Via Mare opens in Subic Bay Freeport Zone

The famous Via Mare just opened its outlet in Subic Freeport Zone at the Traders Complex, and the first trainees of the trainors’ training of the International School of Sustainable Tourism headed by Dr. Mina Gabor got invited to cocktails by the gracious Via Mare owner herself, Mrs. Glenda Barretto, a culinary expert, writer and book publisher.

All ready is my classmate Tsunami Valenzuela of Adventours Xchange, a force to be reckoned with in regard to tourism in Bulacan.

Mayor Gordon, Dr. Mina Gabor and Mrs. Glenda Barretto.

Gracing the affair were Olongapo Mayor James “Bong” Gordon and friends of Mrs. Barretto from Manila and Olongapo.

Do you see what I see? From Via Mare’s Oyster Bar.

Inviting Chicken Tinola Flan.

A-ok Pâté.

Lumpiang Ubod in a lovely presentation.

Pretty Cafe Via Mare staff.

I met Dr. Ed Sison of Perez Optical who considers himself part Ilocano a taga iddiay Santiago, Ilocos Sur.

Jonathan of Davao, Ganggang of Ormoc, Ruel of Kalinga, Grema of Bacolod and my roommate Reina of Cagayan de Oro.

Resource speaker Robby Cereno of UP Los Baños, Babbu of Dumaguete, Glenn of Bohol, Roy of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and Bert of Iloilo (standing).

My plate. I was trying not to look like I haven’t eaten oysters in years LOL But I actually went back for a heftier plate of the succulent oysters. I also tried the yummy pancit luglug and shrimp fritters.

Lumpiang Ubod and Grilled Kesong Puti Pan de Sal sandwich on my second plate.

My fourth, Via Mare specialty, bibingka topped with salted duck egg slices and butter, and puto bungbong with grated coconut and muscovado sugar on the side.

Aww, thanks for a memorable oyster evening☺

I hope I can squeeze in more time for my awesome jungle photos. Yes, we were out in the wild for two days now. The bees are huge on this side of the planet.

Cafe Via Mare L16 Building 640 Traders Complex, Sampson Rd., Subic Freeport Zone
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fight Night at B51… Margarita Monday

What a way to beat the Monday blues… getting juiced-up at the coolest night spot in Laoag right now. I was looking for a band as part of a WA. Okay, work assignment.

Kristine Fariñas-Tecson, one of the owners, recommended her new Bistro 51 Special Salad. We ordered one…

and ordered one more to take home. Really good, the salad had romaine lettuce, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, almond slivers, dried cranberries, crispy bacon bits, and a dressing made of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The burst of flavors was tongue-teasing. Refreshing, crisp, tangy, nutty, sweetish, chewy…

Spotted Ilocano pride, Olympian trap shooter Eric Ang chillin’ out by the bar.

More snooping around. He shared Burger Bites with Al Tecson, Kristine’s hubby. The patties looked chunky and beefy.

I just had to taste the budget Tapa Rice people were talking about. For ninety-five pesos only, the succulent and tender beef strips with a generous serving of rice  is a winner!

On stage was Neo Tribe and Soul with an eclectic repertoire. Didn’t catch Light Keys, the other band.

Now a Pink Tuesday while I blog this, ’cause I’m still all flushed.

More about B51’s great eats…
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Papa Pau’s Diner in Laoag: Back with a vengeance

This is up-to-the-minute news for all the foodies out there. A few days ago, my little insider, Brandon, the gourmand, told me there is a new taco place in town, so off we went last night… until we learned it actually opened that very same day we went.

Papa Pau’s Diner, the innovator of the “binalot” concept in Laoag, is back in their original home; and this time around, within the blossoming restaurant row on the eastern portion of Rizal Street. A far cry from the old Papa Pau’s at the ground level of the Ilocano Heroes Hall Building, the new Papa Pau’s is spacious, and it has this welcoming, comfy ambiance.

Though they still maintain their branch in Batac, within the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC) complex, the owners decided to come back to Laoag with fresh ideas in addition to the “binalot” they are known for. “Binalot”, which means wrapped, originated from the Tagalog region. An old practice in the countryside, hot meals wrapped in banana leaves are brought to the fields for farmers to savor during their brief midday rest. The banana leaves seal in the heat making the rice with any viand more appetizing and oozing with aromatic goodness. Half a decade ago, inspired by the tradition, they introduced their own take with great success. They have binalot Bistek, or Adobo with rice, Tapsilog,  Tocilog and Longsilog, priced within P60-P75.

A Filipino restaurant with a contemporary eclectic design

Today, they have added Ilocano fusion dishes like PPP (Papa Pau’s Pancit with Ilocos chicharon), Sizzling Squid stuffed with Ilocano longaniza, Paulina’s Crispy Pata a la Bagnet, and Pinakbet with Bagnet. Their snacks, P45- and up, include Tacos, Nachos, Mushroom Melt Burger, Papa Pau’s Patatas (potato fries with special dressing), Pancit Malabon with thick rice noodles, Mama Grace Filipino Style Spaghetti, etc. Their hot, hot items, Kapangpangan style Sizzling Sisig and Dr. June’s Sizzling Pork Spareribs, marinated in a secret sauce, are still there.

A post-dinner, and with just a four hundred peso budget for the six of us (P200- from me and P200- from Ericke), all we could order — a pitcher of red iced tea…

and three servings each of Nachos and Mushroom Melt burger. Success! We still had change for tip.

Oh, a coffee bar! They Have Filipino coffee bean varieties like Benguet, Barako, Kalinga, Sagada, etc.

Food for the eyes, photos by Dr. June Orosa, an EENT specialist at the MMMHMC, hang on the wall

More food for the eyes: Ilocos Norte treasures, still by Dr. Orosa

The owners beam with pride. From right to left, husband and wife Paulo Magsino and Grace Orosa-Magsino, and their business partner, Miss Joy Orosa.

Papa Pau’s Diner can accomodate 50 people for functions and parties. They also have a porch dining area which can sit 32 people. You can find them in Laoag at Rizal corner D.M. Castro Streets.

Welcome home, Papa Pau☺

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED