
Sushi
Octopus Balls and other Seafood Balls
Stir Fried Noodles
Tuna and other Fish
Japanese Potato Salad
Japanese Cole Slaw
Sandwiches
Fruit Salad
Rice Balls
Pork Cutlets

Japanese Islands is a Dipping Sauce and Dressing, made with Kewpie Mayonnaise and Ketchup. It has a wide variety of uses. Including in some recipes for Japanese Cole Slaw.

In the Philippines, some Filipinos use Kewpie Mayonnaise on Sisig.

Japanese Cole Slaw rocks the house! Of course, add Kewpie Mayonnaise!


Japanese Potato Salad is really…Kicked up Mashed Potatoes.


I really enjoy Japanese Food much better than Chinese Food and certain better than Filipino Food. With a couple of exceptions.

Last night for supper, I had Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Japanese Potato Salad, which was not kicked up.

To make Japanese Potato Salad…

It is all about your choice. Boil the Potatoes with Skin On or Peeled.

Boil the Potatoes until a Skewer or Fork easily goes through the Potato. Mash the Potatoes but not 100%. Be sure to leave parts of the Potatoes still in shape.

Kewpie Mayonnaise and Milk are mixed together and then added to the Kicked Up Ingredients. Or just those 2 Ingredients, without the Veggies.

Kicked Up Ingredients and Options for Japanese Mashed Potatoes…

Onion
Carrot
Apple
Cucumber
Ham

I like just using Chopped Onion, Kewpie Mayonnaise and Milk when I make Japanese Potato Salad. I leave out the Veggies.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Asian Takeout Secrets For Home Cooking


In Bacolod, if you do not know the secrets of Asian Takeout at home, you are SOL-Sortta Outta Luck! The 2 best Chinese Restaurants…Golden Fortune and Diamond Palace are not all that.Golden Fortune promotes their Live Seafood, although they have a couple of very good Chinese Dishes…Deep Fried Pigeon and Char Siu Pork. Diamond Palace only has Char Siu Pork that is really any good.

Hong Kong Kitchen at Robinsons Place Mall is more of a Cantonese Dim Sum House but it is excellent. Not as good as what you eat in Hong Kong but it is excellent in Bacolod.

Hua Kong Chinese Pharmacy has a small Chinese Grocery on site, which has things that the Major Supermarkets do not stock, such as…Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts. To make Moo Goo Gai Pan, one of the most popular American-Chinese Dishes.


Making Moo Goo Gai Pan is EZ to make, as it is a One Pot Meal. Bamboo Shoots and Water Chestnuts are required.


It is a key to finding a place to buy the Ingredients to make Asian Takeout, which cannot be substituted in a recipe.

Cornstarch and Ginger are both readily available in the Philippines and both are Staples to making Asian Takeout at home. Kikkoman Tamari Soy Sauce is hard to find and if you see a bottle, buy it!

When making Chicken Teriyaki, it is best to use Chicken Thighs, as the Meat is Juicy and Tender. I use Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce rather than making it from scratch, as I cannot find Japanese Mirin or Sweet Rice Wine in Bacolod.


Commercially sold Sweet & Sour Sauce comes in handy rather than making it from scratch, when making Sweet & Sour Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork or Sweet & Sour Shrimp.

I have a section on a cupboard shelf and in the ref, stocked with ingredients to make Asian Takeout at home.

You can make your favorite Asian Take Out at home and preparing the Asian Takeout is almost as good as eating it,,,almost!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Old Gringo Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


I am digging into my Recipe Box to come up with my Meals. I have blown off the dust and found a few Tried & True Gems! I sometimes get bored with the usual things I enjoy eating, in rotation, so I want something to eat for a change of pace.

Other Dishes I have tried or will try this weekend include…Chinese Orange Chicken, Chili Dogs, Slaw Dogs, Baked Pork Steaks, Southern Style Baked Chicken, Eggplant Lasagna and Thai Shredded Chicken with Fresh Egg Noodles.

Old Gringo Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. The Old Gringo Rides Again!

Cabbage is one of the lower priced Vegetables in Bacolod, as less than P50 will buy that nice, large, fresh Head of Cabbage.

