Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cheesestick Charlie

With all the chicken delis popping out in every corner, how should one stand out against the flock?

Here are some of Mustachio's Cuckoo tips:

Cuckoo 1: Your restaurant should be neat, clean, and sleek. Use more orange paint perhaps.

 Clean and neat hangout on the outside. More orange paint used here.

A little sleek design inside. Well polished, Mr Charlie!

Added factor is a smiling staff.

Cuckoo 2: Make your non-chicken dishes explosive.

Top to bottom: Value meal A, Charlie's bowl, Cheesestick dynamites

The Cheesestick Dynamites were explosive*. Please disregard the other two dishes, both chicken, they taste ordinary. But boy oh boy, the Cheesestick was a standout. Who would have thought that Jalapeños stuffed with melted cheese and rolled in carenderia-esque lumpia wrappers (with the Jalapeño stem protruding) could be a flavorful blast*?  Try this one, and tell me if it packed the same punch to your taste buds as mine.

*cliche pun intended

Chicken Charlie
Level 1, eBloc Tower 2, Cebu IT Park
Lahug, Cebu City
(032) 266 9779
Daily 9AM - 12MN

How this chicken with a different feather flocked my coins together:
Value Meal A (1 pc drumstick + rice + iced tea) Php 83
Charlie's Bowl Php 59
Cheesestick Dynamites (5 pcs) Php 83

Saturday, October 27, 2012

City Chicken

Time check: 5PM
Stomach check: Filled to the brim
Outlook: Four hours away from home (Cebu City), will be hungry by then
Decision: Buy take out

Which takes me back to City Burger, not for their burger (no, no) but for their chicken inasal. I have always found it funny that their name is "City Burger" when their bestseller is their grilled chicken.

Chicken inasal ready for take out.

Every time I am in Dumaguete, I must have their inasal. Might be because I'm a chicken devourer or maybe because they really have good chicken inasal. The chicken inasal is best eaten whilst hot. How'd my take out survive after five hours? Cold chicken inasal isn't as good as the smoking hot ones, but it still satisfied my chicken tooth.

They have other dishes on the menu (click photo to enlarge)

City Burger
San Jose St corner Real St
Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
(035) 422 2775

You can also find City Burger at the food court of Robinson's Place Dumaguete.

How a dinner take out took out more money from Mustachio's pocket:
Chicken Barbeque with rice Php 77

In Dumaguete Diet is Dead:
City Chicken (you're here!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Burger vs Burger

Time check: Time for some snacks
Snack of choice: Burger

Burger #1: City Burger
San Jose St. corner Real St., Dumaguete City
(035) 422 2775
Grilling station?

  Cheeseburger Php 65
Wow! Big fat burger! Upon closer inspection....Wow! Big fat bun and nonexistent patty.

Verdict: Very Disappointed!

Proceed to

Burger #2: Scooby's
Silliman Avenue, Dumaguete City
(035) 2250675
I'm back for burger vengeance!

MEME power!

Inside Scooby's. No scrappy doo's!

Double Cheeseburger Php 64
Sorry no zoomed in photo of the patty, but I assure you the patty of this burger is wayyyy thicker than City Burger's. And wayyy tastier!

Verdict: Very Satisfied!

How two opposing burgers made a 1/2 pound deficit on Mustachios budget:
City Burger's cheeseburger Php 65
Scooby's double cheeseburger Php 64

In Dumaguete Diet is Dead:
Burger vs Burger (you're here!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Make Way for Some Desserts

Time check: 330PM
Stomach check: Still a bit stuffed from lunch at Gabby's Bistro but can always make some space for desserts
Destination: Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries

It's mid-afternoon and the place is packed.

So many choices, so little space in my stomach.

What shall we have?
The bestsellers, of course: San Rival and Silvanas. Plus a slice of Date & Walnut Dacquoise.

Sans rival: Huh? Should use the butter-meter. Too buttery. Sorry, not my type.
Silvanas: Just right. I could finish the whole box in one sitting.
Date & walnut dacquoise: Too sweet for me, but my travel buddy absolutely loves it.

Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries
3 San Jose St., Dumaguete City
(035) 422 9482 / (035) 225 4440
They're also in Robinson's Place Dumaguete.

How making some space for desserts also made some space in Mustachio's pocket:
Box of Silvanas (10 pcs) Php 110
Slice of Sans Rival Php 26
Slice of Date & Walnut Dacquoise Php 48

In Dumaguete Diet is Dead:
Make Way for Some Desserts (you're here!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gabby's Bistro

Five hours in Dumaguete.
Five hours to stuff ourselves.

