The Earth Kitchen: A Healthy Approach To Dining

The Earth Kitchen @Bonifacio High Street Central

The natively-tuned decor and the simple yet elegant ambiance of this homey and woodsy second setting of the Earth Kitchen at Bonifacio Global City might explain how they can do what they do: serve original, healthy and ingenious cuisine using the best local ingredients!

The owners have partnered with local farmers and indigenous communities that produce organic products—and it shows. From their fresh vegetable salads, tender beef offerings to exceptional goat cheese ice cream and fruit shakes, there’s delectable quality throughout!

Earth Kitchen’s facade

From the outside, The Earth Kitchen at the BGC appears to be a Cafe in a garden setting, similar to that of their first branch located along White Plains Avenue (Katipunan Ext.) but this one is toned down with just a few pots of plants displayed below their signage and glass door entrance. Inside though, reveals a more relaxed ambiance, sort of a cross between a car garage decorated with various plants hanging on wooden slabs atop the ceiling with tables and chairs made out of wood, spread out like in a picnic ground.

A peek inside

The stretch of the Boni High Street Central is awash of high-quality, fine dining and drinking places but the Earth Kitchen is still not a place where you’d expect to find cooking of this quality. The owners wanted this place to be like a picnic ground with just simple, healthy food offerings but the extraordinary food makes you forget everything else.

This restaurant is not cuisine-specific. Their food fare caters to everyone, from vegetarian to meat-based, fish, you name it– they got it! Most importantly, they take pride in using local ingredients, as they believe in the philosophy of using what is found in the local markets.

And now, the food! I’m not surprised anymore why restaurants such as these that offer gastronomic delights are handled by Public Relations maven, Ms. Nana Nadal who has cornered many of the best eateries that offers new culinary trends. Again, i was fortunate enough to be invited by her to try out this delightful find that offers the best dishes in the metro at reasonable prices, with service befitting the setting.

The Earth Kitchen’s top four offerings are Beef Kebab, Watermelon and Rocket Salad,  Beef Bulgogi Soft Taco and Shrimp Spring Rolls.

Rather than worrying about whether Nana’s favorite Beef Kabab are as delectable and authentic as those of Behrouz’ along the Scout area in Quezon City, the Kitchen’s tour of dishes becomes a mini-adventure in flavor, color and creativeness. And yes, the Beef Kebab has that middle-eastern twang to it and so was the brown rice pillaf and sauce that were served on the sides.

Beef Kabab (Nana’s favorite) — P410.00

The vegetable salad entry of greens was a riot of color, texture with stand-outs being the white cheese toppings, watermelons and all the organic plant based vegetable you could find along White Plains Avenue! I’m not sure why they called this the Rocket salad as we were just glued on our seats concentrating (others pretending) to like this amalgam of green, yellow and red healthy stuff. Next…

Watermelon and Rocket Salad — P300.00

This is one of my favorites, the Beef Bulgogi in Soft Taco which should be rolled and eaten like an ordinary taco. Great combination of organic salad greens, seaweeds and boneless beef ribs that’s right up to the last bite! Check!

Beef Bulgogi in Soft Taco — P310.00

Not every dish here is above criticism. This off-beat creation of combining herbs, greens, peanuts and shrimp was not the best match. The vegetable was a little starchy, over-powering the taste of shrimps if ever there was one. Even the excellent lime hoisin sauce couldn’t save it from mediocrity. The Shrimp Spring Rolls came as the odd one out!

Shrimp Spring Rolls — P220 (Regular) P325.00 (Large)

If you’re not at imminent risk of having a heart attack, Earth Kitchen has prepared this sumptuous dish for meat lovers or for anybody who likes to take protein as recovery food after an intense work-out. The Braised Bacon has two slabs of thick ribs crafted from what seems like pork belly. So rich and so succulent, the boneless fatty-edge meat is exceptionally tender and juicy. A fruity, peppery marinade gives it intensity, while pickled red cabbage and the marble potatoes are the perfect accompaniment.

Braised Bacon — P580.00

Another one of the heart thumpers is the Risotto Milanese, an organic braised beef short rib which was tasty, supple and tender. While the rice has the perfect consistency, it was the short ribs that melted in the mouth. I was able to get the shank part so i scooped, sucked and licked all the bone marrow inside. I think i ate a lot of this thingy so it was my meds that i reached for right after! 🙂

Risotto Milanese — P640.00

The Beef and Citrus Salad is a perfect combination of beef rib chunks, greens, diced raw papaya and dayap vinaigrette. Not too much funfare here but just your solid meat and green salad! Perfect!