Ingredients…

A nice, large. fresh Head of Cabbage.
Finely Chopped Onion
1 Can of Crushed Tomatoes
Tomato Sauce
Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper
Lean Ground Beef
A Little Uncooked Rice
Butter
Paraley and other Herbs and Spices to Taste
1 Egg

Directions…

Boil the Cabbage about 4-5 minutes
Simmer the Sauce for 12-15 minutes…Onion, Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Brown Sugat and Salt & Pepper
Beat the Egg and mix with Lean Ground Beef
Lay each Cabbage Leaf on a flat surface
Shape the Meat Mixture
Place the Meat Mixture in the center of each Cabbage Leaf and roll it
Pre-heat the Oven at 350 F
Place the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls on a Butter Greased Baking Pan. I Grease Aluminum Foil with Butter, which I place on the Baking Pan.
Bake for 60-90 minutes

Heineken Beer is my Beverage of Choice. It’s a Great Day for Two!


Enjoy!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Best Chili Con Carne


n Bacolod, several Restaurant have Chili Cheese Fries on their Menu. The only ones I tried were at Buffalo’s Wings n’ Things but they are out of business. Their Chili Cheese Fries were good.

Chili is much more than a Bowl of Chili. There are Chili Dogs, Chili Burgers, Chili Hash Browns, Chili Mac, which is mixed with Macaroni and Sonic has their famous Frito Chili Pie. I think most Americans have tried all those dishes at one time or another during their lifetimes.


I sometimes serve Chili over Spaghetti and add a Boiled Egg on top. This will get your Motor Running! Adding the Boiled Egg is something I do but not the common Recipe. Chili over Spaghetti is…Skyline Chili and popular in Cincinnati.

Did I mention Chili Dogs? The Chili Dog is my favorite Hot Dog, beyond compare. The Frankfurter, add Chili, top with Shredded Cheddar Cheese if you like but for sure…top with lots of Raw Onions!

Best Chili Recipe

I know this is what you have been waiting for! Gringo Gary’s Best Chili Colorado…

  • 1 pound Italian sausage links
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (1 pound)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained


Chili Colorado has nothing to do with the State of Colorado. Nada! Chili Colorado is Mexican Style Chili and Colorado means..Red Color.

Enjoy my Chili Colorado! It is Chili today and Hot Tamale!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Best Sandwiches


My Cover Photo is a Cuban Sandwich and they are awesome. All Ingredients are in Bacolod to make a Cuban Sandwich.

I have always been a fan of Sandwiches and I eat many different Sandwiches in Bacolod every week.

The first Sandwich I remember eating is a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, which I still eat from time to time now. I spent my first 4 years in school in Rhode Island, when my dad was still in the World’s Greatest Navy.

In Rhode Island, I developed a love for Sandwiches. Grinders, which is a New England Sub, Cod Fish Sandwiches, Linguica Portuguese Sausage Sandwiches, Lobster Salad Sandwiches and the Western Sandwich, which is an Omelet Sandwich with Ham/Onions/Bell Peppers and of course, the Egg.


In Alabama, one of my favorite Sandwiches was the Stromboli Sandwich, which is an Italian Sandwich. There is a large Italian-American Community to this day in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Stromboli Sandwich is made with Italian Cold Cuts…Salami, Pepperoni, Capocollo and Mozzarella Cheese, often topped with Pizza Sauce but not always.


Birmingham also has a large Greek-American Community. More Sandwiches! I was introduced to the Greek Gyro. A Wrap Sandwich, filled with Lamb, Chicken or Pork, sometimes all 3! Greeks had a monopoly on the Hot Dog Stands and Sandwich Shops in Birmingham.


In South Florida, I ate many Cuban Sandwiches, made on Cuban Bread with Roast Pork, Ham, Swiss or Cheddar Cheese and lots of Mustard. Do not forget the Pickles.

In Bacolod, a favorite is the Flying Saucer Sandwich, with the filling unlimited. The best Flying Saucer Sandwich has Ham and Cheez Whiz on it.


My Favorite Sandwiches

The key to a good Sandwich is…the Bread. There are many options in Bacolod concerning Breads.

Not in any order, these are the Sandwiches that I make and eat in Bacolod…

Louisiana Po Boy, Cuban Sandwich, Strombolli Sandwich, Smoked Sausage Sandwich, Pork Sausage Patty Biscuit. Crab Salad Sandwich, Sloppy Joe, Reuben Sandwich, Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Tuna Salad Sandwich, Chicken Salad Sandwich, Bacon, Cheese & Egg Sandwich, Tomato Sandwich, BBQ Pork Sandwich, Chicken Sandwich, the Monte Cristo, Waldorf Sandwich, French Dip, Meatball Grinder/Sub/Hoagie, Fried Baloney Sandwich, Club Sandwich, Philly Cheese Steak, Vienna Sausage Sandwich, Salmon Patty Sandwich, other Fish Sandwiches, UK Ploughman’s Sandwich, Chip Butty and Bahn Mi Vietnamese Sandwich.

