Category: Light & Hearty

Chips go healthy with California Crunch

California Crunch Cassava Chips
California Crunch Cassava Chips (P44 each)

I couldn’t resist the temptation of opening the bags so I went ahead and opened one.  The unmistakable smell of sour cream and onion chips wafted into the air inviting me to dig in.  The flavor was very sour cream & onion-y.  The mouth feel was spot-on crunchy.  Not that I would mistake it for potato chips (the slightly thicker slices and wee bit starchy) but it’s close.  The chips are from California Crunch and these are cassava chips.  But it ain’t the same ole kamote chips we are accustomed to.

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Hot tsokolate, steaming coffee and hearty breakfast at Kuatro Kantos

Grilled Ensaymada with Hamon Serrano and Spanish Tsokolate (P125)
Grilled Ensaymada with Hamon Serrano and Spanish Tsokolate (P125)

With the rainy season upon us, it would take a compelling reason to get out of bed (or a warm, dry office) to go look for breakfast fare. That’s exactly what your happyfoodies did, visiting the walled city of Intramuros on a rainy weekday morning maybe not much out of curiosity to ogle at the historic sites but more out of a compulsion to try something beside the usual fastfood variety breakfast.

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Chips go gourmet with Oishi

Oishis Gourmet Chips
Oishi's Gourmet Picks Chips

Our earliest recollection of Oishi was of those pink Kirei prawn crackers. That was a time when local chips, most especially the potato chips, tasted differently from their foreign counterparts. Don’t brand us as colonial-minded but it was just that even blind-folded, we can tell if a potato chip came from a balikbayan box or the sari-sari store. It took awhile before the local chip makers caught up and boy, have they narrowed the gap. At the forefront of this is Oishi, now with a lot of other products apart from the still-growing strong prawn crackers.

For the next generation of chips eaters, Oishi goes a bold step forward with its gourmet series. And the flavors are not the usual variation of its existing lines.  Your happyfoodies are just too happy to oblige to a taste testing and see what’s inside every big bag.

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Healthful coolers at FYI

FYI Frozen Yogurt Indulgence
FYI Frozen Yogurt Indulgence (Regular Php 80, Large Php 110)

When the mercury constantly hit 36 degrees or higher even on days when the rains play games with the sun, it’s just instinctive to reach for something to cool with. On an assignment in the Quezon City area, our eyes got caught by a very colorful signage and a witty name for a yogurt outlet – FYI. The acronym stands for “Frozen Yogurt Indulgence,” and one look at the items on offers suggested this can be a nice place to cool down on a hot and humid afternoon.

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Breakfast in Bongao

Bongao Tawi-tawi breakfast delicacies
Bongao Tawi-tawi breakfast delicacies

Without question, Bongao in Tawi Tawi is pretty remote. It’s not just the physical distance per se that gives one that feeling but also the absence of the usual, ubiquitous fastfood outlets that line up Zamboanga City for example. Not that we miss the Jollibees, Mcdos and Chowkings. Out here in Bongao, it would be interesting to find out what the locals eat. One breakfast time, we decided to take a walk and see where our feet (and noses) will take us. We eventually ended up at Al-Madina-1, one of the coffeeshops that line the main street of Datu Halun.

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Hamming it up in CDO

SLERS Beef Pastrami Sandwich and Tsokolate
SLERS Beef Pastrami Sandwich and Tsokolate

Mention Cagayan de Oro and on top of the list associated with this City of Golden Smiles is its famous ham.  And when it comes to hams, the overwhelming favorite among the locals is SLERS Jamon Cagayan de Oro, which has been around since 1969.  What makes their ham different is the natural juiciness and tenderness of the meat.  This is due in large part to the fact that the swine from which they are made were fed with pineapple, a fruit laden with the enzyme papain, which has natural tenderizing properties. Over the years, SLERS hams have become a part of tradition among CDO locals as well as guests all-year round and especially during Christmas-time.   SLERS have also ventured into the quick-service restaurant and more recently, the café business.

We chanced upon the newly-opened SLERS Ham & Café while looking for somewhere to eat for lunch on our way back to Manila.  The small but charming café is warm and inviting, with a wall decked with goodies ready to tempt the diner.

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