Beef and Citrus Salad — P320.00

The Paccheri (pronounced as ˈpakkeri’) is new to me and the pasta in this particular dish has been made into flat slabs with goat’s cheese roasted pumpkin and pili nuts added into the mix to give it its distinct flavor.

Pumpkin and Goat’s Cheese Paccheri — P340.00

Squid Ink beans anyone? This may look strange but it’s actually good! The squid ink gives the Risotto Uni Negra its blackish color but the taste is not too over-powering but has just the right flavorful mix with the French beans and scallops–one you should try.

Risotto Uni Negra — P350.00

The Four Mushroom and Egg is Earth Kitchen’s version of Carbonara. It has strips of bacon, four kinds of mushrooms including Shiitake, milky and button mushrooms plus fortified with organic eggs. One of the best pastas in their menu.

Four Mushroom and Egg — P385.00

The Sweet Potato takes on a different mask with this delectable recipe that includes white cheese, pili nuts, parmesan cheese, pomodoro sauce, basil and the basic camote tops. A must try.

Sweet Potato Tops Ravioli — P400.00

Tired of eating old ice-cream flavors? Try the Goat’s Cheese ice cream, a combination of wild honey, dried figs, cashew nuts and goat’s cheese*. (*goat not included).

Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream — P270.00

And finally, Fresh Juices to die for. The red one below is called Got Heart Mix which includes a mixture of beets, carrots, cucumber, apple and honey while the yellow one is Mango Yoghurt Shake.

Got Heart Mix — P200.00 / Mango Yoghurt Shake — P 130.00

Bon Appetit!

Running To Mr. Choi Kitchen

There’s this old traditional thing about serving a noodle dish or the local “pancit”, in its many varieties during birthdays that’s said to signify a longer life and good health to the celebrant.

It’s a basic dish that’s almost always included in every birthday table so when good friend Leo took us out for dinner for his nth birthday, we went to Mr. Choi Kitchen Restaurant and ordered, among many other house specialties, the “Birthday Noodles”!

Leo (seated), the birthday celebrant and the “youngest” in our team.

Famed for their all-time favorite Cantonese dimsun, Mr. Choi Kitchen, located inside Robinson’s Galleria Mall (one among many of their branches in the metro) serves the typical Chinese fare, but the menu offers a wide variety of dishes. When finding a table inside, you’ll notice a display of barbecued meats – pork ribs, pork belly and whole ducks–at the kitchen glass window after you enter.

From their specialty dimsum dumplings, breakfast congees, roasted dishes and a wide assortment of fish, pork, prawns and other delectable soup noodles, all are cooked and served in the all familiar Hongkong style flair. There were so many dishes to choose from so we let Leo do the choosing since he has dined here countless of times and knew what the “blockbuster” offerings were.

Here’s what he ordered for us:

Sihk faahn 食飯 (Bon appetit!)

Birthday Noodles – P255.00

The Birthday Noodles, ordered so as to celebrate Leo’s almost seven decades of existence on this planet is a mishmash of quail eggs, fish balls, chicken, pork, mushrooms and fish cutlets cooked with the typical pancit canton noodles, garnished with fresh vegetables and a little broth for those who want some soup poured into their rice. Truly yummy! May this dish add more quality years to Leo’s truly enviable life with Manang Sylvia.

Cold Cuts combination – P405.00

The Assorted Chinese Cold Cuts tossed in light garlic sauce made an appetizing starter. However, this didn’t live up to my expectations. Though the century eggs was satisfyingly tasty and the jelly fish flavorful, the asado meat was fatty, lump and a little rubbery.

Steamed Fish with Garlic Sauce – P285.00

The Steamed Fish in Garlic Sauce was the highlight of the night! I thought i couldn’t love anything more than the Chicken Salad but this was delicioso! So tender, flaky, spread on thick sauce with just the right sweetness.  Lavished with minced garlic and chopped spring onions, this isn’t something that i would normally eat with gusto but it was absolutely amazing that i couldn’t stop eating once i had it melting in my mouth!

Beef with Broccoli – P295.00

The Beef with Broccoli was tender and succulent and it was the dish i really enjoyed eating with my rice. This is the only dish where i actually get to eat the broccoli!

Hot Chicken Salad – P290.00

The tender chicken cutlets is an interesting variation of a chicken dish. Called Chicken Salad, (sans potatoes and macaroni) these are pieces of tenderized chicken, coated in lustrous mayonnaise-like sauce, then garnished with a vegetable salad. Flavorful to the max!

Mr. Choi’s Butchi – P170.00

To top everything was the Buchi dessert which was just perfect, not too sweet but very filling. Reminds me of Chow Kings’ version, only, this is bigger! This rice ball is simply perfection!

The gang

After a tiring long morning run, Mr. Choi Kitchen, in Robinsons Galleria, is a good choice to replenish energy and definitely one you should keep in mind if your taste buds seek for affordable Cantonese food!

Beeffalo Restaurant: Marikina’s Best Kept Secret

I was relieved to finally reach the Beeffalo By Hotrocks Restaurant at Sto. Nino, Marikina last night after the horrendous traffic along Aurora Boulevard which almost came to a standstill. What was supposed to be a 25 minuted drive took me about 2.5 hours to negotiate.

Beeffalo is located a kilometer away from the Marikina Sports Complex and it’s behind the Blue Wave at Marquinton Mall. With no directional signages nor even small billboards to direct diners to this food sanctuary,  the place has become a veritable best kept secret of Marikina. Their baby back ribs, porterhouse steak and delectable desserts are some of the reasons why people as far as Alabang, Bulacan and Laguna would suddenly appear at their doorsteps armed only with their google maps and memorized verbal instructions given to them by people they’ve asked along the route.

Arriving at the Beeffalo way past our appointed time for our scheduled dinner, i saw long lines of cars parked in front of this resto, with lights glistening from inside. And this place is serious! Originally intended as a small eatery, the edifice is actually made up of container vans refurbished in the style of the old american roadhouses and is filled with retro design features: vintage television set; an antique sewing machine, a rotary dial telephone, 50’s bicycles and an old original Vespa scooter, many of them donated or lent by friends.

The look is certainly distinctive but the effect is homey, where families and friends can gather together and enjoy watching their food being grilled in the barbecue pit located at one corner of the entrance. The smell of barbecue smoke was enticing while the sight of meats being grilled was mouth watering!

Omar at the bbque pit

The house-like ambiance was packed with customers and walking past peoples’ plates, i knew i was going to have another gastronomical experience.

The garden area

The indoor dining area

Roofed Al Fresco

The main attraction though is the menu, loosely styled on American cuisine with steaks (T-bone and Porterhouse with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetable salad added), baby back ribs, (tender and succulent) buffalo chicken wings (very hot or sweet n spicy) and even thin-crust biscuit pizzas (all fresh ingredients). Of course, there’s also the all-time Filipino favorite like “inihaw na liempo” and street food barbecue like isaw, tenga and bulaklak!

Our Porterhouse was exemplary, thin but soft. But be careful when ordering the buffalo wings– the original style is really, really hot! We particularly like the endlessly refilled cucumber lemonade but we were offered wine as well, carefully selected by co-owner and Executive Chef, Girlie Cosio-Abad who has them shipped from California.

The portions are large and generous so ideally, it is best to have 3 or more people as it’s more a “family style” dining and you get lots of extras.

Queues are common specially during week-ends. Fridays and Saturdays are almost full to the brim! They also accept bookings for special occasions.

Beeffalo’s facade

Adding to the delight of discovering this new digs is that Beeffalo’s General Manager and Chef Girlie’s husband, Louie Abad is a long distance runner and is currently training for his first ever 42k marathon under The Bull Runner’s TBR Dream Marathon this coming February, 2015.  He would walk from table to table or give instructions to his service staff then would sit again on our table asking tips on all things running. One unanimous advice we gave him— quit smoking!

Louie has been in the restaurant business for more than 8 years so he’s comfortable holding court specially if you want to talk with him about food but obviously, all he’s thinking now is how he would finish his first marathon with 3 months to go and with very little training!

I’ll now gloat on the food we had last night and trying to sample all had me so full and bloated!

Bon Appetit!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup — P65.00

Seafood and Corn Chowder — P90.00

Taco Bbq Salad (for two) — P275.00

Beeffalo Wings: Original Buffalo Style (with Blue Cheese Dip) Hot or Sweet — P195.00

Street Food Barbecue Platter

Porterhouse Steak (250g) — P385.00

Baby Back Ribs Single (with Java Rice) — P270.00

Baby Back Ribs Full (with Java Rice) — P740.00

Garlic Shrimp Pasta (Cream-based sauce with rich garlic flavor) — P195.00

Classic Baked Potato Mash — P65.00

Pepperoni Pizza — P140.00

Margherita (Fresh Tomato and Basil) Pizza — P145.00

Beeffalo Home-made Special Sauce (Red Chili, Green Chili and B-BQ Sauce)

Brazo De Mercedes — P125.00

Dulce De Leche Cheese Cake — P165.00

Charles Shaw Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)

Nachos (Salsa or Spinach Dip) — P135.00

Cucumber Lemonade — P60.00/95.00

The people behind Beeffalo by Hotrocks. L-R: Louie Abad, General Manager; Girlie Cosio-Abad, Executive Chef and Caren Diaz, Finance Manager

L-R: Girlie Abad, Ruth Floresca, Noy Floresca, me, Caren Diaz, Nana Nadal and Louie Abad





Rico Corn Rice: A Rice Alternative For Runners

Maybe you all know the fact about how we Filipinos eat far more than our fair share of rice–making us one of the world’s largest rice consumers and importers since 2010 (from a rice exporter years before that) despite our continuously being a rice producer. Continuous seasonal monsoon damaged to crops, shrinking arable lands and a faster rise of our population more than we can stock up on the staple are the main reasons why we can not sustain its production.

However, our corn supply remains adequate and with its availability, a state-of-the-art corn-drying facility was set up by a food company, the Philippine Leading Infinite Logistics, Inc or PLILI which came up with rice-shaped corn. This product called RiCo has the healthy benefits of corn with the shape and the delectable taste of rice.

RiCo corn rice is a good replacement for white rice as it is made from 100% Philippine grown corn and is rich in B-vitamins, calcium and iron. It has no cholesterol and low glycemic index which can help keep rice lovers fit and healthy!

Athletes, particularly runners know that whole grains, vegetables and fruits are good sources of energy because they contain nutrients that fuel their runs and repair muscles. But many of us might not realize that while each of these foods is individually nutritious, corn–which is also a food staple in the Visayas and Mindanao also provides more bang with every bite.

RiCo rice corn sample when cooked

One of a runner’s carbohydrate staples is corn and for good reasons. It’s tasty, nutritious and energy-filling. When certain foods like corn are made something to look and taste like rice, it gives a new face and alternative to our ever dwindling staple food without losing it’s palatable tang!

Last Monday, we were invited to a luncheon to taste different dishes using the RiCo corn rice with no less than famous celebrity chef, Chef Jessie Sinsioco at her “Chef Jessie Restaurant” at the Rockwell Club in Makati. It was one gastronomic delight after another with Chef Jessie’s expertise in mixing the corn rice in these dishes:

Mesclun Greens Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing with Prawn RiCo pops

The Mescun Green Salad is excellent and the veggies were really fresh and crispy. It’s not a traditional tossed salad, but rather deli salads scooped onto a bed of raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The crusted prawn ball made of corn-rice was the real icing on the salad with a single big chunk of prawn tucked inside that perfectly complemented the dish!

Minestrone with RiCo corn rice

The ministrone soup was one of the best i ever tasted as it was one of Chef Jessie’s surprise dish combining the soup with grains of the corn rice which was very filling that i could have made a meal out of it!

Pan-fried Codfish Fillet in Pommery Mustard Sauce with RiCo Corn Rice Filaf and sauteed French Beans

The pan-fried codfish fillet is juicy and tender, but this may have been the menu’s weakest link as it was not seasoned and didn’t have much flavor as i would have liked! The mustard sauce didn’t help accentuate the flavor so i asked the waiter to bring me the pepper shake to spice it up a bit! The taste kicked up some twang when i poured some enchilada on top of it! Saved!

Grilled Chicken Breast in Creamy Pepper Sauce served with RiCo pilaf and sauteed French beans

The grilled chicken breast was succulent as it was grilled wonderfully and it was the perfect match for the Pilaf corn rice!

RiCo Corn Rice Crocant Roll for dessert

The corn rice crocant roll is what it is…crisp, sweet and a bit buttery but was excellent, nonetheless!

