Lakbay Norte Food Trail from La Union to Baguio

Hot Choco at Soul Cafe
Hot Choco at Soul Cafe

Food discoveries during travel have always been the heart of Happyfoodies. And during this Lakbay Norte 2, a familiarization tour of select places in Northern Luzon, we get to try out some interesting food stops on the way to Baguio from Manila on our first day. We had breakfast at SOUL Cafe in La Union, snacks at Cafe Isabelle and dinner at Hotel Elizabeth’s Flora Cafe.

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Upbeat at Offbeat

Offbeat Burger at Wieneke Kitchen
Offbeat Burger at Wieneke Kitchen

It literally takes a lot of guts (pun intended) to call your shop, “Offbeat,” when you’re located at The Collective in Makati City which is an art-meets-commerce kind of space, and adjectives like ‘quirky’ and ‘unusual’ are terms shared by all the shops.  Short of offering bizarre food, how can Offbeat, The Wieneke Kitchen be true to its name?  That we intended to find out for ourselves.

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Brownie points for Brownies Unlimited

Rocky Road Brownies
Rocky Road Brownies

Forrest Gump may have said that life is like a box of chocolates but he never had the dilemma of contemplating on what kind of chocolate brownie he’s going to get out of an assorted boxful from Brownies Unlimited.  That’s what Happyfoodies mulled upon when we got boxes of chocolate goodies from BU over the holidays.  Not to complain though as we’re certified chocoholics.

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Paris Delice: Now serving really flaky, really authentic French breads

Pain Au Chocolat
Pain Au Chocolat (P60)

There were bread crumbs on the table.  Crumbs on the tray liner.  And more crumbs on the saucers.  A nuisance?  If the crumbs were from ordinary bread, they would be.  But we were having Paris Delice breads for breakfast and notwithstanding the proliferation of French bakeries in the metro, it really doesn’t take a cultured palate to know these breads are different from all that came before them.

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Finding one-of-a-kind siopao in Tim Ho Wan

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork
Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (HK$12)

It’s already past mid-afternoon when we, armed with maps from the HK airport, alighted at the MTR station in the Mongkok district. Nina (of Just Wandering) whetted our collective appetites with a tale of a much-written about hole-in-the-wall place that serve this really different kind of siopao. Since we we were in the vicinity for a look-see of Mongkok’s electronic shops later in the afternoon, we thought why not find the place and taste for ourselves? Turns out the place wasn’t really hard to find as we ran into a motley group of hungry diners, both local and foreign, hogging the sidewalk along Kwong Wa Street. We were given a number and told to wait an hour.

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