Time now is 1130AM.
Stomachs are growling for lunch.
And we hurriedly hop (but not without agreeing on the fare first) on a tricycle to take us to Gabby's Bistro.

Gabby's Bistro, found in the residential area of Dumaguete, sits in the same compound as Florentina Homes (a hotel) and Rana Verde (a coffee shop).

Clockwise from top-left: Florentina Homes, Rana Verde Coffee Shop which also sells ice cream, a small bit of their Mexican inspired mini plaza, and a painted-on burger cart.

At the bistro, you can dine inside where there is AirConditioning or al fresco where it is AirContinuous.

The menu please. I'm getting hungry.

Some of the many things that kept my eyes busy while waiting for our food:
From L-R: The Bar in the bistro. Mr. Donald Duck looking like a boss! ETHYL Gasoline Pump. Don't worry, there's a fire extinguisher, albeit an ancient one. Below: Angry Birds and a cool pre-WWII plane.

Here comes lunch!

Anna's Fiery Skewers
 Four choices for your skewer: vegetables Php 145 / chicken Php 165 / pork Php 175 /  prawns Php 215
Of the four, I just had to have prawns. Great combo with its sweet and spicy sauce and java rice.

Pork Marsala
According to the menu, it is "beer-battered and breaded pork loin fried topped with cheese and herbs,
with mashed potatoes and marsala gravy." Pork plus mashed potatoes plus whatever marsala is, this delish dish is more than enough for my travel buddy.

Summer Strawberry Mocktail
Mmmm...tastes like lemonade with strawberry syrup.
Maybe it is lemonade with strawberry syrup.

Verdict? More than satisfied!

Gabby's Bistro
Rovira Road, Bantayan, Dumaguete City
(035) 422 0827

How this satisfying lunch ate its way through Mustachio's pocket:
Tricycle from port to Gabby's Bistro Php 15 (per person)
Pork Masala Php 185
Anna's Fiery Skewers (tiger prawns) Php 215
Summer Strawberry Php 50
Plain rice Php 25

In Dumaguete Diet is Dead:
Gabby's Bistro (you're here!)
Make Way for Some Desserts
Burger vs Burger
City Chicken  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Siquijor Sojourn

I've never been to Siquijor and I promised myself that it would be one of my first travel destinations. But then came Bohol, Negros, and other Luzon areas all the way up to Batanes, pushing little Siquijor to the bottom of the bucket list.


When a Siquijor fiesta invite from a friend of my travel buddy came up, I didn't hesitate on (gate)crashing along.

We boarded a bus heading to Oslob and told the conductor to drop us off at the Oslob port bound for Larena, Siquijor. The exact location is in Barangay Mainit.

A big tarp pointing the way to the port

Another landmark is the church right across

Proper church attire

 Brgy Mainit (hot) is named for its hot spring. Will go see the spring someday.

Just beside the port is a tiny market with a small carenderia. Perfect for hungry travelers like us. We had breakfast of humba and monggos... and mangoes. Heaps of mangoes were next to the carenderia's dining tables and I couldn't resist buying some.

Breakfast of humba and monggos

 Heaps of mangoes

The ferry leaves for Larena every 930AM Thursdays to Sundays (back to Oslob at 2PM on the same days). The trip takes two hours and fare is at Php200. If you miss this trip or go on days that they don't operate, one option is to take the fastcraft from Liloan, Santander to Sibulan, then take a jeepney or tricycle to Dumaguete, and catch the boat to Siquijor from there. A more expensive option is to take the fast ferry (Oceanjet) from Cebu City to Siquijor. And the slowest option is to take the ship from Cebu City to Siquijor (the journey can take up to 10 hours).

Waiting for 930AM

Hello Siquijor!

We were fortunate to have been picked up by Jon, our Siquijor friend. He borrowed a car that would be our main transportation around the island. There are tricycles and multicabs that can be rented for Php900 and Php1200 respectively for a tour around the island. We made a short pitstop in Larena to meet Jon's family and have lunch at their house. After refueling our stomachs and the car, we were off on Turista Mode:

Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Maria, Siquijor

San Isidro Labrador Church
Lazi, Siquijor

...and just across, separated by the tree-lined road is...

San Isidro Labrador Convent
Lazi, Siquijor

...which houses a museum that we lazily did not check out.

On the convent gate, we found this. Look! Php100 a month tuition fee!

Cambugahay Falls
Lazi, Siquijor
The way to the falls is pretty clear-cut.

Cambugahay falls probably has several levels but the aquamarine waters of the first level made me kick off my slippers, jump into its waters, and forget about exploring. The falls can be enjoyed for free. There are no changing rooms and picnic tables, just the cold flowing water, rocks, and greenery. Oh, and a vine you can swing from for a grand splash. Try it!

Capilay's Spring Park 
San Juan, Siquijor
The spring park is just by the road. It is open to the public and doesn't require you to dig into your pocket (no entrance fee). Cottages and tables with benches are waiting for you to have a picnic. Swim at your own risk...people driving by will see you in your skimpy bikini!

Siquijor's so small you can drive around the island in just a few hours

The island can be circumnavigated in just half a day. Back to our starting point (Larena), we settled in Karlsson's Guesthouse [0917 764 2633] for the night. For Php1800, we got this little cottage with a bed that's a single and double combined (see photo below to get my meaning) plus a cot, toilet and shower, a kitchen complete with a sink, a small dining table, and a cabinet of pots, pans, plates, and utensils, and a roof deck to lounge and laze around when the sun isn't too hostile.

Our little cottage at Karlsson's

The single+double size bed

The kitchen with its magic cabinet

Lounge on the roof deck

Karlsson's beach: not so fine sand but clear waters

The second night was spent at the end of the world. At Lorna's End of the World Beach Rooms [0927 381 6377] that is. Lorna's is located in the municipality of San Juan, just a few hundred meters from Capilay's Spring Park.

This is Lorna and you are at her end of the world

Lorna's End of the World as seen from the road (left) and as seen from the beach (right)

Rooms on the ground floor cost Php500, the ones on the second floor cost Php400. Below left photo is of the room on the upper floor. It has a shower and toilet...behind that pink curtain! :-) Right outside of the second floor rooms is a veranda with a table and some chairs to just soak in the sea view.

Inside (left) and outside (right)

You can go higher up to their roof deck or down below for a lazy afternoon on a hammock.

Our last afternoon in Siquijor was spent walking around San Juan. Near the spring park we found some shops, an eatery, and the public market where we got ourselves a snack: a piece of turon (deep fried banana in springroll wrapper) each.


Snack time: turon

From the market, we decided to walk on the shore on the way back to the end of the world. We passed some ladies doing their laundry in the stream, coconut trees by the beach, a dog looking out to sea, empty benches in the shade, and green-haired rocks.


Back at the end of the world, we were just in time for nature's spectacular show called sunset.

And when night fell, it was dinner by the beach with a lone lamp. Romantic? Ha! The lamp was so we can see what we were eating and not choke on the fish bones. Surprise! Lorna tossed in two pieces of bread with strawberry jam! Thank you, Lorna! Lorna has limited supplies so either buy from the market yourself and just ask them to cook for you (for a fee) or you can place your lunch and dinner orders in the morning for them to prepare and do the necessary shopping.

In the morning, we had breakfast and a quick dip before rushing off to the port of Siquijor to catch the boat to Dumaguete. Breakfast was bread and eggs we bought from a nearby sari-sari store. We just asked Lorna to cook the eggs.

Tricycles don't come along every minute so give enough time for waiting (20 to 30 minutes), unless you are in no hurry and have no schedule to strictly follow. We had forgotten this bit of fact and we had to buy Delta fast ferry tickets as "chance passengers." Everyone else was already on board and we had to do a 200-meter dash. 

We made it!

Howdy Dumaguete! It's time for a chowdown!

PS. Every time I read "end of the world" it always sounds like that cliché trailer-background voice. The one that always says "This Summer!" Does that happen to you too? Does "end of the world" sound more like "END... OF THE WOOORLD"?

How this sojourn gatecrashed its way into Mustachio's pocket:
Bus from South Bus Terminal to Brgy Mainit, Oslob Php 154
Breakfast Php 64
Super Shuttle Ferry from Oslob to Larena Php 200
Food contribution Php 140
Gas contribution Php 250
Room at Karlsson's Guesthouse Php 1800
Room at Lorna's End of the World Php 400
Chicken dinner at Lorna's Php 120
Cooking charge (Php 30 x 2) Php 60
Rice Php 10
Bread Php 20
Tricycle from Lorna's to Siquijor pier Php 25
Terminal fee Php 14
Delta fast ferry from Siquijor to Dumaguete Php 160
Jeep to Sibulan Php15
Fastcraft to Liloan, Santander Php 62
Bus from Santander to South Bus Terminal Php 169