This was one healthy and delicious meal that everybody in the room enjoyed! The servings were perfectly portioned, mostly good quality ingredients and the RiCo corn rice was a perfect blend in the mix!


RiCo Corn Rice Makes Healthy, Yummy (Press Release)

In pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, there is no need to deprive ourselves of the pleasure of a good meal. With RiCo Corn Rice, we can have the best of both worlds.

Rico Corn Rice is made from 100% Philippine-grown corn fortified with iron and calcium. It tastes just like regular rice but provides the nutrition of corn. Each grain is naturally rich in antioxidants and vitamin A as well as beta-carotene and lutein for good eyesight.

As a complex carbohydrate, corn provides sustained energy. It is ideal for athletes and those who lead active lifestyles. Corn is known for its high fiber content, a quality valued by the figure conscious. In addition, corn has no cholesterol and has lower glycemic index for controlled and balanced blood sugar that is ideal for diabetics and weight watchers.

Incorporating RiCo corn rice into the daily routine is fairly simple, its preparation is not far from what we are accustomed to. At the recent launch of RiCo, their very own Chef Joey de la Cruz demonstrated the three easy steps of cooking RiCo: boil, pour, and simmer.

Boil the suggested amount of water. Then, pour the desired amount of RiCo. Finally, simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. To prevent loss of water-soluble nutrients, the grains should not be washed. If a loose and fluffy consistency (buhaghag) is preferred, RiCo should be cooked like pasta: boil the water, put in RiCo and then drain. RiCo retains its yellow hue even after it is cooked, making it very visually appealing and a hit among children.

Chef Jessie

The Jazzrunner meets the Jazz Singer/Host, Cara Manglapus

Ms. Kareeza Cristobal, Brand Manager of Philippine Leading Infinite Logistics Inc., distributors of RiCo Corn Rice

During the launch, Chef Jessie Sincioco demonstrated the versatility of the ingredient through a sit down meal of Mesclun Greens with Prawn RiCo pops, Minestrone with RiCo, a main course of Pan Fried Cod Fish Fillet in Pommery Mustard Sauce and Grilled Chicken Breast in Creamy Pepper Sauce served with RiCo Pilaf and sauteed French Beans, and RiCo Crocant Roll. At home, you can use RiCo in your daily favorites such as sinangag, java rice, yang chow rice, and paella.

The locally-produced RiCo is a first from the Philippines. Aside from making healthy, yummy, this innovation also provides increased livelihood for our farmers and develops our country’s natural resources.

¬RiCo is available in 1-kilogram (P70.00), 2-kilogram (125.00), and 5-kilogram (P300.00) packs at SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Rustan’s Supermarket, Walter Mart Supermarket, Ever Supermarket, The Landmark Supermarket, Sta. Lucia East Supermarket, Pioneer Centre Supermarket, Hi-Top Supermarket, Cherry Foodarama, South Supermarket, NCCC Supermarket, Gaisano Mall, and other leading supermarkets nationwide.

For more information about RiCo, visit

You may also click on the RiCo Facebook page at Follow news about RiCo on Instagram, and Twitter,

The Quezon City Food Fest at Maginhawa Street

Maginhawa Street in Diliman, seems to be the new, emerging restaurant row in Quezon City, an alternative to the crowded and bustling eateries along Tomas Morato, Timog, West and Katipunan Avenues. Maginhawa’s eateries doesn’t have the swagger or class the bigger restaurants have because this new eating hub is more low-key, quaint, homey, a favorite hang-out of students, academicians, artists or small families who want a new experience in dining.

Except for a short slight drizzle, it was a beautiful night last night while i was jostling amongst the crowd who were similarly experiencing the first Quezon City Food Festival along the sides of this main artery. A ton of various food stalls ranging from gourmet pastas, German sausages, Ramens, etc were lined-up competing with those already established Cafes, Bars, Burger Joints, Grillers and other themed restaurants.

Maginhawa Street is less than a kilometer away from home so i decided to walk to the venue, see what i could find to eat, take pictures as i maneuver myself through the maddening crowd which was swelling despite the light drizzle and it was just 5:30pm. This is my first time attending a street food festival, very similar to a street tiangge although instead of clothes and accessories being sold, it’s foodstuffs that were lined-up!

I was getting hungrier by the minute seeing all the food displayed on their display tables so i decided to stop at one of the pasta stalls which had vacant seats. You get your bang for your buck here! For P150.00, you have a “pasta plate” which consists of fettuccine with ham, 2 slices of pineapple-pepperoni pizza, garlic bread, green salad and a glass of ice tea. The fettuccine was good, but nothing special.

Pasta Plate

Next stop was at a chicken buffalo wings stall where they were frying the thing in front of you and you get 6 pieces for P120.00 and you get to choose your dip which can be either hot or overdose (extremely hot)! I chose the hot dip which to me was burning hot! Skin was perfectly fried with some bold spices, while the meat inside was juicy, tender and flavorful. Reminded me of Texas Road House buffalo wings which tasted similar!

Deep fried to perfection

After walking for some more, i got attracted to the smell of barbecues, the meat of the pork and chicken being brushed by their special barbecue sauce so i made a quick stop to buy 2 sticks of pork barbecue costing P50.00 a stick which was equivalent to 3 sticks had i bought it at our neighborhood barbecue stall! The meat was tender, juicy and thick. Was only able to consume one piece because i was already full!

Pork BBQ

Overall, good food and the “fiesta” atmosphere was very reveling! Some lines were long, but many were moving quickly. There was even some live music going on as the neighborhood residents got in the action. Stalls were selling beer poured on paper cups (though I didn’t drink), and some free chips to go around with. Hope they do this food festival more often. What a great time!

I’m leaving you with some pics i took during my stroll along the food fest! Enjoy!


Gerry’s Jeepney

Great Chow in Tanay: Ponkee’s Cafe

Just a little past the commercial area of the Sampaloc-Tanay Road and Marcos Highway in Tanay, Rizal is this dainty little eatery that serves a lot of delicious native dishes at very affordable prices!

It’s a great stop for a hearty breakfast or lunch after a long trail run on the mountain trails of Tanay. The place is rather small, a typical hole-in-the-wall neighborhood “carinderia” but the food is fantastic, like having lunch in a fancy restaurant with prices 3x cheaper! The food? Mucho sabroso!

It’s a bit cramped inside with three, 3-person tables at the most and 2 tables outside that you might find it hard to get a seat during their peak hours of lunch and merienda.

Having skipped lunch while me and running buddy Jun were still at it on the trails, we were invited by Alvin Balderama, Race Director of the PIMCO trail run races and arrived at this eatery at about 3pm, starving like a pack of wolves that we were ready to devour anything that was available.

That afternoon, they were preparing their merienda special for the day–home-made grilled hamburgers which were thick, juicy and sinfully tangy with a kick! It was so delicious that we had 2 orders each!


We also tried their baby back ribs which were thick and tender, marinated just right and juicy to the bones! You can just feel the tender pork had been simmering on the grill for a long time as the marinated sauces had soaked into the layers of the pork belly. It’s juiciness created a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness to the pork and showered the meat with rich barbecue flavor.

Baby back ribs

We also had a sample of their marinated chicken barbecue which was rich in sauce and with good amount of black pepper to give your taste buds a kick.

Their prices? Look at their menu below:

Cheap and delicious food

The place is presently being frequented by bikers, motorcycle riders and now runners who are ever-present running along the National Highway and of course, the trails.

If you’re in the area after finishing your trail runs or long road bikes to energize and replenish your bodies with delicious food, i highly recommend dropping by this place. You won’t regret it!

Ponkees is located near the intersection of Sampaloc-Tanay Road and Marcos Road, near the Flying V Gas Station. From the Sierra Madre Resort, drive past the Pranjetto Hills Resort and after 2.5 kms, turn right to Sampaloc-Tanay Road. The eatery is less than a kilometer on your left.

100 Miles Cafe: The Blessing!

Except for its small signage, you need to look closely to find it. Tucked in the second floor of a new building (Fort Pointe Bldg) near the sweaty Fitness First Gym and above the aromatic Figaro Coffee Shop, its obscure, unassuming frontage is easy to miss. But 100 Miles Cafe/restaurant at the Bonifacio Global City is well worth finding.

The first thing that strikes you when you walk into the restaurant owned by ultra runner Jael Wenceslao and his family is that it does not feel like a restaurant at all. Rather, it is more like entering a vast bedroom of a hardcore  ultra-runner (presumably Jael’s), complete with running paraphernalia, i.e. local ultra-running race tarpaulins, race posters, books on running, finishers’ medals, framed finishers’ shirts, trophies, race bibs and many more running accouterments.

