Wild Wild West in the Philippines

I have no idea how they arrived in the Philippines but while recently shopping in Lopues East Shopping Center, we discovered the American Old West!

Wild Wild West Trophies

Unique but they just would not fit in with the decor of our home in Bacolod City. They would fit well in our home on the farm, south of Bacolod. Yes, these were for sale to the tune of P10,000 each, or about $250 USD. The American Buffalo, or Bison, and a Grizzly Bear.

Native American Totem Pole

My great grand mother was from the Cherokee Tribe, so I am of Native American Heritage. I was really surprised to see this totem pole in Bacolod City, Philippines. No, this totem pole is not Cherokee. It is a replica from one of the Northwest Native American Tribes.

One of my posts would not be complete without the mentioning of FOOD. Fry bread, corn bread, alligator tail, other wild game such as squirrel/raccoon/opossum/deer/buffalo/bear, corn, flap jacks (pancakes), tacos, burritos and bean dishes, such as pinto beans, are all common Native American food, depending on which Tribe. Some of these can be prepared in the Philippines with locally available ingredients. But not the wild game. Buffalo, aka carabao or water buffalo, is eaten in the Philippines but they are domesticated animals. I’ve had buffalo burgers in the Philippines and corned beef made with buffalo and beef.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Each day unfolds a new adventure in the Philippines!” It is amazing but true in my life.

El Taco

I can’t say that I am a Taco Man from Macho Land but tacos are one of my favorite foods. I can buy the Old El Paso brand taco shells at SM and my wife and I can turn out some very good tacos at home. Yes, we even have our own jalapeno peppers to kick it up a notch. I prefer a beef taco and I also like a chicken taco but I never cared much for a fish taco. I can tolerate a Century Corned Tuna Taco in the place of chicken and beef.

Since Fat Boys was closed last Sunday at lunch time, we hit Trey’s Restaurant instead in Bacolod City. It is located right across the street from the newest and very large Shakey’s on Lacson Street. Crave Burger is also across the street.

Trey’s is pretty famous in Bacolod among expats for their chicken fried steak, which is actually beef and I think they refer to it as country fried beef steak on the menu. Same thing as chicken fried steak, which is not chicken at all but only beef that is fried like chicken. It is battered beef, deep fried and topped with gravy, served with mashed potatoes with the skin still on. The price is P270 at Trey’s.

Not because I am cheap but I decided to try the steak taco at Trey’s last Sunday for a change of pace. Only P99. I was not disappointed. Lots of steak strips and very little lettuce and tomato as filler. The salsa is homemade and not hot and spicy. Ask for some Tabasco Sauce to kick it up a notch if you like it hot! Trey’s steak taco has nice melted cheese on top. It is served with a small portion of nachos and homemade salsa.

El Taco

Looks great, doesn’t it? It is not a perfect taco but one of the best I’ve had in Bacolod.

I am not sure how well a taco wagon would work in Bacolod but it would be nice if there was one. A different kind of food cart. A taco wagon.

Now, I can stand the heat of the kitchen and I know how to cook and prepare food. You gotta have a good, hard taco shell to make tacos. I use Old El Paso brand, which is available at SM Supermarket, most of the time, as is ALL the ingredients needed to make a very good taco. My tacos include ground beef and shredded chicken. McCormick Taco Seasoning added to the beef and chicken when cooking.

But first, saute some chopped onions and bell peppers, too, if you like. Add the ground beef and shredded chicken and cook all together until no red juices are evident. To save time, have a jar of Old El Paso Taco Sauce or Salsa on hand. Pace Salsa will work, too.

To load the taco, I put the beef and chicken first, together with the sauteed onions and  peppers, then I add the taco sauce or salsa Good shredded cheese is required on top but it does not have to be pre-melted. An original taco is like an original sandwich in that you can add what you like. I also like sour cream or cream cheese on my tacos. I also like jalapeno peppers. I don’t like lettuce and certainly not shredded cabbage on my tacos but I can tolerate a few chopped tomatoes. A slather of refried beans is also good on your taco but hard to find in Bacolod. Old El Paso makes canned refried beans and I have bought them at SM but not available year round.

Some other restaurants try to copy Taco Bell but their product is more like Taco Hell! The taco falls apart in your hands when trying to eat it. Not fun. I really think making your own tacos at home is more fun. However, for sure, Trey’s Steak Taco is a good one if you want tacos out.