There is not any Souse Meat in our area that I have found. In America, I enjoyed a Souse Meat Sandwich from time to time.

The above Crab Salad Sandwich looks great, doesn’t it?

Enjoy a Sandwich today! A great day for 2.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

 

Chicken Sandwiches


If I want a Chicken Sandwich, I most often make one at home.

Concerning Restaurant Chicken Sandwiches in Bacolod, McDonald’s and Max Restaurant-The House that Fried Chicken Built have the best Chicken Sandwiches.

I recently ordered a Chicken Sandwich at Jian’s Restaurant and it turned out to be a…Chicken Salad Sandwich. It was not bad but it was not what I expected or wanted!

Thrillist recently held an American Nationwide Survey concerning the Best Chicken Sandwich in the USA. Popeyes Chicken Sandwich was # 1, with Chick-Fil- A Original Chicken Sandwich #2. Next were…McDonald’s Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, KFC Crispy Colonel Chicken Sandwich, Arby’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Wendy’s Homestyle Chicken Sandwich and Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich.

Home Style Chicken Sandwiches

I enjoy a Pulled Chicken Sandwich and I prepare the Chicken in our slow cooker. I never eat cubed Chicken at all! I shred the Chicken by hand, add BBQ Sauce and eat it on Bread. I keep Mesquite, Memphis and Bullseye BBQ Sauce on hand, bought at SM and Metro.


I make a Mean Chicken Salad Sandwich, made with Horseradish, Mayonnaise, Chopped Onion and Pickle Relish. I sometimes add a ring or 2 of Sweet and Hot Jalapeno. Pepper, which is not too hot for me. Trappey’s Brand. Once again, I shred the Chicken by hand.


Sometimes, I buy Bristol Chopped Canned Chicken to have on hand when going to the Farm. It is not cubed Chicken. I just need to add Horseradish, Mayonnaise, Pickle Relish and Onion. Both SM and Metro sell Bristol Chopped Canned Chicken for around P60 per can, which is the standard size can of Tuna.

Enjoy a Chicken Sandwich today!

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Chicken


The Headline Photo in my article today is the traditional Southern American Dish…Chicken & Dumplings.

I have not become another Wade Boggs, the great baseball player who ate Chicken every single day. However, I am eating more Chicken each week.

I keep 3 whole Chickens in our freezer, as well as cut Chicken Thighs, Wings and Leg Quarters. There are so many different dishes you can create with Chicken.

Teriyaki Chicken is on tap tonight for supper.

A few nights ago, we used the Indian Tandoori Chicken Spice Rub and made Tandoori Chicken. Always good! Served with Yellow Rice and Yogurt Dipping Sauce.


Baked Chicken is one of my favorite dishes. As well as American Style BBQ Chicken and of course, Southern Fried Chicken.

The Chinese can keep their Steamed Chicken. Yuk!

I am totally burned out with the Bacolod Chicken Inasal but I am not burned out with Lechon Chicken/Manok.

Chicken Breasts pounded out, battered and deep fried is our recipe for Chicken Fried Steak.

From time to time, I make Chicken Salad, which is great on Toast.

Whatta bout Chicken Al A King?

I prefer Shredded Chicken instead of Shrimp in our Pad Thai Noodles, made with flat Rice Noodles.


Forget cubed Chicken, as I never cube Chicken. Chicken Tacos in Bacolod have cube Chicken in them at Restaurants. Imake Chicken Tacos and Chicken Enchiladas at home with Shredded Chicken.

Chicken Divan is on our menu this week. I wish we could make Chicken Pot Pies but we cannot.


I use our slow cooker often and it turns out great Pulled Chicken for BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.

Peri Peri Chicken is a wonderful Portuguese Chicken Dish. The Marinade is what makes fabulous Peri Peri Chicken. The Marinade is…

BBQ Sauce
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire
Minced Garlic
Minced Onion
Squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice and Calamansi works
Yellow Mustard
Coarse Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
Sriracha Sauce or other Hot Sauce is optional if you like the heat


Concerning BBQ Sauce, I use Memphis Style and Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce.

All Ingredients are available in Bacolod.

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

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~