The only pieces missing here is probably Jael’s battered trail running shoes and muddied socks! But that would probably not be apt to display into this fine eatery except if he decides to display it inside an enclosed glass case which is just fine with me. Hahah..

To celebrate its opening a few weeks ago, the Wenceslaos invited some guests from the media and business community for the blessing and soft opening of this restaurant. I was honored to be invited and got to sample once again the great food being offered here.

This is the kind of place where runners and other athletes meet and so far, some large group events have taken place here, where the ambiance is relaxed and the mood is upbeat.

Here are some pictures taken during its inauguration and blessing:

The main sponsors cutting the ribbon with Jael Wenceslao in long sleeve shirt, Nylah Bautista (white dress) of Ayala Land, Jael’s aunt (left) and Maj General Jovie “Baldrunner” Narcise (Ret) doing the honors.

Jael’s father in striped shirt

The ribbon-cutting ceremony

The blessing. Servers were wearing race bibs and Skechers running shoes!

The staff were ready in their places

Priest pouring holy water inside the kitchen while guests were watching a glimpse of Dean Karnazes’ movie “Ultramarathon Man”.

Ultra Marathon Man

With running friends (L-R) Vanessa Ordinario, Alfred Delos Reyes, Tin Ferrera and yours truly

Shown here:  (L-R) Keshia Fule, Nylah Bautista, Chito Carreon and Rowena Teruel

Inside the extension hall with the group

Jael Wenceslao, welcomes the guests

Sir Jovie

Jael’s dad

Jae’ls aunt, the lucky charm of the Wenceslao business

Triathlete Nylah Bautista of Ayala Land

With Jael’s running mementos

A timer is even displayed on its walls

And the main stars of the restaurant:

100 Miles Salad

Mediterranean Salad

Clam Chowder

Aglio Olio Pasta

100 Miles Pizza

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Pistachio Sansrival

Wishing the 100 Miles Cafe Team every success with their new restaurant!

Soon To Open: 100 Miles Cafe At The BGC

The Bonifacio Global City continues to be a popular venue for road races every Sunday and finding a place to eat could sometimes be a chore, as there are lots of restos to choose from. The fast food joints are still the ones to go for a fast, no frills post-race fare although food options here are quite limited to the usual burgers, pancakes and value meals.

Coming up in a few days is a new restaurant called 100 Miles Cafe which will be located at the 2/f of Fort Pointe Building, just across Fitness First. A brainchild of Ultra runner Jael Wenceslao whose family (the Wesceslaos and Antipordas) are restaurateurs, this cafe will be an unassuming hang-out not only for runners but also for habitues who love good food.

A few weeks ago, i together with ultra runners Tin Ferrera and Alfred Delos Reyes  were invited by Jael to have a sampling of the dishes they will be serving-in at 100 Miles Cafe.

So here we are, sitting at another restaurant that Jael’s family own, the ORIANG, a newly opened eatery just outside the Market! Market! Mall where we are to sample a delectable array of dishes like their Seafood Salad, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Chicken and Mushroom Fettuccini, BBQ Spare Ribs, Fish Fillets and other great eats.

Their menu is extremely wide ranging, catering for everyone from the fuzzy veggie, various pastas for runners right up to the ravenous carnivore and it lives up to its promise.

Now, a word about the food. As a starter, we had the Bouillabaisse Soup which is suitably rich and creamy. Then i go with the Chicken and Mushroom Fettuccine which is spicy flavored with only a hint of sauce and is served with bread sticks.  Alfred relishes the Fajita Platter with strands of greens like lettuce and tomatoes while Tin has all the green salad to her liking.

An artist’s perspective of 100 Miles Cafe

I won’t go into the details anymore but i would recommend all the pastas in their menu and what runner doesn’t love pastas, anyway?

The other menu items are detailed below and i will be announcing in this blog when their doors will be open to the public. Bon Appetit!

Bouillabaisse Soup

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

BBQ Spare Ribs

Chicken and Mushroom Fettuccini

Seafood Salad

Your choice of dressings for the salad

Oglio Oglio Marina

Fajita Platter

Fish Fillet with Marsala Sauce

High Protein Noodle Soup

L-R: Jael Wenceslao, Tin Ferrera, Alfred Delos Reyes and moi.

Easy To Go Sandwich Spreads: McCormick Bread Spreads

In an ideal world, you’d love to sit down comfortably while enjoying a complete breakfast meal of eggs, sausages, bread or rice, coffee or fruit-juice and some fresh fruits to refuel yourself after your morning run just before going to work.

In the real world however, a hectic work schedule or leaving home early to beat the morning traffic leaves you with very little time to prepare or cook breakfast. Most often than not, we just grab a pandesal, spread it with whatever is available, take some sips of coffee and head out the door.

I’m not much of a breakfast eater so a piece or two of pandesal bread that i spread with either peanut butter, cheese whiz or butter plus a banana with my usual cup of coffee will sustain me for the whole morning.

Last week at a product launch of which i had been invited, i was introduced to a new bread spread in 3 flavors contained in squeeze tubes, the McCormick Bread Spreads. I was first intrigued by the containers which was similar to those of a tooth paste, shampoo, ointments or creams.

McCormick Bread Spreads

McCormick Bread Spreads in three (3) flavors

The bread spreads come in three delicious flavors: the Herb Parmesan (cheese), Pesto and Garlic. These are zero trans-fat spreads which you can just press off in a no mess squeezable tube. The Herb Parmesan is a great cheese flavored spread made with parmesan cheese, soybeans and other blend of spices and herbs. It’s great as a cheese-flavored dip for snack items such as crackers, potato chips and corn tortilla chips but i still like it as a bread spread with my hot pandesal!

The garlic spread tastes great too. I used it in combination with corned tuna and you have a very satisfying and filling sandwich. It’s good as a stand-alone spread too but if you have to use it often, you’ll have to stop talking to me after breakfast! The Pesto flavor has a very strong taste so i suggest taking it easy with it by spreading just enough in your slices of bread.

The bread spreads can also be used to enhance the flavor of dishes like this Carbonara

Comes in tubes

During the launch of these products, we were made to sample foods where these spreads were used and they tasted great on Carbonara, Chicken, Salads and many other pastas.

Sample dishes where spreads can also be used

The tubes are very handy, you can take them to the office and spread them on your bread or crackers for snacks and merienda. It costs about P75.00 per tube in your favorite supermarkets. A good idea for runners on the go!

Let’s Go Vegetarian: Let’s Go Gandiva!

I’ve never purposely been in a vegetarian restaurant/cafe before, much more when this cafe (with its wide roomy extension) also serves as a mini archery range for archery enthusiasts.

Just a few hundred meters away from our Ortigas office, the Gandiva Cafe and Archery Range, located at the 7th Floor, One Corporate Center Building, Julia Vargas corner Meralco Avenue, offers a delightful selection of healthy, vegetarian dishes for health enthusiasts and a practice and training ground for budding archery practitioners.

Getting there in a rainy Friday afternoon for the launching of their establishment is a bit of a drag but once you get there, you’ll immediately feel the ambiance and the staff’s hospitality as they did for us last night. As i took a seat near the glass panels overlooking the view outside Meralco Avenue, i am reminded of upscale watering holes where fun and laughter with friends often takes place over some bottles of beer. Only this time, mouth-watering fruit juices and coffee were served.

The interiors of Gandiva

For starters, we were served a sample of their Tuna Pesto, a mixture of fresh gotokula (don’t ask) and basil with nuts, fragrant flavours, similar in taste with that of Joey Pepperoni but not too spicy- it’s pasta with all the goodness. A sampling of their pizza came with the pasta. The slice of veggie pizza was light, with a veggie meat ham and other veggie trimmings laid into it although i wish they should have served more of this as a thin slice don’t really bite the taste palette much.

Tuna Festo, Pizza and Veggie Burger

Took a bite of the YAM Burger and it was yummy although the bread itself was a little bit dry. Burger patties come in two varieties, Mushroom and Soya Bean Burger.  The Choco cup cake was very interesting which they say is diabetic friendly and vegan, no dairy.

Runners who run frequently in the Ortigas area can surely drop by after their runs and enjoy’s Gandiva’s pasta, pizza, veggie sandwiches and other runner-friendly delights at very reasonable prices.

Highly recommended!

The crowd at Gandiva Cafe

Thanks to Jigs Padilla for the invitation and to Chef Lali for the superb food! For more info, you can go to their website at